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Subject: Solved: Communication issues rss

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Michael Backes
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Update: Things have been sorted out.

In 2017, I've prepared my annual visit to the "Spiel" in Essen very thoroughly. I made an elaborate list of games I'd like to have, and then I've pre-ordered everything I could... just in case - well, you probably know how it is...

Then, a couple of days before the fair, life hit me with a very painful slipped disk in my lower back and it became clear that I would not be able to travel to Essen (or, as it turned out, to any other location apart from hospitals and doctors for the next couple of months). So I used my phone to sent out lots of emails to all the publishers I've pre-ordered games from, asking them if I could have my money back. I've got very nice responses, it wasn't a problem at all and some (I'm looking at you, Abba Games) even amazingly offered to freely ship the game to my home address.

However, as I was getting a little better, a couple of weeks later, I noticed that there was one publisher who had not responded to my email: Pandasaurus Games. I've had pre-ordered a copy of Dinosaur Island from them for pick-up in Essen and payed 79,95 USD up front via Paypal.

So in November, I sent a second email. But again: No answer.

Then, a couple of days ago, I contacted Paypal, asking them if they could help me to get in touch. And they helped. And here is the full answer they got from Nathan McNair, the founder of Pandasaurus Games:

"Our website made clear that orders not picked up at Essen 2017 would not be refunded. We spent 15 dollars a unit air freighting the games to Germany and had them available for pick-up at the show. The customer failed to pick up their game and our company lost the production cost of the game + the air freight cost of the game.

By the time the customer made us aware they would not be in attendance at the show the games had already been air freighted to Germany from China."

I can't recall if there was such a statement on their website, there was none in the confirmation email and I've not made a screenshot. But, be it as it may, given that Dinosaur Island is currently sold out everywhere, I've found it hard to believe that they actually "lost the production cost of the game". So I checked their Twitter account:


1:14 PM - 29 Oct 2017 from Essen, Germany: "If you have not picked up your Essen pre-orders you have 45 minutes to get them or we're releasing them to the wild!"



3:42 PM - 29 Oct 2017 from Essen, Germany: We have Wasteland Express, Dino Island and Coaster Park for sale at our booth now! Like 2 copies of each. So.... Run? #Essen17



3:44 - 29. Oct 2017 from Essen, Germany: "And Dino Island is gone."


I then asked Nathan if he still needs to charge me if they obviously haven't had any trouble selling every copy. Here is his astonishing answer:

"We did not sell all of the copies. We donated most games and released the remainder for a discounted sale in order to not have to pay to ship the copies back to the US."

Oops! I didn't know that Dinosaur Island is selling so badly. It's a shame! I heard only good things about it. But under those circumstances I understand that they cannot give me my money back. I guess they are struggling enough as it is ... I just would really like to know who received the donation of "my" game. Was it a public library? A childrens hospital? A youth center?

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any details of their good deed online. All I could find was this on their Facebook page:



Update: Things have been sorted out.
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Kevin Shaud
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Did you ever get a copy of Dinosaur Island?
 
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Eek, I think that saga would put me off ever wanting to play the game. Hope you are feeling a bit better by now.
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Joey Nazzari
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
So who lied about selling out. The person on the twitter account, or the e-mail response afterward?
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Leave it up to us Americans to fault a human being for having a medical condition. lol

Due to our current political climate, the all mighty dollar is currently more important than a living, breathing individual.

Hopefully Paypal or your credit card company can help you recuperate your lost funds due to non-receiving?

Maybe they could refund you the amount of the game minus the $15.00 freight they had to pay to ship it Essen?
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Dave Garcia
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Well this sure makes me think twice about ever purchasing a Pandasaurus game in the future. If they weren't able to sell the copies at Essen then mayyyybe I'd understand, but to CLAIM that they were donated is a total BS line. This game is still flying off the shelves and according to their Essen posts, all copies were sold.

Ever think of going more public with this, say Facebook. I found when you put your issues on FB, companies attitude change. I've found some companies try to bully you if you keep it private. EI: Pandasaurus Games with you here. I don't recommend it because it feels unprofessional to me, but you have to do what you have to do. Do you know what I mean?
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Michael Backes
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
kevinruns262 wrote:
Did you ever get a copy of Dinosaur Island?


Nope.
 
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
wow if Pandasaurus Games really claimed they donated the game / sold them at a discount that's really ridiculous. I can still understand (barely) if they insist it's their policy not to refund for games not picked up, but this is outrageous lying in your face!

I love the game but I will never buy another game from them again, period. that's not the way to do business at all shake

hopefully more people see this as well...
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Poor customer service and some what sketchy practices. Not cool guys.
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Michael McLean
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Wow. I don't think I'll be doing business with Pandasaurus. A company that doesn't care any more about its customers than that isn't a company I want to buy from.
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Pandasaurus Games
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
The issue from our perspective is simple.

1) We paid to air freight games to Essen, it was not cheap. Our website made it *super* clear that there were no refunds possible on Essen pre-purchases because we were reserving a copy that was going to sit there. Lots of people wanted them. We worked with 3-4 other pre-order customers that could not arrive to have a friend nab the game if they couldn't come. We wound up shipping one copy from Germany to another customer who couldn't arrive. We definitely tried to work with people where an issue came up.

2) On Sunday afternoon we wound up giving 2 or 3 of the left over copies away to a couple of local libraries that had previously come by asking for donations for either conventions or libraries and sold another 1 or 2. If we offered refunds on those games not picked up we would have absolutely lost money bringing those games over to Germany.

I also honestly don't remember any e-mail interaction before the show, I've searched our customer service inbox and don't see them, it's possible it went to a different address that isn't regularly checked. I'm not sure. I may have seen them, but if I did I was likely on a plane getting ready for a super busy show and missed it. EDIT: I found the November e-mail in a spam folder coming as a reply to an automated e-mail from our web store.

Had he contacted our customer support e-mail (it's on my BGG profile, our website and we have a form on our website that leads to it) and explained the extenuating circumstances of the situation we could have worked something out. support@pandasaurusgames.com We probably still can!

But Paypal charge backs cause money in our paypal account to be frozen and enough lost disputes can cause issues with paypal which we use for business. By going and placing a dispute with Paypal that said "item was never received" is a bit disingenuous because the item was right where it was meant to be, it just was not collected. And yes, we defend paypal charge backs (I have right now about 300 dollars locked up by a customer who *definitely* has their games, but filed the dispute and forgot about it).

The thing is, we're a *super* small business and Essen costs us a lot of money to attend and we definitely didn't make money on the show. We used the pre-order system exclusively and brought pretty much exactly what we sold in pre-orders to try and minimize our risk of attending a show halfway across the world for the first time.

We aren't in the business of picking off 80 bucks at a time from customers, but if we allow cancellations of pick-ups from shows it basically puts us at risk of sitting on inventory the entire weekend and then having to figure out something to do with all of the games now in Germany if customers change their mind about picking the games up. The policy exists for a good reason, but that isn't to say we're completely inflexible when things come up.
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Hal Martin
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
stooge wrote:


We aren't in the business of picking off 80 bucks at a time from customers


But you did. Step your CS game up.
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Marcus S
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
stooge wrote:
2) On Sunday afternoon we wound up giving 2 or 3 of the left over copies away to a couple of local libraries that had previously come by asking for donations for either conventions or libraries and sold another 1 or 2. If we offered refunds on those games not picked up we would have absolutely lost money bringing those games over to Germany.

I think most people here understand the risks of spending money to attend Essen, especially as a smaller company. I don't think that is disputed at all. And obviously not selling 10's of copies of games at the fair would be a costly error.

If you only have a couple of copies left on Sunday, are you saying that you couldn't have sold those out? Was there a difference in the cost of the game at Essen compared to what pre-orders cost? Also, I respect the decision the donate games, but that should really be done at the cost of your company, not at the cost of a customer. This probably could have been handled better. Maybe give the customer their refund for the cost of the game (presuming you could still sell it), but not refunding them the $15 that it cost to air freight it?
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Pandasaurus Games
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
CarcuS wrote:
stooge wrote:
2) On Sunday afternoon we wound up giving 2 or 3 of the left over copies away to a couple of local libraries that had previously come by asking for donations for either conventions or libraries and sold another 1 or 2. If we offered refunds on those games not picked up we would have absolutely lost money bringing those games over to Germany.

I think most people here understand the risks of spending money to attend Essen, especially as a smaller company. I don't think that is disputed at all. And obviously not selling 10's of copies of games at the fair would be a costly error.

If you only have a couple of copies left on Sunday, are you saying that you couldn't have sold those out? Was there a difference in the cost of the game at Essen compared to what pre-orders cost? Also, I respect the decision the donate games, but that should really be done at the cost of your company, not at the cost of a customer. This probably could have been handled better. Maybe give the customer their refund for the cost of the game (presuming you could still sell it), but not refunding them the $15 that it cost to air freight it?


And these are all things that could have been worked out via e-mail, and not through a paypal charge-back claiming that the item wasn't received. I'm not a jerk, I don't bite. Our customer service e-mail is monitored actively and most people get responses within 1 business day.

The issue is if the policy doesn't exist it wouldn't be 1-2 copies not picked up. Pre-orders would basically become a riskless reservation system and could leave us with massive amounts of left over inventory.

We basically found ourselves on Sunday afternoon in a very low-traffic hall at the back of the convention with copies of games in a country that we were leaving less than 24 hours later and had to make decisions on what to do with the inventory. So, we fire-sold what was left and donated a couple of copies out to people we had told to come back at the end of the day Sunday. Had we made the inventory available on Saturday or even Sunday morning there would be no issue. The problem is we held it until the end of the day to allow for pick-ups and by the time we sent those Twitter messages out, there was almost zero foot traffic.

We didn't want it or have anywhere to put it as we had intentionally brought the exact amount we had pre-ordered, thus the donations to the libraries to get rid of the inventory.

But all of that is moot. Had we gotten an e-mail we could have tried to figure a solution out. Going through Paypal with the claim that the item was not received was not the solution because that hurts our standing on paypal. Hammering it out in public is also not the solution.

The solution is still an e-mail to support@pandasaurusgames.com where we can try and work out a solution to the issue.
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Oliver Koenig
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Taking the game off of my wishlist then.
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Jay
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Shouldn't this be in the Pandasarus forums instead of the Dinosaur Island forums?

This is not a fault of the game itself.
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
I suspect it was put here for greater exposure.
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
This thread right here is the exact reason companies need to have better customer service. Go out of your way to do the right thing, and you’ll have a customer for life. Slight a customer, and you’ll potentially lose dozens of customers for life. It’s 101.
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Michael Backes
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
stooge wrote:
I found the November e-mail in a spam folder coming as a reply to an automated e-mail from our web store.

Had he contacted our customer support e-mail (it's on my BGG profile, our website and we have a form on our website that leads to it) and explained the extenuating circumstances of the situation we could have worked something out. support@pandasaurusgames.com We probably still can!

Well, I did send you emails to the address from where your company sent out the order confirmation. How am I supposed to know that nobody checks this email-account? There is no remark to be found in the confirmation mail and the email-address doesn't look like it's not monitored. I will not publish it here, but for me it seems to be the email-address of Nathan McNair.

I used Microsoft's outlook.com webservice to send you those emails. This is the first time that someone told me he had to fish one of those out of a spam-folder.

stooge wrote:
The issue is if the policy doesn't exist it wouldn't be 1-2 copies not picked up. Pre-orders would basically become a riskless reservation system and could leave us with massive amounts of left over inventory.

(see below)

stooge wrote:
Going through Paypal with the claim that the item was not received was not the solution because that hurts our standing on paypal.

Paypal? Paypal made it very clear from the beginning of this process that they will not give me my money back. And I didn't want them to do so, I wanted you to do it - I just used paypal to get in touch with you, since I didn't know what else to try (again, how am I supposed to know that the Nathan McNair mail-account is not monitored?).

And this is not hurting your standing on Paypal. Purchases of items which you collect in person are not part of the Paypal buyer protection policy. Didn't you know that?

stooge wrote:
Hammering it out in public is also not the solution.

The solution is still an e-mail to support@pandasaurusgames.com where we can try and work out a solution to the issue.

Well, if you are open to work out a solution, why didn't you say so before? Why didn't your first (or at least the second) response via Paypal read like this: "Hey, we are sorry for this, but please understand ... small company... riskless reservation system...massive amounts of left over..., but please do contact us again via e-mail to support@p... and we can try and work out a solution"?

If you had send me something like this in the first place, we would not have this conversation here right now and Dinosaur Island would still be on top of my wishlist.
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
stooge wrote:
The issue from our perspective is simple.

2) On Sunday afternoon we wound up giving 2 or 3 of the left over copies away to a couple of local libraries that had previously come by asking for donations for either conventions or libraries and sold another 1 or 2. If we offered refunds on those games not picked up we would have absolutely lost money bringing those games over to Germany.


And how much money do you reckon you have just lost by people reading this thread? More than you obsessed over losing at Essen, I reckon.

Good customer service pays for itself in the long run. Triply so in the internet age when failure to provide good customer service - which in my opinion you have failed to do here - has the risk of becoming known far and wide.

Your game is now off my wishlist. At best I'll eventually play someone else's copy, maybe.
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Can we close this? The company rep and the claimer can handle this like adults without all this unnecessary extra drama in a game forum that should not be in this forum in the first place.
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Michael Backes
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
gocamels wrote:
Wow. I don't think I'll be doing business with Pandasaurus. A company that doesn't care any more about its customers than that isn't a company I want to buy from.


Mechaniac wrote:
Taking the game off of my wishlist then.


Qualm wrote:
Your game is now off my wishlist. At best I'll eventually play someone else's copy, maybe.


Hey guys, don't deprive yourself of a probably great game just because of my issues with the way they communicated. That was not the intention of my posting.

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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
I've never heard of this game or your company but this is just bad customer service all around. All I keep hearing is how it's your customers fault. It's his fault he didn't show, it's his fault his email went to your spam folder, it's his fault you lost money at Essen. It's his fault you gave his game away, it's his fault your PayPal could be messed up.

The problem is...you took his money. you complain about someone else tying up $300 yet you have no problem just taking $80 without delivering product or even offering resolution....just blame of how it's his fault.
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
ShaneXtopher wrote:
This thread right here is the exact reason companies need to have better customer service. Go out of your way to do the right thing, and you’ll have a customer for life. Slight a customer, and you’ll potentially lose dozens of customers for life. It’s 101.


Spoken like someone who's never dealt with a problem customer before.

OP - I'm not saying you are a problem customer, but you almost certainly appear to be one from Pandasaurus's viewpoint. Responding to an automated email is a surefire way to not receive a response, so I'm willing to believe that your initial email(s?) didn't get to anyone. The next they heard from you - after you admit you were well aware of the policy you were agreeing to - was a claim filed with PayPal. Your response about how PayPal will handle this situation also evinces a lack of knowledge of their policies and how they deal with sellers.

So, in short, from PS's perspective, you agreed to pick up a game, didn't, and then tried to get your money back by filing a claim with a payment processor, thus hurting them. Then, you came here to badmouth them (which, with your title, was the clear intention).

Additionally, it'd be super easy to find another way to contact PS than via the email address you had, since they're very visible on this site and it'd have been easy enough to shoot a PM, or at least post an initial, "Hey, I need to get in touch with PS but haven't heard back from some emails. Anyone know other contact info?"

PS - Bad form on the PayPal response. I know that's an escalation/headache you didn't need, but you could have been more friendly. It's factually accurate (unless you're lying, which I have no reason to believe you are, and bad form on OP for accusing you of such), but you could have also asked about any extenuating circumstances there were to see if maybe you could make an exception despite the headache (I'd imagine a slipped disk is causing some pain, which is always going to escalate someone's response).
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Re: How Pandasaurus Games made me donate $80 to charity
Barronmore wrote:

The problem is...you took his money. you complain about someone else tying up $300 yet you have no problem just taking $80 without delivering product or even offering resolution....just blame of how it's his fault.


They absolutely delivered the product, as agreed upon. The customer is asking for an exception. I'm not saying PS shouldn't give one, or that it wouldn't be good customer service to do so, but it's not bad customer service to not make exceptions to clearly stated policies.
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