[Archive] Game Workshop's Customer Service Policy (wow!)

slev:

I not only used to work for GW, I’ve spent over a decade working in customer service roles, from “on the floor” to head of customer services for a family of companies.

The old mantra of Customer Service is that mistakes will happen, as all businesses involved a human element and humans make mistakes. The mark of good service is how those mistakes are rectified.

GW has always justified it’s higher prices by the levels of customer service they offer. Providing good customer service requires time and resources and hence costs money. People always seem to forget this and ascribe it no cash value.

Willmark:

Slev and herein lies the issue: just who pays for the customer service? Answer: not GW, not by a long shot.

By way of example:they got my $204 order wrong… Four times, eventually sending the order twice in essence. So who pays for that second $204? GW sure doesn’t just “absorb the cost”, they pass it on to the consumer. Now as the order(s) are incorrectly packed again, and again the problem compounds. So in the end everyone has to pay extra for something that should have been done right the first time.

I’m all for admitting mistakes and correcting them, it simply seems to me, with the data I have that GW has a high perponderance of goffing up orders. I have feeling this is what led to the demise of the online store. The storefront that is in place now isn’t even close.

This is no different then the myth that corporations pay taxes; corporations never pay taxes- the customer pays them for said company.

dedwrekka:

Slev and herein lies the issue: just who pays for the customer service? Answer: not GW, not by a long shot.

By way of example:they got my $204 order wrong... Four times, eventually sending the order twice in essence. So who pays for that second $204? GW sure doesn't just "absorb the cost", they pass it on to the consumer. Now as the order(s) are incorrectly packed again, and again the problem compounds. So in the end everyone has to pay extra for something that should have been done right the first time.

I'm all for admitting mistakes and correcting them, it simply seems to me, with the data I have that GW has a high perponderance of goffing up orders. I have feeling this is what led to the demise of the online store. The storefront that is in place now isn't even close.  

This is no different then the myth that corporations pay taxes; corporations never pay taxes- the customer pays them for said company.

Willmark
Well, yeah. The corporation doesn't have any money of it's own, it's all from the customer. Everything is passed on down the line to the customer, because they're where the company gets it's money from.

Slev did say that "GW has always justified it's higher prices by the levels of customer service they offer. Providing good customer service requires time and resources and hence costs money. People always seem to forget this and ascribe it no cash value."

Which is exactly what you were saying, that GW's customer service has a price when it comes down to customer expenses. However if you wanted the hire someone to sit at the middle of the factory line and hand check every box and sprue and mold, you'd find production costs rising due to the slow down.

On that note, I've gotten a box of the GW washes and found that I had two Thrakka Greens and Two Asurman Blues in there. Knowing it wasn't right, I looked on the back of the box and found that I was missing Ogryn Flesh and Leviathan Purple. I emailed them, gave them the order number (I had ordered it online through them), and got a box in the mail from them a few days later.

Inside the box was Thrakka Green and Asurman Blue washes....

When ever I have an issue with an order from GW, I remember the armies of boxes and orders where I got everything right, and of the few times where I was missing something and it got replaced quickly when I mentioned it.

two_heads_talking:

I am fairly certain this has been mentioned before on this board, but... for all the raising of model prices, discontinuing of favorite models, and the end of the Bitz (which I really loved), I'd like to say that Games Workshop's customer service isn't all bad!

Hobgoblyn
Considering that there is no end of Bitz, but rather a restructering that is taking a bit of time, I'm not sure what you are expecting here..

There are bitz, it's not the same as before, but it's still there and many people, myself included use what's available to us.

two_heads_talking:

So the customer is wrong in expecting the seller to get it right the first time?

This of course would be pallatable if it weren't for the fact that last time I ordered from GW they got the same order wrong.... 4 times in a row.

Willmark
Here's the funny thing. When I worked for Gw, the people putting the bitz orders together were 6 old ladies that would look at the number, pull the bitz from a bin and shove it in a bag. they didn't know the difference from part number 9910000 etc to part number 99100001 etc..  even with a description, they didn't know. so, sometimes your bitz order is being pulled by someone who has nothing to do with the game and if the bin is mislabled, it happens, or if the part number is mistyped, it happens also, the lady pulling your bitz has no idea that you doing a super uber tyranid conversion or a super cool space marine.. she just sees numbers, quantities, and metal bitz..  that's all.. Can she get it wrong 19 times in a row, yep..  Can she get it right 500 times in a row, yep.  Whatcha gonna do, slap her in the head because the part number gotmistyped or she read it wrong or any other number of things beyond her control? I hope not...
Slev and herein lies the issue: just who pays for the customer service? Answer: not GW, not by a long shot.

By way of example:they got my $204 order wrong... Four times, eventually sending the order twice in essence. So who pays for that second $204? GW sure doesn't just "absorb the cost", they pass it on to the consumer. Now as the order(s) are incorrectly packed again, and again the problem compounds. So in the end everyone has to pay extra for something that should have been done right the first time.

Willmark
as for bitz, let's just put it this way, way way back in the day, staff could get bitz for about a dollar a kilo.. compare that to what they charged per bitz and you see where the profit is.. I pay 10 cents for what someone else might pay 1 dollar and 35 cents.. it's also another reason that bitz of the old style went away.. Shoot at gamesday they used to sell the models for 5 dollars a kilo and people would still walk away with a huge savings..

snowblizz:

Can she get it wrong 19 times in a row, yep..  Can she get it right 500 times in a row, yep.  Whatcha gonna do, slap her in the head because the part number gotmistyped or she read it wrong or any other number of things beyond her control? I hope not...

two_heads_talking
And for those keeping track the average error rate for human cognitive actions is 2-4% IIRC. So walk down a stair with 100 steps and if you don't trip 2-3 times you are a head of the curve :)
Of course not how it works, just as having 2/3 chance to save a wound (Power Armour FTW!) doesn't mean you'll actually make 2 out of 3 saves (Well I do, other people pass like 4 out of 3).

BilboBaggins:

The easiest thing would be to put a picture or sample of the part on the tag on the bin, I guess I think to logically.

3+ AS means you should save 2/3 of the time, why to I only seem to save 1/2 the time. I guess I need new dice.

dedwrekka:

The easiest thing would be to put a picture or sample of the part on the tag on the bin, I guess I think to logically.

3+ AS means you should save 2/3 of the time, why to I only seem to save 1/2 the time. I guess I need new dice.

BilboBaggins
Work for GW, send in that suggestion, get a pat on the back, and watch as people ignore the pictures. Not to douse on those 6 old ladies that do the work of filling bits orders, bit human error and judgment will always prevail over any safety, security or avoidance measure meant to prevent it.

wallacer:

Instead of a bunch of pensioners can they not simply do the sensible thing and hire people who actually play the games to fill their orders?

Is there really not a single person who plays Warhammer or 40k who would be interested in that job? If they put an ad in White Dwarf saying they need mail order staff who play Warhammer and 40k is there not a single person who would be interested?

It seems incomprehensible to me that they would hire mail order staff who know nothing about Warhammer or 40k. Seriously, just unbelievable.

two_heads_talking:

The easiest thing would be to put a picture or sample of the part on the tag on the bin, I guess I think to logically.

3+ AS means you should save 2/3 of the time, why to I only seem to save 1/2 the time. I guess I need new dice.

BilboBaggins
let's see, have you ever been in the bitz section of GW?  they actually did have a picture.. That doesn't help at all if the number written was incorrect.

My point is human error abounds. and in this case, even the humans doing it had no idea what they were pulling and even if asked couldn't tell you one from the next.
Instead of a bunch of pensioners can they not simply do the sensible thing and hire people who actually play the games to fill their orders?

Is there really not a single person who plays Warhammer or 40k who would be interested in that job? If they put an ad in White Dwarf saying they need mail order staff who play Warhammer and 40k is there not a single person who would be interested?

It seems incomprehensible to me that they would hire mail order staff who know nothing about Warhammer or 40k. Seriously, just unbelievable.

wallacer
I think those 6 ladies rounded out the min number of minorities hire by GW.. I can't rmember a single staff or HQ staff that wasn't caucasion.. I'm not saying the GW is racist, but I know in Maryland, there is a requirement for a certain amount of minority hires and all of them were either secretary, or menial labor positions.. I can't answer the rest of your question, as your guess is as good as mine.

Hobgoblyn:

I think those 6 ladies rounded out the min number of minorities hire by GW..  I can't rmember a single staff or HQ staff that wasn't caucasion.. I'm not saying the GW is racist, but I know in Maryland, there is a requirement for a certain amount of minority hires and all of them were either secretary, or menial labor positions..  I can't answer the rest of your question, as your guess is as good as mine.

two_heads_talking
I've seen noncaucasion GW workers!.... at two stores even!
Of course.. those stores were in Tokyo...

two_heads_talking:

I think those 6 ladies rounded out the min number of minorities hire by GW..  I can't rmember a single staff or HQ staff that wasn't caucasion.. I'm not saying the GW is racist, but I know in Maryland, there is a requirement for a certain amount of minority hires and all of them were either secretary, or menial labor positions..  I can't answer the rest of your question, as your guess is as good as mine.

two_heads_talking
I've seen noncaucasion GW workers!.... at two stores even!
Of course.. those stores were in Tokyo...


Hobgoblyn
And you do realize that I mentioned Maryland, thus implying US only.. I can't, nor will I speak of other countries, as I've had no experience there..

wallacer:

I think those 6 ladies rounded out the min number of minorities hire by GW.. 

two_heads_talking
That's interesting to know. That would at least explain why they hired them.
If they had to fill out some kind of quota system though, you would think there must be other parts of the company that could meet that requirement, and leave mail order to people who know something about the hobby irrespective of their ethnicity. However, if I read your post correctly it seems like other parts of the company weren't meeting that requirement. It all makes for depressing reading.

two_heads_talking:

I think those 6 ladies rounded out the min number of minorities hire by GW.. 

two_heads_talking
That's interesting to know.  That would at least explain why they hired them.
If they had to fill out some kind of quota system though, you would think there must be other parts of the company that could meet that requirement, and leave mail order to people who know something about the hobby irrespective of their ethnicity.  However, if I read your post correctly it seems like other parts of the company weren't meeting that requirement.  It all makes for depressing reading.


wallacer
No, what I'm saying is that in Maryland, the Maryland staff must fill a quota. Other states have their own issues and GW stores follow those as well. the US HQ used to be in Maryland, thus the higher number of minorities required, vs say California or chicago.. In Tennessee it's a completely different monster.. I don't know the laws there..

slev:

When I was with the company in the UK, these people where called “packer Trolls”. They where described to me once as “people we won’t let work anywhere else”, implying their unsuitability to most roles. Minimum wage, high-turnover repetative, tedious jobs are not easy to sell, especially to those as creative as GW’s gamers.

Pretty much everything in the GW UK factory is (was?) packed by hand. Everything, no machines involved. This does leave people open to more errors. The level of checking asked for by Willmark is unreasonable given this set-up.

TBH, given the percentage of errors, and knowing the margins, this is typically an edible cost more so than the checking.

And the customer service side doesn’t just extend to the Mail Order, but also to the Shops, who will teach people to paint/play/model/convert, give help wit the above, run events, club nights, etc, all for free!

zorn sabretooth:

I can honestly say that i have never seen a member of GW staff that haven’t been caucasian (or a gamer for that matter)

dedwrekka:

I can honestly say that i have never seen a member of GW staff that haven't been caucasian (or a gamer for that matter)

zorn sabretooth
Seen both on a regular basis at my old gaming haunts in Dallas, though the predominant gamer in the US seems to be of European descent. But then, almost all of the feel and background is taken from European fairy tales, history, and culture.

BilboBaggins:

I can honestly say that i have never seen a member of GW staff that haven't been caucasian (or a gamer for that matter)

zorn sabretooth
I have seen non-caucasians working and playing at GW. I'll admit the working there is rare.

two_heads_talking:

I worked with, over the 7 years, about a dozen non-caucasion staff. And I can’t even count the number of ethnicities that I’ve enocuntered over the gaming table.

Kera foehunter:

no all i seen is male nerds !! we have it covered with the labor laws!!