Scott Huston
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As of 10:23AM CST October 27, 2007 Troll and Toad has two copies of Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage available for a reasonable $50. They bought them at--guess where--Essen!

So the preorder customers get their game after the general public at Essen and after a couple of lucky internet shoppers in the US.

Nice!

With all that has been written about how Valley Games has handled the release of this game I just couldn't resist posting this.

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Don Cooper
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I'm not surprised.
 
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Who's to say that Troll & Toad didn't send a staffer to Essen to buy games for their store? No harm in that is there?

And it looks like someone already bought one of the copies!

Big deal.
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Who said anything about a "big deal"?

Now, if you had said, "ironic, isn't it, how others continue to get the game while the largest market available to VG continues to wait and wait and wait, except for a lucky few" you would be spot-on.

But who said anything about a "big deal"?

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Scott Huston
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They have Container too.

Quote:
ironic, isn't it, how others continue to get the game while the largest market available to VG continues to wait and wait and wait, except for a lucky few


Ironic is one word for it.

Even more ironic is that those who paid to have the game made don't have the game, while those who purchased the game casually or on a whim DO have the game.

Here is a quote from the email I received:

"Valley Games, a Canadian game publisher, broke onto the publishing scene last year with their reprint of the classic German political game Die Macher. Gaming afficianados had been pushing for years for a reprint of Karl-Heinz Schmiel's political epic, but it's niche theme made it an unlikely candidate for international republication.

More recently, Valley Games announced that it would be republishing several more in-demand, out-of-print games, as well as a few new titles. Most notably, they announced that they would be reprinting Avalon Hill's Hannibal: Rome Vs. Carthage, and publishing a new game called Container. Many were skeptical that a small, relatively unknown company with only one published game under their belts could perform such a feat, but there was little to do but wait.

Here's where all these story threads tie together: Valley Games did it. Hannibal was indeed reprinted, and Container sucessfully came together into a highly satisfying and challenging game of cargo transport.

And they were at Essen.

And so were we.

And now you can buy both games from us, nearly a month before you'll find them in most other stores: Hannibal: Rome Vs. Carthage and Container, two of the hottest games from Essen!

Isn't that neat?"

They could have added this too:

And now you can buy Hannibal from us, you'll have it before the preorder customers who paid for theirs in March receive theirs.

Isn't that neat?
 
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Yawn...
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Try harder next time.


Could not the same be said about VG?

I love irony, piled on top of further irony, with an extra dose of irony sprinkled all 'round.

That's a lot of irony.

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alterson1 wrote:
So the preorder customers get their game after the general public at Essen and after a couple of lucky internet shoppers in the US.


This argument is beginning to sound more and more like people think that Valley Games is maliciously withholding Hannibal from those who pre-ordered it. I believe we can all agree that they have absolutely no control over how long it takes for the boat carrying their product to cross the Atlantic Ocean. We can probably also agree that it wouldn't have made any business sense at all for them to skip Essen because some of their pre-orders couldn't yet be filled. And any one of you could have flown to Germany to pick up a copy of the game to sell on ebay. That is not Valley Games' fault.

I am also having trouble thinking of any other company that gives away freebies when their printing schedule is delayed.

It's possible a company more experienced than Valley Games might have handled this situation better, but VG is learning the ropes and can be excused for making a few mistakes. I'm positive that people wouldn't be making such a big stink about this were Hannibal not such a high-profile game. Valley Games went to the effort to acquire the rights and ensure you wouldn't get a shoddy product. Without this effort, there would be no Hannibal on its way to your doorstep.

The game will come. You will get to play it. Since you can't do a damn thing to speed things up, why not just be happy for those who have already gotten their copies? If you really think Valley Games is the devil, why don't you show them who's boss by canceling your pre-order?
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The most recent update has said they will be sending all the preorder copies around early December in time for Christmas, so I don't see what people are complaining about.
 
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zurupeto wrote:
alterson1 wrote:
So the preorder customers get their game after the general public at Essen and after a couple of lucky internet shoppers in the US.


This argument is beginning to sound more and more like people think that Valley Games is maliciously withholding Hannibal from those who pre-ordered it. I believe we can all agree that they have absolutely no control over how long it takes for the boat carrying their product to cross the Atlantic Ocean. We can probably also agree that it wouldn't have made any business sense at all for them to skip Essen because some of their pre-orders couldn't yet be filled. And any one of you could have flown to Germany to pick up a copy of the game to sell on ebay. That is not Valley Games' fault.

I am also having trouble thinking of any other company that gives away freebies when their printing schedule is delayed.

It's possible a company more experienced than Valley Games might have handled this situation better, but VG is learning the ropes and can be excused for making a few mistakes. I'm positive that people wouldn't be making such a big stink about this were Hannibal not such a high-profile game. Valley Games went to the effort to acquire the rights and ensure you wouldn't get a shoddy product. Without this effort, there would be no Hannibal on its way to your doorstep.

The game will come. You will get to play it. Since you can't do a damn thing to speed things up, why not just be happy for those who have already gotten their copies? If you really think Valley Games is the devil, why don't you show them who's boss by canceling your pre-order?


I 100% agree. They took my money too - and they've made a product you can be proud of. When it comes it comes. Play some of your other games you have. Frankley, it seems like there are alot of impatent people (dare I say immature) on BGG. This will all be finished soon. I wish VG all the best at Essen.
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BagpipeDan wrote:
The most recent update has said they will be sending all the preorder copies around early December in time for Christmas, so I don't see what people are complaining about.


Where did VG announce this? The latest on their website says:

Currently Hannibal is scheduled to begin shipping to preorder customers at the end of August.

Since Hannibal is still in the printing stage, we will still include the preorder bonus item with any orders received until the end of August.
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Okay, I'll weigh in, finally, after reading the 500th message where I shrugged and said, "Jeez, that person has the attitude of an immature, unrealistic, selfish and spoiled baby." But I never bothered writing about it. I figured it would fizzle out, somebody would give them their pacifier and we wouldn't have to read through another 15 posts saying the same whiny thing.

Let me speak for the silent majority who are still delighted that VG has reprinted and improved an incredible game that last year none of us could get for less than $200.

A few relevant though ignored points the Crybaby Camp needs reiterated:

--It is not Valley Games' fault that our games are in a cargo container on a massive dock somewhere. VG is a handful of people doing a very appreciated niche service. They are not an omnipotent global shipping cartel.

--Valley Games is not GIVING AWAY free games at Essen, and affixing "Paid for by U.S. Suckers" stickers on them. They are doing exactly what they should be doing, which is selling enough games to turn a slim profit so that they can then print MORE cool, rare games. Not selling games out of some ridiculous sense of entitlement to pre-order folks (whose games have been shipped, by the way) would be utterly stupid, as it would cut into profits, and thus incentive, and thus lead to less other games being reprinted. The people at Essen are paying $$$, just like we are. Therefore they TOO are making the publication of the game possible, just like us pre-order folks. If you don't like the arrangement, next time 1) Don't pre-order (and risk the game not ever being published), or 2) fly to Essen and buy it, or 3) Wait and buy in retail (of course, only after every last pre-order person has received it, including people who missed the mailman because they are on vacation, etc etc). Oh wait, shouldn't people who shell out two grand to go to Essen and playtest games receive any yet-to-be-published game months before us because they spent lots of money to travel there and work out kinks; so why should you and I get to pre-order games from our comfortable U.S. homes when THEY make it all possible? See the absurdity of either contention? (not to mention the self-defeating outcome?)

Bluntly, the issues of cargo delivery and Essen sales and even current online retail sales are unrelated.

The next time FedEx messes up an order of a game you've pre-ordered (happened to me with Age of Empires), please let ALL of us know about the delay, because surely we should hold off buying at a local retailer until precious YOU have your game. You are that special. Heck, we should stop all games, regardless of title, being mailed anyplace until your snafu with FedEx/UPS/DHL etc is worked out. Satisified?

Here is a proposal I will make and leave standing: Let's invite, say, the 4 most prolific forum complainers to get together, identify a long out of print game, and through their mutual part time efforts get the game published, from securing the rights to it through delivery at each of our doors. And if *anything* goes wrong during the process, we will send each of them multiple e-mails (which they should personally respond to within, say, 15 minutes), and we reserve the right to whine ad nauseum and beat dead horses in BGG chatrooms, because our $50 spent gives us the right to assume the earth's axis goes right through the top of our heads. Cool?

Now if you *don't* want to take us up on that offer, please kindly be quiet, patient (it's a real word, look it up), and mature, and go do something else for a week or two. You will receive your order, and the rest of us will be able to come to BGG to enjoy it for the resource it is supposed to be, not a hijacked Whiners Anonymous Support Group.
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Here is a proposal I will make and leave standing: Let's invite, say, the 4 most prolific forum complainers to get together, identify a long out of print game, and through their mutual part time efforts get the game published, from securing the rights to it through delivery at each of our doors. And if *anything* goes wrong during the process, we will send each of them multiple e-mails (which they should personally respond to within, say, 15 minutes), and we reserve the right to whine ad nauseum and beat dead horses in BGG chatrooms, because our $50 spent gives us the right to assume the earth's axis goes right through the top of our heads. Cool?

Now if you *don't* want to take us up on that offer, please kindly be quiet, patient (it's a real word, look it up), and mature, and go do something else for a week or two. You will receive your order, and the rest of us will be able to come to BGG to enjoy it for the resource it is supposed to be, not a hijacked Whiners Anonymous Support Group.




goo
 
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Oh my God that was the greatest post ever. I just gave you all my GeekGold for so eloquently conveying my thoughts exactly!.
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I have not complained (nor am I now) about VG not sending the game out to date, and I am still willing to wait with no problems at all.

However, those that point out the flaws of VG handling of this game are not completely out of line.

Here is what Valley Games says concerning their 750 system of ordering games. I bolded the paragraph I think is causing the most heated part of this issue.
________________________________________________________________________
How does the 750 Special work?

When you place a preorder with Valley Games, we preauthorize your credit card. Once we have collected 750 orders for a particular game, we make the commitment to our customers to print the game immediately. At this point, we charge our customers at the discounted preorder price in order to help finance the print run. By placing a preorder, you are directly helping to get a game to print!

Once the game is ready for shipping, we send out our games to our preorder customers first (as well as any goodies that might be included), followed by our regular distribution channels. Because of this, many preorder customers find that they receive their game before their local store does.
________________________________________________________________________

The only thing I think really needs to be done is VG should update its main page with at least a sentence or two, now that they are back, regarding that they are looking into where the game is at currently and will be providing an update as soon as they know themselves.

I am still in a position of having no problem waiting for the game to arrive and will enjoy it when it does.

I am simply of the mind that others are not a problem for pointing out what they see as an issue on how things were handled.

We know VG will learn and grow and it is people's feedback that will spark a different approach to how they choose to offer or handle future games.

I trust they will continue to offer games like Hannibal (which I never heard about before I preordered!) as well as others and it will not ultimately dampen their spirit.

Edited: for clarity


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jdgavin wrote:
Let me speak for the silent majority who are still delighted that VG has reprinted and improved an incredible game that last year none of us could get for less than $200.

A few relevant though ignored points the Crybaby Camp needs reiterated:

On the whole I agree with you, but I prefer a more objective approach.

Please don't use name-calling if you are going to speak for other people. They might not wish to have that sort thing attached to their valid point of view.

Quote:
--It is not Valley Games' fault that our games are in a cargo container on a massive dock somewhere.

Actually it is their 'fault.' If not, then I guess somebody else attempted to ship the game to us, but I'm pretty sure VG is responsible for seeing that the game is shipped--as they should be.

Quote:
If you don't like the arrangement, next time 1) Don't pre-order (and risk the game not ever being published)...

The pre-order decision is influenced by many factors. Primarily customers need a certain level of trust in the company before they enter into a business relationship of this nature. A large protion of the games I own were pre-ordered from various organizations. I'm not a stranger to this process. Pre-ordering serves two main purposes. One is to insure there is enough interest to even go into production without a company losing it's shirt. The second is to generate something like a 'just-in-time' burst of cash to go to print.

Once the first hurdle is cleared (sufficient market), and the product goes into production, a company has some degree of fiscal responsibility to the pre-order customers to fulfill their obligation to them. Clearly there are those who feel VG has not done so. This is a subjective determination, but people who decide one way or the other don't need to be vilified for voicing their opinion. Ultimately, how the pre-order customer felt he was treated will determine his level of trust in the company the next time he decides to do business with them.

As for risking the game never getting published for want of pre-orders...welcome to free market forces. How eager are potential customers to deal with a company they don't like if doing so is the only way to have a chance at getting what they want? In a perfect world we would never have to make this choice, but in the case of VG I think most folks don't have to anyway. I'm not sure that 'a cherished game lost to the delicate balance of too few pre-orders' is really a factor when it comes to VG.

Quote:
...or 2) fly to Essen and buy it...

Wow...this makes a point, but probably not the one you desire.

Quote:
...or 3) Wait and buy in retail...

In the future some will. No harm in this at all. This is exactly what a customer who doesn't have the level of trust in a company to make a pre-order will do.

Perhaps the large body of complaints is somehow related to a percieved low level of customer service. Yes, VG is a start-up with less experience than their competitors, but that's completely irrelevant in the market place. To run a business like VG isn't exactly pioneering in the business world. As has been admitted, mistakes were made. Some folks don't want those mistakes made on their 'nickel'--this is reasonable.

I too applaud VG for their efforts to bring out these games. However, they are a business and by taking money for their efforts deserve to be considered in all ways as such. In my personal dealings with VG (not only with this game, but aside from H:RvC) I have been quite underwhelmed by their customer service. I have to be careful with my money these days (I don't have that much of it), and will more thoughtfully weigh my business decisions with VG in the future.

I don't think I'm whining...it's just business.

Fair enough?

edited for grammer and clarity (I hope)
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don corazon wrote:
Oh my God that was the greatest post ever. I just gave you all my GeekGold for so eloquently conveying my thoughts exactly!.


And your thoughts were that you are also tired of the kisser-up's kiss taking shots (even as they rake in that geekgold, which is about as vauable as the real thing, if, by real thing, you mean what comes out of a rat's ass) at the complainers yuk who are tired of seeing others get the game first arrrh while the largest boardgame market continues to wait and whine.

Wow. It is true. Great minds do think alike.

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mbrugato wrote:
I have been quite underwhelmed by their customer service. I have to be careful with my money these days (I don't have that much of it), and will more thoughtfully weigh my business decisions with VG in the future.


If it is the Hannibal reprint that's got you bothered, why don't you cancel your Hannibal pre-order and insist on a full refund?
 
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zurupeto wrote:
mbrugato wrote:
I have been quite underwhelmed by their customer service. I have to be careful with my money these days (I don't have that much of it), and will more thoughtfully weigh my business decisions with VG in the future.


If it is the Hannibal reprint that's got you bothered, why don't you cancel your Hannibal pre-order and insist on a full refund?


Fair question (except that, far from being bothered, I'm glad that H:RvC is being reprinted).

Simple answer: in my personal cost-benefit analysis I've already taken 'the hit' so there's no point in cancelling my order now--in fact that would serve to remove the only benefit I would receive.

By 'the hit' I mean that I have gone for so long after having spent the money with nothing to show for it. I realize to others, perhaps including you, Stokey, that's not a problem (and that's okay, we each have our own values).

The assumption here is that delivery of the product is fairly imminent. If my crystal ball were to tell me that I'm going to go six months from now before receiving the game, I would cancel the order and put my money to some other use. However, I'm sure I'll be getting the product sooner rather than later, so I'm not going to give out in the home stretch.

You see, I'm not whining about not getting the product before anybody else or such. As I mentioned before I've made many pre-order purchases. None of these took longer than about eight weeks to arrive after I was charged. I think that's a reasonable timeframe. Handing over my money (especially to a company that has made mistakes such as VG) for an excessive period of time with no realized benefit in the interim is not how I want to handle my business affairs. It's purely a personal decision, and I respect yours as I'm sure you respect mine.
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I too applaud VG for their efforts to bring out these games. However, they are a business and by taking money for their efforts deserve to be considered in all ways as such.


This is an excellent point, and one which all too many people seem unable to understand. By reading many of the posts here, you would think VG was moved to reprint Hannibal because of some altruistic desire to please the BGG community. Well, yeah, I'm sure they hoped BGG would be pleased, but only because that would allow them to make more money.

VG is not some non-profit group reprinting classic games and fighting AIDS in Africa on the side; no, they are a business, who charge more to purchase the game than it cost them to make it. As a business, they should be held accountable when they repeatedly fail to deliver a product on time, and to communicate the status of the orders in a reasonable time frame.
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alterson1 wrote:
As of 10:23AM CST October 27, 2007 Troll and Toad has two copies of Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage available for a reasonable $50. They bought them at--guess where--Essen!

So the preorder customers get their game after the general public at Essen and after a couple of lucky internet shoppers in the US.

Nice!


Holy shit!

You mean an importer is selling copies of a game available in Europe?!?

This is world shaking news!
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mbrugato wrote:
Simple answer: in my personal cost-benefit analysis I've already taken 'the hit' so there's no point in cancelling my order now--in fact that would serve to remove the only benefit I would receive.

By 'the hit' I mean that I have gone for so long after having spent the money with nothing to show for it. I realize to others, perhaps including you, Stokey, that's not a problem (and that's okay, we each have our own values).


I don't get it. Cancel your pre-order, get a refund, invest the money in the meantime, and buy the game for 35% off when it's available from thoughthammer.com. You break even and Valley Games pays for their poor delivery. Why isn't this the better option?
 
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Kleves wrote:
This is an excellent point, and one which all too many people seem unable to understand. By reading many of the posts here, you would think VG was moved to reprint Hannibal because of some altruistic desire to please the BGG community. Well, yeah, I'm sure they hoped BGG would be pleased, but only because that would allow them to make more money.

VG is not some non-profit group reprinting classic games and fighting AIDS in Africa on the side; no, they are a business, who charge more to purchase the game than it cost them to make it. As a business, they should be held accountable when they repeatedly fail to deliver a product on time, and to communicate the status of the orders in a reasonable time frame.


You have just become as guilty as those you chastise since, whether you intended it or not, you've just implied that Valley Games is not interested in anything but their bottom dollar. I highly doubt this is true. If such an implication was not your intention, you definitely could have more wisely chosen your words.

Business-Consumer relationships are a 2-way street. A business wants your money and you want their product. Ideally, both parties can walk away happy. And just as you, as the consumer, have to deal with shipping delays, Valley Games has to deal with unreasonable customers.

If you feel like Valley Games has not held up its end of the bargain, and would like to "hold them accountable", you can easily do so by not buying their products. And for everyone who feels that they've unjustly kept your money, how many of you have been denied a refund after having asked for one?
 
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jdgavin wrote:
Okay, I'll weigh in, finally, after reading the 500th message where I shrugged and said, "Jeez, that person has the attitude of an immature, unrealistic, selfish and spoiled baby." But I never bothered writing about it. I figured it would fizzle out, somebody would give them their pacifier and we wouldn't have to read through another 15 posts saying the same whiny thing.


The people who have pre-ordered this game and not received it have a legitimate grievance, no matter how minor. You're whining just so you can present yourself as some holier-than-thou martyr who is above such things as getting a game you paid for. You're not supporting Valley by calling their customers names, you're just pissing people off in order to bask in the masturbatory glow of your own smugness. If you don't like the threads don't read them.
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zurupeto wrote:
mbrugato wrote:
Simple answer: in my personal cost-benefit analysis I've already taken 'the hit' so there's no point in cancelling my order now--in fact that would serve to remove the only benefit I would receive.

By 'the hit' I mean that I have gone for so long after having spent the money with nothing to show for it. I realize to others, perhaps including you, Stokey, that's not a problem (and that's okay, we each have our own values).


I don't get it. Cancel your pre-order, get a refund, invest the money in the meantime, and buy the game for 35% off when it's available from thoughthammer.com. You break even and Valley Games pays for their poor delivery. Why isn't this the better option?


You are absolutely correct. You don't get it.

I don't care to make VG 'pay' (whatever that means). This isn't about vengence. I have no malice for Valley Games. I like how VG is reprinting this game. It's that they do pre-order business in a way I do not prefer, and I believe they provide below average customer service.

Your suggestion of cancelling my pre-order brings up of the level of their customer service. I can't call them. I can't log on to their web site and look at my account. The only option is to send them an e-mail message or a (gasp!) letter. To date every e-mail message I have sent to VG has gone unanswered (they were concerning another transaction, not H:RvC). I suppose they might answer if I were to cancel my order--or would they?

I feel that doing as you suggest doesn't really accomplish much of anything other than creating a chance to bugger it all up. I'll just sit tight. I've got other games I can play (I can even borrow the AH version of this game from a friend if I get a hankering to play)--as I said it's not an issue of getting the product before other buyers.

I feel VG isn't good at dealing directly with customers (yet?). Next time I will give more consideration to waiting until their fine product is available via retail channels.

I can't make it more plain than that.
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