A DV Reader’s Story: I got a Doug 2-Pack Vinylmation Set…Not so fast!

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by: Dennis (@OaskManner)

These are exciting times in the world of Vinylmation! Recent releases of Robots, Urban 7, Steam Park and Doug & Pork chop!

On early Friday morning July 29th I decided to join hundreds of my Vinylmation brethren and stay up/get up at 3:00am EST for the Disney Store on line release of another Disney Afternoon release, Doug and Pork Chop. So far, I have refrained from participating in these online releases because of all the issues Disney Store had with purchasing limits (lack their of) and collectors being able to put items in their basket and check out even though the items were actually sold out. However, recent changes to the Disney Store online purchasing policies as outlined on the Disney Vinylmation Blog gave me confidence that Disney Store had recognized and made modifications to its software system so that these issues were a thing of the past.

I couldn’t stay awake so I set my alarm for 2:55 EST so I could purchase my Doug Vinylmation. Blurry eyed and determined, I logged onto DisneyStore.com went to the Vinylmation page and started hitting refresh every few seconds, the excitement was building and I felt reasonably sure I would get one of these exclusive Vinylmation sets.

3am turned into 3:15am, turned into 3:25am. Still no sign of Doug. Refresh, refresh refresh…finally the page appeared the Doug and Pork Chop combo is up and ready for me to make my purchase!!! I quickly hit purchase and put a Doug in my basket and headed for the checkout. All is going well as my order is processed, my checkout is complete and I am issued an order number and receipt. I hit print and head back to bed happy in knowing I have been successful in purchasing a Doug!

Approximately 16 hours later I got what I’ve only previously read about… the dreaded Disney Store Guest Experience email… “We’re so very sorry but the Disney Afternoon Doug item was so popular we over sold it this morning. Unfortunately you will not be receiving this item. Here is a $5.00 Disney Gift Card blah blah blah!” Needless to say I was extremely upset getting this email. So much so that I angrily tweeted out my displeasure to @DisneyStorePrez and @DisneyStore! Let me say here that I love the Disney company and it really pains me to have to publicly criticize them. I am a former Disney Store Castmember, a DVC Member, D23 Member, and WDW Annual Passholder. I am not one that complains to try and get something in return. In this case I want nothing!

Copyright Disney

I want nothing other than The Disney Store to get this issue fixed that allows Guests to be able to put items into a shopping cart, checkout, be issued an order number and receipt only to be told 16 hours later that the item was sold out! This has been going on for months and still the issue is not resolved. It’s not rocket science! Could you imagine if Ticket Master oversold tickets to a popular concert? Imagine the outcry! I can’t believe Disney Store, a multi-million dollar company, can’t or won’t fix this problem! After a half dozen tweets about my dissatisfaction with this entire transaction I got a tweet from Jim Fielding, President of Disney Store telling me that Disney Store Guest Services would be in touch and that despite new purchasing limits we still sold out of this item very quickly! Let me just say that I personally like Mr. Fielding. He is a stand up executive that always monitors twitter and responds to guest issues!

Sure enough I did get a tweet from Disney Store Guest Services asking me to email them my contact information. I did and was I called by a Guest Services Cast Member and asked about my experience with the Doug Vinylmation purchase. She was nice and understanding but did attempt to justify what had happened from Disney’s end with the large volume of orders all being placed simultaneously. We agreed to disagree and that was pretty much it. She asked if I had received my $5.00 gift card via email, which I had, and we ended the phone call.

The next day I received another call from Stephanie at Presidential Services. She was also very nice and understanding and told me she was gathering as much information regarding the problems with the Doug release and that this information would be passed on to senior management to help in stopping this from happening in the future.

Bottom line: DisneyStore.com has lost me as a guest. I will never participate in an online Vinylmation release again. It’s not like this is an isolated incident, this is a chronic problem that has been going on for months! I personally know many Vinylmation collectors that have been affected by this issue and it has really soured their desire to continue collecting Vinylmation. I am not to that point yet, but DisneyStore.com will no longer be my place to purchase Vinylmation for my collection!

-Dennis

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About the author

Nick LoCicero

Nick LoCicero has almost 20 years experience in the media industry. He has worked on numerous Disney related media projects, most know at WDWNT for WDW News Tonight. He has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1982. After moving to Orlando in the late 90's he became a passholder, developed a fascination with the history of the vacation kingdom and has spent way too much money on park merchandise.

12 Comments

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  • Have to agree… I was buying stuff offline every week when the store was updating on fridays but after the villains fiasco and then all the disney afternoon trouble I gave up. I haven’t ordered anything new in what seems like months now. One big reason I haven’t purchased any of the robots yet which I want badly. Not worth the headache. Heres hoping they start sending everything to my local store…

  • mE TO I STAYED UP REFRESH AN REFRESH TGOUGHT I HAD IT WHEN I WENT TO CHECK OUT NO LONGER AVAILABLE BUT FOR ME MY CLOSEST DISNEY STORE 60 MILES AWAY IN TIMES SQUARE , YOU TALK ABOUT DISGUST

  • With online exclusive vinylmations you have people who could go to a park/disney store to pick this item however due to it being an online exclusive can’t, plus you have the people who use the online store often because there is no park/disney store near them (including everyone outside the US). You also have people trying to buy to sell on via eBay etc.. Too many people wanting one thing at the same time. Having staggered releases throughout the day could help and would mean a better chance of getting your hands on one.

  • I agree this is a rough situation on both sides. Disneystore.com should make an effort to fix it, which I am sure they are doing. Disney has always gone above and beyond for their guests so I do think they would take this situation to heart with so many unpleasant consumers of Vinylmation. When you are limited edition 1000, however, and there are over 1000 people trying to click and checkout at the same time, there are bound to be issues. I feel very bad for those who did not get the set in the fiasco, but I dont think its a reason to boycott buying from the site. Then you just miss out on a lot of the other good sets that you COULD get. Hopefully Disney works out the kinks in the online site, but I can imagine it takes a few trial and errors to get something so high in demand to be distributed fairly.

    • I would agree with you if this was the first time this issue had occured! This has happened on numerous releases. Its not just the issue of not getting one its Disney Store confirming my purchase, issuing a order number then taking it away 16 hours later!

  • That’s ok…… I got my Doug today and Disney store put that stupid sticker they have right over the window in the box! So now right over my vinyls faces I have a big white sticker that says tiger and prince charming!!!!!!! Im trying to peel it carefully but its leaving glue everywhere. Really Disney its a limited edition collectible that sold out in 20 min or less. How is it even remotely possible that some idiot was like this works right here over the window! Dumb @$$

  • I know there are some hardcore collectors and ebay sellers who will be sad, but the limited edition stuff either needs to be extended to double the amount or dropped all together. It’s ridiculous at this point.

  • I still firmly believe (and hope they have read my emails and surveys I’ve answered) about them adding a time hold on the items placed in the cart (much like ticketmaster) so that for 10 minutes I am guaranteed the item I am trying to purchase… I was among the people who ordered as soon as it hit, and 16 hours later there was my “we’re sorry have a magical day here’s $5.00” email… $5.00 doesn’t even cover tax in my area so it was just sorta silly IMHO. I really hate to complain about disney store online but there are really simple fixes that they could start using that would take lots of hassle (and save them money) away. It’s not like a time limit would be a bad thing PLUS the items always sell out. It would be a double win for disney-no angry calls or emails about cancelled items and everyone would have a fair shot. Just my 2 cents :)

  • My Doug vinylmation order got cancel from Disneystore.com. No E-mail and no Phone call stating to why it was cancel. Just called them right now and they’re now teling me that the figure is sold out. What I told them was that I purchase the figure right when it was release on Disneystore.com. I had a friend who puchase his figure 10 min after i placed mine. He got 3 Sets of Doug Vinylmation and I Couldn’t manage to get one. I thought it was suppose to be first come first serve. Then she procceded to hang up on me. Stupid Disney

  • Forgot the mention that the figure was already shipped and schedule to arrive tomorrow. Thats what i don’t understand about why the sudden cancelation.

  • Sounds exactly like my story. They even charged my credit card. Never got a tracking number though and started to wonder. Called many times. Each time I called, they said I had a Doug, but they couldn’t trace it. After three weeks, I got an e-mail saying unfortunately I was not getting a Doug and would be issued a credit. Something really needs to be done about this situation.

  • I had this issue happen to me yesterday while trying to buy the new designer princess dolls. Those are limited as well. Went online at 1230 no doll. At 1235-40 doll comes up and I buy. Confirmation email and funds subtracted. I get an email today saying they ran out. They still have not fixed their issue with the website it seems. I want to know where I can go complain. I only tried to buy one and it was for my GF. Sigh at disneystore.com

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