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Old 01-06-2022, 11:43 AM   #61
RansakWORK
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

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Originally Posted by omegacanuck View Post
Three things can come into play here. It's not uncommon for a store to get a partial fill on an order, especially on brand new stuff. IE, store orders 100 of a particular product, distributor will get SOME in, and send 60, with the other 40 following (usually fairly quickly, but not always).

The other common thing is multiple orders from distribution. If a store takes pre-orders, and has ordered 100 of an item from distribution, but those sell out. They then pre-order another 50 from distribution a few weeks later and put them back up for pre-order to customers. If you are order #120, you're gonna be in the second batch, and so yes, it's likely they will get some in (the first 100) but you won't get yours in that batch.

Thirdly, is the different ways that product is distributed. Most items, especially Transformers, are generally available either as an assortment, or as a solid case. Often both are ordered at the same time, but they are not necessarily released at the same time. Assortments are often released before solid cases (usually just a matter of a few weeks, but it's a thing). The current wave with Pipes/Slammer is a good example. In an assortment case of 8, you've got 2 each of Pipes, Slammer, Airazor, and Blackarachnia. 2 of those items are repeats from prior waves, so stores may well order a certain quantity of the assortment, but also a certain amount of just Pipes and Slammer so as not to be buried in repeat product. Again, if you're early in ordering, you'll likely get your order filled from whatever cases come in first (likely the assortment).

Lesson to take away, is if you need to be the first to get your stuff, you need to be among the first to order it. Hope that sheds some light.
Very valid points. I believe I was early ordering as the site generally marks thing as "second shipments".

I also work and deal with distributors daily and this "partial" shipment is not something I experience all too often but yet when it comes to action figures it apparently happens all the time. Sure things are backordered but its never a "surprise"... you know production schedules almost 2 years out. Again might be a difference in industry but its weird to see all this issues in one scenario but not in another.

In the case of Tigatron lets say... Walmarts, ToyRus and all the big retailers with multiple phases of delivery from distributor to store arrived before said "speciality shop".

I guess my bottom line is communication. If you cannot communicate which phase of preorder your customers are ordering from then you should communicate that as product comes in.

I have no real complaint though, this place has generally been amazing for me but when something goes wrong it generally overpowers the good.
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Old 01-06-2022, 03:34 PM   #62
cripnite
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

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Originally Posted by agesthreeandup View Post
Hi All,

Just wanted to chime in here.

First off for anyone getting slower responses or to anyone that has not received a reply yet, this is not the norm and without looking into the reasons, I would like to simply say sorry.

It is frustrating from a customer's point of view no matter what the issue is when their inquiries are left up in the air. I can assure you that we are a small team, when things do fall through the cracks, we do not take it lightly no matter what the issue is. We care deeply and work our hardest to make things happen.

I know there is always another side to every story including ours. I did not want to come onto here and do some typical public write off that larger companies do nor do I want to make excuses for mistakes we have made.

What I would like to do is acknowledge how backups can make our customers feel in any department and want to be transparent about the challenges we are facing.

The last 2 years have been a great growing experience for us. Along with growth, are major challenges. Some are situations we were experienced in handling and some are new situations we are not.

I don't want to ramble about how Covid affected us, as I feel it is a given that it affected everyone, not just us. Like everyone, we have had to work with it for a while now and it's not easy, but it's also something that has unfortunately become part of the workflow.

Our challenges through this time period has taught us how to grow and invest in our infrastructure and we are better for it. Having said that, it is a large challenge. Our team is still the core 4 people you have grown to know over the past decade and although we have added to the team, we have lost team members along the way during these past couple of years. We have been trying to adapt to these changes the best we can.

In the past 2 years we have had to set up a new warehouse and warehouse management software (to address volume and shipping inefficiencies). This was a challenge due to the fact we used to run everything from our retail store. This meant more staff changes during Covid. Training someone in this difficult period, in a specialized field came with a lot of setbacks.

Shipping, production and cost changes from a manufacturing level also produced unique challenges which created a lot more work and logistical issues.

Development and ongoing maintenance of our systems online to ensure we are not ignoring our digital growth is an ongoing challenge (this includes our ticketing system which we need to update regularly to help us prioritize the thousands of emails and social posts that come through every month).

These are a few of the larger challenges we have faced with all the changes. Once you start throwing in trade shows returning and holiday volume, it takes a bit to adjust. We are still a mom-and-pop shop (literally our family business). We just work hard to put ourselves out there and be everywhere. This really forces us to find the right balance of not being too large for us and not being so small that it is difficult to expand our products our customers are wanting us to carry.

Again, just being transparent, not making excuses. Our challenges are not ones that are yours to bear, but we are grateful to express these issues and have the community grow with us through our ups and downs.

Our main thing is we don't want anyone to think we are just looking at problems (being staffing, communications etc.) and just saying whatever and ignoring them. We are actively trying to improve everything. Mistakes will happen, human error does not allude us with these growing pains, but we will make sure we take care of customers.

We have been around for over a decade, and with a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, have had the opportunity to do much more than just be a local shop; We've been a part of sponsoring conventions and working with independent 3p companies to make cool products for the fandom.

I know it's hard to imagine all of this when we are all just words on a page. I can assure you, anyone that has met me or my team in person knows that we take our work seriously and care about our customers. I have met many of you at shows, at our retail store and would never feel good about making you not feel good about your dealings with us.

As a side note, I know that when it feels like there is little choice but to go onto Social Media or Forums to call us out, that it may be a way to vent about the situation, I don't judge. I don't expect our customers to chase us down for answers, but just know that our team is not acknowledging anyone based on how loud they scream. We believe in acknowledging ANY issue that comes to our attention. If things are missed, there could be technical or volume related reasons, but never because we are dismissing anyone no matter what tone they are taking with us... we are 100% behind helping you out. We would prefer you to be nice though, as we are not just some jerks behind a computer

Our phone line 604-569-1872 is also open daily from 12pm-6pm (same hours as our store and warehouse is open to public) Please listen for the prompt as it is NOT a voicemail but directions on what number to punch in to reach shipping or for order inquiries.

Thanks for Listening and we look forward to always improving and rolling with the punches!

Boris

Ages Three and Up
I say meh. I had issues with communication months ago and when I finally got ahold of someone it was brushed off and said they?d look into fixing it. It only appears to have gotten worse as everywhere I look people are having issues communicating with your store. I spent quite a bit of money there and I won?t shop there again because of it. I like supporting the little guy. But if Amazon can get back to me and not make me feel completely ignored then that?s where I?m taking my money. Sorry, I hope your store gets better so you don?t end up going out of business but you need to communicate with your customers or that will happen.
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Old 01-07-2022, 01:30 PM   #63
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

I'm still waiting on an item they invoiced in November. But with all the shipping issues coming out of BC I wasn't in much of a rush (I have at least one item stuck in Richmond since Nov) But I am wondering about the delay at this point..
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Old 01-07-2022, 04:29 PM   #64
agesthreeandup
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

Thanks for all the love and critical feedback here... I know that transparency is not going to walk back any frustrations caused, we get it and we will just do better to not allow those mistakes define us.

Specific to issues with communication, we can only assure that our ticketing system is managed on a daily basis and it's intensive. If something is missed, no matter what the reason, it sucks for all of us. But it can happen and our goal is to cut these incidents out.

Regarding distribution, appreciate omegacanuck chiming in on that. It's very accurate to the challenges retailers are facing. Especially when volume is involved. It is also something that specifically affects the most popular items.

Hasbro for example this past couple of years has seen tremendous growth globally and with massively popular fan lines such as Studio Series and WFC Trilogy. This is the first time in a long time I have seen Hasbro do the kinds of allocations they are doing recently. Multiple shipments and different assortment runs has really been prevalent in timing of product releases. There are some figures in certain regions that never even show up for the big stores.

In response to BC slow downs, it has been a terrible year for that. Mainly the floods we have dealt with in the past 2 months have slowed down transportation for carriers.

It also came at the worst time possible for those who owned properties in the flood area as this happened right before winter. Literally all routes cutoff in the beginning and only slowly reopening 1 or 2 routes for essential transport in the weeks following.

For online retailers on the west coast this meant having Canada Post hold customer packages for extended lengths of time while it moves through the queue.

We got to the point of having to hold back packages as there were so many packages being held by Canada Post. We were not only uncomfortable with that, but you can probably guess how much additional customer service inquiries started coming in about why tracking isn't moving. Answers only Canada Post have.

We did start being a bit more clever and with the help of some really great friends and fans out in Ontario and Alberta we were able to get a lot of movement on packages in December.

It came at a higher cost, but manageable to get packages out on time for the holidays.

Special thanks to our people out in Toronto and Calgary that helped make that happen. You are amazing!

Boris
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Old 01-11-2022, 02:42 AM   #65
cripnite
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

Your ticketing system is broken. When customers have to try several methods to get it touch with you, it does not work. Figure it out.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:18 AM   #66
NightshadeX
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by agesthreeandup View Post
Specific to issues with communication, we can only assure that our ticketing system is managed on a daily basis and it's intensive. If something is missed, no matter what the reason, it sucks for all of us. But it can happen and our goal is to cut these incidents out.

Boris
As long as your staff remains responsive on phone calls, I'll stick with A3U for now, but seriously, your ticketing and/or e-mail support system is broken or something.

I realize you probably have tons of e-mails but that's a problem you need to solve!

I think most posts (that I concur with based on my own experience) indicate that e-mails/support ticket requests are not being responded to in anything remotely like a timely fashion. Months later and no response (which is what has happened to me - e-mails from August and mid-October were never responded to until I phoned in late December)... I was pretty close to leaving as a customer.

Other people will not be so patient or think about phoning and you may lose or are losing customers... I don't want to see A3U go away so please do something about this soon...
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Old 01-19-2022, 01:37 AM   #67
cripnite
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

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Originally Posted by NightshadeX View Post
As long as your staff remains responsive on phone calls, I'll stick with A3U for now, but seriously, your ticketing and/or e-mail support system is broken or something.

I realize you probably have tons of e-mails but that's a problem you need to solve!

I think most posts (that I concur with based on my own experience) indicate that e-mails/support ticket requests are not being responded to in anything remotely like a timely fashion. Months later and no response (which is what has happened to me - e-mails from August and mid-October were never responded to until I phoned in late December)... I was pretty close to leaving as a customer.

Other people will not be so patient or think about phoning and you may lose or are losing customers... I don't want to see A3U go away so please do something about this soon...
Sounds like you had a very similar experience to me. I will never waste a second of my time on this company again after how their customer service is handled.

There’s other companies that deserve your money moreso that will treat their customers with respect.
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:42 PM   #68
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

There's always 2 sides to every story.

A3U has already admitted they're working to try and resolve the situation. They're getting volumes of emails and working through them doesnt happen overnight. Trying to continue to kick them while they're down is petty. Kinda speaks volumes of what type of person/customer you are.

You don't like them - don't buy from them.

Your blanketing statement that they don't treat customers with respect is likely purely out of your own situation and even then from what seems be a very jaded perspective.

I know A3U will go out of their way to correct issues if given the chance.
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:12 PM   #69
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

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Originally Posted by Slayback View Post
There's always 2 sides to every story.

Your blanketing statement that they don't treat customers with respect is likely purely out of your own situation and even then from what seems be a very jaded perspective.

I know A3U will go out of their way to correct issues if given the chance.
To add to this. Have there been delays? For me, yes. BUT in the end, they've always come through. I've never missed out on a product that I ordered/preordered.

Whenever I've gone into the store to pick stuff up, the people there have always been kind and courteous, and have never given me the impression that they don't care. Quite the opposite.

I've gone into the store and seen them swamped with boxes and have to fetch my item by rummaging through them. My outsider's perspective has been consistent with what they've said. There's stuff behind the scenes that they need to sort out to be more efficient.

So, for me, as long as they're coming through in the end, a delay here and there isn't going to bother me too much.
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Old 01-24-2022, 04:21 AM   #70
cripnite
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Re: Ages Three And Up - Product and PreOrder Updates

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Originally Posted by Slayback View Post
There's always 2 sides to every story.

A3U has already admitted they're working to try and resolve the situation. They're getting volumes of emails and working through them doesnt happen overnight. Trying to continue to kick them while they're down is petty. Kinda speaks volumes of what type of person/customer you are.

You don't like them - don't buy from them.

Your blanketing statement that they don't treat customers with respect is likely purely out of your own situation and even then from what seems be a very jaded perspective.

I know A3U will go out of their way to correct issues if given the chance.
Considering there?s multiple people saying the same story about their terrible customer service in this thread alone I think that speaks volumes on how they treat their customers. I?ve worked in retail my entire life and that is not the correct way to do business. You don?t tell customer you?re going to fix things and then they get worse. If they continue on that path they will be out of business.

And no I won?t be shopping with them in the future. I?ve spent thousands with them in the past but after the runaround I was given, I will take my money elsewhere and not bother with them any further.

Don?t go pointing fingers at me, pal. I?m just identifying the core problem of this company. I was disrespected as were other customers by not having our concerns listened to and addressed. If that happened to you, you?d be pretty upset also.
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