Thursday, December 01, 2011

Country Living & The Trashed Nancy Drew Game



Calling All Sleuths!
We've got a mystery to solve! 




It's The Case of the Mysterious Runaround
or...
How My Vintage Nancy Drew Game Was Damaged!

THE MYSTERY:

I, in good faith, loaned some of my Nancy Drew books and collectibles to Country Living Magazine for their October 2011 issue for a Nancy Drew article. I was hesitant to ship off items for photography, but was assured numerous times that things would be taken good care of and "heavily insured." I relented and shipped off my treasures. They were photographed, the issue came out. All seemed well. Until the package arrived in November 2011. I discovered that the Nancy Drew game I sent was damaged - the lid destroyed. In fact, though shipped to me in the same box I sent everything in, there was packing material I used missing and 4 extra books that weren't even mine that were crammed in on top of the game which wasn't wrapped up. So, when I opened the box, I found all these books smashed down through the game lid. Just like the game lid, I was crushed! Country Living was notified and they apologized and said they'd get an insurance claim filed ASAP and take care of things.

That was 8 months ago... I'm not sure what "ASAP" means to the folks at Country Living, but apparently it means 8 months of getting the runaround, not answering my e-mails, ungallant buck passing around to various employees to handle it and then, horrors, as the chapter comes to a resounding cliffhanger...

DEAD SILENCE!!!!

Hypers! As Nancy's pal George would exclaim. Too bad we can't get Nancy Drew on the case...

(Fellow Bloggers, please share on your 
Blogs and spread the word! Many thanks...)

THE DASTARDLY VILLAINS:



2. UPS?

THE CLUES:

Click on the images below for huge/detailed images of the damage...

Exhibit A - My Nancy Drew Game Pre-Shipping:


Exhibit B - My Nancy Drew Game As Received Back:


Exhibit C - Comparisons of the Game 
Pre & Post Damage


DO CLICK ON THE ABOVE IMAGES FOR 
LARGER DETAILED IMAGES!

Blue Arrows point out several areas of wear that were on the game as sent to show that the damaged game is in fact the same as the one sent--I chose several more noticeable areas for comparison.
Red Arrows denote damage done to the game in shipping/etc. - I picked the worst of the damage to point out though you can find more if you look further...

As you can see the game was in pretty nice condition. Now it's trashed and not displayable. For someone like myself who needs displayable items for a collection that is often featured in news and magazine articles, on the NBC Today Show and Good Morning America and other venues, having this game damaged was not only distressing on a personal level but on a business level as well. Further, the sentimental value with this game has been wrecked--it was one of my first Nancy Drew collectibles purchased and was a birthday gift from my husband. Unfortunately, very sad lessons learned from this experience--never again will I loan out collectibles for photography unless I have fair condition duplicates on hand for such purposes.

RES IPSA LOQUITUR:

"The Thing Speaks For Itself"

Bottom line, my game was shipped in fine condition, arrived and/or was sent back damaged, and the result should have been a simple easy to do insurance claim. Case solved. Why Country Living hasn't figured out how simple that process is in 8 months is beyond me...

The game was either damaged in shipping or was packed improperly on the return shipment which would explain all the books shoved down inside the game busting through the lid as it arrived back to me and it not being wrapped to protect it. I have dozens of e-mails (see the timeline pasted below to see just how frustrating the last 8 months have been below...) sent by me and some sent back by Country Living when they deigned to respond saved. These e-mails set up a time line that shows Country Living, upon hearing of the damage and promising to rectify it ASAP and claiming outright the damage happened in shipping, to have taken a completely unprofessional and dishonorable route of giving me the runaround over a game insured for a mere $250.00. After all, if it was damaged in shipping as they claimed, then it would be UPS who would be out of pocket the insured value. So what's the big deal? If they missed the cut off for filing an insurance claim, which I suspect happened, can a huge magazine publisher not be able to afford the replacement cost for a game entrusted to them? Where's the good faith and fair dealing here? Where's the professional handling of this matter? Why does it have to resort to me having to go to the links I've had to here to turn to various forms of Social Media to get some redress? Should I, as an attorney, have go to the added expense of filing a lawsuit for principal's sake, spending far more than $250 to get some redress

Country Living should be ashamed of its behavior. Back in the day when simple classic things like a handshake was a bond and your word meant something--matters like this were handled swiftly and taken care of because people believed in honor and good reputations. Now, people just ignore victims and hope if they give them the runaround long enough, they'll just go away

But I'm not going away. Like Nancy Drew's dog Togo with a bone--I won't quit until I receive some kind of justice in this matter. Nancy Drew taught me that after all ;-) 

So, Country Living, the ball is in your court. What say you?!

Jenn:)

COUNTRY LIVING E-MAILS 
TIMELINE SINCE APRIL 2011:

Here are highlights relevant to this matter from the e-mails... If you wonder why there are some large gaps in my pestering them from time to time to get an answer rather than say e-mailing them daily, since last December I've been insanely busy - my father nearly died in December and was in the Mayo for 3 weeks, I was rundown and fell ill in January and then had a huge convention to put on in March that I was behind in planning on, so by April, I was very worn out yet still having many irons in the fire. Between my consulting and party business and my family and health issues with them, time has slipped away at times, so every once in awhile I'd refocus and re-e-mail CL for updates. But really, the onus is on them to rectify this and get back to me...

APRIL 2011:

26th:

WRITER contacts me about Nancy Drew article.

I reply and agree to do the interview.

--we chat on the phone briefly--

27th:

WRITER e-mails with a list of items she'd like for me to take digital photos of to send them to view to see what they may want to feature. List includes the '57 boardgame.

--I take photos and e-mail them on April 27 - 29 photos in all--

--other various e-mails follow into May on this and that--

MAY 2011:

21st:

WRITER e-mails with a concept idea for the article and asks about borrowing items to be photographed.

--we chatted on phone on 25th--

JUNE 2011:

7th:

WRITER copies EDITOR #1 at CL to the e-mail - so he can get the insurance paperwork going and asks me for values for items listed including the '57 game.

I reply with a list of values for everything and noted $250 for the game.

8th:

EDITOR #1 replies and says "I can assure you that your property will be in safe hands." Says he's going to file insurance paperwork in the morning and e-mail me a UPS label.

EDITOR #1 e-mails the UPS label to me.

--I shipped the following Monday and dropped the box off on June 13 at my local UPS store.--

14th:

Received e-mail from EDITOR #1 that the package "arrived safe and sound."

--e-mails back and forth through mid-July re: collectibles/values/etc. for story--

--research editor gets back to me to go over article specifics in early August--

--end of Aug, someone gets with me on a companion piece for the article--book summaries at website.--

SEPTEMBER 2011

22nd:

I write to WRITER saying how much I love the article and how it turned out

WRITER replies to let me know EDITOR #1 has another job now--his replacement is EDITOR #2 (editing collecting features). She copies EDITOR #2 on the e-mail. Asks me to reply with my mailing address so EDITOR #2 can return everything "safe and sound."

I reply with my address.

23rd:

EDITOR #2 replies to say she'll ship the items back to me that day or by Monday (27th) at the latest. Says she's sorry for the delay in sending the stuff back as it's been on her to do list and thanks for reminding her.

OCTOBER 2011:

12th:
                  
I e-mail EDITOR #2 asking about package and note that I never received a tracking number from her.

Receive e-mail from EDITOR #2 with shipping info--the package has finally been mailed.

18th:

Package arrives back. Delivered at 1:50pm.

I e-mail at by 3:46 pm to WRITER, EDITOR #2, and even EDITOR #1 about the damage to the game. And the 4 additional items in the box that were not mine. I describe the damage and attach photos--the one previously sent before shipping and the new one I've taken of the damaged game.

EDITOR #2 replies with apology will check with photo team in morning--believes it was damaged in shipping back and "I believe the shipment was insured."

19th:

WRITER replies that she's sorry and to let her know if I have any trouble getting reimbursed.

21st:

EDITOR #2 gets back to me saying she's still trying to get to the bottom of it and sort things out and will be in touch soon.

NOVEMBER 2011:

9th:

I e-mail EDITOR #2 to get a status on the game/insurance.

10th:

EDITOR #2 replies that there's nothing yet--the MANAGING EDITOR is going to take care of this and check with their cashiers office to see how to proceed. "It seems like the box was damaged en route to us, and I'm sorry it wasn't mentioned to you when the items first arrived." Will update me ASAP.

DECEMBER 2011:

7th:

I e-mail EDITOR #2 to get an update on the insurance claim.

14th:

I e-mail WRITER, apologizing for bothering her with this, and let her know what's been going on. Asked her if she could check on this for me.

16th:
WRITER apologizes, saying she wrote EDITOR #2 on my behalf, but hasn't heard back. Doesn't think EDITOR #2 is being "flaky" and mentions having a "similar problem with some sterling knives."

20th:
EDITOR #2 e-mails saying she will check with MANAGING EDITOR about her progress and asks me if I have an estimate of the game's value. "Thanks for your patience."

I reply with the $250 value that I gave EDITOR #1 back in June.

JANUARY 2012:

23rd:

EDITOR #2 sends me an e-mail to update me saying they are planning to file a claim with UPS but the process is slower because "shipment was through EDITOR #1's account, which I don't have access to." Will update me ASAP.

MARCH 2012:

16th:
I e-mail EDITOR #2 as I haven't heard a thing since January.

APRIL 2012:

14th:

I e-mail WRITER again with apologizes for the continual bothering of her on this subject, but explain that I am not hearing back from anyone--and that I haven't heard since Jan. on anything--and copy EDITOR #2's Jan. 23rd e-mail. I ask if there's another editor higher up that I can be put into contact with to get this settled.

17th:

WRITER replies that she's "mortified" and "I never would have asked you to entrust us with your collectibles if I thought it would take so long to resolve if something went wrong." States that EDITOR #2 was under the impression that their MANAGING EDITOR had taken care of this so now she's delegated it to our new managing editor MANAGING EDITOR #2 and gives me his e-mail address.

MAY 2012:

21st:

I e-mail MANAGING EDITOR #2 asking for the status on the insurance claim.

He replies, says he's new, and this is the first he's hearing of any of this so he'll get back to me ASAP.

JUNE 2012:

4th:

I e-mail MANAGING EDITOR #2 on the status.

12th:

I send an e-mail to EDITOR #2, MANAGING EDITOR #2, and WRITER following up again and asking for some kind of resolution and state that I feel like I'm getting the runaround from them and would like to get this settled once and for all.

--------------

And here we are now nearly a month since the last response I've received with no further responses from WRITER, EDITOR #2, or MANAGING EDITOR #2. I feel like I'm left with no other choice but to actively do something since e-mailing is not doing any good...

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1 comment:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

WAY uncool! They should SO own up and help you find a replacement.