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"Does Battlefront just Suck at Customer Service?" Topic

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Action Log

24 May 2018 10:22 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from Cold War (1946-1989) board
  • Crossposted to Consumer Affairs board

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1,127 hits since 24 May 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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J Womack 9424 May 2018 3:06 p.m. PST

Yep, coming out shooting.

I'm really irritated with Battlefront's direct orders. I placed an order last October that has not been shipped in its entirety yet. And it would all still be sitting if I hadn't contacted them back in December or January. The hold up: one can of DAK Sand spray paint. For which they held the rest of a $100 USD+ order. Without ever contacting me about it. Then they wanted me to pay shipping again if they ever shipped the spray paint. I told them no thanks, just cancel it, and then they agreed to pay for the shipping. I still haven't seen the paint, so I cancelled the order just now.

Then, on 30 MAR 18, I placed another order with them for items which can only be ordered directly from Battlefront for our Team Yankee game. AND IT'S STILL PENDING. Guess what I've heard from Battlefront about it so far? Not a damn thing. So I emailed them today for the second time, requesting some sort of status update. I'm not holding my breath. I actually tried calling them, but at 4:31 my time, it's 5:31 theirs, and they close at – you guessed it – 5:30. So just missed them.

So, is it just my bad luck that most of my orders with them directly have been a problem (there were others previously), or is it systemic?

repaint24 May 2018 3:55 p.m. PST

it's funny, in a way. Sorry.

It is not a company well known for its exceptionally good sense of customer relationship management. Something slightly autistic in its culture. Not sure.

Winston Smith24 May 2018 5:01 p.m. PST

You can see how well they judged public need for V4 of FoW.

Achtung Minen24 May 2018 5:18 p.m. PST

I had a broken model once. They sent me another broken model in the mail. I just gave up on it.

Mark Hoffman24 May 2018 5:30 p.m. PST

I had an order held up on a East German decal sheet for four months. After e-mailing them they said that they would send the order, and then sent the order minus the decal sheet. The invoice had a note on it stating that the decal sheet was backordered.

ScottS24 May 2018 6:46 p.m. PST

It's just getting harder and harder to like Battlefront these days. Their quality control has gone to hell in this past year or so – I would estimate that 1 in 4 non-plastic models that I buy has a defect that is serious enough that I can't build the model, whether it is missing parts, incorrect parts (i.e., two left tracks on a tank) or severely warped resin. (Their plastics are good, but not everything is available in plastic.)

And their customer service, once top-notch, has slid to the point that they're a real hassle to deal with. For example, I pre-ordered Red Thunder, the new Soviet book for Team Yankee, back in early June 2017 when it was announced. I also ordered a copy of the Bundeswehr expansion at the same time. Apparently the Bundeswehr expansion wasn't in stock, so they held up my copy of Red Thunder until it was. For about a month and a half, well after Red Thunder hit the shelves.

In the meantime I changed credit cards. Before they shipped I got a harsh e-mail saying my credit card didn't work. I sent an e-mail in response explaining the situation and told them I'd call the number they provided with a new card number. A look at my phone shows that I called and left a voice mail five times. They never called back. On the sixth time they answered and I got to speak to them. It took me almost an hour (most of it on hold) to explain the situation, have them find my order, and give them a new card number. The whole time they were flat-out rude, and it took three months past the release to finally receive the book…

And in the past year I've sent in requests for replacement parts – with photos of the mis-cast parts as proof that yes, they had sent bad stuff – and had them completely ignored. Or, alternately, told "we'll replace on restock, 4-6 weeks," only to never hear from them again. It's frustrating.

Now, yes, in the grand scheme of things this is minor. But years ago, when my FoW interest was at its height, they were easy to work with. Orders never went wrong. Models were almost always intact. In the rare cases when they weren't replacements were sent out quickly and politely.

My interest in their stuff is really waning. They're making new versions of rules that leave me cold, their quality is shoddy, and their customer service is unhelpful. I'll suppose I'll continue to play what I have, but I won't be buying into anything new, and I am looking for another game to support…

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 May 2018 9:15 p.m. PST

I have found that if I call and speak to someone it is resolved fairly quickly. Gave up on email

TMPWargamerabbit24 May 2018 10:31 p.m. PST

They produced Ver4.0 MRB and compounded with the new Ver4.0 army lists and forces organizational design. Been downhill since that moment in time except for TY system holding their heads above water. Why their QC and customer service took the same hit is a mystery but seems to hold to their changeover last year.

Personally haven't dealt with BF now for 16 months or purchased their products. I stayed with Ver3.0 and haven't regretted it since.

Beowulf Fezian25 May 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

I may be the exception, but BF has always resolved my issues promptly.

striker825 May 2018 11:37 a.m. PST

It's kind of sad BF has gone down hill so bad. When I first got involved in fow 10 years or so ago their quality was great. Very few missing, wrong, and miss cast parts and when you did get something bad they fixed the issue quickly and efficiently.

Then around 6 years ago things changed. Missing/wrong/misscasts were as common as geeks in a game shop. BF would try to fix the issues. And by try, They would quickly and efficiently ship you out a whole new blister which usually had the same missing/wrong/miscast parts and then tell you there was nothing more they could do.

The game and company lost the sparkle for me at that point and I lost all motivation for WWII games. I still have a tub full of Panthers with two of the same track sides, flak trucks with the wrong gun mounts, and numerous other "bad" blisters that were effectively by one get another bad one free.

Bash On25 May 2018 12:47 p.m. PST

BF customer service has been hit-or-miss for me. If they have the replacement part in stock it is sent quickly. If they do not, they send a "due in 4-6 weeks" message. Problem is that the request seems to drop out of their system, the part is never sent, and I have to keep contacting them every couple of months.

Similar issues with ordering from the website. No way to tell if something is in stock and the wait can be long if it isn't. I never order anything directly from BF that I don't mind taking up to a month or two to arrive.

Kind BF folks have, on a couple occasions, taken pity on me and sent extra items to make up for the issues. Once it was a replacement blister for a single missing barrel, along with a paint set and a bunch of custom bases. In another, it was a new TY book ahead of the official release date (cool!). (How I manage that? Never asked for anything, and remained unfailingly polite when contacting them no matter how irritated I was feeling inside.)

J Womack 9425 May 2018 10:41 p.m. PST

A month with no contact is just unacceptable. Two months is ridiculous.

I got email today that they cancelled my first order's remaining back ordered item. They also have sent me all of my 'recent' order – the one from two months ago – except for one thing. Which they back ordered. I have asked two simple questions in response: what was the cause of the delay, and when do they expect a restock of the backordered item (the extra floor for the factory building). Which, naturally, was the one thing I wanted most from them.

roving bandit Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2018 10:12 a.m. PST

I can't say my experience was too bad.

I needed some missing Desert Rat ATG crews and a replacement mini rulebook (the one included with my Desert Rats box set was just shredded).

Pretty quickly they sent me a copy of that rulebook for converting early and late war stuff and nothing that I had requested.

Next shipment about a month after starting this back and forth got me my rulebook but no crew.

The final shipment about two months from starting this finally got me my crew.

Was I happy with their service? No. Would it stop me from buying again? No.

Beaumap26 Jul 2018 1:56 a.m. PST

I have had several hundred blisters etc from Battlefront – never a missing or broken part.

However, my direct orders do often result in a back order. In fact, my order for the Fate of a Nation re-launch remains 70% unfulfilled. This is not bad customer service. This is bad production planning. To launch a range that you cannot supply a few days after the launch………! The same happened with Vietnam and Team Yankee. I assume they are yanking our chain – getting a picture of demand before actually producing.

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