Questions and answers about Topps’ new replacement policy

14 11 2008

I’ve seen this posted elsewhere, but I finally got my letter from Topps announcing their new replacement policy for damaged cards. Here it is, for those who haven’t seen it yet:

A maximum of 25 cards per request is permitted, and each grouping must be accompanied by the following four items: (1) a letter of explanation, (2) copy of receipt from the store in which you purchased the cards, (3) pack wrappers and (4) proof of purchase (UPC code found on the bottom of the box) sent to the following address:

I’ve recently encountered two situations that make fulfilling those requirements impossible, so I called Topps customer service to find out how to deal with them. Here’s what happened and what they’ve told me to do:

1) I recently purchased a couple packs of Topps cards at my local hobby shop, and the inserts came out damaged. Since I didn’t buy the box, I have no UPC code, so I can’t meet requirement #4.

Customer service answer: Explain in the letter that these were pack purchases only and that you did not buy the full box and therefore do not have the UPC code. This should not cause a problem and the exchange should occur.

2) What if my box has more than 25 damaged cards? For example, say I buy a blaster box that costs me the soul of Ernie Lombardi and yields (on average) 6 damaged cards per pack. That’s 60 cards or so, and there’s only one UPC code on the box for me to send in. I can send the first 25 back without a problem, but what happens with the other 35 or so cards?

Customer Service answer: Send them all in the same package, but broken down into stacks of 25 with the UPC and receipt. Explain the situation and why you’ve done this. It may help you to personally call customer service yourself before doing something like this, explain the situation, and get the name of the person you spoke with. That way the letter reads “Jill Spokesperson said to do this” rather than “I read on some blog somewhere….”

There was no mention on how to replace Ernie Lombardi’s soul.

So there you go. The person I spoke with seemed very understanding, and it sounds like Topps will be willing to work with you to get your cards replaced as best they can.

Oh, and I’m not sure I buy the explanation as to why they’ve gone to this policy, and I’m not claiming that this is a good idea or that I’m on Topps side on this one. I just thought I’d share the problems I’ve encountered with it so far and the solutions for those with the same problems. The bottom line here is to call Topps, tell them your situation, and ask them what to do to get the problem resolved.

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One response

28 11 2008
Dan

I purchased a box of 2007 Topps Heritage in August 2008 fom a local hobby shop. The sealed and untampered box had 6 packs missing. On top of my dealer trying to get me a credit fom his wholesaler, I called Topps Customer Service and was instructed to send in the UPC from the box and original purchase receipt. I did as instructed. My rejection letter from Topps Customer Service starts out as “The product you sent in for replacement is now considered obsolete by this plant. We can replace defective products that have been manufactured during the current year, but we do not carry any stock for products made in prior years.” It then goes on to “suggest” that I must check any purchase I make as soon as possible so they can replace any defects for me while they have a supply.

I opened this box in front of my local hobby shop owner, who is a Topps HTA dealer. He and I both inspected the box for tampering. There was none. This is clearly a manufacturing shortage, a 25% shortage on an expensive box of cards. On top of them denying my request for replacement, they didn’t even offer a substitute, or even ask how they might be able to fix their error in manufacturing. Their answer was insufficient, unprofessional, and patronizing. I have been buying Topps cards since 1966, and this is perhaps the last straw in a decaying and declining industry that is seeing more and more unprofessional behavior and interference by MLB.

Other than writing back to Customer Service with my edgy response to their lousy QA/QC and Customer Service, how do I make them feel so embarrassed that they not only correct their manufacturing error in total for me, but feel obligated to apologize for their pathetic replacement response and try and make this up to me in even more terms than a simple poack replacement? I am really bummed to see such a sure thing company sink this low in Customer Satisfaction. The BBB is my next step, but I am not sure they even care about that.

Dan Hayes
Lebanon, PA

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