Marvel Collector Corps Review – Ridiculously Bad Customer Service

This is an off-topic “too long, didn’t read” type post. Feel free to skip to the Summary or skip altogether.

For the past few days I have been giving Marvel Collector Corps. [MCC] a difficult time on Twitter and Facebook, and it is worth explaining why in greater detail than those forums allow. MCC is a service that ships a box of Marvel themed collectibles every other month. You can sign up for individual boxes or a subscription.

I signed up for a subscription in January as a “Founding Member.” They shipped their first boxes in April.  The first box they shipped me was lost because they left my company name off the address label. The replacement was also temporarily lost for the same reason even though I told them to check that very issue. Now my June box has not even shipped because they had issues correctly printing shipping labels somewhere between them and UPS.  Some people got theirs, many didn’t.  Mind you, they have had my information since January and have not properly printed a shipping label now more than 5 months later and having had 3 opportunities. They also ignored emails directed to support, taking days to respond with messages that make it clear they did not read what I wrote. Here are the details.

A Bit of Background

When I signed up in January, I filled in the information for the boxes to be delivered to my work address. My office building has more than 50 stories, dozens of tenants, and thousands of people who work there every day. Understandably, they refuse packages that come without a floor, suite number, or name of company. If the building mailroom had to look up every individual addressee on every package they could not keep up. So I am very careful to properly include my company name every time I arrange for something to be delivered to my office.

The First Shipment Goes Missing

The first box shipped on April 22. I received an email with tracking info for UPS. The email with the tracking info caused me concern, because it listed my shipping address twice. In one instance it listed My Name, Company Name, Street Address, City/State/Zip.   All good. But in another instance it omitted my Company Name.  Not good. And sure enough, the tracking reported on April 27 that “The post office was unable to deliver the UPS SurePost package as addressed. Please contact the sender for assistance.” SurePost is the service where delivery starts with UPS but final delivery is made by the Post Office.

So I contacted MCC by email on April 28, writing in part that

“The Shipping Address [in your email] is correct and should not have caused the package to be undeliverable.  The “Ship To” address listed just above that omits both my name and my company’s name.  If either is missing from the label it cannot be delivered to me. Can you confirm what address information was actually included on the label? I am disappointed that this has gone awry and not arrived.”

Oddly enough UPS tracking then claimed that the package was delivered the next day, but I never got it. I can make many guesses as to what happened to it but do not want to point fingers unfairly. But I had my mailroom trace it and they could not find it. I sent a follow-up email to MCC support with this info.

The Replacement Box Goes Awry

Eight days after my initial email – on May 6 – I finally received a response that said in full:

“We apologize for the inconvenience. We flagged your account so that a replacement box will be shipped in our next shipment. You will receive tracking information for this replacement.”

Hmm. Did they check the issue I flagged? This email gave no indication. But I decided to wait for the new shipment before writing again. Note they gave no indication of when it would ship.

It shipped May 21, 30 days after the first bad shipment and 15 days after their email. Six days after that, on May 27 UPS tracking reported: “The post office was unable to deliver the UPS SurePost package as addressed. Please contact the sender for assistance.”

Great. Exactly what happened with the first box. I wrote again to MCC the same day, stating:

“For the second time this package has not been delivered. The tracking info again says “The post office was unable to deliver the UPS SurePost package as addressed. Please contact the sender for assistance.”

I have checked and rechecked the address and it is correct. I receive items here all the time. Yet somehow between you and the post office it never arrives. Can I get on the telephone with someone from your fulfillment department to try to help resolve this? I am very frustrated. I probably want to switch to using my billing address for shipments.

Thank you”

MCC Makes It Clear They Don’t Read My Emails (and basically have contempt for me)

On May 29, two days after I sent the above email, MCC writes back, saying:

“Your replacement has already been sent and the tracking number is [number].”

That is when I knew for sure that MCC does not read my emails and essentially thinks I’m an idiot. This is when it became clear that their customer service is awful and they have contempt for their customers. My email was direct, simple and to the point. I told them that checked the tracking “the second time” and it again said exactly what the first tracking said. But MCC ignored that, and assumed I was too stupid to realize they sent me a second tracking number. Plus they did not check what the second tracking number said.

So I waited 3 days before responding because if I answered right away I probably would have lost my cool. Instead I wrote:

“Please read my emails. It got lost both times.
When the first package was lost I wrote that I suspected you were making an error on my address even though I provided it properly. You never responded to that and just sent it again. And it got lost again.Then I write specifically noting the the Tracking info says that “The post office was unable to deliver the UPS SurePost package as addressed. Please contact the sender for assistance.”
And you obviously failed to read that as your response was to refer me to the tracking info.

This is terrible service.”

A Post Office Miracle

Then a small miracle took place. Somehow my building allowed the post office to deliver and decided to take pity on me, look me up in the building registry, and delivered the package. It arrived June 3, for a package that was supposed to arrive in April. And finally for the first time I was able to look at the label and see what went wrong with certainty:

My Shirt Size On An Address Label
My Shirt Size On An Address Label

I. Literally. Just. Can’t. Even.
Yes, I’m reduced to teenage cliches.

Not only is there no company name as I expected, but they appended my shirt size to my name, on the address label.  I don’t even know how that can happen under the worst programming, Under no circumstances should a non-address field ever come close to the label, and if it some how does, how can it get shoved into the name field? It raises the question of what else went wrong with other customer labels? Did they put someone’s credit card number on a label?

But Now What?

It is all well and good that the first box finally arrived, but now I have to solve how to fix my address issues. I cannot just change my info in my account profile.  My company name in already properly entered in my profile.  I cannot remove my shirt size from my last name. On my account profile page, it is not there. This is a programming issue on their end. I cannot fix it without MCC help, but they have already proven they do not read my emails.

I took a two-pronged approach. First, I changed my shipping address to my home address. That does not need a company name so maybe that solves that issue although I would rather the boxes be delivered to my office. Second, I wrote yet again to MCC customer service saying:

SUBJECT: PLEASE READ: I Know Why It Was Delayed

Now that it arrived I can confirm the reason it was lost is that you messed up my address. You left out my Company Name even though it was properly filled out in my address form. Instead, the label has a “0” where my company name should be. I tried to raise this during my initial email about the first package going awry and you ignored it,
You also put my shirt size on the address label. See photo. That’s just nuts
Finally, I changed my shipping address to my home address because I have no confidence you will handle it otherwise.
Your customer service is abysmal.
Their pathetic response was:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we’re glad you’re sorted so that you’ll get your future boxes without issue.  Your feedback can also help us make improvements to our processes going forward.
They make no offer to work with me to fix the issues, which would allow me to get items delivered at my preferred address. Nor did they check if my attempts to fix things with the tools available at my end succeeded.  They made no mention of the shirt size issue. Is that fixed? Who knows? Who cares? Not MCC!  Moreover, they blithely assume I will get future boxes “without issue.”  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Getting Future Boxes “Without Issue” Apparently Means Marvel Does Not Ship Them
MCC sent me an email with a tracking number for the June box on June 23. When I clicked on the tracking info, UPS informed me that “A UPS shipping label has been created. Once the shipment arrives at our facility, the tracking status–including the scheduled delivery date–will be updated.”
It still said that 3 days later, when I wrote to MCC to tell them they never shipped my box.  They actually wrote back later that day, but again their email demonstrated that they did not read nor care what was in my email:
We are aware of a label printing issue that caused some customers to receive duplicate tracking numbers.  If you have received two tracking numbers, it is likely that one of these numbers is bad, and that the other is good.  We apologize for this issue, but you simply need to look up both tracking numbers to see which populates information in UPS or Globegistics.  If, by Monday morning, neither tracking number populates information, or instead both do, please respond to this email so that we can look into it for you.
My response let them know that I did not get 2 tracking numbers and that if I had, I would have mentioned it in the email that they obviously did not read.  Three business days later on July 1 there was no further response and UPS tracking still said that UPS was waiting for a box to ship. After I wrote MCC again asking for a reply, I received the following the next day July 2:
We apologize for the confusion and inconvenience. We flagged your account so that a replacement box will be shipped in our next shipment. Please be aware that we do not have a confirmed date at this time, but are working to get out shipments as soon as we can.  You’ll receive an email confirmation with tracking information when your box ships.
Basically, they are sending a “replacement” for something that apparently never existed in the first place.  Plus, they cannot say when. Oh, and my tracking info — 10 days later — still says that UPS has not received a box to ship. Meanwhile thousands of customers, most of whom ordered much later than January, have boxes in hand.
Word On The Internets
Lots of people are having problems, falling under 3 categories: billing issues, damaged boxes, and failed shipments. I’m not going to address the first two, but you can easily find complaints and info if you are interested.  Search google. There is a Collector Corps Fail twitter account.  You can also check the comments on either this or this post on the MCC FB page.  And MCC issued the apology shown at the top of this post on their blog. They also wrote a special blog post about their policy for replacing damaged items here.
Regarding the shipping issues, this email that one person received from MCC explains that MCC sends unlabeled boxes to UPS, and also sends exported electronic data that UPS is supposed to use to print labels. MCC claims there was an unexplained problem with the label creation. They made it sound as if it were a new issue for this shipment. I think the problem is slightly different.
My Theory
I think this happened.  The data connection between MCC and UPS never worked right. For many packages this did not create problems. Things were good enough even if not perfect. But there were numerous significant issues that were never caught, like putting my shirt size on my shipping label but not my company name.  Despite the problems  on the April box, MCC ignored them, made no effort to fix them , and tried to ship the June box under the flawed system again.
But this time UPS flagged the problem labels and refused to ship them when it knew they could not be delivered as labeled.  USP does not have an error message that says our shipping partner is incompetent and cannot send us your address properly, so instead the message says they received the label but no box. I think this is the issue. Now UPS and MCC and manually, and finally, working on fixing the label issues.  Because of their delay in working on their problems my second box will probably be a month late just like the first one was. Since I have not seen a label I do not know what the problem is this time on my shipment. I further hope that their manual fix will resolve it and future shipments will work properly.
In Sum
  1. MCC has had my address info since January.
  2. Between then and April they never checked to see if they could print a proper label.
  3. In fact, their data management and fulfillment system was so mangled that they put my shirt size on my shipping label but not my company name.
  4. When they printed a bad label and the first package got lost, they ignored multiple emails from me that identified the problem (the lack of company name, which I diagnosed without even seeing a label).
  5. When I wrote them after I finally got a box and did see a shipping label they still ignored my emails and made no quality control efforts.
  6. They are generally slow to answer emails and their responses make it clear that they barely skim what you tell them.
  7. Public pressure (and possibly UPS) have forced MCC to get its act together and they are finally trying to fix their system, nearly 2 weeks into shipping their second box and five months after they started taking orders, including mine.
  8. They might, might, finally manage to print my address properly roughly 6 months after I placed my order and gave them my money.

It feels a bit odd to slam them now after they finally made a public acknowledgment of their issues and apologized but their apology is so full of lies that it just made me more angry: “We hear every single concern, we read every single email….”  Nonsense. If they read my email in April my issues would have been fixed two months ago.

They don’t read emails. They don’t care. They lie.

I believe the problems will get fixed, eventually, because they have finally realized what a fiasco they have on their hands. But until now, and until people started complaining publicly and harassing them all over the internet, they were content to let customers get horrible, unresponsive service.  “NONE of us are happy when customers are upset.” Except that as long as I wrote polite, private emails, they treated me like a chump. Now that other customers went public they are finally trying to fix things. So I’ve gone public too.

Happy 4th MCC.

Marvel Collector Corps Problems.

Marvel Collector Corps bad customer service.

Marvel Collector Corps shipping problems.

Marvel Collector Corps issues.

Marvel Collector Corps review.

Marvel Collector Corps customer service.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Here’s what annoys me; you and I have the exact same issue with the June box. EXACT. But, we are getting VERY different replies. I got a generic “we are busy etc” reply, then a week later all I got was this: “We are forwarding your ticket to a shipping specialist who can look into this for you.”

    15 days total. Just shows they have no clue what’s going on. Two people with the same problem and getting two different “Answers.”

    1. Thanks for the info Tim. I hope it works out for you sooner rather than later. Since this post went live I received a shipping notice for the “replacement” and it is due to arrive today. I’m curious to see what the label says and whether, for example, it still has my shirt size on it. Prior events have taught me that just because a box arrives does not mean everything has been fixed. I’ll update the post when things shake out. Best f luck resolving your issues.

  2. My account has said PROCESSING since June 1. My credit card was charged on June 2. I’ve heard nothing from them in 2 weeks and I still don’t have my June box. They are basically robbing their subscribers at this point.

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