Incoming – Hot Toys 12″ Clark Kent

6 02 2007

I got a call from the local store one day to collect my pre-ordered Hot Toys Clark Kent. It turned out that it had arrived that afternoon. The surprising thing was the guys at the store informed me to collect it on the same day. In fact, they strenously insisted that I must collect Clark that after work. They said that my pre-order was not a guarantee if I were to collect it tomorrow. Now that is a new definition of a pre-order! 

With only 2 hours of notice, I was not able to push my night appointment to a later time and organise an emergency covert operation to pick up Mr Kent. Feeling incredulous about the ridculous demand, I had to negotiate to collect it the next day. The customer had to assure the seller that he will pick it up the following day. It was a real disappointment then.

It confirms that despite my regular patronage of this store still rendered me a faceless customer with zero credibility. Nevermind I once walked out of their store with ED-209 and the pair of Aviators in tow. It mattered not that usually I collected my pre-orders the very day I was notified of their incoming. It mattered not that I usually chatted with a particular store guy about our 12″ interest when I am there to collect the stuff.

Though disappointed, I rushed down the next day during lunch time to collect my Hot Toys Clark Kent. When informed that I was there to collect my pre-order, the guy at the cashier remarked that I was the last to collect it. He then brought out my piece. More disappointment was felt when I saw it.

The box was pretty beat up. The creases were so evident I was sure this was probably the piece they used as a sample to other buyers. At the cashier, I inspected the figure inside pondering if I should get this piece. For a guy like me who opens every 12″ that I buy, I rationalised that the box’s condition should not be a bother for myself. However, something in me just did not want to take this sitting down. I wanted to decline the purchase then. I thought of getting the Medicom!

In the end I bought it because of the figure inside. I am truly disappointed that the store valued not my loyalty and my profile as a regular customer. While I never believed in special favours even if I chat up some of the guys at the store, I did think that at least they can reserve a good piece for me. That is the minimum they should honour. I had to get a knocked up box for the same price another guy paid for a mint piece. We are talking about collector’s toys here and not kid’s stuff.

I guess this is the way some conduct their business. It’s afterall a transaction. If the customer is not happy with it, then don’t buy it. But there is more to doing business. There is relationship and loyalty. If a customer has set in his mind to get all his figures from a shop, would it not be in the interest of the shop to take good care of the customer? Show empathy by offering a discount for a beat up piece? What is a 10 or 20 bucks discount to a year’s purchase? The customer just want the store to acknowledge the problem in the item!

I am not angry, but rather disappointed at how the service level of certain businesses are found wanting.

Moving right along… to the coming review…




5 responses

6 02 2007
shaun wong

hey, I think you really should consider ordering all future Hot Toys releases from other shops which remember you personally and have no qualms about holding the item for you. My regular dealer sure beats AC in all levels of service. Do give them a try to save you such trouble.

6 02 2007

Sorry to hear about your experience. Yeah looks like its time to find another dealer.

Taking into consideration your relationship with the store, I’ll be pretty pissed off if I were you.

Since we are on the topic of service, is there any particularly outstanding store or shopping experience that deserves special mention?

7 02 2007

I am seriously considering changing my dealer for HT. For HT, I am only aware of AC, TFH and ST. TFH is good but they don’t accept CC. Sometimes our hobby calls for extra armament you know. 😛 ST has little HT and they almost don’t do POs for HT.

I think TFH and ST are the best at the moment. TFH seems a much simple setup but they are better at customer service. They remember you if you have PO from them. After sometime buying from them, the boss realises I ride a bike and often offers one of their bigger red plastic bags so the stuff does not get wet in case of rain. Little stuff like this goes a long way.

ST is good because they remember you through their synched customer databases across all stores. Very impressive. All the stuff i get from them are in mint condition. When I PO my medi black spidey last week, the new staff made a mistake. With the receipt issued and I was close to walking out of the store. Somehow, the old bird checked with the new guy and uncovered a mistake. He immediately got me back and got the PO right. It’s really a collector’s shop at ST and they know their stuff well.

8 02 2007

man, that really sucks. i empathize completely.
1st of all a preorder is a preorder – they should have kept that for you for a reasonable amount of time – same day is just ridiculous.
2nd of all, the package is part of the figure. you ordered a new figure not a damaged one. regardless of the condition of the actual 12″ figure inside, the whole figure is damaged, and they should not be passing that off as a new item that can be sold at full retail price. there are 2 issues here – the fact that they charged you full price for a damaged item and that they didn’t deliver the new item you reserved. that’s why people preorder -to guarantee you’ll get a new item when it’s released. i would send an angry letter to the shop’s management and boycott that place altogether.

have you ever used igogo shopping? i use them quite a lot for hot toys. they shop in hong kong for you and send mint stuff very well packaged and cheaper than from a store. the lady who deals with me, peggy lin, is really really nice and she listens to all your requests. she remembers all previous orders and treats you like a person, not just a wallet. if you need details, email me.

8 02 2007

thanks for the info! i really need an alternative to getting HT! will drop you an email!

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