UPDATED: Disney Store Online Seeks Solution to LEs

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Update: 9/23/11 Looks like I was quick to hope for an actual solution to the problems associated with the sale of LE items. Here is the Disney Store’s response to the Designer Princes problem:

Dear Disney Store Guests:

As you may be aware, our new limited edition Disney Princess Designer Doll Collection has generated a good deal of excitement. While many of you love the new dolls, you have also expressed frustration in securing your favorite Princess, and brought to our attention ways we could make the process fair for all Guests. We want you to know that we read your comments on Facebook, saw your Tweets, and our wonderful Cast Members have told us what they heard from our Guests who visited our Stores.

Quantities of these dolls are very limited, and we realize that not everyone will be able to get the doll of their choice even with a new process in place. Our aim is to increase the possibility of our Guests to obtain the dolls that they are seeking. Therefore we have updated our release plans as follows:

• We will now release for sale all 5 remaining Disney Princess Designer Dolls: Tiana, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Pocahontas on one date in Stores on 10/17/11.

• We will then have a Disneystore.com release of all 5 remaining Disney Princess Designer Dolls (Tiana, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Pocahontas) the following day on 10/18/11, at a time to be determined.

• We will be limiting the purchase to one doll per Princess, per Purchasing Guest – both in-store and at Disneystore.com

• We will implement a line queue and ticketing procedure (first come, first served) in Stores on the release date and the dolls will be sold at store opening.

• Guests that are not successful in obtaining the Princess Doll of their choice at the Stores will be able to try again later at Disneystore.com

We thank you for your continued support and loyalty. We hope you have a Magical day.

(DV’s original article from 9/19)

Lets be honest for a minute. Each one of us may have ended up on the wrong side of a “Disney Store system malfunction” before. And it is not fun. But the true test of a customer satisfaction policy is, “what do you do to correct the problem?” Disney has always been better than most in that department. This is not to dismiss mistakes, but it needs to be pointed out. We are all familiar with the various Disney Afternoon and 9″ villains debacles. Well today, the Snow White LE designer princess doll was released at Disney Stores and at the Disney Store Online. And by all accounts, it was another mess. Sold out online in less than 10 minutes. Oversold to customers. Lines at Disney Stores with very little stock. And even the report from Tampa that mall employees were given the tickets reserving a doll early in the morning before guests had the chance to access them.

The Sold Out Designer Princess

The Disney Store issues are more difficult to solve. There is only so much product and lines cant be stopped. But procedures need to be policed to enforce purchase limits and fairness of distribution.

As far as online, Disney has acknowledged a problem after the Vinylmation issues, and a fix was supposed to be put in place. But after this morning, we see that the same issues are occurring. Namely, overselling a LE product.

The good news? Disney Store President Jim Fielding made a public apology on the Disney Store Blog. He said, ” We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and recognize that this did not meet the high quality guest service that our Guests have come to expect from Disney Store.” Jim also went onto say that they are going to delay the next LE doll release explaining they will, “reevaluate our process to ensure that all guests have a fair opportunity to purchase these highly coveted dolls.”

Check out the Buzz at blog.disneystore.com

I wish they took it this seriously after the first or second or third LE Vinylmation problem, but it is nice to see a public admission of a problem and a dedication to a solution. I would think its an overall look at how LE sales are computed online and would positively affect Vinylmation as well. Jim pledges an update by Friday, September 23.

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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.

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