How about some good old fashioned customer service?
Scott, you've gone on record several times saying that you guys treat every problem seriously and yet the record says otherwise.
877-GO-MATTY supposedly has had more resources and by your own admission they've been here for a few weeks now. Therefore even if new people are getting used to the system there; the basics of generating tickets when people say they will, asking more experienced people if they're not sure of something, making customers feel like their concerns have been listened to and addressed or sending emails - in other words basic customer service skills and common sense which people should have going into that job - should already be there.
Yet the CS team there don't generate tickets when they will, don't email you with ticket numbers and not only feed people canned lines but tell them outright lies like they're not entitled to a refund for products which never arrive- in what seems to be more of an effort to shut them up and make them go away than actually fix problems.
In fact since I brought the example of that lie to your attention; noone has contacted me to find out who out of the supervisors on that team had made such a fraudulent statement which could potentially get Mattycollector in more than a little bit of legal hot water.
In fact the way I actually managed to solve things in the end was calling general DR customer service instead of the dedicated CS team at 877-GO-MATTY.
And that's just part of the problem. A major added headache is the way that it looks like rather than the old system of everything going from the factory in China to the USA and then out to foreign customers; it now goes from China to the USA to Sweden then out to foreign customers, adding another 4 weeks into the mix.
Now you say that the shipping methods depend on cost, but what does that move do besides anger customers (and rightly so) and make the entire thing even more expensive? Surely there's a logisitcs company in the US which is just as effective as the one you've found in Sweden?
And it's not just limited to CS, the way you and Evil Skeletor have been handling things has been extremely detrimental to the line as well.
The experience many of us have had with Evil Skeletor is contacting him about issues back in Feb where his efforts proved futile (or in some cases there was success) and now in April when we PM him, being ignored by him.
As for dealing with you, many of us feel like you're giving more spin than helpful answers. A classic case is the "Kobra Kahn disaster thread". Joeybones started the thread saying he'd tried contacting CS about getting a replacement and your response to him was "contact CS"- the very thing he'd just stated he'd done to no avail.
It's things like this which make people so annoyed with you and your responses because they honestly come across like you're just trying to fob people off and not really addressing concerns.
As a brand manager I'm sure you're aware of the importance of PR to any brand, and that with a line like this which is very niche and directed at a single fan community; that bad news spreads even faster than it does with a mass-marketed line.
The thing is that the current set-up could not be giving you guys worse PR. The whole system honestly comes across as looking like there's DR who will try and steal people's money (which is how it comes across when you have supervisors at the 877 number claiming people aren't entitled to refunds for missing orders) or force them to put up with defective product after waiting months for it; backed up by a Mattel customer advocate who is largely ineffective when he isn't ignoring problems entirely, and a Brand manager (whom the buck for the line ultimately stops with) who just comes across as feeding people spin and fobbing people off.
The idea of assigning more resources to DR was admirable and logical in some regards as a preliminary first step, as was splitting your initial role in two. However it should be clear now that it simply isn't working, and you're likely to lose a lot of subscribers when it comes to 2013 if you guys proceed down the same path.
At what point does Mattel realise that just throwing money at the problem isn't going to fix it. At what point are the employees working on 877-GO-MATTY made to sign performance contracts with external auditors? Is Evil Skeletor made to follow through on things (and assigned a sub/replacement when he's away on leave or due to illness)? At what point do you both start giving us better answers and alternatives where there are issues (people contact you here about order problems because all 877-GO-MATTY gets them is an ulcer) and get given the legal leeway to do so by Mattel legal?
In short, at what point does Mattel actually fix the CS problems rather than just throwing money at it in the form of allocating resources to an incompetent and indifferent CS team while hoping for the best?
We just opened a US based CS group. They are going through the back log of CS calls and should be caught up soon helping customers resolve issues as soon as possible.