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.
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:
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
- MCC has had my address info since January.
- Between then and April they never checked to see if they could print a proper label.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- They are generally slow to answer emails and their responses make it clear that they barely skim what you tell them.
- 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.
- 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.
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