Pingo

Thanks, Reaper, for dealing with logistical problems we know not of

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People had to search for a cookie on google? I always keep the perfect cookie bookmarked :D

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I beg everyone's pardon. My original post was, at best, premature, and quite thoughtless, given how many people are still waiting for the fulfillment of this Kickstarter.

I regret causing grief for people I have come to know and like. I did not and do not wish to minimize anyone's frustration, nor to make them feel left out and forgotten.

The Kickstarter is not done yet. I should have waited. I'm sorry.

It's OK Pingo - I'm a little on edge myself. Sorry for snapping.

 

We can discuss this over crumpets and tea once I'm being less of a hugely entitled manchild. With luck, that'll be sometime this week. Either Reaper will get the ROW shipping sorted, or I'll spontaneously combust.

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If you do combust, can I have your bones?

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If you do combust, can I have your bones?

No, they're to be placed around my urn to usher me into the afterlife.

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If you do combust, can I have your bones?

No, they're to be placed around my urn to usher me into the afterlife.

 

I was thinking about your other bones really.

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Do I need to repost those cookies?

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But there are too many people defending them no-matter-what.

 

There are people at all extremes of the subject, from vitriol to fanatical fan, but most fall somewhere between. Chances are, if you are on a company's forum, you will have more people who like them and their product than those that do not.

 

But I am a little puzzled by your comment on two points: too many people defending them, and no-matter-what.

 

A lot of us have recognized the effort and time that all of the Reaper employees and owners have put into this project. I believe that most of us acknowledge (as does Reaper) that some things could have been done better. Either we are content with the knowledge (or expectation) that Reaper will take a way a lot from the KS and do better on the next one, or we have provided suggestions/constructive criticisms.

 

The problem with the analogy of the mechanic and your car, is that you are not examining the same process.

 

You have said that the mechanic should know what parts are in stock, or how long it will take to obtain them, and give you an estimate from there, and if any issues, let you know ahead of time. Simple and fairly straight forward.

 

Reaper wasn't simply ordering things. They were creating new things, either from scratch (new sculpts) or using old masters to create new things; then having to have the molds to make the part made, with all of the problems that that entails; decide on the plastic mixture for some pieces; work out a production schedule with several companies so that all of the pieces would, in theory, arrive at their site at the appropriate time (boxes, labels, cases, foam, bones, etc..); deal with shipping delays; deal with customs (who, unlike car parts, may not be entirely sure of exactly what bones are - tariff code, possible military use, can they be drugs or used to conceal drugs, etc..); set up a warehouse site; set up a warehouse shipping line (unlike permanent online shipping warehouses, Reaper does not have the facilities, software, experience - and will be only setting up a temporary setup); and, they have to do that not for one car repair, but for 18,000+ owners of cars (and sometimes fleet owners who wanted several of their cars repaired/modified); deal with car owners who do not live in the same country (oh, and see what can be done to ensure that the cars are shipped in a way that does not cost the owner an arm and a leg); note all of the areas where improvements could be made for future exercises, and finally, communicate at the appropriate time to their customers. Not so simple or straight forward.

 

I like Reaper. I like their customer service practices. I like their attitude. I like the goods that I received in response to my support of their kickstarter. But, I am more than willing to agree that they did drop the ball on the communication front during the last couple of months. As a matter of fact, I started a thread with a suggestion on how to perhaps avoid the problem on their next kickstarter.

 

The car analogy can be taken even further.

 

Reaper said hey, we think we can build a Corvette with a rubber body instead of fiberglass, and we can sell it to you for a quarter of the price of a regular one. Would you be interested in buying one?

 

They crunched the numbers and determined they would need to sell 300 of them to cover costs, and they could have them ready in seven months. Unfortunately, the first 300 people told their friends and suddenly 18000 people wanted a cheap Corvette, and many of them wanted more than one.

 

Still, their manufacturer figured they had them covered. Their manufacturer was wrong. Not even by a lot, but since a lot of customers wanted most of the other options in addition to the rubber body, they couldn't ship them until they were complete. Major delay one. And then they discovered customs was a little suspicious of the sudden influx of shipping containers full of rubber Corvettes coming from China and held them up at customs. Major delay two. Then, they discovered you couldn't just drive the new Corvettes to Canada or Singapore, so they had to find alternate methods of distribution, while still processing the 15000 or so they could deliver domestically. Major delay three.

 

And those are just the major delays we know about. Remember the last minute substitutions due to delayed new sculpts? That could have been a major delay as well. The Kaladrax size mix up? They ate a big financial loss rather than have another major time loss. The paint bottle shortage? The list goes on.

 

Now, 90% of the Corvettes are in customer hands, most of whom are pretty happy with their rubber Corvettes that ended up costing much less than a quarter of the old style (less than one tenth according to the numbers on http://greg.botch.com/bones/), though some are upset that the rubber quality isn't quite the same standard as the fiberglass bodies, and a good portion of the group still waiting for their new cars are understandably frustrated by the delays and lack of info.

 

Really, the disappointment and dissatisfaction are perfectly understandable. Sure, they shoulda/coulda done better at anticipating shipping problems, volume possibilities, and communication. But as much as we might all wish it were otherwise, Reaper is just a bunch of folks doing the best they can. And their best has been pretty damn good. But there aren't a lot of actual miracle workers in the world, they can only do so much. And they've earned the praise and passionate defense they get from their very loyal customers.

Edited by Suden
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I beg everyone's pardon. My original post was, at best, premature, and quite thoughtless, given how many people are still waiting for the fulfillment of this Kickstarter.

I regret causing grief for people I have come to know and like. I did not and do not wish to minimize anyone's frustration, nor to make them feel left out and forgotten.

The Kickstarter is not done yet. I should have waited. I'm sorry.

It's OK Pingo - I'm a little on edge myself. Sorry for snapping.

 

We can discuss this over crumpets and tea once I'm being less of a hugely entitled manchild. With luck, that'll be sometime this week. Either Reaper will get the ROW shipping sorted, or I'll spontaneously combust.

 

 

Hug it out?

 

grouphug.gif

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I beg everyone's pardon. My original post was, at best, premature, and quite thoughtless, given how many people are still waiting for the fulfillment of this Kickstarter.

I regret causing grief for people I have come to know and like. I did not and do not wish to minimize anyone's frustration, nor to make them feel left out and forgotten.

The Kickstarter is not done yet. I should have waited. I'm sorry.

It's OK Pingo - I'm a little on edge myself. Sorry for snapping.

 

We can discuss this over crumpets and tea once I'm being less of a hugely entitled manchild. With luck, that'll be sometime this week. Either Reaper will get the ROW shipping sorted, or I'll spontaneously combust.

 

 

 

I hear ya. I was this close to going sane!

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My view is that the more areas that are out of somebody's direct control then the greater the chance that something will cause a delay.

 

Using the Bones Kickstarter:

 

Kickstarter itself - outside of Reaper's direct control. Something did go wrong, but it was minor.

Sculpting - outside of Reaper's direct control. Something went wrong, several elves were replaced to maintain schedule.

Mold making - outside of Reaper's direct control. Don't know if anything went wrong or not. At least one item ended up being easier than planned.

Manufacture - outside of Reaper's direct control. Several things did go wrong, Minor delays.

Freight from manufacture - outside of Reaper's control. Several things did go wrong, noticeable delays, shipment split differently than planned. Last shipments later than planned for.

Customs - outside of Reaper's control. Reaper was lucky.

UPS - outside of Reaper's direct control - minor setbacks due to scale.

Canadian customs and shipping - outside f Reaper's control, both direct and actual. Kaboom! From RAFM to UPS... if it could go wrong then it did.

RoW customs and shipping - outside of anybody's control. Method described by USPS is not something that the USPS will actually do.... USPS not sending trucks. USPS being hurt by sequestration....

 

And each step gone wrong adds another delay....

 

Some will not be a problem next time - manufacture is now in the US, getting rid of three possible problem areas - manufacture, freight, and customs.

 

The Auld Grump

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If Reaper does another KS it is likely they will have to go back to China to manufacture them. A single machine isn't going to be able manage the production requirements of a KS.

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Completely agree Auld Grump, but there is a common thing that Reaper does control and is wholly responsible for: communications. All logistics is the black art of getting a specific object to a specific point in both space and time. It's hard to give Reaper kudos for it when they've failed the majority of customers on the time position, quite a number on the object front, and me specifically on all three components so far.

 

Yes, they're resolving it. Yes, they're working hard on resolving the issues and I'd buy any of the Reaper KS crew a beer if ever we met.

 

But praising their logistics? Nope, sorry, they aren't at fault but they are responsible. To put it bluntly: from my perspective I don't regard the cock-ups as my problem. They're Reapers and they are responsible for fixing them.

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The lack of communication is a very real problem.

 

Sadly, I can understand it... 'Nothin' to say... uhm... things are being shipped, but the ROW stuff is still piling up. USPS truck still not here... food low... considering cannibalizing the interns.... last package of cigarettes gone, only one bottle of Mtn. Dew left, and Bryan won't share.... setting fire to the empty shipping cases in the hopes that we get spotted by a plane'.

 

Repeat five days a week....

 

But yeah, even a quick 'nothin new, talk to ya tomorrow!' at the end of each work day would be nice.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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I think there were several communication mistakes, but I'd say it's been pretty good. Should they have gone with only the KS for posting? Not sure. There are good reasons to do so, but also not to. I for one cringed when I read an employee agree with an angry backer that pledges were "pre-orders". They aren't and never have been. I think though, that since KS is such a new concept, it's not as firmly defined in some minds as it should be. That would be a wise thing to distinguish in their FAQ for next time. "Question: Is my Pledge a Pre-order? Answer: No. Pre-orders by definition are early orders for items that are already in existance. They can help companies to get a good idea of how many of said item they might need for the main release though. A Pledge to our KS is an investment into the creation of something which doesn't exist yet. Essentially, you are helping us build something by providing the monies to get the raw materials to make them come to life! The rewards given to you are thank you gifts for helping us do this."

 

Taking the mechanic analogy, a pledge is like investing into a young mechanic's education, or a special car that they've only got the blueprints for. You may get estimates, but in no way are you expecting it to be instant. Can you get something from this? Of course! If you help a young mechanic get the education they need to be a pro, you could make them your employee at your own car shop. If you are investing in a concept car, you could get the first shot at owning one, or give imput into its final design. A pre-ordered part however, is already in existance. Maybe it's a brand new type. But the company has already gone through the concept phase, the investment phase, and is simply looking for buyers now. The mechanic may or may not have even been involved with the company's work to bring this part to market. All you really have to worry about at this stage is how long it takes to get to the shop.

 

Laoke, I understand you are frustrated, but I believe there were comments from Reaper explaining how with ROW shipments, you would not get an e-mail from the shipper, right? It shouldn't be that way, but I do know that different shipping companies have their own policies. That being said, if you need to you have Reaper's e-mail and phone number. I believe they should be able to get back to you and hopefully everything can be solved to your satisfaction.

 

I'm glad I got in on this KS. I know it's been a long wait, but I was fully expecting it. Maybe it's my pessimistic side, but I always try to apply Murphy's Law on anything like this. It helps with patience anyway.

 

Am I grateful to Reaper? Yes! I'm grateful to have such cool stuff to enjoy with my bf and our gaming group hopefully in the future! I also am grateful for the way they handled things. I know if it were me, I'd have gone completely crazy!!! Any delay would've brought on waves of guilt and self-loathing, for what I felt I could've done or should have done. I'd be constantly trying to please everyone when we all know you can't. I guess I just have more patience and understanding when other people are in charge.

 

Reaper, please know that I'm very thankful and when I visit PAX, I'll try to find you all to say so. If you won't let me hug you, at least please let me get you guys something to drink! (If not alcohol, I can get water, fruit juice, ect)

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Terra - I haven't even got an email from Reaper yet. I'm not really that fussed about the shipper email, I'm just stuck here on the Group 'W' bench waiting for my Bones, not having a clue as to what the Blue Hades is going on.

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