World class service...
This week was supposed to be joyful for North American gamers who've waited years to dive into Level-5 and Studio Ghibli's jointly produced role-playing masterpiece, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. And as many fans are discovering, the game has been well worth the wait. But for the biggest fans - those who put down $120 on publisher Namco Bandai's website to secure the Wizard's Edition of the game - the Ni No Kuni launch has been anything but magical.
Reports earlier this week from upset fans on NeoGAF, Facebook, Twitter and the official Namco Bandai forums suggested orders were being cancelled due to billing errors. Others stated their credit cards and bank accounts had been hit with pre-authorization charges for the game, but that customer service representatives for Digital River, the order fulfillment company Namco Bandai uses for their online store, could not provide shipping estimates. Launch day came and went, and while those who'd picked up the standard version of the game were enjoying it immensely, fans who'd ordered the Wizard's Edition were completely in the dark about when their copies were going to ship.
On Wednesday afternoon, some fans reported getting shipping notifications; then in the early evening, Digital River issued an official statement via the Namco Bandai forums:
We apologize for the discrepancies you may have encountered with your order of NAMCO BANDAI’s Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch™ – Wizard’s Edition. As one of our valued customers, we want to assure you that a Digital River representative will be reaching out to you individually via email to address your specific issue. Should you wish to contact us, please call us at 952-392-2057. We sincerely appreciate your patience as we work through this situation.
The mood lightened as talk among fans shifted from the poorly handled launch to the quality of Level-5's game. Then something else happened: Namco Bandai sent out a mass email to hundreds of fans telling them their orders had been cancelled and that they wouldn't be able to get the game after all:
Digital River is very sorry for the problems you had ordering NAMCO BANDAI's Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch™ - Wizard's Edition. Regretfully, we must inform you that because of an error in our ordering system, the available inventory of Wizard's Edition was oversold by mistake. As a result, we were unable to fulfill your order because it was placed after the stock was depleted. You will receive an official order cancellation notice within 24-48 hours.
It sounded like a simple, unfortunate, stocking error, but then the forums exploded yet again when fans who'd ordered the game last summer reported having their orders cancelled, while others who'd gotten the game during a one-day restock last week received shipping confirmations. While there doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason as to who had their orders cancelled and who received shipping notifications, one thing is clear to us after several hours waiting on hold with Digital River's customer service: neither Namco Bandai nor Digital River were equipped to handle the demand for the game.
If you ordered the Ni No Kuni Wizard's Edition, has your order been cancelled, or are you sitting pretty on a shipping notification? What do you think about Namco Bandai's handling of the situation? Sound off in the comments below!
World class service...
Last unannounced faves: Two Bad, Tung Lashor, Squeeze, Modulok, Horde Trooper, Blast Attack
Sad. How are they even allowed to stay in business?
We're all shocked.
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Lol this his amazing. Mattel must have a contract with them that they cannot get out of and will cost to much to buy out the contract. ****ing amazing.
Pathetic. I was aware of the fact that Digital River was handling this and obviously wondered to myself if they were going to screw it up. And they did, like clockwork.
I've been anticipating the release of this game and have been hoping it would be successful (I got mine from GameStop with a nice Steelbook case). Irritates me to see DR spread their patented form of disaster to Ni No Kuni.
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And all that troubles man
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I don't believe it.
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ORBS THAT ARE MEATY WOULD BE SWEETY!
DR must be ran by a bunch of people with special needs. I know the "customer service" for matty is. Or that they care so little or that there is no accountability.
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Legit one of the worst most inept companies out there.
Wow, yet another business DR is putting in the toilet, like how no one likes calling about Microsoft software, because DR sells that for them too.
Hooray for Digital Ass!
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This might be the only way to get rid of DR. They do something so embarrassing, Mattel will want nothing to do with them.
I can't believe this company still exists.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!
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someone posted a comment saying
"That's a pretty extreme thing to say about a company for one isolated, albeit very unfortunate mistake."
that made me lol so hard that I couldn't breathe...good job I have an inhaler
The government needs to investigate Digital River fully, and shut them down if necessary, because this is idiotic and shouldn't be allowed to go on.
I can't say I'm surprised by this since DR was involved. I do feel bad for those customers, and they have every right to be angry. There's a good chance that many of them have never dealt with Digital River before, so for them this is completely new and not as well known as it for, well, us for example. Not only is it stupid that they oversold it, but it's even worse that there's no rhyme or reason as to why one person's order gets filled and another gets canceled. At minimum those who preordered should have had their orders filled first before any day-of orders went through, and in order (meaning if they didn't have enough to fill all preorders, those who ordered earliest should get their orders filled, and those who ordered last get canceled). This is basically the Fisto fiasco over again, just on a larger scale.
I can't even say that this company is a joke, because that would be a huge step up from whatever the hell they are now.
What do you expect from a company run by *******? And if you don't know what is blanked out, it sounds similar to custards.
Speaking of which, a quick Google search on Digital River reveals enough cases like this, including working for companies involved in fraud investigations (although DR itself was never brought up on such charges, they just handled orders for the companies charged; this is likely why some collector's banks have flagged charges by the company over the years), one has to wonder why any company would do business with them. Matty is small enough to run under the radar, perhaps, but a much anticpated game being given the usual DR treatment may actually stick to them.
And their ineptitude is universal, no matter who they are dealing with; when they tried to hit me with the bogus credit card charges, my card company actually had their in-house investigator look into the matter. One of the times he spoke to me, he related that he, representing one of the biggest banks in this country (my card was with Chase at the time), tried to contact someone in charge, and he got the same run-around from clueless customer service people we all know too well. I had to tell him, "You've been DR'ed."
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This poor lady's job must be a nightmare when they screw up like this:
Kristin McKenzie, +1 952-225-3718
Associate Director, Corporate Communications
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