Saturday, September 25, 2010

Legalized Bait and Switch

If you missed the the radio show last night, in addition to having legendary baseball artist, Dick Perez as a guest, we discussed with our other guest, Dmitri Young, the problem with redemption cards.

The issue came up as a result of me entering a new redemption code at Upper Deck's website and finding I was still waiting for a redemption from last November. Now, the standard procedure is to notify customer service who will ask if you want to continue to wait or provide them a list of players that would serve as a suitable replacement. This current system requires the collector to take time out of their schedule to help the card company live up to their obligation.

To register for any of the companies online redemption accounts, you need to provide an email address. It would seem that if the card companies were at all concerned with customer service, they would implement a maximum wait time of no more than 3 to 6 months and then send the collector an email saying something to the affect, "We apologize for not being able to timely fulfill your redemption request. We are offering you the following choices as a substitute: Choice A, Choice B, or Choice C. Please reply with your replacement preference and it will ship within 48 hours."

That seems the least they could do.

However, I'll take it one step further and make the claim that the trading card industry is the only industry on the planet where it has become perfectly acceptable to use a blatant method of bait and switch as a standard practice. Imagine buying a new XBOX game and pulling out a cardboard CD and written on it is, "Due to circumstances beyond our control, our programmers have not finished the final stages of the game prior to the product's release date. Please log on to (insert website here) and enter your redemption code. When the game is finished we will mail you a copy."

The bottom line is, if a card is on the official product checklist and isn't physically available at the time of pack-out too bad. That's on the company not the collector. I don't know how this practice is even legal.

A few years ago, Upper Deck's Richard McWilliams stated at an industry conference, that they were implementing a 45-day redemption program. Add that to the long list of Upper Deck failures.


Arno said...


dogfacedgremlin said...

I'm not bragging here but, I think I may be the only collector on earth that has yet to be screwed by an UD redemption. The longest I had to wait for a standard redemption is about 6 weeks. The longest I had to wait for a "premium" redemption, 2008-09 OPC buyback autograph of Luc Robitaille, was about 3 months and at the time, he was in his HOF tour I think.

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