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!
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!