If you visit Wizard’s Storefront Feedback at Amazon.com, it appears something bad has happened of late. The 90 day feedback shows 23% negative, but the 30 day feedback shows 53%. Exploring the full feedback, 35 out of the 50 most recent are 1 star out of 5. These have some interesting comments attached to them:
“I ordered a $200+ robot dog and they sent me plastic superman figurine!??!!?? I sent the seller 2 e-mails and received NO response and it’s been over 2 weeks! What a bunch of crooks! AVOID AT ALL COST!! Amazon should really consider banning this merchant from the marketplace!”
“they send the wrong toy plus it was a cheaper version,and charge me original price they never answer my emails ,i had to contact amazon directly,but amazon saved the day, till this day i havent heard from wizard entertainment”
“The seller falsely advertised the LEGO Star Wars Clone Scout Walker. When contacted a couple days later a crushed box with a piece of junk metal arrived. I contacted the seller several times & got no response. Even after filing a claim with Amazon the seller still refused to acknowledge the defect/cheating they performed.”
Most other comments are very similar. There are several reports of people receiving a Superman action figure in lieu of their items, several reports of multiple attempts to contact Wizard via email and phone being ignored, or being sent damaged or overpriced product, complete with the lower pricetag on the box. I contacted Wizard to ask about what seems to be a major case of mail fraud, and received this official response from April Wiggins:
“This is an issue that we are aware of and are addressing. During a recent
inventory move we incurred some damage to parts of our inventory. Since many
of our customers are collectors, these items are not suitable. When this
occurs, we send people a free gift (with shipping at our own expense) to
compensate them for their inconvenience. They also receive a full refund on
Although we send a note attached, it is confusing to some. We apologize for
any confusion and we continue to clear up any misunderstandings. To date,
anyone who was inconvenienced received a full refund and a free action
Now, there are zero out of those 35 cases where the same poster has posted again to say anything like, “I got my refund” or “I re-read the paper that came with the Superman figure and realized they sent it as an apology,” so it still seems like something else might be going on. According to an anonymous source within Wizard, the customer service phone number no longer “goes to anything” and the non-replies to the email address are on purpose.
In addition, looking at Wizard’s Forums, the customer service problems appear to have been harrowing them for a lot longer than the last 30 days. A post dated August 8, 2006 is the first to note the non-answering of email and the phone number that’s very difficult to find. The frequency of these style of posts kicked up in March of 2009, with six and a half pages of comments similar to the Amazon feedback. Most of these include statements like, “I’ve been waiting 3 weeks,” “My order shipped with several missing items,” and “I’ve emailed several times with no reply.” These customers are seeing charges come up on their credit cards days or weeks before anything is shipped. They contradict Wiggins’s official statement, saying that after several months they had to dispute the charges with their credit cards in order to get their money back.
A moderator, “Jerry Whitworth,” has gone on this thread repeatedly telling people, “Don’t order from a company you have problems with,” as did moderator “jaydee74.”
One poster, Chris Underwood, even pasted in his entire customer service email experience. He received order confirmation April 30, 2009. He then sent emails that weren’t responded to on May 1, May 6, May 8, and May 9, all with no response.
With all this evidence, it seems something more than a note that is “confusing to some” is the problem. Wizard’s official statement says they’ve been prompt with refunds, but the customers tell a different story. While one has recently noted a refund, it was a full month after order placement (and credit card charge), and still with no communication.
This may be indicative of the larger problem Wizard has been facing over the last year or so. With magazine closings, location closings, and layoffs, things don’t look to be getting better. While Gareb Shamus purchased the Big Apple Con and revived the Chicago Comic-Con name, it is interesting to note that both DC Comics and Marvel Comics are conspicuously absent from the list of exhibitors for this year’s Chicago show, which is only about two months away. Image, Dark Horse, and IDW are likewise missing.