Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Ray of Hope: Topps Company

Okay, so obviously most of this blog is dedicated to both the good and bad of the card collecting industry, and for the most part most of it has been about the bad part. Card Manufacturers seem to have lost connection with the person they should care about (i.e. the collector). Well folks, I have to share a story about a ray of hope amongst the darkness and despair that we find ourselves in.

About 2 weeks ago, I got my box of Bowman Sterling for a box break I was doing on Topps Message Boards. Well I had read about how almost 50% of the boxes were short a hit and what Topps was doing to remedy the situation. So my group new there was a chance we would be short a hit, but the good news was Topps was going to take care of it. Well I did the break and much to my disappointment not only we shorted the one auto that 50% of the boxes had, but we actually were shorted one of the two guaranteed Rookie Relic Autos. Needless to say I was very disappointed and mad.

So what did I do? I wrote a very thoughtful and detailed letter sharing the results of the box and how with such a high cost product that kind of error is just not acceptable. But here is the thing, I didn't cuss them out and fume I logically laid out the situation and shared how I had collected Topps for over 20 years now and that I had always enjoyed their products, but I also shared how an experience like this could easily lead me to never want to take a chance on their products again and only buy other manufacturer's products. I wrote that I hoped they would realize that there was a problem and that it needed to be rectified. Well I sent the letter not only to the "Customer Relations" address, but I also sent a copy of the letter to the Corporate Headquarters in care of the Board of Directors. How many people do you think really write to the people running a company letting them know the problems with their company and product? I would guess not many and I would guess that those that do often aren't very logical and calm in their writing. Well I wrote it and I really didn't have any hopes of getting much outside some crappy cards to replace the "shorted hits."

Well today there was a box delivered to our house and it was from the Topps Company. It wasn't an envelope, it was a good size box. I could only imagine what might be in it. So I opened it right away and inside was an envelope which I opened. Here is a scan of the card inside (the name of the individual is blacked out at his/her request...but it is someone of consequence within the company).

Well I looked further into the box and there to my surprise was a sealed box of 2008 Bowman Sterling.

Needless to say I was very appreciative and I emailed the individual thanking him/her and telling him/her that I am happy to see that a company still cares about the product they are creating and the consumer who purchases it. Now on to the really funny part. So I busted the box on video again (with the first rookie auto and first rookie relic auto going to my previous break people)....well you can see for yourself the fun of this box.

Yep this box was a bigger disaster than the first. It did have a printing plate, but this one was missing both rookie relic autos. I emailed the individual who sent it letting them know and they apologized for the crappy situation and is looking into it. As much as the experience sucked, I have new found hope that there are companies out there that care. I know that this individual cares about the consumer and the product put out and I know that he/she will probably once again go above and beyond his/her duty in rectifying the even more crap of a situation.

Either way. It is a Ray of Hope. Thank you Topps! (I will now continue to purchase their products.)


  1. I guess that makes things better? I like that they tried, and sent you a hand written apology. You really have to appreciate that. But that's a big oops on their part by sending another bad box. But hey, E for Effort.

  2. I have no idea why you spent the money on bowman sterling, but wow, that was a nice gesture. Its just too funny that the first box was better than the second. Typical shit.

  3. I have liked Bowman Sterling in the past, but it was because the people on Topps Boards were excited about the product and I knew I could fill a break.

    My interactions with the person from Topps have been very good and this person seems genuinely concerned about the problems they have been having and said he/she would like to get input on their product as I see it.

    I have hope.

  4. I knew this post couldn't have been from Gellman, be that as it may, glad to hear that Topps still cares. I knew WizKids had pretty good customer service, so I figured that Topps would follow suit.

    UD has decent CS as well, I've had to call them a few times over the last year and despite long wait times on hold, I've been taken care of.

  5. Wizkids has good CS on some things but not others. Its Heroclix line has a bunch of problems with CS, and I have had numerous issues. Thats all since topps took over. Before that, it was peachy.

  6. Yes it is not from Gellman.

    I like to discuss the problems with the hobby as much as the next, but I also think when something is done well it should be written about too.

    I think there is a problem in customer service almost everywhere. The people most connected to the business and its success no longer have direct connection with the consumer and so the people just paid to deal with people who have problems with a product easily can just write everyone off as complainers and malcontents and not pass along serious issues or direct anyone to the party they should be in contact with.

    I personally never deal with Customer Service from Sprint because they can't do anything. They are powerless and they don't care, so I always contact a different department that cares and that can do something about the problem. I learned that trick after spending 5 hours on the phone with a Customer Service person who still didn't get what I was complaining about and kept getting me frustrated and so I hung up and called cancellations. They knew the problem and fixed it right away. 15 minutes done.

    CS is an issue almost everywhere and so when I experienced something like this well I had to share since it does show that sometimes things are done right.