Saturday, May 19, 2012

Late > Never.

       Upper Deck was once the crème de la crème of card companies.  Their customer service and order fulfillment were second to none.  Topps has always been hit or miss, Fleer went out of business because it couldn't keep its promises, but Upper Deck was always the best.  I should emphasize was.  I am not sure if we are looking at a chicken or egg situation here - I am not certain if their customer service went to hell because they lost their baseball license, or if one of the main reasons they lost their baseball license was because their customer service had deteriorated so demonstratively.  It all makes me dizzy to think about it.  We have all had nightmares in getting redemption cards fulfilled and I will try to keep this particular story brief.  Really, I never had much of an issue at all with Upper Deck until a few years ago.  They shipped on time, kept their promises, delivered great cards, and were even pretty nice about it.  Then, about three years ago, it all just fell off the cliff...redemptions not filled, incorrect cards delivered, open cases mysteriously closed with no resolution, rude people on the phone (if you could get them on the phone at all).  It was like dealing with Topps on a Monday morning with no coffee all the time.  It all started with a 2007 Sweet Spot Torii Hunter fancy silver low numbered autographed thing.  I entered the redemption number online and it came up as invalid.  I spoke to someone about it and followed his instructions on how to send it in.  I mailed the redemption in and never heard from them again.  OK, not a huge loss, but I do like Torii Hunter and I did spend money on their product which promised me an autographed card that I never received.  After making a few phone calls and sending a few emails, I gave up the ghost (or Hunter as the case may be).  I was annoyed, but there was little I could do about it.  Then, last April, I had a similar issue with a basketball redemption card.  Now, basketball is not my favorite sport, but I had bought a grab bag of packs (I am a sucker for grab bags) and the one high end pack in there was a UD basketball 2008-09 NBA UD Radiance pack and in that pack was a redemption for a Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett dual autograph.  I entered the redemption number, and again, it came up invalid.  So again, I called and opened a case.  Again, I mailed it in.  Again, I heard absolutely nothing back.  I emailed a couple of times, the last one in November, but got no satisfaction whatsoever.  Upper Deck was officially on my shit list. 

Then in the mail yesterday, this arrived:

I really shouldn't complain, and I did promise to keep my bitching to a minimum when I started this blog, but I should take issue with a couple of things here: 1) First sentence uses the word "recent" - this request was made over a year ago. They use the word "recently" later on as well, as though they are trying to convince me that this was a recent request.  I suppose in the grand scheme of things, a year could be "recent" but when it comes to fixing a problem, it isn't.  2) They call it a replacement request when this was a redemption fulfillment.  Could this be the reason that it took a year for me to receive this card?  Because the wrong damn department was trying to do it?  OK, I could go on, but that is enough of that.  In the end, it is a pretty sweet card, which I will be listing on eBay this weekend (unless some reader really really wants it, in which case, email me and make me a trade offer).  Upper Deck used to have a slogan along the lines of "Getting you closer to the game" I guess now it is "Better late than never."

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