Fast Action Battlers and Hasbro Customer Service fails my 4-year-old

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by clubninja, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. clubninja

    clubninja Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2009
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    I've seen the complaints about Hasbro's customer service, so maybe I ought to have known better.

    In June, my 4-year-old started showing more interest in Transformers toys than his traditional favorite, Thomas the Tank Engine. Perfect - going from one thing I like (trains) to another (transforming robots). As a gift, we brought him into the Transformers section at Target (packed full of fresh ROTF toys) and suggested he pick one or two. He's a big fan of the Animated Series, but after watching him play with a few figures I had from the line, we felt they'd come apart too often and become frustrating. The main line of ROTF looked way too breakable and frustrating (and having since fiddled with some myself, this was a good call). So when he pulled down Fast Action Battler Bumblebee, marked with the 4+ age rating, we thought we had a good compromise for him. We picked Prime to go with it and headed home.

    Within minutes of opening the toys, limbs and doors were falling off. He could kind of manage Bumblebee, but Prime's folding door panels were just a disaster. I'll even admit to having trouble getting the Prime figure to jam shut into an acceptable vehicle mode. While better, Bumblebee's falling doors and roof and grill pieces were still a huge frustration. So my wife, not pleased that she had a disappointed kid on her hands, called Hasbro's customer service. The woman she reached on the phone was VERY friendly and understanding, told my wife she'd be sending out a paid shipping label, and we could return the figures in exchange for credit to the online shop where we could select something(s) else. Sounds like a good enough deal, so we await the shipping label.

    Days later, the shipping label arrives with a letter from Hasbro. It requests that we pack the figures along with a letter of our own describing the problem and indicating the age and gender of the dissatisfied customer so THEY can select an age-appropriate replacement of equal value. Firstly, this is not the store credit deal we were promised on the phone. Secondly, why am I going to trust Hasbro with making decisions on what's age-appropriate when I (as well as others, apparently, from reviews I've seen since) think they've got it wrong, at least on this line? My wife calls and the very nice woman explains that the first woman had it wrong and they cannot simply give us store credit; however, in our letter to accompany the returned toys, we can specify Transformers lines that we believe will better suit us. So I do my research and let the little monster play with some toys from various geared-towards-kids lines, figure out the ones he likes and has the least trouble with (Animated Activators and the larger Power Bots become huge favorites), and prepare my letter. As requested, I describe the problem with the FAB line and outline several other lines that I feel will be a more suitable replacement. Off go the two FAB toys and my son begins the excited waiting for the mail process that little kids and ridiculous adults like many of us do so well.

    After a mere four weeks (which I honestly think is a really good turnaround time for something like this), the box from Hasbro arrived yesterday. I wasn't home, so my wife cuts the tape with a key and lets the kiddo rip into it to find his replacement goods. He pulls the two figures out and exclaims "awww, these are the breaky robots!!!!" Our good friends at Hasbro apparently completely ignored the spirit of the problem and content of my letter, and sent back a pair of FAB figures to remedy our problem with FAB figures. (And, as an aside, it's a good thing my kid doesn't collect his toys MISB/MOC, because these got the full no-packing-material treatment and the cards are basically crushed.) So, we said screw dealing with Hasbro, brought the two sealed FABs (Long Haul and Ratchet, incidently) to Target where they exchanged them without issue and kiddo picked out Power Bot Bumblebee and Activator Grimlock.

    And now all is well, with the exception of our incredible frustration with Hasbro. The people we spoke to on the telephone were friendly. The resolution speed (receipt of shipping label, receipt of replacement product) was very good. I even though that, ignoring they were FABs, someone might have actually been thoughtful enough in chosing replacements that were interesting and one of each faction for instant battles right out of the box. But somewhere within the process, Hasbro is completely ignoring the root of the problem in the first place and the contents of the letters that THEY request be included. Not so good.
  2. Wazzpinator

    Wazzpinator is playin ODST

    May 25, 2008
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    Acck, that sucks. I'm glad your son managed to get some figures he likes though.
    The age and gender thing seems really strange, why couldn't you just get your money back, and pick some he wants? Silly hasbro.

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