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What happened to Reaper's Customer Service?


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The army packs are some of the oldest figures in the range, so it makes sense that they may have been some of the first molds that have given out (without being able to make new one's).

 

My FLGS had some of the old army packs on the rack; I will look and see if the orcs you are looking for are there.

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Guest MSduPre

Thanks. That would be very kind. If you do find them, I will of course pay you the cost plus shipping, and you can keep the Olley orcs, if you have any use for them.

 

13 hours ago, Pingo said:

I can see why you find them appealing. They look sinister in an old school way, very different from today’s fashions in orcs.

 

Exactly. My entire collection is old-school like that (as am I: I've recently been considering making the switch to AD&D 2nd edition). My collection is about 95% Garrity--maybe 10 or 20 figures by other sculptors, mostly the Wiebe giants, Pugh skeletons, and various trolls which I find suitable. PCs and NPCs are 99.9% Garrity, and all of that old-school, pre-3rd edition look. And all metal. I'll probably buy some large dragons in plastic, because they're so much cheaper (and because the metal ones are becoming unavailable), but most likely those will be my only Bones.

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That particular orc is also not one of the ones in the regular DHL line.  Without knowing why (or when) they got pruned there's no way of knowing if they'll appear as singles in the main line. But I hope so, I'm rather fond of both orcs on the pack and not all too sure if mine survived the fire.  Would be nice to be able to easily get them again.

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Yes, if they would add the Garrity orc to the main line as a single, as they've already done with the other one in that pack and many others from the army packs, that would be perfect. I'd actually like to see all the figures from the army packs done that way. I get why they've discontinued them, I don't think they were ever the best sellers anyway. It's just that there are some unique minis in there that you can't get any other way.

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5 hours ago, buglips*the*goblin said:

 

He's right, though.  Go look in the army packs, the Anhurian with sword and shield pack is also gone.  I ordered some of this stuff in 2017 during 25th anniversary, and the orc pack mentioned (I think it's the one with one Olley Orc, one Garrity) is not there.  There's been some sku-pruning in the army packs.

 

Right or wrong, that does now fall into the Discontinued area now then.  Not the Out Of Stock we will cast it on demand when ordered.  Which does follow what they have always done.

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1 hour ago, Harrek said:

 

Right or wrong, that does now fall into the Discontinued area now then.  Not the Out Of Stock we will cast it on demand when ordered.  Which does follow what they have always done.

 

Yep, just got a bit confusing because they went discontinued without  notice.  I didn't know what was going on in this thread until I went to look.  And I can understand being unhappy to discover it, too, because I was going back for army packs soon.  

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Person: "Real" professional artists don't use Reaper paints!

Forum: Welcome, friend!

 

Person: I have some grievances about things that Reaper has changed.

Forum: Troll! Get the pitchforks!

 

I don't recall joining a death cult nor signing a contract that says that because I like a company and most importantly, like the people at that company, that it means that the company is beyond reproach. Respectful criticism is a healthy thing.

 

I can't really speak on the customer service responses via email, as I have only ever had to email in once or twice for a problem, so with little to no personal experience on that point, I don't have a ton to say about it. To some people, not having to write in much, if at all = zero issues = amazing customer service. I don't tend to agree with that outlook, I tend to think of not having to write in much, if at all, to be more of just a regular baseline. There's not many companies that I've had to write in to their customer service and here in current year, most of my purchases are made online. However, I do know from other's personal experiences that they've shared that Reaper does stand behind their products and the one or two times that I needed a replacement item, there was zero hassle. There are lots of shops out there that deal with such issues very differently and in some cases, very poorly, so I do appreciate that Reaper does right by their customers in that sense.

 

The Boneyard's disappearance I think has been a sore spot for a lot of people here on the forum for years. It is my understanding that it was more trouble than it was worth, despite having been a very popular feature of the store to many forum members and the answer on that, literally for years, has been that it will come back in a more limited way once the new version of the website is implemented. I would not advise anyone to hold their breath. It's obviously not a priority and although it gets brought up here from time to time, I strongly doubt that most of Reaper's current customer base cares all that much and/or even knows that it ever existed. The fact of the matter is that if the Boneyard was causing Reaper trouble logistically, financially, whatever the problem was, they had every right to do away with it.

 

That's not to say that anyone's not allowed to be upset/annoyed/disappointed/whatever about it. I ordered from the Boneyard myself and quite liked that feature of the store and had a bit of a mental wishlist of things that would be handy to order from it. The real issue, for me personally, is the way that inquiries regarding the status of the Boneyard have been answered, again, literally for years. "It's gone for the time being for reasons, but will come back different in an undisclosed time period. Stop asking about it" is the general gist. At this point, I find it amusing in a sardonic sense. I think a better way to handle it would have been to first of all, give people a heads up before removing it (I'll revisit that issue in a moment) and then issue a statement that basically said "We know that a lot of people loved this feature and we're so sorry to have to do it, but we need to shut down The Boneyard for these reasons..." And then don't make any promises that you're going to bring it back at some unknown anomalous dependent on things you're not willing to share time period. If they'd done that from the start and then two years from now they were to bring back even a very limited version, people would've been thrilled to get back something they thought was gone forever. Instead, it's felt like people are just being strung along and it serves far more as a broken promise than just something that's been affected by unfortunate delays.

 

And that brings me to the last point; arguments regarding terminology aside, there has been an unfortunate pattern over the past handful of years in which Reaper discontinues things without any warning and most often without any statement that it's happened at all until people stumble upon it and ask. This has happened enough times that it is becoming, or perhaps has already become Reaper's reputation to quietly discontinue products without any notice. Yes, discontinuing products is a normal business practice and I would venture to say that most companies outside of the miniature hobby, do so without giving any advance notice to their customers. A product isn't performing well financially, it no longer matches the company's business standards, one or more parts needed to make the product are no longer available, it's become too costly to justify production, they only intended it as a limited release, etc. The list goes on and on for perfectly valid reasons for a company to discontinue products. There's generally not anything malicious about it even though some people may jump to that conclusion. 

 

The difference here, in my opinion, is that Reaper has been such a longstanding almost monolithic leader and promoter of the miniature community, that it is impossible to believe that they are not aware that for the majority of the community, the main hobby is collecting miniatures. Every person that you talk to in this hobby has WAY more figures than they'll ever be able to paint. We all joke about the unicorns in the hobby who somehow manage to not have a massive backlog of unpainted figures. We all marvel at each other's painted collections and proudly post pictures of them all over social media. One of the things that I've always found most endearing about the community is listening to stories of how much people's collections as a whole or specific pieces mean to them. People spend countless hours scouring ebay to find figures from long deceased companies, willing to shell out whatever amount of money it might take to get the figures that got away from them. Many times I've heard someone laugh that they spent 10 times what a figure would've cost back in the day, and honestly they think it's kind of ugly, but it was worth it to add it to the collection. And how many of us have multiple figures in our collections that we're too afraid to paint because we love them too much? Furthermore, we all have our favourite sculptors whose work we cherish and it means something to use to collect their work. Go anywhere on the internet in the community and you'll find countless pictures of people excited to have received their orders that you may or may not ever see them paint but having that figure in their collection was worth sharing. Miniature collecting is a massive part of the hobby.

 

There are plenty of miniature companies who regularly discontinue figures and products. Some of them market their products as being limited edition, get it now or it's gone forever; some function with the constant threat that you might be able to get it later or you might not; some you just expect to regularly purge their catalog. Reaper, clearly marked limited edition figures aside, wasn't like that. You could clearly expect that most figures would be, if anything, NICed, which only meant it probably wouldn't be readily available at your FLGS but you could still get it ordered through them or order it directly from the webstore. That was the standard. Here's a more recent link than the one shared earlier in the thread (although still frightfully out of date at this point): http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/38190-not-in-catalog-niced/& and here I'll quote the relevant bit: "The only models that are OOPed are, like cutebutpsycho said, out of licensing or a limited edition. When paint dies, it is OOP as we don't keep old colors in stock anymore once they have sold through."

 

It is not unreasonable to have an expectation that figures that are not subject to licensing loss or are not clearly marked as limited edition will not suddenly disappear in the night when Reaper has worked to have a reputation for specifically using the term NIC to make it clear that just because a figure has been removed from regular distribution doesn't mean that it's gone forever. In the current age where more people are doing their shopping online than in physical stores, one would expect figures to become even more readily available, not less. 

 

Do I expect Reaper to be held accountable 100% based on the quote above? No, of course not. It's understandable that there would be extenuating circumstances that would force them to make a figure OOP/discontinued. I would expect the occasional instance. However, over the past couple of years, Reaper has been regularly making figures that were not licensed and were not marked as limited edition suddenly OOP/discontinued. The worst part, in my opinion, is that they don't generally tell anyone that it's happened. You just wake up one morning and something like the entire line of metal dragons is gone.

 

Does Reaper have an obligation to give any kind of notice before they discontinue a product? No, of course not. It would, however, be the courteous thing to do, especially knowing what a huge part of the hobby collecting figures is, and it would build more good will than the seemingly intentionally secretive and unclear way that they appear to be choosing to do certain things. A "heads up, these figures are going OOP at the end of the quarter" type announcement would go a long way. 

 

I don't personally think that it's done maliciously but I do think that it's done thoughtlessly. And I don't blame anyone for being upset over it. When you're used to someone holding the door open for you, it's very jarring for them to suddenly stop doing it. It doesn't suddenly turn that person into a monster, but it does make you wonder why they stopped holding the door and makes you wonder what courtesy might be done away with next. I understand people getting defensive over it, but I personally think that it's a valid grievance. Perhaps you didn't care about the metal dragons or you never bought anything from The Boneyard or you didn't care about the figures that were discontinued or you already had them. Perhaps the other things that Reaper does so wonderfully, like the free monthly figures they've been giving out for the past couple of years or the random free sample paints or the contests that regularly run or the free "paint and take"s that they do all over the US are all things that weigh more heavily into your consideration of how you feel about Reaper, so you consider such complaints to be minor things. But imagine if they stopped doing something that you DID weigh heavily; wouldn't you be disappointed? Wouldn't you question why it was done and what else might be done?

 

Maybe you wouldn't, maybe you'd just roll with the punches. But disagreeing with someone's concerns won't magically make those concerns go away. Reaper is a great company but they are not perfect and from time to time they're going to disappoint people. There's a difference between someone respectfully expressing their disappointment and someone trolling for outrage and if I thought this were the latter, trust me, I'd be making a very different post.

Edited by Guindyloo
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16 minutes ago, Guindyloo said:

Person: I have some grievances about things that Reaper has changed.

Forum: Troll! Get the pitchforks!

Thank you. 

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15 minutes ago, Guindyloo said:

Person: "Real" professional artists don't use Reaper paints!

Forum: Welcome, friend!

 

Person: I have some grievances about things that Reaper has changed.

Forum: Troll! Get the pitchforks!

 

I don't recall joining a death cult nor signing a contract that says that because I like a company and most importantly, like the people at that company, that it means that the company is beyond reproach. Respectful criticism is a healthy thing.

First I want to say that I think the bulk of your post that I didn’t quote was very well presented and brought up several very valid observations and concerns.

 

However I take exception to the way you presented the forum reaction in the quote above.

I think you need to go back and reread the first posts in both threads. 

 

While there was some negativity in each thread, and I was disappointed in those who made the troll accusations in either thread, the overall response from the community was positive and trying to be helpful.

 

And to all forumites, please remember the goal is to make Reapers forums a very positive experience and the Moderation team is here to make sure it stays that way.

Theres no need for name calling from our fellow forumites.

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Yes, you're right: most people, yourself included, have been helpful and polite. I think her comment was very pointedly directed at those few who weren't, and I appreciate the support. Especially as the primary offender has still not ceased, and, I might add, has not been called out by a moderator, whereas the person who came to my defense has.

 

Also, just found the "ignore user" function, which will solve the problem from my end quite nicely. 

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36 minutes ago, Darsc Zacal said:

However I take exception to the way you presented the forum reaction in the quote above.

I think you need to go back and reread the first posts in both threads. 

There's nothing wrong with my reading comprehension, but thank you for the suggestion.

 

I don't know why you think my sarcastic presentation of the forum reaction was meant to be representative of everyone in the entire thread. I suspect that you wanted to take it that way so that you could make a point of expressing your disappointment in me over the other thread, where despite the fact that I thought that person was a troll and held him accountable for the things that he chose to put in his posts, I did still address his concerns and give him some helpful suggestions. Perhaps you need to go back and reread some posts. ^_^ 

 

4 minutes ago, MSduPre said:

I think her comment was very pointedly directed at those few who weren't, and I appreciate the support, especially as the primary offender has still not ceased, and, I might add, has not received a moderator warning, whereas the person who came to my defense has.

Don't worry about it, I rub some people the wrong way.

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9 hours ago, buglips*the*goblin said:

 

He's right, though.  Go look in the army packs, the Anhurian with sword and shield pack is also gone.  I ordered some of this stuff in 2017 during 25th anniversary, and the orc pack mentioned (I think it's the one with one Olley Orc, one Garrity) is not there.  There's been some sku-pruning in the army packs.

 

1 hour ago, Guindyloo said:

However, over the past couple of years, Reaper has been regularly making figures that were not licensed and were not marked as limited edition suddenly OOP/discontinued. The worst part, in my opinion, is that they don't generally tell anyone that it's happened. You just wake up one morning and something like the entire line of metal dragons is gone.


I could be wrong, but it appears that many of the ones that disappeared are now in Bones.  Which brings us to a technicality for some figures, such as the metal dragons - the pewter versions may be gone, but figures are available. 

I would suggest that at least some of the issue here is that we long time Reaper customers and regular forumites are really a tiny minority of Reaper's customer base these days, and that we can unintentionally throw Reaper for a loop with some of our questions/requests to them, especially if we happen to be dealing with a newer employee or an employee in a new position. 

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7 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

I could be wrong, but it appears that many of the ones that disappeared are now in Bones.  Which brings us to a technicality for some figures, such as the metal dragons - the pewter versions may be gone, but figures are available.

I would definitely only consider that to be a technicality. Can you technically buy some of the same sculpts in Bones that were once in metal? Sure. I wouldn't personally consider them to be the same figure, however, if you're coming from the point of view of someone who is not interested in Bones figures. I don't think, though I could be wrong, that it's sacrilege anymore to point out the fact that traditional Bones don't hold the exact same level of detail as metal and, eh, I don't really think it's necessary to list all of the various pros and cons of traditional Bones vs metal. Some people, and I do think it's important to note that at least 90% of the dragons in my collection are Bones, but some people care very much about a figure being metal and don't want to be forced into switching to a material that they don't like when the material that they did like was previously available. Telling such people that they can technically still get the figure, only in a material that they don't care for, is kind of a poor consolation prize. Not to rehash an entire point that I've already made, but prior notice would have given those people the opportunity to pick up the dragons that they just hadn't gotten around to buying yet, since a metal dragon is a bit of a hefty purchase.

 

23 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

I would suggest that at least some of the issue here is that we long time Reaper customers and regular forumites are really a tiny minority of Reaper's customer base these days,

I agree with that.

 

23 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

and that we can unintentionally throw Reaper for a loop with some of our questions/requests to them, especially if we happen to be dealing with a newer employee or an employee in a new position.

I don't agree with that and I'm not sure what evidence there could be for that. But even if that is the case, a little bit of organization goes a long way. I think it's far more likely to be a case of, for lack of a gentler term, a gag order of sorts when we're talking on an individual basis. But that's just my suspicion, I haven't seen any evidence to support nor disprove that.

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