Friday, 15 April 2016

Thoughts on Thursday - It's a mish-mash!

So for this week's Thoughts on Thursday (and I apologise that it's now Friday morning, I fell asleep writing this last night!), I don't have one specific topic like I normally do. There's been a couple of things I want to discuss and post about, and I figured what better way to do that than just get it all out in this weeks' Thoughts on Thursday :) So apologies in advance for the numerous topics!

Okay, so the first topic is basically, the direction of Collecting Asylum. Our future, our intentions, our goals. Essentially.

We (I say we, but it's pretty much always me who is typing stuff up, but some of the content from reviews and such come from Allan, it's just that he's more behind-the-scenes), from the beginning, have always wanted to run a site about our love of gaming, as well as movies, comics and all the other things that we really enjoy and collect. It has definitely proven to be quite a challenge, especially since we have had a number of setbacks over the years. Plus, having two young kids means that we sometimes struggle to get stuff done for the site.

We do aim to change this, and as you can see, we've started with the regular posting of Thoughts on Thursday. There's quite a few regular things we'd like to get started, but rather than unleashing them all at once (and no doubt bogging ourselves down with it, since we'd be going from nothing to tonnes instantly) we thought it would be a better idea to incorporate one or two regular things at a time.

Right now, it's Thoughts on Thursdays. These will be posted every Thursday, and as I've said before, you can suggest topics for the following weeks post in the comments. Our Entries to the Asylum posts, whilst frequent, are pretty much impossible to make regular, as editions can come whenever really, so that will stay on it's current schedule of "as and when". We could arrange it to be a weekly update, but there are some weeks that we receive a million things, and some weeks with nothing at all (this week so far has been pretty empty, for example).

Soon, I will be incorporating the unboxings again. We got that started up again a while ago, but various things got in the way, but we should hopefully be able to get that back on a regular schedule quite easily. With possibly one or two unboxings per week (of older stuff).

We also, alongside the Entries to the Asylum, want to get unboxings done for things as and when they are received. Not necessarily every single thing, every single time. And we want to get the Youtube channel back up and running, with unboxings, reviews, Let's Plays and more, but our recording equipment is all pretty crap. We have set up a Patreon (kinda a while ago now) with the hopes that some lovely people would contribute but we understand that that's a pretty big ask. We are intending to save towards better equipment too, but this month and next month are far too expensive for that! So we'll be saving from June onwards, pretty much, but it could still take quite some time before we've got decent equipment.

We will be doing live streams on Twitch periodically, you can all suggest which games you'd like to see me and/or Allan play, both for Xbox One and PS4. Technically I could do Steam too, but I'm 1) more comfortable playing on console, and 2) Back to the equipment issues. 

Second topic is Customer Service - or sometimes, the lack thereof.

Some shops/online stores have fantastic customer service, and some have either completely awful or basically non-existant CS. Amazon are usually always on the good side of the scale for me, but yesterday was a nightmare.

As you all know, I had an un-needed copy of the Dark Souls III Prestige Edition, that I'd forgotten about, on Amazon.fr. I decided I would give the order away to someone that missed out, as long as it was someone I could trust wasn't going to try and turn a profit on it. Well, I found that person, Anjelaoni, a fellow member over at CE.org. She was super excited to finally have her own copy and couldn't have been happier.

The order was sitting as "Estimated Delivery Date 13th/14th April" basically ever since I first preordered it. Understandable - the game is released on the 12th, but this is having to make it's way over from France. Fine. Only, the 12th passed, and it still hadn't shipped. Hadn't even taken the money. The 13th passed, same issue. Contacted Amazon.fr and they said that they hadn't yet received their stock in. I figured, okay, fair enough. Typical it would happen to me, on an order that I'm forwarding to someone, but okay. Another day passes, and I can't find anyone anywhere posting about this supposed delay from Amazon.fr. I could find people who'd even had theirs shipped/had received theirs from Amazon.fr, so something was clearly up.

I spent pretty much all day yesterday, in multiple Live Chats with the Amazon.fr team, being told repeatedly that they hadn't received stock in. When I pointed out that friends had received their copies (with screenshot evidence of shipping confirmations, etc), I was told that they were liars and just trying to spread rumours. I was told that it was impossible for them to have had theirs shipped as there is no stock yet, and that if I don't want to wait, I can cancel my order.

Then, my order changed to "Estimated Delivery Date: 4th/5th July". I thought, this can't be right. And again contacted Live Chat, plus their team through Twitter, and of course, Bandai Namco themselves. Live Chat still repeated to me that they had no stock, and that I'd have to wait it out. "If you don't want it, you can just cancel and purchase something else", I was told. I explained that I was not prepared to do this as the order is for something now impossible to get for the same price. Bandai Namco replied to me stating that they had in fact passed on the stock to Amazon.fr with no issues.

Chasing it up again, I was told I was wrong, and that I'd need to wait, again.

I'd all but given up, when I went out to the shop to find that my bank balance was much lower than it should have been. Miraculously, payment had now been taken from Amazon.fr and my order shipped.

Funny what a full day of pestering them can do.

I then went on to complain to them about me having to chase up the order and even go as far as to contacting Bandai Namco, as well as being told that my friends were liars, etc. And you know what I got? A €3 refund, as an apology and as compensation. 3 EUROS. On a €450+ order. I don't know how they thought that acceptable as a goodwill gesture, but hey ho. At least the order has shipped.

It's due to arrive today, and I'm already praying that the delivery guy offers to put it in the house for me, as at 13.5kg (or so I've heard), there's no chance I'm gonna be able to lift that thing easily.

But back to the topic on hand, some places are awful with CS. As above, Amazon.fr really dropped the ball with this one. Amazon are normally one of the better companies, in terms of Customer Service, but this was really disappointing - especially as it can't just be blamed on a member of staff having an off day, since I spoke to countless people on the Live Chat.

Anyway, I think I've rambled enough for you all!

So have you had any memorable moments with Customer Service from somewhere?
Was it a good experience, or bad?
Let us know in the comments below!
- V x

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