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River set shipping question
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TOPIC: River set shipping question
#15650
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Sorry about shouting, but not anything else in that paragraph.
He who shouts first has lost the argument. It's the law!
otherworld
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#15651
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
My question is, if some folks had such a problem with the shipping situation, why did they post on the forums rather than just repeatedly contacting directly Jeff and/or Stefan with their complaints?
Posting the complaint in an open forum is asking for comment by others, even opposition, yes? :/

War Duke is right about the fact that customer service in the gaming industry overall is poor, but that is mainly because it is an industry that is completely unique, very misunderstood and mis-judged.
It is not truly a mass market industry folks; in fact it is only a few steps out of being a cottage industry and that is only thanks currently to three companies: WOTC/Hasbro, WK/Topps and GW.
Many companies in the gaming industry, including Dwarven Forge, really are still just cottage industries and susceptible to all of the problems of such, including missed deadlines and canceled product.
Even Ainsty, that many of us here like, is just a five person company despite its fabulous product; BTW those said five persons have grown tired so Ainsty comes up for sale as of tomorrow folks. :(

All this means is that the same expectations a customer might have for huge companies like Del Monte, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, etc. or for stores like Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Target, Sears, and all that ilk do not reasonably apply to companies in the gaming industry because they cannot be met even 25% of the time by the very nature of the companies and their industry.
Those here who have actually worked in the gaming industry beyond just myself, like Willypold in Sweden, can wax far more poetic and politic about the situation; me, I am just blunt and honest to the point.
The issue here is simply that those of us, who have been gamers for decades and/or who have worked in the industry, understand that the gaming industry is just this way and will probably never change; those who are younger and/or less experienced with the nature of the industry need to take the time, energy and patience to learn the industry if you plan to game for any serious length of time. ;)

:rolleyes: Let me give you a real wacked :P example of unreal expectations of gaming customers with the gaming industry concerning pre-orders from one of mine own experiences in the industry.
I worked with a number of companies in a variety of duties, but let me give an example when I took the opportunity to work for GW for a while back in the late '90s.
I was there when the Eldar Falcon AFV was introduced to the W40K system.
Only GW's metal product is produced at GW US HQ; all plastic, cardboard and paper product is shipped from GW Planetary HQ in Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England, UK; per this situation, all Falcons were shipped to the States from there.
As a result of a major Atlantic storm and a series of broken cables during it, all beyond even GW's "mighty" control, several sea freight cartons ended up cast overboard including the vanguard cartons of Falcons (2,500 AFVs).
For the next three weeks, we in GW Mail Order (yes, I was a tele-troll there) had folks calling and complaining up another wild storm.
Some customers, who had no real concept concerning the tremendous differences in the cost between Trans-Atlantic air and Trans-Atlantic surface freight costs, were insisting, since they had pre-ordered the Falcon (which pre-order numbers were so high that the entire lost shipment was needed to meet the demand), that we needed to air freight all of their Falcons directly to them from the UK to make up for the delay.
Even GW, a giant in the gaming industry, would have gone into financial collapse at that cost!
We even had other customers, who had no idea how far down the Falcons' sea cartons were, insisting that we lift the cartons right then so they could have their Falcons immediately.
Can any of you imagine what the sea water did to the plastic AFVs within just a few minutes, let alone after a day or more?
After dealing with such nutcases and their ilk on more than just this occasion and just this company, I have a wee bit less than a dram of patience for complaints of this type as you can see from my postings in this thread. :|

I have not gamed a game system over the decades where the company involved has not missed at least one release date every year - maybe if lucky, just one every two years, but deadlines missed are just a normal issue in this industry.
It is just the nature of the industry folks and if you are going to game, you then need to learn to just roll with it.
I am being bluntly honest here and know I am probably offending one or two with this, but folks, as a customer in this industry, you just have to have a good bit of patience when it comes to product.
Expectations that you would have with other industries just do not work here and will, in fact, cause you unnecessary stress which is not healthy for you.
Be healthy then! :)
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#15652
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
@RabidFox*

So are you suggesting that those customers whose sets haven't even shipped yet should simply content themelves with looking at pictures posted on the forum by other customers who have clearly had theirs for a couple of weeks?

Are you saying that we should accept what is perceived as poor customer service, simply because the gaming industry has a history of unprofessionalism and unreliability?

Maybe you should take a leaf out of Stefan's book. He is clearly unhappy with the situation, and is making every effort to rectify the situation and appease some dissatisfied customers. He is also obviously in a position to speak on behalf of Dwarven Forge, wereas you are not, despite your claimed expertise and experience.
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#15653
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Well I see it this way. Myself as a gamer will undoubtedly live with the delays and issues that unfortunatley go hand in hand with this industry. Do I always like it....of course not. Like I said earlier I truly want DF to be a company that can survive in this industry, the product is just too good.

As an industry the gaming industry does itself a huge disservice by using the same business model over and over again. How many companies with good products must go out of business before someone tries to do it right. From the manufacturers/importers all the way down to many game shops the typical attitude is similar. I don't have to give good service, my customers are hardcore geeks and will buy from me anyway. The ones that want good service are not worth my time. Of course I am paraphrasing here but you get the idea.

For the most part they are right. Most harcore gamers (myself included) will deal with this type of treatment to get our goodies. What they fail to realize is sooner or later it comes back to bite them in the arse. The shop owner with an attitude ends up losing business when the kids that buy his wares grow up and will no longer tolerate it. Couple that with the slow periods of gaming (some years are just not good years) and said owner is out of business. Ive seen it happen too many times. I personally was out of gaming for near 10 years between the age of 17-25. A big part of that was I refused to support the local game store cuz the guy was just a straight jackass. Needless to say he is out of business now. Now the comparative is different here because the folks at DF are not rude or mean, but they also don't have product on a shelf like a store would. In order for the pre-pay online system to work, I think they are gonna need to do it better and cleaner than the average manufacturer.

While it's nice to have a loyal base (like you guys) what about the wife that orders for her husband's or kid's b-day. She could give a crap about delay's, tradeshows, etc. She just wants the gift there in time for the occasion. How many people would be throwing a fit if this were delayed and missed Christmas? Now when said wife calls and gets no response for two weeks, I guarantee she will never order from that company again. This is where most gaming companies fail in my opinion. By alienating casual consumers. What happens when your loyal base starts playing something else? What happens when they grow up? What happens when they have more DF than they know what do do with? What happens when they fall on hard times? Casual consumers can help weather the storm (no typhoon cracks please) in such times.

I by no means think these products should be air freighted like in the example you used. Agreed financially breaking a company to make the customer happy is rediculous. Spending a little extra effort and or money to be able to provide service to your customers (like being able to answer the phone) does not seem all that difficult to me however. Stefan sounds to me like he really WANTS to do it the right way, but is still learning what is and isn't possible. I commend him for that. Whether or not he can do it is another thing entirely. His willingness to get on the boards and say he wants to make it right is enough for me to try the pre-pay thing again, no matter how much I dislike it.
War Duke
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#15654
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Dear Customers,

Once again, I apologize for the lapse in service. Jeff and I have discussed these issues very seriously and have taken several steps to improve the service right away and also for the next shipment which includes the Pre-ordered Lake Sets.

Believe me, we do not want anyone to have the perception that we are taking advantage of "gaming loyalty" or "fanatacism" and just taking an attitude of: "well they are fanatics and they will put up with any sort of service" We are not that kind of company and we are not that kind of people.

Over a span of 10 years we have always done our very best to remedy problems that come up out of nowhere or that are out of our control and to make sure that the customer, regardless of wether they are a long time or a casual one ends up completely satisfied. We guarantee everything we sell without questions and will always do everything in our power to do what is best and right.

I am afraid that a bunch of planets aligned here in all the wrong sequences and consequently we dropped the ball a little. It is definitely OUR fault for not handling it as perfectly and as professionally as we could have. Hind sight is always 20/20...but the thing that really crushes me the most is the perception held by some (if only a few) that we are either lazy or don't care. Please believe me when I say that that is just not true.

I hope to prove this to everyone who has had their order delayed. Measures have been taken by Jeff to improve and remedy the speed of shipping now and in the future. Please expect a posting from Jeff in the next day or so detailing our actions toward improving our shipping and customer service.

Once again, I sincerely apologize on behalf of myself and everyone at Dwarven Forge.

We endeaver to do better immeadiately and also in the near and distant future.

Please understand that this is not just a job for us. Jeff and I do this mostly for the love of gaming and being able to do what we enjoy. We are both gamers like yourselves. We also hate and know what it's like to get bad service from other companies. We want to be better. We want to be the ideal gaming company. We will keep striving to improve.

Thank you for your patience.

You will be rewarded.

Stefan Pokorny.
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#15655
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Well, max, otherworld; I guess I lost the argument; after all, the Law is the LAW.
Hey, wait a minute; since when do we allow Light Anti-tank Weapons in here?
Hmmm...

Max, we be cool; like I said, I shouldn't have landed on you with both feet. It's just that I understand both sides of the equation, and it was starting to sound like a club I used to be in (notice, I said USED to be in!).

See those of you who make it there, in Indy!

Jim
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#15656
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
You know Jim & Stefan, some folks just aren't happy unless they are on the stool, y'know?
Well, they will not listen to reason or even polite conversation.
We have done what we can in apologizing and explaining.
I guess we have done what we can.

Sometimes Jim, sometimes, you are right, a LAW seems like a really desired solution for all of the frustration.
But, of course, it is not allowed, is it?
Anyway, I can always rely on you Jim to bring in the comic relief when I am just rolling my eyes :rolleyes: when I am reading some folks.
Thank you! :D

Otherworld,
I am happy with the situation as is?
What have you been smoking?!?
I just know and understand in my decades bucko that there are many things you can control and many more you cannot.
You just learn to live through it all without whining.

No matter what you desire to believe otherworld and how much you want it to be true, I have BTDT in the industry and have been around a great while as a gamer before that and have garnered a good deal of knowledge and experience in the industry.
Not as long chronologically as Jim of course, who is the pops of this unit, but a good long time in gaming and before that, like L and some of the others, I started with Airfix figures and a good sprinkling of imagination back in the early '70s before there was such an animal as either fantasy or sci-fi gaming.
Then again, as Jim and L have reminded me on more than one occasion, lots of the young folks these days think that their elders know nothing despite our wealth of experience; looks like it here.

War Duke,
You made some really good points and compared them to real life situations.
The problem is that the gaming industry is just not the normal business world and probably never will be.
All of the negatives you mentioned have happened, are happening right now and will happen in the future.
I just cannot see anything changing despite a good number of persons' best intentions in the industry.
Stefan and Jeff really try, but delays that consumers do not like happen anyway, despite their efforts.

You are right War Duke; casual customers and gamers are lost for a time or permanently all the time in the industry and nothing shows that any of the serious, larger companies really care.
Many of the small companies, like Dwarven Forge, really do care, but they are held hostage by their own smallness and the random elements of life.

War Duke, you show that you understand a good bit, and I am glad you are showing DF patience.
Unfortunately, with being a customer in the gaming world, patience truly is the greatest of virtues and most times, the only one available.

I sincerely hope, that all those who have not received their sets yet will be able to dig down and find the patience needed until your sets arrive.
You will get them, Stefan says so, and then you will have a great deal of fun with them.
It will all be worth it in the end.
The cup is half full, right? :cool:
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#15657
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Ok this is the last time (I hope) I respond to this thread. Every single poster has had some valid points, and some maybe not so valid points, depending on one's point of view. The last thing I will say is one way or the other bickering amounst ourselves should stop (as well as the not so hidden snide remarks). Some people let problems slide off them, some get really angry, and some are somewhere in the middle. I think most here would truly like to see DF continue to prosper and get bigger and better. Stephan has made it more than clear he and Jeff are on it so........

Can we all just have a group hug err or something?
War Duke
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#15658
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Group hug sounds good!
need a teddy bear smiley here Doug!

Jim would probably invite us to do so over a beer or whatever else the rest of us are drinking at Gen-Con Indy, right Jim?

Anyway, here's the cup half full to all those who do not have their CR&W sets yet, including ME!
[u][b]May we have loads of fun once we have them!
Skald!!
[/u][/b]
RabidFox*
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SF: Starter(3), Passage(2), Alpha(7), Beta(2) someday soon;
Cavern: Cavern, Cavernous Passages, many individual pieces, Cavernous River & Wall and Cavernous Lake someday soon;
Fantasy: Room & Passages, Room, Octagonal Room, Wicked Additions I&II, Adv. Builder, Diagonal Walls Set, Dungeon Accessories, Medieval Furniture, many individual pieces.
 
#15659
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
RF* -

Can we get Doug or someone to design a smiley that depicts a smiley-face jumping up and down cheering?
Because between you and War Duke, that's EXACTLY what I feel like doing, right now.

Any of you who make it to GenCon Indy, catch me Saturday PM and the first round is on me! Can we get in the TD tavern without being registered for a TD game?

See ya at Indy!

Jim
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