Stephen Brewbacker
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I’ve read a couple of complaints on this board lately about customer service and I want EVERYONE to know what happened to me. So here’s mine:

I recently placed an order with my favorite on line retailer ‘Boards and Bits’. After receiving the order I began going through the games, taking inventory and re-bagging the bits.

I opened the box for Thebes and removed the board and un-punched sheets. I picked up the baggie containing the fedora-wearing meeples and lost myself for a moment in an Indiana Jones flashback. As the theme music faded out and I refocused on the task at hand, I thought it strange that there were only three of these meeples in the baggie. I checked the rule book and sure as sh!t – I was missing one: the green one!

So I immediately jotted off an e-mail to Boards and Bits. It went something like this:

Hi,

I recently received my order blah, blah, blah…

The game Thebes is missing: One of the four archeologists. The green color archeologist is not in the box.

Please let me know what is the best way to get a replacement.

Thank you



Well, it wasn’t until three days later I got a response. Yes three days! (Even though I have to admit I sent the letter on a Friday night, and one of those days was a Saturday and one of those days was a Sunday, and if you look at it strictly in terms of business days, I technically got a reply the very next business day; well, then you COULD make an argument that the response time was pretty damned good…but I digress.)

The response:

Hi Steve,

All you have to do is contact Rio Grande and they will send you a replacement at no charge. Most game producers are very good about this.

Here is their page: http://www.riograndegames.com/customer_service.html

Thanks,
Ben
Boards & Bits


This REALLY frosted my mini-wheats. I was furious. First thing: Why Rio Grande Games? Why not Queen Games. One of the reasons I bought Thebes is because I really like the quality of the games that Queen Games publishes. So now Rio Grande is their bee-otch? What up wit dat? And the second thing was the sentence: “Most game producers are very good about this.” Talk about wishy-washy - what kind of adverb is ‘very’, anyway? Weak – that’s what kind – any freshmanwill tell you. This ‘Ben’ dude was really asking me to take a leap of faith here. Not since Spottswood and Gary Johnston were in that limousine and Gary wants to join back up with Team America has trust been a bigger issue – but I digress.

I’m skeptical – real skeptical, but I take a deep breath and click on the link for the customer service at RGG.

I don’t remember what the exact interface looked like but there were instructions to enter your e-mail address, state your need, and include your mailing address.

So I clicked into the dialogue box and wrote:

Blah, blah, blah, missing: One of the four archeologists. The green color archeologist is not in the box.

And before I realize that I neglected to include my mailing address, I hit send. So, I’m sitting there waiting for a form or something to pop up in which I could enter my address. Then it dawns on me, that I was supposed to enter it all in the same dialogue box. I’m even more furiouser. (I know that’s not really a word – just go with it.) I want to hit someone.

So I click on the link again and repeat what I wrote the first time, but this time I include my mailing address.

Now I waited for a solid seven or eight minutes for a response. Something… anything to acknowledge that they received my complaint. Nothing.

Meanwhile, I went into my exhaustive Lego collection and recreated a green meeple out of Lego minifig parts – complete with Fedora. Feeling quite smug with my handy-work I promptly forgot about the entire matter.



I was checking my e-mail for the next several days. Nothing. Checked again. Nothing. Checked again. Nothing.

Then a small padded envelope arrived (completely unannounced) in the US mail from RGG with a green meeple in it.

Furiouser yet, at the lack of a proper e-mail, I once again checked my inbox. Nothing. THEN I checked my spam folder. Damn, there is a lot of junk in there; and there they were: not one, but two messages from RGG.

The first one read:

Please email this note with your address so I can send you the missing part.

Jay

The second:

I am sorry the game is missing parts and will send them within 2 weeks.

Jay

No – Jay was not mocking me – they were both sent promptly after my request for service.

I just wanted everyone to know what happened.

-Stephen

PS I punched myself in the nuts (several times).
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Jeffrey D Myers
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Albuquerque
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Always go direct to the publisher, they are almost always good about parts replacements.

I did a math trade for the Hans im Gluck version of Modern Art. Arrived with parts missing. I tried to keep my cool, and fired off an email to HiG in Germany asking if I could get the missing parts. No answer. Tried again a few weeks later and -- voila -- a package from Germany arrived shortly thereafter.

Be persistent, and play other games while waiting for the parts!
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Chris
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Jay did very good by me also. I was missing a time traveler from Khronos and he promptly sent me all the boats and buildings from Imperial

I sent them a return email and was immediately shipped the correct figure. He also shipped me the 1 red cube that was missing from that game. Very good customer service even if the interface on the website leaves something to be desired.

I know that your tongue is in your cheek but I never call the retailer when something is missing from a sealed box only if the box comes shipped damaged. I go right to the publisher of the game for faster service.

So far the only publisher that has been bad to get replacements is Valley games (it took 4 months to get my stuff but it did come with some very heavy apologies in all sincerity). FFG, RGG and Mayfair have all been rather quick in shipping replacement parts for stuff that is broken or missing. Usually arriving at my house in less then a week.
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Kris Verbeeck
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are you still counting ?

Jay is renowned for his customer service.
I have never come across such good help and service than in the boardgame community.
It is sad. So I am furious at all the other businesses and they should really look how "problems" , "questions" are solved. This is how it should be.

If i were to buy a car I would buy one from Jay again
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Herman Restrepo
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Stephen,

Careful with the nut-punching, you'll wind up like the Fool Killer angry.

great post!

-herm
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Erik D
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BrewB wrote:
Not since Spottswood and Gary Johnston were in that limousine and Gary wants to join back up with Team America has trust been a bigger issue – but I digress.


I believe the scene took place in the bombed-out Team America fortress. The limousine scene took place at the beginning of the movie when Spottswood was only joking.
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J.L. Robert
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If you want to really kick up a shit storm, there's a certain prolific BGG member in these forums (whom I shall not name) you could thumb your nose at because of this slighting of customer service you've received.

Maybe you'll get one of the famous, 20-paragraph responses which dissect your message, word-by-word, in response from this member.

shake
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Brandon Pennington
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I am sure your humor will be lost on some (you know who you are!) but I found this post friggin' hilarious!
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Thomas Taylor
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Excessive force in a post, ftw.

Its called booty, go get some.
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Travis Reynolds
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That is one fabulous replacement meeple. You sir, are an artist.

TR
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Chris Jachimowicz
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I'm still confused. Where was the problem? Then again, I'm drinking decaf.

Chris J.
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Allison dlr
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Wow... I read about half this post thinking the OP needed some serious anger management, before I got to the picture of the lego-ple (or is it leg-eeple?) and realized he wasn't serious and the whole post was just a way to show off his prodigious impromptu meeple-making skills.
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John Reiners
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I'm liking those lego meeples. Rio grande would do well to include legos in future games.
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Robert Stetler
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peacmyer wrote:
Always go direct to the publisher, they are almost always good about parts replacements.


Well, always *go first* to the publisher. Doesn't always end up you can stop there. When my copy of Fragile came missing a figure, I first contacted LudoArt for a replacement. A month latter, I had recieved neither a replacement nor a response. After that my only other option was to contact the online merchant. Even that looked like it might result in the silent treatment, but it ended up the merchant had their own troubles getting a response back from LudoArt and so their response to me was by extension delayed. Ended up getting the part replacement, but it was a lesson that the buck doesn't always stop with the publisher.
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Boards & Bits Too
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Ha! "Very" entertaining.


-Ben

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Stephen Brewbacker
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erak wrote:
BrewB wrote:
Not since Spottswood and Gary Johnston were in that limousine and Gary wants to join back up with Team America has trust been a bigger issue – but I digress.


I believe the scene took place in the bombed-out Team America fortress. The limousine scene took place at the beginning of the movie when Spottswood was only joking.


I believe you are right, sir. I stand corrected.

"This isn't about sex, this is about trust". - Spottswoode
 
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Stephen Brewbacker
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BigdaddyTR wrote:
That is one fabulous replacement meeple. You sir, are an artist.

TR


Thank you, I think?

I have never been accused of being an artist before. Well, there's a first time for everything...
 
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Stephen Brewbacker
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toomanyminis wrote:
I'm still confused. Where was the problem? Then again, I'm drinking decaf.

Chris J.


Switch back to caffiene - there's no problem here. (While the story is true, it's satire.)

"Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage." - Smashing Pumpkins
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Stephen Brewbacker
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almo1705 wrote:
Wow... I read about half this post thinking the OP needed some serious anger management, before I got to the picture of the lego-ple (or is it leg-eeple?) and realized he wasn't serious and the whole post was just a way to show off his prodigious impromptu meeple-making skills.


Uh, yes, that it's it. By jove, I think you've got it.
 
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Andrew DiGregorio
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you're pretty funny dude. You should join my game group.. you'd fit right in.
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Stephen Brewbacker
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slyde wrote:
you're pretty funny dude. You should join my game group.. you'd fit right in.


Word on the street is that your group is run by a despot.
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Andrew DiGregorio
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i'll say. you've got a point. maybe i should just join YOUR group instead...
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