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Subject: Pandasaurus Games - A cautionary tale rss

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G Schulteis
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I doubt you'll get a refund. Best to do your best to work with them instead of acting the jerky customer.
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David Fair
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The thing about Kickstarter is this... You aren't buying something. You are contributing (read; gifting) money so that an item will get produced, in return, the company will make the product, and is supposed to provide you a thank-you gift, in the form of whatever it was they said they would in the KS promotion. There is no recourse, legally or with the BBB, Amazon, or Kickstarter if you are not satisfied. It's a huge gamble if you look at it that way.

You can think of it is pre-ordering, but as you have found, that's be a mistake. I'm sorry that you have had a tough time with this company, and I feel companies should do their best to communicate frequently, openly, and honestly with their clients, which doesn't seem to have happened here.

My guess is that at some point the games will show up to either you or your purchaser, as most companies eventually get most things straightened out.

Best of luck
Dave
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Matthew Collier
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wish I hadn't missed that auction, I deffinately missed the great fire of london kickstarter
 
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Mike Ng
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
The thing about Kickstarter is this... You aren't buying something. You are contributing (read; gifting) money so that an item will get produced, in return, the company will make the product, and is supposed to provide you a thank-you gift, in the form of whatever it was they said they would in the KS promotion. There is no recourse, legally or with the BBB, Amazon, or Kickstarter if you are not satisfied. It's a huge gamble if you look at it that way.

You can think of it is pre-ordering, but as you have found, that's be a mistake. I'm sorry that you have had a tough time with this company, and I feel companies should do their best to communicate frequently, openly, and honestly with their clients, which doesn't seem to have happened here.

My guess is that at some point the games will show up to either you or your purchaser, as most companies eventually get most things straightened out.

Best of luck
Dave


This is exactly what I wanted to say, and also why I normally stay far away from Kickstarter. I'm sure Pandasaurus, like most "companies" on Kickstarter are 1 or 2-person outfits, and those 1 or 2 people have separate full-time jobs on the side. As beyondmonopoly mentioned, when you pledge to Kickstarter, you aren't purchasing anything. You are helping to fund their projects. The games in this case are just a thank you from the company for your contribution.

I do hope they work with you to sort things out, but I would also try and be patient about it especially if it is one guy sorting out rewards for 2400 backers and trying to accommodate 600 address changes and working a regular 40-hour a week job and family commitments, etc. We aren't dealing with Hasbro here.

By the way, I contributed to the Tammany Hall Kickstarter as well and am very excited about getting it to the table someday.

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Tom O'Neill
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Im the Tammany Hall recipient. I, also, reached out on FB and their KS page. But never go a response.
Why have a FB page if you are not going to check and take a few minutes to answer a question or 2.
I think the OP understands KS. The issue is the lack of communication. In fact, there is no communication. Right now, Im hoping the address change was processed and the game shows up at my door step. But right now I have no idea if it will or not.
Why not a form email? "Your address change has been processd."
Is that difficult? Even if you are a 1 or 2 person company. I would hope you have enough pride and work ethic to do something as minimal as that.

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Seriously?

Do you not understand that Pandasaurus is a one person operation? I'm pretty sure this is not his full-time job either.

I'm sorry that you came upon hard times and can't afford these games anymore. Unfortunately Pandasaurus is not your personal courier service. If I was Nathan I would send the games to you and then you can send them over to the person you sold them to.

Your emailed threats are inappropriate. He got back to you - indicated there were 600 address changes and it would take time to get through them. Threatening someone doesn't make things go faster - it just wastes time.
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Mike Mead
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The first rule of business is to provide a great customer experience. That is true, especially if you are a 1 person outfit. How else do you expect to get bigger? While I agree that email threats go nowhere (especially if they can't be followed up on as happened here), I think it is a good business practice to respond in a timely manner to all inquiries, especially if you have setup forums to do so.
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Patrick C.
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. . . and yet on Amazon a 3rd party seller - *regardless* of size (i.e. number of employees) is expected to respond to all inquires within 24 hours. Doesn't matter if you have 500 items for sale or 5,000 or 50,000. 24 hours.

Not to suggest that 24 hours is necessary. But come on people, do you have any idea how fast other KS campaigners (the respectable ones at least) respond?

Travis at Indie Boards and Cards has responded to my messages literally within minutes. I've had similar (although not nearly as fast) experiences with other KS campaigns. Except one. Pandasaurus.

I'm self employed. I'm a one man operation myself. If I took a month to respond to a customer I'd be out of business!

Edit: I would agree with others that the OP does sound like he's said too much and gone too far. But the issue here is Pandasaurus's customer service. The OP's behavior might be unacceptable. Pandasaurus's behavior is unacceptable without question, excuses or no.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Josephus wrote:
Its a real shame that the op has nothing better to do than write a huge forum message kicking this guy when he is obviously struggling. A little empathy goes a long way.

Uh, it's the O.P. who said he fell on hard times, and it looks to me like it's the Kickstarter apologists who are kicking him when he's down. If the guy who collected all the money up front couldn't handle the business end of things, he shouldn't have represented that he could in the first place.

stinkoman wrote:
If I was Nathan I would send the games to you and then you can send them over to the person you sold them to.

Yeah, if the procedures he put in place for changes of address were just for show.

Show the O.P. a little mercy, won't you? He'd like to transfer his claim to the game he paid for, and he's using the facilities that were supposedly set up for exactly that purpose. Maybe all you folks who feel sorry sor for the guy who collected up front for the games should send him some more money, so he can hire some temporary help to handle his responsibilties in a business-like fashion.
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Jerry
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I fail to see why Pandasaurus is obligated to send the game to anyone other than yourself because you made a side deal outside of Kickstarter. Yes, better communication would be ideal, and it would be nice of them to make the recipient change, but I think you should show a bit of understanding for someone trying to start a new board game publishing company and learning as he goes.

I also think it's rather inappropriate for you to post a private email from Pandasaurus that includes a phone number.
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David Hoffman
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I can understand your frustration, but something I learned a while back is that in this hobby, things move at a somewhat glacial pace. This is not specific to Pandasauraus games -- it's endemic of the hobby as a whole.

I'm a backer of both Tammany Hall and Great Fire, but I haven't actually received anything from Pandasaurus yet. So I cannot speak of any actual positive experience with the company -- but my impression is they're interested in doing right by their customers. So I'll reserve judgement on them until I see how things go with my own games, and I hope you get your own issues sorted out.
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Jonathan Harrison
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MarcJWaters wrote:
I do not understand why you have not responded to this... Please know that if I do not receive a response from you, a refund, or a game by 12/1/12, I have waited beyond our agreed upon delivery estimate, and I will be lodging a dispute with Amazon to formally get my money back.

And you think Amazon is going to enforce an estimate? Nathan has been very professional throughout both my Kickstarter experiences with him, and I've seen two people complain about communication only to eat their words because they had not realized that he had been on his honeymoon.

I'm not sure what makes you think that when you are one of 600 address changers by whom Nathan is trying to do right, you are entitled to a response on your timetable. He certainly could have responded more quickly. But you have no idea what hoops he's jumping through changing 599 other addresses in a reliable and responsible way.

Anyway.

The BBB has no power, and is corrupt. You agreed to an Amazon/Kickstarter contract that has not been violated. I doubt your credit card company can do much about a payment you made as party to a contract that has not been breached. Bottom line? An estimate is an estimate.

If you don't like Amazon's "policy" of allowing you to contribute to a project that may take a while to complete, then you shouldn't have agreed to be party to it.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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If you look on the Tammany Hall listing on BGG there are threads inquiring about updates, etc. regarding the release. The publisher answered these personally and was quite up front about the issues regarding delays and the recent blackout in communication (honeymoon I believe).

Remember that the publisher is almost definitely subscribed to Tammany Hall's listing and monitoring it, whereas your rant and email postings on the general forums here may not be on the publisher's radar and may achieve nothing.

I wish you luck resolving your issues.
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Jonathan Harrison
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MarcJWaters wrote:
Marc,

-

Nathan McNair
http://www.pandasaurusgames.com
Ph: --- --- ----

I googled the phone number you listed, and it comes up as ... 'Austin, TX, wireless, unlisted'. The number is not posted on the Pandasaurus website's Contact Us page.

Posting Nathan's private number is irresponsible. Take it down.
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Sphere wrote:
Yeah, if the procedures he put in place for changes of address were just for show.

Show the O.P. a little mercy, won't you? He'd like to transfer his claim to the game he paid for, and he's using the facilities that were supposedly set up for exactly that purpose. Maybe all you folks who feel sorry sor for the guy who collected up front for the games should send him some more money, so he can hire some temporary help to handle his responsibilties in a business-like fashion.


Yes the procedure is in place and the address will likely be changed but Nathan needs to ensure that this change in address isn't a scam (as was mentioned in Nathan's email). And do you really expect a small boardgame company with paper thin margins to hire someone temporarily to handle emails. Sure it would be nice but for a one-person organization it isn't feasible.

I should also say that in the past week or so there have been a sudden increase in the number of whiny posts where the posters perceive a slight to them so they can call out people or companies. They mostly just end up acting like spoiled entitled children.

I'm tired of it.
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Jim McMahon
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MarcJWaters wrote:
If I contact said seller about the date being pushed back due to me not being able to find information elsewhere or a suitable response, I have the right as a consumer to cry wolf.
I do not think that means what you think it means.
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Jonathan Harrison
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jimmcmahon wrote:
MarcJWaters wrote:
If I contact said seller about the date being pushed back due to me not being able to find information elsewhere or a suitable response, I have the right as a consumer to cry wolf.
I do not think that means what you think it means.

He means cry fowl.
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Wasn't it "Cry of the Wild"?
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darthhugo wrote:
Wasn't it "Cry of the Wild"?


Or "Call of the Wild?"
 
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A.J. Porfirio
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600 requests to change address seems extraordinarily high.
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vanrydergames wrote:
600 requests to change address seems extraordinarily high.

I thought that sounded weird as well, but wasn't interested enough to see how many donors ponied up. I'd think you'd have to read the emails to know you had 600 address change requests, and if you're already reading them, it wouldn't take a second to paste in a standard reply about how you're busy and will get to it A.S.A.P. etc. etc.
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Rick Vinyard
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
The thing about Kickstarter is this... You aren't buying something. You are contributing (read; gifting) money so that an item will get produced, in return, the company will make the product, and is supposed to provide you a thank-you gift, in the form of whatever it was they said they would in the KS promotion. There is no recourse, legally or with the BBB, Amazon, or Kickstarter if you are not satisfied. It's a huge gamble if you look at it that way.

That's a little misleading. You are correct that you do not have any recourse with the BBB, Amazon, or Kickstarter, but you do have legal recourse with the project creator, although that may be difficult.

You are however incorrect in characterizing the transaction as a gift. It is absolutely not a gift. I don't how that that misinformation got started, but even Kickstarter has clarified the legal status between a project creator and a project backer.

But, since your recourse is with the project creator, as a project backer you should evaluate their ability to deliver the product and/or service associated with the project or issue a refund should the project not come to fruition.
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Rick Vinyard
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
I doubt your credit card company can do much about a payment you made as party to a contract that has not been breached. Bottom line? An estimate is an estimate.

If timely delivery is important to you, make sure any contract you enter into includes the phrase "Time is of the essence" and a specific remedy.

Without that phrase or an equivalent it becomes very difficult to prove breach and recover damages, unless the delay is completely unreasonable. But, "unreasonable" is itself subjective, and generally includes a tremendous amount of leniency unless the aforementioned "magic words" are present.

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How is posting a company phone number inappropriate?
It is the first time I have heard someone claiming this.

Anyways, I would agree that the publisher is at fault here.
KS campaign is technically a fundraiser, but in reality it is a sales agreement. It is not the customer's job to tolerate below average customer service quality, as people should not reward lazy businesses. If you cannot manage the workload, you should have hired someone to do it. If you cannot hire someone to do it because you are a poor one-man operation, put more of your own time into it or quit.
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Mike Ng
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One of the issues with Kickstarter (especially when it comes to board games) is that there is a danger in seeing it as a game-purchasing avenue rather than what it really is; a project-funding tool. This is not a standard business-consumer relationship where the consumer pays the business and receives a good or service in return. If that were the case, customer service would be of greater importance.

We (Marc and I) are actually investors who have offered to invest a sum of money to help a creator (Pandasaurus) complete their project (the creation of a Tammany Hall reprint). Normally, an investor would do their due diligence and evaluate not only the project itself, but the people behind the project. This would weed out possible problems with communication and concerns about how people operate, and the investor could manage their expectations. With Kickstarter, we are almost investing blindly and the disconnect between investor and investee can cause big problems. This is something that we all should understand before risking our money; and it is a risk because nobody provides any guarantee that projects will meet expectations.

Marc, I sort of agree with your comment that Pandasaurus is ethically obligated to answer you. You are an investor in their project, they should be in communication. However I think your expectations on that are a little bit off. I've received 42 project updates since the funding drive ended at the end of May with the most recent update requesting that address changes continue to be sent to their special email address, saying they are working through them all. I think, being 1 of 2392 investors, that is fair enough on Pandasaurus' part. I understand that months of silence with regards to the personal communication is frustrating, but I can only trust that they are working through the emails and things will eventually work out.

MarcJWaters wrote:

Firstly, to the guy that said I suck and yet managed to spell my name wrong, stay classy.


I wish I could apologize for that guy's remark. While I was reading his post, I was agreeing with what he was saying, but then I got to the end and I lost all respect for him. I thought BGG was better than that.

In the end, we're all just gamers who want to play games.
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