CUSTOMER SERVICE INCOMPETENCY
The removal of the notice on the front page of Vaults concerning poor customer service does not mean I think Mattel has solved all of the problems with Digital River and the Matty Collector website. However, a gesture of goodwill this month by the company made me feel that a step in the right direction should be acknowledged.
The gesture is the supplying of a free Classics figure as compensation for (what I consider to be) a minor error with the Frosta figure. I am heartened that Mattel has decided to give something back to loyal customers. It does seem that things are running a little more smoothly now, with fewer reports of customers having difficulties with Digital River.
I won't, however, take down this page just yet. There are still a lot of things that need to be sorted out on the Matty Collector site. Of the suggestions I described (see below), even now none have been put in place. The only change that has been made is the supposed creation of a new customer service team, but I haven't seen any evidence of their work, and the same e-mail address is still being used. We all know how unsatisfactory DR's responses to e-mails have been.
So while the mood is generally better, I think there is still room for improvement. I feel the priority now needs to be the creation of a simple My Account page on Matty Collector where customers can easily change payment and shipping details. Let's hope the chaos of cancelled orders and subscriptions, which we saw at the start of 2012, is not repeated in 2013.
8th December 2012.
This brief update is to say that the promise of improvements to the Matty Collector website and Digital River / Mattel's customer service standards has not materialised. I won't be pedantic over the percentage of improvement that was quoted, because there has been none.
As expected, I received no communication from anyone at Mattel regarding the suggestions offered here, and it seems that once again empty rhetoric has been dished up to try to appease customers. I hoped that some, if not all, of the suggestions would have been taken up, but not a single change has been made.
Customers are still reporting inexcusable problems with Digital River and there is no indication that anyone is taking responsibility for getting matters lifted to the basic standard of customer service that we are entitled to.
I have left the rest of this page exactly as it was before this update.
13th March 2012.
I hate doing this because I love the Classics. I enjoy collecting the figures, and I am thankful to be part of an online community of dedicated fans. We are all open-minded enough to accept that there might be the occasional shipping delay or misplaced spot of paint. This page isn't about minor issues. It is about the dreadful customer service that so many of us are experiencing.
Collecting action figures should be a joy, like every other hobby. Sadly this is not the case with the Classics and the other toylines on the Matty Collector website. Mattel chose to use Digital River to run the website, manage the shipping, and deal with customer service matters. Digital River is utterly incapable of dealing with even the most simple of issues. Mattel shares complicity in this extraordinary incompetence.
Many examples of DR's failings are listed on community forums. There have been so many problems for so many people that Mattel should be utterly ashamed at the way loyal customers have been treated. Many of the problems should never have occurred in the first place. When they do, they are almost impossible to solve because the customer service staff don't bother reading e-mails properly or simply don't understand what is being asked.
My experiences are similar to many others'. I have had DR trying to use an expired debit card on several occasions that their website won't let me delete, even though an updated card has been saved as my default choice. I have had my account accessed and had my password changed. I have had a subscription cancelled without my authorisation (which I am still waiting to have reinstated over two weeks later). I have had e-mails ignored and received 'copy-and-paste' responses that always failed to address my concerns.
If it were just me, I would probably put it down to bad luck. But it isn't just me; there are hundreds of people experiencing the same appalling mess that is Digital River. This line began at the end of 2008, and now, at the start of 2012, the service is still no better. Mattel has had long enough to get their act together and sort out the dreadful Matty Collector site and Digital River's shamefully incompetent customer service.
The most pressing matter which needs resolving is the widespread cancellation of customers' subscriptions. DR has created a huge problem by ignoring default card details and trying to seek payment authorisations from expired cards. There have also been numerous reports of banks flagging Digital River with fraud markers because of their repeated attempts to seek funds on the same day. There are major concerns about card security too. It should be a matter of the utmost simplicity to change back the status of customers' subscriptions from cancelled to active, but no progress has been made at all.
Mattel's Scott 'Toyguru' Neitlich has recently (January 2012) apologised for the problems collectors have encountered and promised that things will improve. I am sure Scott is sincere and is as frustrated as his fellow fans about the numerous problems. I would urge him and his team to tackle these issues immediately and decisively. Unfortunately the vague information released so far gives the impression that these problems are not being addressed thoroughly. These matters need to be dealt with urgently; not in a few weeks or months. I hope we customers, who have spent a lot of money on this hobby, see some major improvements in the next few days.
I would welcome e-mail correspondence from Scott or his colleagues about how and when they are going to fix things. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any such correspondence would be dealt with completely impartially, and nothing would be quoted on this site without the author's agreement. I would love to be able to report on progress, but that depends entirely on the relevant people at Mattel. All I can do is extend the invitation.
I did not want to create this page, but as the webmaster of a prominent Masters Of The Universe fan site, I felt that things had simply become too bad over too long to ignore. The subscription chaos was the incident which finally prompted me to take this step. As such, the red banners will remain in place until I am confident that the customer service failures have been dealt with and customers are able to report successful and easy resolutions to their subscription cancellations and other queries.
I have some suggestions which I feel should be put in place without delay.
I sincerely hope that this page does not have to stay up for long. We shall see.
1st February 2012.