Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What I Was Referring To Last Night

This is Topps sent me as a replacement for the Cat Osterman autograph I had redeemed back in July, that was pulled from one of my Ginter boxes.. I'm not mad about the card I got, I'm mad I wasn't able to choose the replacement I received. Topps didn't even warn me it was going to be replaced, they simply just mailed me a package. You can't give someone a coupon for a free steak diner, and serve them chicken instead. That is exactly what I feel like Topps did here, and I don't like it one bit.
It's not that this isn't a beautiful cards, because it is, and that Mr. Louganis wasn't an excellent athlete, because he was. The trouble is that I have no way of determining this card's worth. According to Topps, this card has a "book value" of $60. Unfortunately, there are no recent completed sales on eBay to compare, but the last time I checked, Greg Louganis autographs weren't in high demand. Do you know whose autograph is in high demand? Cat Osterman's. The redemptions alone regularly sold for upwards of $50 (which is still high on eBay for a cards carrying a $60 BV). So we know for a fact what the Osterman is worth, or at least a ballpark figure that has been determined by multiple free market sales, but there is absolutely no way of knowing what the Louganis is really worth. I'd be willing to bet it wouldn't sell for much more that $20-$25.

This is only one of many issues I have with the way Topps handles it's redemptions. Other companies ask you to send in a list of your favorite players & teams when they are unable to process a redemption as promised, but not the Topps Company. They will send you whatever they, and a pricing "authority" to remain nameless deem to be an even swap in terms of value. If something sounds a little unfair, it just might be because it is.

I received a response from Topps this morning more or less telling me my opinions are not valid, and that they do not feel that the way they handled this process was flawed. The refused to apologize, but did offer to send me some complimentary product as a showing of good faith. I responded back with a less angry email, intelligently laying out the points I made above, and am waiting for a response. It's not like I actually expect anything to happen, and at this point, I'm not even sure why I sent them another email. I'm going to take my free product and shut my mouth, because at the end of the day, what can I really do about it (aside from stop purchasing their products)?


  1. There are many, many issues with Topps and its redemption policy. All of the ones that you mentioned are all valid.

    But it begins with Topps promising something it cannot deliver. This is a huge no-no when dealing with consumers. What makes Topps think they're an exception to every other business that sells to consumers?

    If they wouldn't get into a situation where they are promising what they can't deliver, or promising what they're not sure they can deliver, then all the other problems that you cited would be non-existent.

  2. I hope it works out for you. Obviously the redemption process is a gamble for card companies but you are correct in that there are certainly "better" ways to offer replacements rather than just send you any 'ol card lying around. Topps has always treated me quite well with my questions/concerns, hopefully you'll get the same luck.

  3. My word verification for my previous response:
    confansl. Hard to have a more fitting word verification!

  4. I would be fine with it if they sent me an "A" auto and a box of mid range wax. Of course I have been waiting for some UD redemptions for over a year.

  5. That's garbage customer service from Topps. What I can't stand the most about this situation is how they arbitrarily assign value to their cards. It's so hypocritical to do this, seeing as how some card packs have it stamped right on the wrapper that the card companies make no assertion regarding the current or future value of their cards. Yet, they turn right around and do exactly that. This bait and switch nonsense needs to stop.

  6. That sucks, dude. Maybe if you watched "Breaking The Surface: The Greg Louganis Story" it would make you feel better about the card.

    I've been waiting for my Finest redemptions since may. Topps sent me a "offer" of replacing my Dexter Fowler Blue Refactor Auto Patch with one of equal Beckett value.

    They actually said Beckett value in the email. I declined. I'll wait it out for Dexter. Or until Topps decides that I've waited long enough and sends me some junk.

    What I want to know is: How the hell is there a Beckett value for a card that was never released to anyone?

  7. Motherscratcher I feel your pain. I have two of them waiting to be done. Beardy.... you need to pull a "Milton" and burn the place down and get your redline stapler.

  8. In an industry where the consumer is disappearing at an alarming rate, the customer service has to be better than this. Sorry for your predicament Beardy. It appears you are not alone.

  9. I think redemptions in general are pretty stupid. If you don't have the product yet, don't promise it.

    It felt really good to buy a box of 20 buck sweet spot to find a stupid card for a redemption auto that I may never see.

  10. OOH! I guessed right! That's a horrible move made by Topps, maybe you can forward them this link and show all the upset blogger comments and shove em up Topps' faces! That'd be cool!