By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor
Panini America addressed collector concerns about its customer service department and the long-standing, industry-wide issue of redemption cards on Monday after a number of collectors had recently expressed frustration with an inability to get in touch with representatives for the company.
According to a company statement, Panini is restructuring the department to expedite deliveries as well as follow through on replacement scenarios in a more timely fashion when needed.
The full statement can be found after the jump.
“We have taken on a restructuring of the CS division for a number of reasons … some of which include CS and former employees saying they will send something out to collectors and then not following through. Another factor was the failure to respond to collectors in an efficient fashion. … As soon as it was determined that the division needed some changes, we wanted to immediately communicate it on the phones with an automated message — this was the very first and the quickest/most immediate step we could take at this time to ensure we were making customers aware. There will be more to come on that front. And yes, please be patient during this process.
We want collectors to recognize that we do pay attention and listen to what you have to say. Consider collectors dissatisfaction with customer service as one of the key drivers to restructuring the CS division.
Panini’s perspective so we are all clear and you hear it directly from us:
It’s not acceptable for anyone at Panini to not be responsive to our consumers. We recognize that because we are not in the business of trying to [anger] collectors. Believe it or not we do listen and care about what collectors have to say. That goes for incorporating elements into our products, refining what we do — all the way to customer service. Every component is touched with interaction/feedback from customers. It’s fair to say you see this on the blog as just one example in how we communicate and interact with collectors.
As for Customer Service, we recognize it’s a process and we at Panini are committed to fixing it. We wish it could happen overnight, unfortunately we recognize it can’t — although we are doing our best to expedite the process and do what we can right now as we undergo this restructuring. We would ask all of you to be patient, but recognize that you have already been patient and it is on us to fix the situation. In the coming weeks we will hire a new Customer Service Manager that will help lead this group in a meaningful way.
This is a multi-faceted issue, some of which we can’t always control. However, it’s our responsibility to do everything we possibly can to control redemptions and ensure that they are processed in a timely fashion. Be assured that we are working on this on a number of levels with players, agents, player associations and Panini resources (internal and external). Hopefully, many of you have seen that we have processed a ton of redemptions over the last few weeks and more of that will continue on a weekly basis, as redemptions come in and are processed.
We try to communicate redemption fulfillment the best we can, often times a personal email response which would be ideal does not always work. So we rely on other platforms to communicate this such as our blog with periodic redemption updates — it’s important to note that when we do post it on the blog it does not always include everything that has been or is being processed. Here is a recent example from last week: Panini America Redemption Card Update: The Valentine’s Day 2012 Edition
Again, we are working through these as best we can and as fast as we can and doing all within our power (even more than that) to get redemptions fulfilled. So be patient but know that we are continuing to resolve this. There will be more to come over the next several weeks and months during this restructuring of customer service and we look forward to sharing those changes and developments with collectors.”