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.

8 Comments

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  • This is a huge issue. They need to not sell everything at once and have pre-orders. You pre-order on this date starting at 1pm and you don’t have to worry about the 3:30am BS. Enough is enough Disney needs to take care of this now before it really gets worse.

  • After my (and my girlfriend’s) experience for the 9″ villains figure release in Tampa (after driving early morning from Orlando) to pick them up, we swore off LE figures. It was a huge mess. (Thank you nick for your overwhelming kindness) and it really showed a problem early on. It was beyond words how bad it was handled and ever since it’s been the same thing it seems. That fact that it has taken this long for them to do something (and honestly, isnt this the second time they reevaluated the process), I hope they find a solution that will stick in the long run.

  • I think a public apology is a big step for them. Having always had a bad experience on the online store (never at a brick and mortar… but i’ve never pursued LE at one) it seemed like they felt it was OK to mess up… as long as we give you a gift card. but that can only go so far. I’ve worked for companies that produce high-end products and merchandising systems (for other companies like GM, Microsoft, PwC, Safeway, etc…)… if we would have produced a product like the one seen on the Disney Store… we would’ve been fired. no questions asked. It needs to get fixed. seek outside counsel. professionals. cause your people aren’t cutting it. they have made DS.com a laughing stock. as part of the vinylmation community, when DS states they “recognize that this did not meet the high quality guest service that our Guests have come to expect from Disney Store”… most people are just laughing. because this is EXACTLY what they expect from them. Orders not being filled. Orders filled with wrong product. Orders being sent to wrong addresses. it’s a mess. i will say… i had my very first order fulfilled without problems… and that was 20k and a Robot. Smooth sailing. However, that’s one order. With about 10 others (or attempts at others, or the promised “fix” of a gift card that never shows up in my inbox until i call back 4 times) going haywire and making me just a weebit cynical about the promises to make it a better experience.

  • I want to be a fan of the steps Disney has taken to try and address the issues they have been having with the release of these Designer dolls, but releasing all five at the same time? All other steps that they announced make sense to me and could have been implemented into the one doll per week system that they already had in place. Hey, I guess I should just be thankful they gave us a month to save…

  • Sigh…. Disney Disney Disney… You keep trying and just like Maxwell Smart, you keep missing it by that much.

  • All I know is I will be in line and getting one cuz that’s how it done I have gotten all the LE that I ever wanted with that determination that some of the other people need to have.

  • I am glad that disney has stopped the dolls and come up with a solution to the issue. No matter what they do there are going to be people who are unhappy. You can’t please everyone, you can just try to.

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