Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quantum Mechanix - Convention Menace

You’re a nerd so you already know Quantum Mechanix (or QMX) makes awesome stuff from hyper-detailed replicas to animated maquettes. Online, their transactions are painless but the last two times I’ve dealt with them at conventions I’ve been disappointed.

Back in November of 2010 I went to Creation’s Salute to Firefly, Buffy/Angel, and Dollhouse and laid eyes on the awesome River and Wash from their Little Damn Heroes line. I asked if they were for sale at the convention – they weren’t but they were available for pre-order so I preordered both figurines and paid for them. A few weeks later I got an email that asked for payment.

Panicked, I found the receipt and emailed back that I’d already paid for the items. Then I got an email back that explained that they had received payment for the figurines but not for shipping. At the show, the person who sold the figurines to me never told me that shipping would be handled later so that I’d be prepared for the email. I thought that was thoughtless and irritated me but I considered it a lesson on pre-ordering items in the future.

Then, last week at Comic-Con, I saw the Kaylee Big Damn Heroes Animated Maquette. Kaylee’s my favorite character and I knew it wasn’t available online yet but they had the figure at the show. The price tag in the case read $59.95 and the salesman warned me that Kaylee didn’t have a peg or anything that connected her to the engine part so he suggested gluing her down. Cool – good advice.

Once I got Kaylee for the register the amount was about $75 and I told the lady working the register that Kaylee was $59.95. She said Kaylee was listed for $69.95 not $59.95. I paid and thought I saw the price wrong. It was possible – I was excited to get the maquette. But before leaving, I went back to the display case and was right – it was listed for $59.95. I told the lady I was right about the price and she told me that the price in the display case was wrong. The salesman told her that it had said $59.95 all convention and she started arguing that it was the wrong price according to what she had.

At the least I expected one of them to turn to me and apologize for the misunderstanding. At the most I thought they’d refund $10 for the confusion. I walked away pissed while they were arguing and ignoring me. Over the last week I haven’t given it much thought. If the maquette is $69.95, that’s just the way it is.

But I got an email today about Kaylee’s maquette going on sale and clicked the link. The price on the website is $59.95. They squeezed an extra $10 out of me at the convention and I didn’t even get an apology.

QMX – great products, crappy customer service. I’ll deal with them online for the Little Damn Heroes (I want to finish the set) but I’m not investing in anything new from them (even if I’m excited about them doing Guild maquettes) and I’m definitely not dealing with them at conventions anymore. When the Little Damn Heroes set is done, so am I. I don’t normally do business with companies who treat me poorly.

 Kaylee - Big Damn Heroes animated maquette is awesome...except for gluing her down and paying $10 extra...

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