Sascha Näthler
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Hello everyone,

I had the following interaction with kdm support regarding a pair of damaged cards.


Nedla, Nov 13 2017

Hello Kdm team! I recently received the core game and was just awestruck by the quality and elegance of the whole package! Unfortunately I discovered 2 manufacture errors on 2 hitlocation cards, namely the butchers furious crown and furious scrag. Small stripes of, apparently, tape are embedded on the back side of each card. I was unable to peel it off as it is completely merged with the card. It is now easily distinguishable from the other cards and needs to replaced.

Kind regards



Dark Mediator, Nov 13, 10:34 CST:
Thanks for including photos and for the kind words. As you are aware we are in the midst of fulfillment, but once we are finished with that and we received replacement stock in the HQ I will address this. Expect 1-2 months no earlier. Your info has been logged and you do not need to follow up. Backerkit has all your info so you are set.



7th,april 2018
Hello Kdm team,

I wanted to ask for an update about the damaged cards? I have not recieved a replacement yet and want to be sure it's not forgotten (or even lost in transit).

Also, I just recieved my 2nd wave expansions and I am missing the lion God, should I open another ticket about that?

Kind regards




Dark Mediator, Apr 9, 13:30 CDT:
hi. your wave 2 order is shipping in two parts from two warehouses. please stay tuned for further info about a second shipment. thanks!




30th may 2018

Hello from Germany,

Once again I would like to inquire about the damaged butcher cards. I have recieved everything so far (Base game + wave 2) but I am still missing the replacement cards.

Kind regards,



Dark mediator may 30th
We are awaiting replacement parts. Once we have these I will be able to address your issue. No need to follow up all your info is on file.



06. January 2019
Hello Kdm-team,

Is there an eta for the replacement parts? I have not recieved the 2 cards as of now and just want to make sure they weren't lost in transit.

Kind regards,



Dark Mediator, Jan 7, 11:55 CST:
Hello,

this issue falls under:
Cosmetic Damage:
of the game box, books, cards, tray or miniatures including but not limited to scratches, dents, discoloration, nicks, printing anomalies are subject to inspection on a case by case basis. Kingdom Death is a hand packed product, as such, minor aberrations can be expected. If the item is not covered by our manufacturer for damage, we will do the best to replace these items and ship them to the customer at their expense.


Please list the items you need and I'll respond with a quote for the shipping of this product.



07. Jan.

Hello Kdm team,

Attached you will find pictures of the 2 damaged hitlocation cards furious crown and furious scrag of the Butcher (I already sent those on my 1st inquiry of November 2017)

Kind regards,



Dark Mediator, Jan 7, 12:16 CST:
To address your issue, we need the following items from you:

The Transaction Confirmation number for $10 via paypal to Orders@kingdomdeath.com for the reshipping fee.



7.jan.

Hello,

I am sorry, but the damage on the cards is quite obviously a manufacturer error. The tape is actually embedded into the card.
I'm having a hard time accepting to pay for a minor replacement after I've spent over 1000€ on kdm product and waiting patiently since November 2017 to resolve the problem.

I would really appreciate it if the replacement cards can be sent free of charge.

Kind regards,



Dark Mediator, Jan 7, 12:32 CST:
Cosmetic Damage:
of the game box, books, cards, tray or miniatures including but not limited to scratches, dents, discoloration, nicks, printing anomalies are subject to inspection on a case by case basis. Kingdom Death is a hand packed product, as such, minor aberrations can be expected. If the item is not covered by our manufacturer for damage, we will do the best to replace these items and ship them to the customer at their expense.

Our policy is listed above.


I would like some input if my "demands" are unreasonable or what the experience of other geeks with damaged kdm product was, especially if it's normal to pay for replacement parts.

In the end its only 10$, still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

UPDATE

wrote an email to Adam and got an answer within minutes. Although he tries to no longer handle customer support issues as it takes significant time out of his days, he took a quick look at my case and agreed with me. The cards will be sent free of charge. He asked Kindly if I would send my damaged cards so they can show them to the manufacturer. I will do that as soon as the replacements arrive

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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
"to the customer at their expense"

Their policy is "cosmetic damage that the manufacturer says is not a problem/not a significant problem will still be handled and replaced but the customer has to pay for that replacement".

In the initial emails they acknowledged that their appears to be a problem.

In the follow-ups they mention reaching out to the manufacturer.

In the end they state that the manufacturer says it isn't their bad / isn't major enough to be worth replacement but they will still replace it for you, you just need to cover those replacement costs.
__________________

In other words, they're upfront that customer service isn't just down to them-alone, the manufacturer is culpable as well and in this case the manufacturer is claiming innocence so the KDM team doesn't have recourse within their policy but to ask you to pay. Your choice at this stage is to reach out to Adam Poots and hope he gets your email, or pay because it's only $10.

Neither party, not you nor the KDM team, is being an asshole.

Edit: I love that update. Adam does it right.
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
You're not an asshole, this is poor customer service (regardless of whatever their policy is). Not sure what you can do, though, other than try an alternate way of contacting them (like DM Poots on twitter, or via KS, etc).
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
No, I don't believe you're being unreasonable. They had you waiting for over a year to finally ask you to pay a reshipping fee to replace some damaged cards? There's an asshole, definitely, but it isn't you.
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
Judging by the copy-pasted dialogue you included in your post, no you are not the asshole, you were polite and clear with your requests, your demands are very reasonable. What's unreasonable is having to wait over a year for 2 cards that would affect gameplay in vast majority of campaigns.

Judging by other experiences that have been posted here, the DM is not one person but likely multiple people. Sometimes they are very fair and prompt in making things right, sometimes unnecessarily strict and slow or will downright ignore you after you've made "too many" requests.
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
Say it with me: B o u t i q u e

No, you're not the asshole. Not sure who the various people are, since DMs are anonymous, nor who the asshole is, but this ain't right. For the price involved and the supposed claim of being a "boutique" game, this is lame, lame customer support. Even if the error isn't their fault, they should cover the $10 cost - which is 2.5% of the product, or $1.50 for a $60 game. If they can't find it in their profit margins to cover that, something has gone horribly wrong.

Also, if they said they would cover it, they should cover it.

Best of luck getting it rectified. I think your only chance is to email or tweet Poots, and at that point it's just a roll of the dice. Good luck getting a lantern.
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
Pretty shitty customer service on their part and you have way more patient than I am.
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
I think when Poots finds out about this, he will do the right thing and send the cards to you free of charge, as you deserve.

KDM holds itself out as state-of-the-art, top of the line, quality components. We, as customers, pay handsomely for that quality.

As a result, Customer Service must also reach that level of quality and this example falls way short of that.

Let's see what Poots does with this.
 
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
Jasiven wrote:
"to the customer at their expense"

Their policy is "cosmetic damage that the manufacturer says is not a problem/not a significant problem will still be handled and replaced but the customer has to pay for that replacement".

In the initial emails they acknowledged that their appears to be a problem.

In the follow-ups they mention reaching out to the manufacturer.

In the end they state that the manufacturer says it isn't their bad / isn't major enough to be worth replacement but they will still replace it for you, you just need to cover those replacement costs.
__________________

In other words, they're upfront that customer service isn't just down to them-alone, the manufacturer is culpable as well and in this case the manufacturer is claiming innocence so the KDM team doesn't have recourse within their policy but to ask you to pay. Your choice at this stage is to reach out to Adam Poots and hope he gets your email, or pay because it's only $10.

Neither party, not you nor the KDM team, is being an asshole.
I disagree. Just because it's their policy to always try to pass it off to someone else (customer or manufacturer) doesn't mean it isn't a shit policy. They should be willing to take some responsibility. It is their game, and it is their choice of manufacturer.

I know your experiences with customer service have been good, but if you had gotten the run-around from them for over a year only to have to pay for replacements, I bet you would feel differently. I don't think they are doing this maliciously, but they should be willing to step up and provide some actual customer service instead of being a middle man for the manufacturer.
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
No, you're not the asshole. It is scientifically proven that Dark Mediator is, in 91.67% of all interactions with their customers, the actual asshole.
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Re: Kdm support. Am I the asshole?
Well... Last time Adam said
kingdomdeath wrote:
You are not unvalued.

I don't like that one bit.

If our customers are holding us to a higher standard, then we need to hold our manufacturers to a higher standard too. Don't get me wrong, I am not placating you. I am hearing you, validating your feelings and taking the much longer winded steps to help ensure someone doesn't feel let down over a game board again.

I want you to feel let down because you lead your friends into a long winded game session, where everyone died and heckled your choice of game for the evening. Not because we wouldn't replace a dented board.

Your case isn't as crazy as some of the tickets i've seen. We've had people threaten all sorts of crazy stuff over, in all honesty. Issues that no one on the team could see!

Please email me your address details and I'll take care of this in the morning. Adam (dot) Poots (At) kingdomdeath.com

Don't PM me here, I very rarely get the chance to check those.

Thanks. And for what its worth. Sorry you got a dinged up game board.



Then he got yelled at by Dark Mediator.

kingdomdeath wrote:
As many of our fans know at this point, I am a very direct human being. At the end of the day, I wanted to and still want to create the absolute best thing that I can.

I am also a bit of a TMI (too much information) King. And my team constantly has to deal with the fallout of me simply saying too much publicly. I am routinely surprised by the ripple effects answering what seems like a simple question may cause.

Cosmetic Damage
Despite board games coming out of a factory, the bulk of the work is still very much by hand. Sprues are removed from injection machines and packaged into poly bags by hand. The game box and game boards are wrapped and assembled by hand. This means that not only do mistakes happen, it also means that no two game boards or game boxes are exactly 100% alike. They kind of all have their own character.

Where do we consider an issue to be something we don't need to replace? Obviously when the manufacturer deems it something not worth replacing. I have plenty of board games, with all sorts of minor cosmetic issues. I see them, because I can't help it. But its never bothered me. The only one time I personally reached out to a company for a replacement, was when there were pieces missing. That's just me personally. But if the fans are pushing us towards more... it's sort of interesting to see where that might lead. Were Kingdom Death right? Why not expect more?

Kingdom Death, the brand. Is much bigger then I am! So we need to grow and adapt. I don't know exactly where that growth is leading, especially in terms of support and what many might consider minor cosmetic damage. So we will continue to take it case by case. Each small step effects the whole. The Quality control on our last production run was sooooo much better. And I don't think I would have been able to pull that off, without stoping in and checking on the full range of needs and concerns. If we ever have the opportunity for a 3rd core game print run or even a 2nd edition all of these little cases will become knowledge for how to handle things even better.

Anyway, enough of my ranting I should prob get back to working on other things.


 
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ras2124 wrote:
Jasiven wrote:
"to the customer at their expense"

Their policy is "cosmetic damage that the manufacturer says is not a problem/not a significant problem will still be handled and replaced but the customer has to pay for that replacement".

In the initial emails they acknowledged that their appears to be a problem.

In the follow-ups they mention reaching out to the manufacturer.

In the end they state that the manufacturer says it isn't their bad / isn't major enough to be worth replacement but they will still replace it for you, you just need to cover those replacement costs.
__________________

In other words, they're upfront that customer service isn't just down to them-alone, the manufacturer is culpable as well and in this case the manufacturer is claiming innocence so the KDM team doesn't have recourse within their policy but to ask you to pay. Your choice at this stage is to reach out to Adam Poots and hope he gets your email, or pay because it's only $10.

Neither party, not you nor the KDM team, is being an asshole.
I disagree. Just because it's their policy to always try to pass it off to someone else (customer or manufacturer) doesn't mean it isn't a shit policy. They should be willing to take some responsibility. It is their game, and it is their choice of manufacturer.

I know your experiences with customer service have been good, but if you had gotten the run-around from them for over a year only to have to pay for replacements, I bet you would feel differently. I don't think they are doing this maliciously, but they should be willing to step up and provide some actual customer service instead of being a middle man for the manufacturer.
I made no comment on the quality of the policy, just on whether either party was being an asshole.

I'll comment on the policy now: That is a shitty policy, in this case.

If they make a judgement that there is indeed a problem they should replace it at their cost. I think their policy, when applied to "we don't think there is a problem but we acknowledge your desire for replacements"-issues, is good. That may be how they're applying it in this case but, without seeing pictures of the problem cards, it sounds like that's not actually what happened. It sounds like DM acknowledged there is a problem.

And based on the update, Adam acknowledged there is a problem and is replacing it at their cost, as is right.

Good Application: "We don't see the problem but we'll replace it at your cost."
Bad Application: "We see the problem but the manufacturer disagrees so we'll replace it, at your cost."
 
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That's great that Adam was able to take care of this for you directly. I am no fan of KD's support as I have had numerous bad experiences with them despite my efforts to always be polite and courteous so yea, I avoid contacting them for anything and they probably like me more as a result...
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Excellent news. Very happy for you.
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Jasiven wrote:
ras2124 wrote:
Jasiven wrote:
"to the customer at their expense"

Their policy is "cosmetic damage that the manufacturer says is not a problem/not a significant problem will still be handled and replaced but the customer has to pay for that replacement".

In the initial emails they acknowledged that their appears to be a problem.

In the follow-ups they mention reaching out to the manufacturer.

In the end they state that the manufacturer says it isn't their bad / isn't major enough to be worth replacement but they will still replace it for you, you just need to cover those replacement costs.
__________________

In other words, they're upfront that customer service isn't just down to them-alone, the manufacturer is culpable as well and in this case the manufacturer is claiming innocence so the KDM team doesn't have recourse within their policy but to ask you to pay. Your choice at this stage is to reach out to Adam Poots and hope he gets your email, or pay because it's only $10.

Neither party, not you nor the KDM team, is being an asshole.
I disagree. Just because it's their policy to always try to pass it off to someone else (customer or manufacturer) doesn't mean it isn't a shit policy. They should be willing to take some responsibility. It is their game, and it is their choice of manufacturer.

I know your experiences with customer service have been good, but if you had gotten the run-around from them for over a year only to have to pay for replacements, I bet you would feel differently. I don't think they are doing this maliciously, but they should be willing to step up and provide some actual customer service instead of being a middle man for the manufacturer.
I made no comment on the quality of the policy, just on whether either party was being an asshole.

I'll comment on the policy now: That is a shitty policy, in this case.

If they make a judgement that there is indeed a problem they should replace it at their cost. I think their policy, when applied to "we don't think there is a problem but we acknowledge your desire for replacements"-issues, is good. That may be how they're applying it in this case but, without seeing pictures of the problem cards, it sounds like that's not actually what happened. It sounds like DM acknowledged there is a problem.

And based on the update, Adam acknowledged there is a problem and is replacing it at their cost, as is right.

Good Application: "We don't see the problem but we'll replace it at your cost."
Bad Application: "We see the problem but the manufacturer disagrees so we'll replace it, at your cost."
Adam replacing them is great, but he is making an exception. DM is customer service, and having to go above DM to BGG and Adam to actually get service is a huge problem. Furthermore the canned response from DM of here is the policy without any acknowledgement of prior discussion or context to the problem makes it even worse and makes them come off as an asshole and a person or persons with possibly not great judgment in regard to these issues. This, of course,being the person/people that Adam has chosen to be a customer facing representative of the company and largely have the final say on such issues.
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ras2124 wrote:
Adam replacing them is great, but he is making an exception. DM is customer service, and having to go above DM to BGG and Adam to actually get service is a huge problem. Furthermore the canned response from DM of here is the policy without any acknowledgement of prior discussion or context to the problem makes it even worse and makes them come off as an asshole and a person or persons with possibly not great judgment in regard to these issues. This, of course,being the person/people that Adam has chosen to be a customer facing representative of the company and largely have the final say on such issues.

Agreed. I mean, cool that this one went well, but Adam has been saying on Twitter that he's stepping back from customer service to get wave 3 / 4 stuff done. That's great and makes sense... but if this is an example of what we're going to see when he's not involved, it's still an issue. I don't understand how one company can have the same simple, basic problem for so long.
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Cymbaline wrote:
I don't understand how one company can have the same simple, basic problem for so long.


It's just simple economics I'm sure. DM can't say, "Oh you need two specific cards? No problem, I'll just have a factory in China bang those out and send them to you free of charge. Okay, on to the next customer issue." It's just not reasonable to do that issue-by-issue. There may be reasonable solutions (e.g., cracking open core boxes to cannibalize parts to satisfy customer complaints) or there may not be... We don't know.

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Well, I think each company is "supposed" to print extra games/materials/components for customer service issues. AR does and pretty sure KDM does too, so not sure why this happened. Anyways, I've become a KDM apologist as of late. About 6 months ago I threw a fit in here and dump my shit on all of you nice people, embarrassed myself and had to delete posts ( I was damaged at the time, it became clear I was getting f**ked by two other KS's not going to deliver and was out some serious scratch and the world was going to pay laugh ). Anyways, at risk of coming across as a psycho, I've done a 180 since then. I've had exceptional customer service ( reach out twice, was made whole twice quickly: one was a missing Spidicules leg and can't recall the other off hand ). I get it, we want stellar customer service - we should get that. BUT - Poots has put his art out there and with the hall monitors/buzzkills of the world eating my hind-side trying to censor games/art/entertainment I like, I'm giving him a pass on everything. This game is on the edge and even though his latest KS was amazing, he's having to cook up a bunch of stuff on what appears to be a skeleton crew budget. 3 times now I've scored a first print release out of the shop, but received the encore in the mail - so be it, no big deal, I'm still supporting niche games/art/themes/entertainment that tickles my brain and fills my life. Poots makes me whole. Very sorry to hear about your cards, I hope you're able to make due or get replacements. If it were me, I would send them the $10. I would've backed my pledge if it were $100 more than it was, I would still pay for miniatures from the shop if they were $10 more than what they were. He can count me as having his back - he's not Mattel and I don't want him to be - that means imperfect experience, but it's also an intimate one where we can connect and communicate with him. It's f**king cool, my friends. The imperfection is part of the boutique experience if you ask me. Scrambling around, trying to piece together all the stuff I like/want. It's a lot of fun.
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I think the OP has been admirably patient here.

Someone could take lessons about how to deal with customers. Those exist. Being a better employee is also about responding timely and properly. It doesn't take much and it's not about losing integrity either.
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Glad to hear you finally got satisfaction and a resolution to your problem.

I read through your quoted text and you were misled by support. The initial posts (similar to other Kickstarters) stated that they needed for the 'dust to settle' and spare stock to reach home base and they would send replacement items once that happened.

They kept you waiting over 12 months!!! Then they announce a policy never before mentioned in their prior messages, stating that the damage was 'cosmetic' and you'd have to pay $10 for replacement cards (an exorbitant amount!)

Then Adam steps in and gets yelled at by his own CS rep?!? surprise and resolves it for you. Well done Adam, but way too late to the party.

This was a customer service train wreck, and should be scrutinised very carefully in order to eliminate the possibility of it happening again in the future.

I tested the waters by buying one miniature from KD early on. Had a question which I sent to the correct address several times over a period of weeks, and never received a reply. It was a simple question that could have been answered in seconds.

I decided not to back the Kickstarter, and after hearing your tale of w'oh I'm doubly glad I didn't.
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I've had the exact same issue with some Vermin cards as well. Got the same response (and lack of follow-up) from DM as well.

Let's take a look at some of my other CS experiences and compare to Kingdom Death:

- Dark Souls: The Board Game. Was missing a blue die - hardly a gamebreaking issue. They sent me an extra blue die through air freight, free of charge.

- Aeon's End. Bought it in retail and had a double nemesis mat, missing another. They sent me the Nemesis mat free of charge (and even a mat for a nemesis I didn't own yet).

- 7th Continent: there were minor color and size variations in their cards. Minor as in "you can't tell if you don't sleeve". They're giving *everyone* a new copy of the base game (yes, all the cards) free of charge with the newer, stricter production guidelines to prevent size variations.

As much as I love Kingdom Death, their CS is awful. I don't *care* that your manufacturer doesn't agree that cards need replacing. I've spent over 1k on your product to not have to care. As long as I don't tear the cards up myself, I expect every component of the game to be of pristine quality. Paying 400 bucks for a game where you can't get faulty components replaced for free is utter nonsense.
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Vinceness wrote:
- Aeon's End. Bought it in retail and had a double nemesis mat, missing another. They sent me the Nemesis mat free of charge (and even a mat for a nemesis I didn't own yet).

- 7th Continent: there were minor color and size variations in their cards. Minor as in "you can't tell if you don't sleeve". They're giving *everyone* a new copy of the base game (yes, all the cards) free of charge with the newer, stricter production guidelines to prevent size variations.

As much as I love Kingdom Death, their CS is awful. I don't *care* that your manufacturer doesn't agree that cards need replacing. I've spent over 1k on your product to not have to care. As long as I don't tear the cards up myself, I expect every component of the game to be of pristine quality. Paying 400 bucks for a game where you can't get faulty components replaced for free is utter nonsense.
Aeon's End: You had a major production issue. Kingdom Death would have righted it just the same.

7th Continent: Replacing entire core-games for EVERYONE is... There's no nice way to say this, but that shows what a crock of shit their claims of "high production costs" and how it made it "unrealistic for retail" were. If they can afford that, they can afford retail releases. It's clear that avoiding retail is just being done for the higher profit. Pointless whinging aside, that isn't a feasible customer service method for a company that's honest about having high production costs.
 
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Jasiven wrote:
7th Continent: Replacing entire core-games for EVERYONE is... There's no nice way to say this, but that shows what a crock of shit their claims of "high production costs" and how it made it "unrealistic for retail" were. If they can afford that, they can afford retail releases. It's clear that avoiding retail is just being done for the higher profit. Pointless whinging aside, that isn't a feasible customer service method for a company that's honest about having high production costs.


Well, I'll give you Aeon's End, that's something KDM would've replaced too. And while I agree that for 7th Continent the solution is a bit much, I'm pretty sure that if they can manage doing this (disregarding the production cost PR story), KDM can afford to replace cards.

I'd rather have a 7th Continent situation where retail is avoided for bigger overheads so they can spend more on proper customer service than have a 400$ game that also isn't in retail being difficult about replacements for a handful of cards. Any business can run their stuff the way they please and I've learnt to live with my Vermin cards, but I feel "better" about the 80$ I spent on 7th Continent than I do about the $400 I spent on KDM.
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Vinceness wrote:
Jasiven wrote:
7th Continent: Replacing entire core-games for EVERYONE is... There's no nice way to say this, but that shows what a crock of shit their claims of "high production costs" and how it made it "unrealistic for retail" were. If they can afford that, they can afford retail releases. It's clear that avoiding retail is just being done for the higher profit. Pointless whinging aside, that isn't a feasible customer service method for a company that's honest about having high production costs.
Well, I'll give you Aeon's End, that's something KDM would've replaced too. And while I agree that for 7th Continent the solution is a bit much, I'm pretty sure that if they can manage doing this (disregarding the production cost PR story), KDM can afford to replace cards.

I'd rather have a 7th Continent situation where retail is avoided for bigger overheads so they can spend more on proper customer service than have a 400$ game that also isn't in retail being difficult about replacements for a handful of cards. Any business can run their stuff the way they please and I've learnt to live with my Vermin cards, but I feel "better" about the 80$ I spent on 7th Continent than I do about the $400 I spent on KDM.
While I don't disagree with what you've said, I would like to point out comparing KS-price on 7th Continent with Retail(direct sale, but still retail) for KDM is a little wonky. That's just me being pedantic, though.

I'm not saying it's wrong to wanna replace physical defects like the OP has. Personally I don't worry about color-matching. I just think the CS is maligned in times when it's not fair. The argument of "I paid $400 so you should replace this item that even with all my pictures you can't even see the issue it has!" is shitty.
 
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Vince De Zutter
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Jasiven wrote:
I just think the CS is maligned in times when it's not fair. The argument of "I paid $400 so you should replace this item that even with all my pictures you can't even see the issue it has!" is shitty.


That's not the argument anyone's making, though. I've had the same issue as the OP and it's clearly visible, even on low quality pictures.

And yes, the argument has nothing to do with how expensive KDM is. But the fact that an argument has to be made in the first place is even more ridiculous considering how expensive KDM is.
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