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View Full Version : Kebco - any way to get a response?



rbaumhauer
02-19-2005, 11:17 PM
You know, I've defended Kebco (www.kebcotoys.com) in the past, as they were one of the few online retailers that allowed you to pre-order only the figures that you wanted without forcing you to buy cases, etc. Sometimes they were really slow filling orders, but it beat hunting fruitlessly for figures in my local stores.

However, I think I've finally reached the end of the line with them. I originally ordered the ANH VOTC assortment from them, but after months of waiting, I inquired about status and was told that they just couldn't get enough in, and that I could change to a different case. So, I picked one of the ROTJ cases - this was months ago. I also had preordered 2 extra VOTC Stormtroopers, as well as OTC Jawas, Sandpeople, and X-wing Luke in early July.

As of today, I haven't received anything from them since early September - 5 months. Still no VOTC case, still no VOTC Stormtroopers, no OTC (other than the Bespin Luke I got back in September).

Frankly, I think I'm done with the SW action figure hobby - I've seen the cantina wave on pegs at Target, and just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to buy them. Ep3 leaves me cold - it could easily become the first Star Wars movie that I only see once in the theater (saw TPM 3 times, AOTC twice - notice the pattern?). Even though I seem to be waiting longer than just about anybody (they claim that 95% of preorders have been filled), Star Wars action figures are just about the last thing I want to drop another $70+ shipping on these days.

Their pre-order policy on the web site says this:

"Starting with the Post OTC waves and continuing with the Episode Three figures we will not offer refunds on any 50% Pre-Order deposits. Please be sure of what you want before you order."

Since we're talking figures that predate the Post OTC waves, the implication would seem to be that refunds can be had. I've sent three e-mails to custservice@kebcotoys.com asking them to refund my preorder deposits, and they seem to be simply ignoring me - no reply at all. The credit card they're supposed to bill (assuming this stuff ever shows) has even expired, and they know this, and I've told them I'm not inclined to update my info because I don't want the products - still no reply.

I know that the root problem is Hasbro's inability to fill orders, and I sympathize, but this is ridiculous - I've received no product in over 5 months, and I still don't have items I ordered over 7 months ago. Kebco's order status page lists explanations of what different status means, including a Back Order status for items that are out of stock with an uncertain restock date with the option of writing to them and cancelling if you don't want to wait. I have never seen a Back Order status on my preorders, in spite of the fact that it seems pretty clear that stock on these items is very uncertain.

So, what to do when you've been waiting so long for something you ordered that you're no longer interested in having it, period? If I saw this stuff on a peg somewhere, I wouldn't buy it. What to do when the retailer implies that refunds of preorder deposits can be had under certain circumstances, but refuses to respond to e-mails requesting a refund? What to do when a retailer doesn't even have the information necessary to process the rest of your order (a valid credit card), but still won't respond to a request to simply cancel the orders?

I hate playing the "public shaming" card, but I've given them more than enough time to respond to e-mail requests. They've obviously been burned by the preorder problems over the last couple years, as they've eliminated the ability to preorder figures individually for Ep3 - you have to join the "1 of Every Figure Club", since filling non-club preorders demands having "extra" stock that just hasn't been available. However, what about the customers that are left waiting for months and months for product that seems like it's never going to show? Why should it be like pulling teeth to get $70 back from a retailer who is simply unable to provide what you ordered in anything like a timely fashion?

Sorry guys - not being able to get stock is Hasbro's fault, but ignoring your customers isn't a good idea, no matter what the circumstances. If you'd been able to fill my orders a few months ago, I might have still cared to have them, but like I said, this is stuff I wouldn't purchase if I found it in my local store tomorrow. I'm not into the hobby any more, and I don't have any interest in spending more money to get stuff I just don't care about any more. What's so difficult about this?

Rick Baumhauer

Jedi_Master_Guyute
02-20-2005, 02:58 AM
You definately want to check out thsi thread: http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=25728

It is 6 pages of KEBco issues. I just left the "one of every figure" club this past week after two weeks of calling them. I'm getting my full refund for the EP 3 orders as well as the last 3 unleashed. I picked up all my VOTC and OTC from other stores and just kept getting refunded by them. EAch tmie i talked to them, they just blamed Hasbro not filling their orders. There is an alternative number i posted that was on their old invoices (i think it's a 678 #) and if you call them at like 9:45-10 am ish before they get going, you should be able to get them. LOTS of folks are leaving them due to their lack of figures, but primarily because of their poor customer service. Sorry to hear you're leaving the hobby though. Best of luck! :D

rbaumhauer
02-20-2005, 09:10 AM
JMG - thanks! Yeah, those stories all sound kinda familiar......

Rick

Kidhuman
02-20-2005, 09:33 AM
Sorry to see you leave the hobby Rick. Hopefully you willcome and stilldiscuss even though you will not collect anymore.

rbaumhauer
02-20-2005, 09:56 AM
KH - thanks for kind words, I do appreciate it.

I'm sure I'll still drop by occasionally - how much I participate will probably depend on how good (or bad) ROTS actually is :) .

Best regards,

Rick

jjreason
02-20-2005, 03:39 PM
I personally tried the other number mentioned by JMG but wasn't able to get through on it, either, based on where I live. I was getting very frustrated by their failure to reply to my emails as well, but can honestly say that everything worked out in the end. I think they're a business in flux, seems like they're diverting their focus (or maybe broadening it) which is causing them some serious delays in getting back to people - which is never going to be acceptable to the people waiting. More good news: I'm sure you'll get your refund. I haven't read anywhere about them refusing to provide one to someone who's been waiting as long as you have. Good luck.

Blue2th
02-20-2005, 08:31 PM
I too have had the same problems with Kebco. After pre-ordering a case of OTC figures back in August or Sept, 3 or 4 extra OTC figures, 3 OTC Vintage figures. My account status page has said pending right up to now. I have since found every figure that I would have gotten from them, by instead going on the hunt. I have e-mailed them 5 times to cancel my order with no response. I have called their number twice and it just keeps ringing with no one answering. I think something fishy is going on there. Have you noticed they have an eBay store also? Hmm! Looks like a conflict of interest to me. I will never order anything from them again. I still haven't gotten my half down money back. I order most of my online stuff from Entertainment Earth, but have been canceled 3 times because Hasbro cut production. Even when I order them in the first few days they are introduced. It really is frustrating sometimes. Just goes to show you the good old hunt is the best way to get your figures. It has proven to give me the best results, because you can't always depend on or trust the online stores. I do have a case of the EE exclusive Clone Troopers on order though. I hope I get them. :confused:

Jedi_Master_Guyute
02-20-2005, 09:39 PM
I'm gonna go ahead and merge this with the other kebco thread. :)

CooLJoE
02-22-2005, 01:00 AM
Yeah I'm in the same boat. I preordered the VOTC Stormtroopers and Unleashed Stormtroopers (2 of each) and still have yet to get anything from them. Its rather annoying to have $30 or so sitting in their pockets while I get nothing. I'm thinking I'll email them to either get the order shipped now or have it cancelled so I can check eBay or the stores (likely eBay since those figures are always gone from the stores).

jedi-cpa
02-22-2005, 12:22 PM
And today they are saying the "one of every figure" members may not be getting one of every figure...just the ones they could get their hands on...LIKE I COULDN"T HAVE DONE THAT!!!!

NOT HAPPY!

songwrtr
02-22-2005, 10:48 PM
The only way I've successfully gotten a response in the past year has been through the Contact form on their website, and even that method has been inconsistant at best. Given today's e-mail to One of Every Figure Club members (see the thread linked above for the full text), I imagine they're going to be under an avalanche of e-mails, phone calls, etc. for the next several weeks. I'm working hard here to avoid interjecting my own feelings on the matter . . .

jedi-cpa
02-23-2005, 02:59 PM
Interject away!!!!

I have written them as well.

I am currently formulating my letters to the department of consumer afairs of both my state and Georgia which I believe is where Kebco operates from.

I am also going to send this letter to the better business bureau of both states.

I will include these letters as attachments to the CEO of Hasbro and the board of directors...I think they should know the promises their resellers are making and not following through on. I have requested a copy of HAS annual report...going to see if they have division managers in there as well...

I am also going to look into legal recourse...

I would like to know if anyone is being affected by this.

BTW I know SIRSTEVES doesn't like duplicate threads, but this is an "other star wars" as well as an OTC issue.

evenflow
02-24-2005, 10:45 AM
I am so happy i ended my relation with them a while ago, they just seem to be getting worse and worse.

JEDIpartner
02-24-2005, 05:15 PM
I'm sending a certified letter to them tomorrow. We'll see what sort of results that gets me... hopefully, it will come in the form of a refund on my credit card.

Perhaps this letter will be of use to others.

================================================== =========

KEBco Toys
49 Newnan South Industrial Drive
Newnan, Georgia 30263
24 February 2005


Dear Scott and Kevin,
I regret that I am writing to cancel my membership to the Star Wars: One of Every Figure Club due to on-going problems dating back to the spring of 2004. These events involve undelivered promised product, as well as unanswered calls and e-mails from myself as well as other club members, I feel the time has come to part company.

I received an e-mailed newsletter stating that it was highly unlikely that I would receive the last 14 OTC figures. This came after I had written you an e-mail expressing my concern over product that had been charged to my credit card on X/XX/2004 (50% deposit) and XX/XX/2004 (the remaining 50% along with $5.00 shipping).

During this period, I had run across these figures I have now missed. I did not purchase them as these were promised to me as a part of my membership. Now they are widely unavailable.

I am also requesting a refund on any outstanding product that has been pre-ordered due to the past history of unfulfilled shipments.

I am enclosing printed invoices from your website to show the amounts to be refunded to my XXXX account. They total in the amount of $XXX.XX.

I can be contacted at XXXXXXXXX.XXXXXX or XXX.XXX.XXXX (home) if there is any issue that needs to be discussed.

I thank you for the three years you offered good service and wish you the best with new customers in the future.

Sincerely,

jedi-cpa
02-24-2005, 07:26 PM
Nicer than my letter is going to be.

JEDIpartner
02-24-2005, 09:33 PM
Even if your opponent is not professional, you should be nonetheless.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
02-24-2005, 11:59 PM
I agree. You have to be professional, CPA. Be the bigger person. :)

I'm stillwaiting the refund i was granted last friday. I'm going to try to call them right before they open tomorrow. Maybe a few hundred bucks takes a while to get sent back to an account?!?

JEDIpartner
02-25-2005, 03:50 AM
Let me know how that goes... My letter is going out this morning.

jedi-cpa
02-25-2005, 08:32 AM
It'll be professional...

JEDIpartner
02-25-2005, 09:31 AM
I also called my credit card company and made them aware of the situation as well as the dates and amounts of the charges I am trying to have refunded. They said KEBco has 30 days to do so before they will step in and "handle it".

It's one of those things where I feel badly about having to do this but at the same turn, I have been more than fair with them over the last year.

I stopped in at Kmart this morning and got General Lando and AT-ST Han as well as Madine on clearance. Did you know those hoes are charging $8.39 for their new figures??!!!

I am going to check up the way at Target for the cantina wave and one of the on-linie places has the Gamorrean and Bib Fortuna for a "reasonable", yet high price. Once I get those I think I will have it sorted.

Jedi Drew
02-26-2005, 01:10 PM
Tried calling Kebco today to find out the status on the 14 figures from the OTC basic that they owe me and all the phone did was RING, RING, .... :confused: . Also now my preview figures are "ON HOLD." What's up Kebco???? :confused: Provide product when you charge a persons credit card!!!!

JEDIpartner
02-26-2005, 04:16 PM
Provide product when you charge a persons credit card!!!!

Yeah... that was kinda the clincher for me. I don't mind that they charge 50% for the pre-order but they charged the remainder of the amount AND shipping on a wave of figures back at the begining of December and now they say they aren't available. If you don't actually have the figures on hand, you shouldn't be charging me the remaining amount or, especially not shipping...

:(

rbaumhauer
02-26-2005, 09:38 PM
Well, I sent a complaint via the BBB website today, so we'll see what happens. Compared to some, the $60 I'm out right now isn't that big a deal, but I honestly don't even want the product any more, even if it showed up tomorrow.

Rick

Jedi Drew
02-27-2005, 05:39 AM
Well, I'll be out about 100ish. BUT the principal of the matter is that they "Maybe" scamed many persons out of some money. This is going a bit far but maybe a class action law suit? :eek:

Val Da Car
02-27-2005, 09:24 AM
Yep, if you are professional first you will set the BAR for them to reach.

If they can't reach the bar then you can whack them with it.

just my $.02

btw I have ordered from Kebco in the past also (2002/2003) but I did not join any of the clubs.

JEDIpartner
02-27-2005, 11:23 AM
Compared to some, the $60 I'm out right now isn't that big a deal...

Yeah... multiply that by 4 and you're pretty close to my amount... :(

jjreason
02-27-2005, 06:25 PM
This seems so.......... odd. They're not giving off any signs of packing in the business or anything, I've been getting my newsletter emails as per normal. I wonder why they're not answering emails? They look like they've been throwing a lot of resources at getting their DVD club up and running, maybe they're focussing on that right now in hopes of moving their business more and more in that direction over the next few months. They said repeatedly last year that Hasbro was letting them them with shipments, maybe they're fed up with the toy biz, so to speak.

I really hope they get you guys figured out here shortly. It's really awful to watch them tick so many good customers off, they had such a good thing going.

Anyone else with Kebco experience finding it odd that Scott isn't in here posting they're side of the story? Used to be he'd jump into every thread within 24hrs of them going up.

stillakid
02-27-2005, 07:47 PM
Anyone else with Kebco experience finding it odd that Scott isn't in here posting they're side of the story? Used to be he'd jump into every thread within 24hrs of them going up.


I noticed that a few weeks ago. I suppose it'd be hard to arrive at this late date and try to explain the unexcusable. All they can do at this point is try to deliver what they can and salvage the relationships with the remaining customers they have. Coming in here now would result in a gangup session and wouldn't accomplish much.

JEDIpartner
02-27-2005, 08:19 PM
I certainly wouldn't gang up on them. I really feel badly for them because I DO believe that Hasbro screwed them. However... I also feel they did us a little bad business by charging us remaining amounts and shipping on goods that were not there to be shipped in the first place. I'm sure it had something to do with operating collateral or something but you just cannot do that to your customers.

I wish them the best of luck with all of their future endeavours because I hate to see people lose their livelihoods. It's just not right. They have to protect themselves and we have to protect ourselves. That... and I want to make sure I am going to get the figures I am expecting to get rather than seeing them at retail and passing on them because I'm SUPPOSED to be getting them. Oh, well...

jedi-cpa
02-27-2005, 09:03 PM
to me it is a combination of things.

First and foremost...the unprofessionalism.

Write back and return calls within 24 hours PARTICULARLY TO CUSTOMERS!! Anyone can experience a tough business break. They had to have been able to count that they didn't get in enough a while ago...ALSO, I wonder if they took pre orders for this stuff for .50 cents mare per fig and if they shipped those. I don't know, I am not saying they did. I am just curious.

Second the greed. Maybe the quick to charge the cartds is greedy, but I am a finance guy, I can appreciate using the float as well as the next guy. But what bothers me is GI joe, DVDs new warehouse newsletters to advertise...but how about hiring a full time customer service rep? Don't be so greedy that you don't hire adequate staff. And if folks never get e-mails back and the phone just rings, you are understaffed!!

Third, recourse...coupons or a freebe of something to the people you screwed...a guarantee that this will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. A fast refund. All these things would go a long way.

I can't afford the time to go to a toy store two times a week, not to mention the gas...but I am not a sucker either...I may just be forced to get what I get and abandon the completist phase of my collecting...

But the fact is this company made a HUGE misstep, and will certainly never get a recommendation from me to anyone about buying stuff with them.

groe
02-28-2005, 12:29 PM
This seems so.......... odd. They're not giving off any signs of packing in the business or anything, I've been getting my newsletter emails as per normal.

Not giving any signs of packing in the business? Usually when one of these websites folds, these are exactly the signs to look for. People not receiving merchandise they were charged for and the company not responding to emails, answering the phone or giving refunds. I was bit for $80 (got the other $360 back) by this exact same thing from another site (different business entirely). Same signs like calling their phone and it always being busy and email not being answered. I learned by that experience to get out of the denial phase quick and start taking measures to get my money back. I called my credit card company within hours of receiving the "your screwed" email and disputed charges on everything charged by Kebco that I could. I'll still be out money if they fold (and have to go the lawyer route) but not as much as those standing around saying "I can't believe they'd do this". Believe, because it's happening.

jjreason
02-28-2005, 01:35 PM
We'll see, but I don't think so. Why would they continue to waste time and money by sending out the newsletters if they were packing it in? To get more people to pre-order a bunch of stuff and then not come through? I never got that kind of feeling from these guys. I don't argue that it's a good idea to deal with the your credit card issuer - that's a very good idea. Dispute the charges (usually you only have a 90 day window though, so some might be hung up there already) and let them handle it. That has worked for me in the past with ebay/paypal transactions that didn't work out.

JEDIpartner
02-28-2005, 02:54 PM
...and I just got a shipment from them last week. It was the preview wave. They aren't done...

stillakid
02-28-2005, 05:28 PM
...and I just got a shipment from them last week. It was the preview wave. They aren't done...


Well, that's the easy stuff. I mean, the whole point behind joining for me was to ensure that I would get the short-packed stuff. Even with my random and seldom Target/TRU schedule, I managed to find most everything that I ever received from KEBco. But if I'm in danger of suddenly not getting everything that is ordered, it would be nice to hear about it before all of that stuff vanishes from the stores so I'd have a chance to go get it. It's like the pedestrian who gets hit by a car in the crosswalk. Sure he had the right of way, but a lot of good it did him while he lies dead under a tire. Whether Hasbro or KEBco is at fault, and for whatever reasons, the end result is that we will either get or not get the product and that, methinks, is the point behind collecting.

jjreason
02-28-2005, 05:36 PM
I was getting kind of worried about the VOTC stuff selling out really quickly. I had a bunch that had been "pending" with them for seemingly ever, that weren't moving to "on hold" as a couple had. I bought the ones I was missing from retail here when I got the chance and am very happy I did - Kebco wasn't able to fill the order for Leia, 3PO or any of the ROJ figures (I actually cancelled my order for them, I don't know if they had enough or not).

My point is, I'm lucky my Spider Sense told me to buy the stuff as I found it. With any luck you've managed to do the same. The only things I really had to scramble to get were the Cantina figures. Make sure you post a list of things you're still needing, Stilla, I'm sure the hardcore shoppers will be able to fill in your gaps.

JEDIpartner
03-01-2005, 08:07 AM
Well, that's the easy stuff. I mean, the whole point behind joining for me was to ensure that I would get the short-packed stuff.

My point for bringing that up was to illustrate that they are NOT out-of-business.

...and I joined for the same reason as you.

JEDIpartner
03-01-2005, 06:19 PM
I received an e-mail from Ken this afternoon and he thanked me for my business and apologised for the problems. I returned the e-mail by wishing them the best in the coming year and hoped they have success in getting things fixed for those who remained. I was impressed by their promptness in THIS particular matter and getting my refund out to me as quickly possible (they said by week end).

On another note... I was able to find the non-reissued figures I wanted on ToyWiz.com, ordered them last Friday and they are scheduled to arrive today!

groe
03-02-2005, 12:20 PM
I received an e-mail from Ken this afternoon and he thanked me for my business and apologised for the problems. I returned the e-mail by wishing them the best in the coming year and hoped they have success in getting things fixed for those who remained. I was impressed by their promptness in THIS particular matter and getting my refund out to me as quickly possible (they said by week end).

On another note... I was able to find the non-reissued figures I wanted on ToyWiz.com, ordered them last Friday and they are scheduled to arrive today!

Still no response to emails or refund of money here.

JEDIpartner
03-02-2005, 12:44 PM
Send a certified letter. The old-fashioned way seems to work better... especially if you need proof that they received your request. They have to sign the card when they accept the letter.

groe
03-04-2005, 09:20 AM
Send a certified letter. The old-fashioned way seems to work better... especially if you need proof that they received your request. They have to sign the card when they accept the letter.

Looks like that is what I'll be doing as I still haven't got any response to the flood of emails I've sent them. I'd just like a refund so I can start buying the stuff they shorted me on. Keb-slow's One of Every Figure Club sure turned out to be a joke.

JEDIpartner
03-04-2005, 11:34 AM
Seriously... the best way to do business is the old-fashioned way. Send a certified letter. That way you get a confirmation or a refusal and that will help your case. The next step is to talk with your credit card company and alert them to the situation. Be calm. Be professional.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
03-04-2005, 01:34 PM
Seriously... the best way to do business is the old-fashioned way. Send a certified letter. That way you get a confirmation or a refusal and that will help your case. The next step is to talk with your credit card company and alert them to the situation. Be calm. Be professional.

I agree here, mr. JP. Surely if you give them grief and hell they will only take their sweet time dealing with you. but, i here that if you get angry and refer to them as Keb-Slo and deal with them in an unprofessional manner, the refunds magically appear in your account! ;)

I am pleased to say that my refund hit my account this morning, thus freeing me from KEBco. They were good at first, but demand outweighed their ability to function. I guess it's back to hunting and reliable online stores! wooho! :D