Mattel screws customer out of Voltron

An article posted today on Consumerist once again highlights the idiocy of Mattel and its subscriptions.

A fan signed up for "Club Lion Force," aka the Voltron sub. He was living in New York at the time, but recently got accepted to an MBA program in the UK and had to update his address. If you know anyone who's had to change their address with Matty, you can probably guess what happened: that's right, when the next lion shipped, it went to the wrong place.

I call Mattel Customer Service and they say well when the Lion is returned (as my old apartment building will no longer accept shipments for me) that they'll refund me my money and not to worry. I asked if I'll get that Blue Lion they said no. I asked if they could ship me another Blue Lion to the new address (more money for them!) and just refund me the money in a month or so when the Blue Lion from the old address comes back to them, they said no. They kept trying to assure me that I'd get my money back and I asked them if they even knew what the product was. That without all 5 Lions I won't be able to form Voltron (oh god this seems like an old episode of the cartoon itself).

I said fine, who is it being shipped by, they said USPS. I call USPS and get a change of address put in and provide my order number so they can track the package. They said that's not a USPS order number. So I call Mattel back and they said a USPS tracking number has not been generated yet because they haven't picked up yet. I asked Mattel to then change the address if USPS hasn't picked it up yet and Mattel said they couldn't do that.

So basically, they shipped to the wrong address. They think my money at this point is more valuable than the actual product that makes the other 4 work. They won't reroute my package. They also won't give me a tracking number so I can reroute it myself.

Now, we all know that whoever he's talking to on the phone is nowhere near the warehouse where the toys are, so it's not like they can just go downstairs, pull his lion out of the pile, and put the new address on there. But surely there's some system in place that allows them to find specific packages. If his credit card had been maxed out, it's not like the computer would have let the package go out the door, right? So the Digital River employee should be able to flag his account, and when the processors get to his package, they'd see something was wrong and pause to find out what. 30 seconds' worth of work on everybody's part, and this problem could have been fixed. Instead, Mattel (and its contractors) continue to halfass their way through things, and collectors are the ones who get burnt.

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8 Responses to Mattel screws customer out of Voltron

  1. Black Arbor says:

    This coming after Digital River's plea to fans that they've "changed" which is evidently baloney. I wanted so much to subscribe to club IE, but I knew they'd find a way to muck things up. Ah well, I guess Hasbro's ML will be getting most of my money this year.

  2. monkey boy says:

    after subscribing to black freighter, i'm worried about what's going to happen if i move, which is a real possibility.

    • yo go re says:

      There's some trick to it: like, you have to change your address on your account, then... log in and go to your subscription page to change the address there, then call DR to make sure the change took? Something complex like that. I know there are people who have done it successfully.

      That said, it's still a dick move on Mattel's part. If the figure is being sent back to them, then CLEARLY THEY HAVE AT LEAST ONE LEFT OVER!

      Also, is that a real missing animal poster? Because now I feel sad for whoever lost their kitty...

  3. Peter says:

    I had my own recent run-in with Digital River --- Back in June my credit card wouldn’t authorize payment so my subscription got suspended (due to a communication error). I fixed the issue and got my June & July orders. I got a similar notice for August (Sir Lazer Lot) so I contacted DR and did the same exact thing, but instead of sending me confirmation for SLL they sent me an order/shipping confirmation for Horde Prime, Snake MAA, Griffin, and Spikor (figures that I already received). Oddly enough, they also sent me a confirmation for Mekaneck, DB Skelly, and the Snake 2-Pack --- NO Sir Lazer Lot. After a frantic e-mail AND phone call to Digital River telling them I already had the figures and they were not authorized to charge me for them, I finally received a confirmation that the order for Horde Prime, SMAA, Griffin, and Spikor was cancelled --- Still haven’t seen anything for SLL, so IDK if I’m even getting him now.

  4. Frowny says:

    Dang, I must be the exception. I managed to change both my credit card info and my address in the same call and I've had no issues since then. Thank God, because I would have flipped if they'd made it impossible to get Metron.

    • Peter says:

      This was the first big issue I've had with Mattel --- so honestly I guess I've been "lucky" given everything. Though I still won't be 100% assuaged until I get my statement next month and verify I haven't been charged.

  5. Mark says:

    I've never ordered anything from Mattel nor have I ever purchased any Mattel product...and this is one of the MANY reasons why.

  6. Tony says:

    Generally I think what Mattel is doing with the subscriptions idea to be quite good, Four Horsemen sculpting, offering characters that otherwise would not see the light of day, and usually good quality. But why they muck it up by using Digital River I don't understand. I've had my share of problems like many others.
    Digital River says they are cleaning up their act, and they've 'heard us.' We'll see, I'm still a skeptic.

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