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Subject: Questionable quality components. Horrid customer service. rss

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Joe Everton
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I'd like to describe my experience with this game and its publisher as a bit of a warning to others considering it. Maybe this is a review of sorts, but I'm not focusing on gameplay at all, so I'll post it under general.

First of all, I like this game a lot. I liked it first play. I don't have any problem with the game itself. The plastic housing of the magnet pieces seemed a bit scuffed up for a sold-as-new product, but I was willing to overlook that.

After a play or two, I started getting good enough at making leaners and so forth. I noticed that one of the pieces could not be made a leaner. Its magnet was much weaker than the others. The others seemed fine. But it seemed silly for me to settle for that. I paid full price for the game.

Following the retailer's instructions, I went straight to the publisher for service. I e-mailed the company from their website. The first e-mail got a response, saying if I gave my address, they'd send a replacement piece. I sent them the address. A couple weeks and a couple follow-up emails later, no replies, and no piece in the mail. I ended up calling. She apologized, and excused herself -- e-mail difficulties, lost weeks worth of them. I was happy to forget this -- she agreed again to send the piece.

When she finally got the piece to me, it was sent USPS in a standard letter envelope with the Temple Games return address, and a big hole in one of the other corners where the piece had escaped. I took pictures of this and sent it via e-mail, asking for another try. No response. Finally took another phone call. She apologized acknowledged having seen the photos, and agreed to send another. No piece ever arrived. I'm tired of calling. Four months, 6 or 7 e-mails and 2-3 phone calls after buying it, I gave up. I got my money back from the retailer.

I believe all of my dealings with this publisher were through the same person, and if the website is right about it, she's the CEO of the company.

This is the only case where the quality of components and the quality of the service were such that I actually lost all interest in the game. It was that irritating. I still like the game enough that I hope this publisher goes under quickly so some day someone else can get the rights and do it right.

I don't doubt others have had better luck. You may too. If you can't resist like I couldn't, just realize you're taking on some risk dealing with this company.
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Ryan O'Rourke
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Tobyhanna
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That's interesting that you mention the pieces were scuffed and seemed of low quality, because I had a similar experience. Actually, I first bought this game about a year ago. It was beautiful, no scuffing, and all the magnets were great.

Then I lost the game somehow, and after months it never turned up. So I bought another copy. This new copy had scuffed, old looking magnets, and the stickers were applied sloppily. I was actually pretty disappointed. I ended up giving this copy away as a gift to a friend who liked the game. I was planning to buy another copy, but now I am worried they all look like this. What happened since a year ago that they are now using old, scuffed up looking magnets with off-centered sloppy stickers?

Ryan
 
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Devin Smith
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Re: Questionable quality components. Horrid customer servic
Stickers? Game I got is stickerless.. black plastic, white plastic, with magnet in the middle.

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Ryan O'Rourke
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I think what I am referring to is on the red piece, the dot and the dash were off centered and appeared sloppy. Worse was the scuffed looking pieces which made them appear old.

Much different than the original copy I purchased a year ago which was flawless.


Ryan
 
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Devin Smith
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Re: Questionable quality components. Horrid customer servic
I got mine 16 months ago, so can't comment on recently, but mine's still in decent shape after a year.
 
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Ryan O'Rourke
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I agree, my set of a year ago looked great. I was disappointed as was the original poster about the quality of the set I bought more recently, and I hope that they go back to using the nicer looking materials.

Anyway, I didn't want to take over the thread. However, I thought I had just received a bum set, and this post leads me to believe that's how they are making them now. I hope not, because I still need to buy myself a new set and I love the game.

In any event, I still have to recommend the game, no matter what it takes to get a copy. The scuffed appearance did not make it less fun for me, just gnaws at my OCD'ish tendencies.


Ryan O'Rourke
 
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And Erickson
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Re: Questionable quality components. Horrid customer servic
Mine had good components, but it was missing a few magnets...

I've had similar problems with Temple's customer service, though I haven't tried calling them directly. It just seems in the past with other companies when I've had problems its only taken one email to get things worked out. With Temple I've tried at least three times to contact them and have only received one reply which ended up not going anywhere.

I suppose I could be more persistent, but I shouldn't have to be, right?

I'll just be less likely to buy games when I see their name on the box.

Too bad, really a nice dexterity-filler type game.
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Joe Everton
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If you have to reach them, I'd recommend calling rather than e-mail. She did tend to answer the phone. With e-mail, you don't know if you're getting through.

My set (purchased around October '06) had no stickers. The marks seemed to be painted on the red disc. If they were decals, they were good ones -- I couldn't tell. The pieces have a textured surface around the edges -- and for good reason. You need that to make leaners. You don't want them slippery there. It looked like they were supposed to be sort of glossy on the faces, though, and that's where they looked scuffed. Might have been shipping and handling jostling -- but an awful lot of it. I'd say if the texture was applied to the whole piece, this might not have been an issue (I think I saw photographs of an older version that were like that! tough to tell in a photo). But I'm not sure that would be better.

Like I said, though, that's just cosmetic, and I was ok with it. They worked fine. Other than the one with the really weak magnet. That could throw a game. Good service could've mended that and won some customer loyalty, but it wasn't there.
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Re: Questionable quality components. Horrid customer servic
It's been a while since I've played this, so I may not be remembering the rules correctly, but how would a piece with a weak magnet throw a game? (Or, what makes you think all the pieces are supposed to have the same magnetic properties?)
 
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Joe Everton
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The game's all about making leaners. Magnetic strength is important for that. This piece was about impossible to make a leaner with. It had to be placed much, much closer to the foundation disc to even come close to making a leaner with it. The range of valid placement is much narrower this close to the foundation. You'll fault almost every time.

I didn't go measure each piece for strength (don't have equipment for that) but when I noticed this piece, I did go try making leaners with each piece, and they all appeared to make a leaner in about the same way (i.e. the same distance from foundation, and at the same angle). Except the piece in question.

Maybe "throw a game" is the wrong language. If all magnets are about the same except one player has a single dud, that dud could blow a play for him. I suppose if players were given an equal number of duds and they were marked so you could know the strength before you played it that may add a new angle to the game, but that's not the case here.

On the phone, the publisher didn't debate this point.
 
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Jeff Lum
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Hello gents,

I actually work for Temple Games and it looks like we owe you all an apology. If it helps as partial excuse, I know that we've had some e-mail issues in the past with the end result of a lot of e-mail inquiries getting lost.

That being said, I've had our IT guy change all of the e-mail paths on our website so that they all lead straight to good old lucky me. The paths are all working now, so contact me direct from now on if for whatever reason you're not getting though.

Regarding the magnet issues. We've been the only one making the product since 2004 and have always used the same manufacturer, so the quality should be consistent.

Visually, we have samples of the game before we started producing it and they do have a slightly shinier finish to them (although you'd only be able to tell if you held them side by side and this is purely on a cosmetic level).

As far as the magnetic pull being inconsistent, I have no idea what might be causing that (not a scientist). Make sure everything else is off the playing mat before testing for weak magnets, just in case the magnet's polarity was being effected by surrounding forces. If it still doesn't seem right, contact me for some replacements.

jeff@templegames.com

Likewise for those of you who were short on magnets upon opening your game, although I know I've already contacted a few of you on that issue already.

Thanks and happy playing!

Jeff
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Joe Everton
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Re: Questionable quality components. Horrid customer servic
Jeff did contact me and mailed me a couple of replacement pieces, so I've got a good set now. He got this right first try, no follow-up.

I do hope service in general is improving as well, now that he's in the loop. It's a fun game.
 
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And Erickson
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Re: Questionable quality components. Horrid customer servic
Looks like the email problems have been cleared up. Jeff contacted me and I got my magnets last week. Thanks Jeff.
 
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Andrew C.
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Re: Questionable quality components. Horrid customer servic
"Scuffed discs" - they are not scuffed, they are intentionally manufactured to have a texture. This is by design - if they were smooth, then there would be much less friction and the discs would slide across the playmat and fall down.
 
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