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Subject: AEG Customer Service Or A Root Canal? rss

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Shawn Clouthier
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So can anyone top this horrendous customer service experience I've recently endured with Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), the makers of Thunderstone? I purchased the expansion Heart of Doom in mid-Feb from a third party vendor only to learn it was missing an entire deck of cards which I still have not received. After a bit of researching it was clear this was not an isolated instance, AEG shipped many HoD copies without these cards. Since I had already opened the game my only recourse was to contact AEG customer service to request the missing deck. First off, AEG has absurd business practices and keeps the least convenient business hours of any company I know (closed Fridays, weekends, & during lunch), no way to leave voicemail and only returns email about a third of the time after many days, sometimes weeks later. Their answering machine sounds like it's still analog, giving the impression that they're running the entire company out of their Mom's basement. When you do finally reach a live human being they have every excuse under the sun why your prior attempts to reach them weren't successful. Don't be surprised if David blames the latest gaming convention for the delay in processing your request. I'm sorry, but how many lap dances you got in Vegas during GAMA is of no concern to me, I just want the cards I paid for.

So now I've been waiting almost seven weeks to receive the missing deck; AEG lied repeatedly telling me it shipped each of the past three weeks, the latest time with some promo cards for all my troubles. But, alas no cards, no promos ever arrive. Incidentally, it's not an address problem because the Avatar cards that I ordered from AEG in the midst of this fiasco arrived in two business days. The real bummer is Thunderstone is a really great game that I enjoy playing and highly recommend. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for their service after the sale. I was going to buy more of their other titles, like SmashUp. Now I won't dare and I'd recommend you steer clear of AEG as well. Schedule yourself some invasive dental work, it'll be less painful! I'm curious if others have had similar poor customer service experiences with Aldercrap?
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Raman Ohri
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That's a shame - I've had nothing but good experiences with them in person (at GenCon) and in support. I bought a Nightfall expansion and one of the draft cards was damaged. One email resulted in a fast replacement of the card.
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marc magner
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which cards are you missing?

i just purchased a sealed copy and notice that i had an extra labeled place holder card without cards and sort of assumed it was an extra?

now you have me concerned.

 
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Shawn Clouthier
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It's a deck of about 30 cards, mostly monster and village randomizers that are missing, but that deck also has the three setting cards and three dungeon features unique to this expansion. If those aren't in your set, you're missing the entire deck. You can use the Thundermaster randomizer at http://asmor.com/scripts/tsrand/ to list all the contents that should be in your game, I think that rule book also lists them, even those not included.
 
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marc magner
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thanks
 
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Wesley M
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I emailed them after new years because my co op paper mat for thunderstone was super shredded when i recieved it.. They were out of the office until the 8th of January which was understandable as soon as the either rolled around I got an email asking for my address and they shipped me a new board which I recieved two days later.. I thought they did very well.
 
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Shawn Clouthier
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Glad to hear they did right by you Wesley. Though my Thunderstone Advance poster was similarly crumpled upon arrival. Seems they need better quality control for the packaging jobs that they outsource.
 
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Shawn Clouthier
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Hi Galad, Only realized there was a missing deck after I incorporated every other card from HoD into my Dragonspire box that already contained all the other base thunderstone sets. I contacted MM first and they told me the missing deck was a known issue and AEG would rectify. I was reluctant to repurchase for fear Id get another defective set. I would like to say Ive dealt with MM many times and have always had fabulous customer service with them. My axe to grind is with Alderac.
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Lance Eisenhauer
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This doesn't sound anything like the AEG customer service I got when I found two of my TOMB:Cryptmaster dice warped. One e-mail resulted in a whole box of 30 TOMB dice being sent to my house within a week of the e-mail response I requested and an apology for any inconvenience was also recieved. Once again, thank you AEG and David Trudeau for great customer service.

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/6482568#6482568

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/6527535#6527535
 
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Shawn Clouthier
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Maybe we should change the thread to "Who here hasn't received defective game pieces from AEG?" Seems their quality control could use a little more oversight, then there wouldn't be so many customer concerns in the first place.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
Maybe we should change the thread to "Who here hasn't received defective game pieces from AEG?" Seems their quality control could use a little more oversight, then there wouldn't be so many customer concerns in the first place.


Well, in fairness, there is a pretty severe population bias here. In a thread about customer service, you are likely to get replies about the use of said customer service.

I don't think this indicates poor "quality control" as every company out there would garner responses. The key is the content of those responses.

CSI is one of the most popular online stores in existence with customer service that is regulary lauded, but if you peruse the customer service threads about them, they are filled with "CSI rectified my problem."

I think that is the standard: how does the company handle the problem once it is brought to their attention. AEG seems to be failing you in this regard, but the other posts are meant, I think, to bolster you.

You might be right about AEG's customer service if all these replies were, "Yea..I had a similar experience and they left me hanging also." You are getting the opposite, though.

I think what you take from this is that you are experiencing an anomaly. The bet here is that AEG will come through for you as that has been their practice in the past. It would be really surprising if you didn't wind up with your cards replaced and an apology from AEG.

And you can count me as one who hasn't had any problems with AEG products. Ineed, when I see their logo, I am more likely to consider the game.

Good luck. You certainly have a legitimate gripe, but AEG is a pretty solid company and I bet they will make this right for you.

Kevin
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Shawn Clouthier
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Thanks for your thoughtful response Kevin, your points are well made. My stance isn't that a company can't make mistakes, but rather that they should be accountable when they do, particularly when they have a known outstanding quality issue. Eventaully responding to a customer's request after a few weeks may still constitute customer service (and I'd consider that an anamoly, not standard practice given my experience with MM, CSI, Amazon and others), but seven weeks without resolution isn't customer service, it's customer antagonism. If Chrysler did the same to you over a recall on your car, I wonder if you'd be as forgiving? You might at least be upset enough to post your dissatisfaction on SebringNerd.com and commiserate with your peers.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
If Chrysler did the same to you over a recall on your car, I wonder if you'd be as forgiving? You might at least be upset enough to post your dissatisfaction on SebringNerd.com and commiserate with your peers.


Hello Shawn,


Certainly I think you were well within rights to come here and say, “What’s up with AEG’s customer service?”

I think you started to expand your complaints, however, to a more upbraiding of the company that I don’t know they deserved.

Quote:
Maybe we should change the thread to "Who here hasn't received defective game pieces from AEG?" Seems their quality control could use a little more oversight, then there wouldn't be so many customer concerns in the first place.


The above quote, for example, seems to be criticizing overall quality control at AEG based on the responses in this thread. I get that you are upset and you have very cause to be. I thought this a rather wide broadside, though.

I’d be pissed at Chrysler, but I don’t know that I would lambast larger production issues unless I was sure there was something endemic going on.

I wouldn't "forgive" AEG. They owe you a deck of cards and one hell of an apology. I don't know that their overall quality control needs "more oversight," though.

Kevin


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Shawn Clouthier
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Granted it's a small sample size, but several of their games have defective parts or were improperly packaged. I own seven Thunderstone games and two were defective (missing cards, crumpled map). A friend and I own more than a dozen Dominion sets, none of which contain defects. My entire collection exceeds 250 games, only a small fraction of which ever had defective or missing components. I'm a lab quality control manager and that data, albeit limited, says to me there's likely a problem with AEG's quality oversight.. . aside from their problem in handling customer concerns in a timely manner.
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chris phillips
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I sold my thundestone game and exp couple yrs ago but one expansion pack was missing a whole deck of cards too and was told it was an issue with packing.I remembered it took a while to get my cards but I eventually did. Its because of that and the starter set of KB I go at a store once that I check to make sure every game I get has all the pieces right up front. Agricola took a bit to do that.
 
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