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Subject: FRED Customer Service. rss

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Ray Swan
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It's friday and I'm opening up my copy of Oasis (by Uberplay) that I picked up for $11.95 (great deal... still available in fact). I was learning the game for that nights game group session. Sorting the pieces I discovered that the control pawns for black were missing.

After trying to find an active link to Ubergames and discovering that they are out of business, I thought I would take a long shot and fire off a note to FRED. I realize that it was a long shot because this was clearly a manufacturing error and the manufacturer was out of business.

THEY ARE SENDING ME THE PIECES ON THIER EXPENSE!!!

They once told me that their goal was to give as good of service as I have received from funagain (which is amazing service) but they have exceeded it! Delivering components free of charge for an error that was not theirs by a company that is out of business on a game that was bought on the cheap is going the extra mile and then some.

I highly recommend that you consider them for your next gaming purchase. They have earned it!

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsupGREATblankJOBthumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

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Christopher DeFrisco
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There has been some bad press in the past in regard to FRED, but I must say the company is run by a small crew of extremely dedicated individuals. Dedicated to the whole promotion of boardgaming as a pastime idea, rather than just the bottom line.
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Chris Schenck
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I've never understood the seemingly overwhelming anti-FRED contingent here on BGG.
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Ryan O'Rourke
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Sorry, not enough. I'm unwilling to offer any positive thought towards FRED until they cancel their price fixing policy and make their games affordable.
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Ray Swan
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facesnorth wrote:
Sorry, not enough. I'm unwilling to offer any positive thought towards FRED until they cancel their price fixing policy and make their games affordable.


If they are going to "price fix" games like Oasis at $11.95 when it is much more elsewhere, count me in.


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Christopher DeFrisco
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Many of you may not know, but FRED has an active program offering libraries and schools an incredible price break on their products, essentially at cost. Any library or school that pays with a P.O. (which guarantees the money is being used for this purpose) gets the discount.
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Aaron Cappocchi
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cbs42 wrote:
I've never understood the seemingly overwhelming anti-FRED contingent here on BGG.

And the post below yours answers it pretty handily.

FRED have chosen to price their wares in a manner that they believe ensures maximum profitability for them, and maximum health for the retail channels they wish to support.

Unfortunately, some people get so used to playing The Capitalism Game with a certain set of house rules, that they feel cheated and offended if anyone even suggests a differing rule set. If they feel that 35% off retail is their God-given right, then more power to them. The anti-FRED folks will draw their line but possibly miss out on some things they might enjoy, I'll keep buying games they publish if I feel I'll get sufficient enjoyment for the price. Capitalism!
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Ryan O'Rourke
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I may be missing out on games that I would enjoy, but I've realized at this point that there are so many games, and I cannot play all of them. In fact if I never bought another game, I would still have way more than I will ever need to play games regularly and enjoy them for the rest of my life.
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Barak Engel
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agentzen wrote:
cbs42 wrote:
I've never understood the seemingly overwhelming anti-FRED contingent here on BGG.

And the post below yours answers it pretty handily.

FRED have chosen to price their wares in a manner that they believe ensures maximum profitability for them, and maximum health for the retail channels they wish to support.

Unfortunately, some people get so used to playing The Capitalism Game with a certain set of house rules, that they feel cheated and offended if anyone even suggests a differing rule set. If they feel that 35% off retail is their God-given right, then more power to them. The anti-FRED folks will draw their line but possibly miss out on some things they might enjoy, I'll keep buying games they publish if I feel I'll get sufficient enjoyment for the price. Capitalism!


Oh wow. Talk about misinformation, misrepresentation, straw-men and otherwise.

FRED does not sell to the public. Therefore, making the claim that they are "fixing prices for maximum profitability" is redundant and, frankly, ridiculous. They make what they make by selling wholesale, and end-user pricing is - literally - none of their business. They are in fact twice-removed from retailers, and thrice-removed from end-users (don't forget distributors).

Furthermore, the argument that they are doing this out of some benevolence to their channels not only doesn't hold water, but is laughable; you cannot control demand, and inevitably higher prices means fewer clients. Finding the best spot on the SD curve to maximize profits at any given time (see below) is an art form, and one that retailers generally understand far, far better than manufacturers. After all, they are the ones actually deciding what to stock based on actual customer demand. The retailer has a much better chance of figuring out the elasticity of demand for any particular game, which could be dramatically different in certain cases than what is typical for the category.

By forcing retailers to sell at a certain price, FRED is hurting their sales channels, plain and simple. The end users are not hurt in any measurable way (spare me the whining of those who, like you mention, believe they have a god-given right for a certain presentation of final pricing). But the retailers certainly are, as they lose the ability to control their own profitability. In other words, B&B's Tom is in a FAR better position than Sean at FRED to know what price should be attached to Through the Ages, day in and day out, and not allowing Tom to utilize his expertise is detrimental to both Tom AND Sean (but not, I might add, to me, since it's just another "unnecessary consumption" type product).

Since I actually CARE about the health of the industry, I refuse to suppose these practices and therefore do not and will not buy FRED games until price fixing is off the agenda.

Now, if you really want to talk capitalism, then dynamic pricing - that is, pricing that is adjusting based on actual demand in real time - should certainly enter the discussion. It again won't do much for the wholesaler, but there should be no reason why, say, Thoughthammer would not sell something like Agricola at even an HIGHER price than MSRP when demand is very high and people would pay anything to get it, then lower it dramatically (and automagically) when demand ebbs. Individual resellers capture this profit right now; those folks who are nimble enough to buy and resell quickly based on popularity, and eBay is their channel. Proper trending is needed, and the ability to do dynamic forecasting is important, but there is a lot of research on the matter available and computing power is eminently so. Of course, there are many considerations, including not pissing off your clients too badly (reputational risk). Retail has figured this out a long time ago, and is advancing the art of it constantly, but the niche boardgaming segment of retail is still pretty backwards (did I hear the words "loyalty program"?)
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Diane Close
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The wood of one of the boards in my newly purchased Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age was so darkly grained as to make reading the scoring tracks impossible. I wrote to Fred customer service and included a picture of the problem board. I received a reply back that same evening that they would gladly send me a new board. The perfect replacement arrived five days later (including the weekend) -- now that's prompt service! Thank you Keith and FRED! kiss
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