#Banned #Lego #customer #review

This post is not IT related but a customer review of lego.no.
IT posts will come back soon after a long hiatus.

Let’s start by the end, my two latest orders have been cancelled and after contacting the support I have learn the reason by email: “we’ve decided not to accept any further orders from your account” and “the decision is final”.

I will share below my experience with Lego, good and bad, and how it has ended up in this way.
Goals:

  • Give a chance to Lego to revert this decision when presented with the full picture.
  • Illustrate a negative trend in term of quality across the years hoping it could be acted upon accordingly, if not for me, at least for others Lego customers.
  • Provide suggestions to Lego on how to improve customer experience. These tips could also be relevant for any online shop.
  • Provide suggestions on how to improve Lego website.
  • Highlight issues with VIP points and pre-order in such scenario and hope Lego could fix this.

It will be also interesting to get feedbacks from others AFOL.

I have been back in the Lego hobby since June 2019.
The collection has started small and has increased in size considerably across the years.
So far, a typical AFOL collector.

I also buy used sets in bulk or unsorted, fix them by procuring the missing parts and resell them.
It is a good way to get the experience of building sets that I am not planning to own and finance the rest of the collection.

Like in my work, as consultant, I am always customer oriented with high standards.
Each time I sell a Lego I am doing my best to ensure that the buyer will get exactly what he pays for.
A ”complete” set will be really complete with inventory checked with bricklink.
If a Lego box is involved, it will be packed in a safe way.
I have hundreds, and only, positive review on finn.no to illustrate this.

However, it means that I have same expectations from vendor.

Expectations

  • The order is delivered
  • The order is complete
  • Lego boxes are in good condition. I do not throw them away and consider them as integral part of the set.

Lego.no has fulfilled these expectations most of the time in 2019 and 2020.
It means, it is possible.

Unfortunately, a negative trend has started in 2021.

Order summary

For simplicity the table below is per order and not per set.
An issue with one order doesn’t necessarily means an issue with all sets in the order.
And in general all issue have been fixed with support either by providing VIP points or replacement sets.

Year Total orders Orders with issue % of orders without issue Notes
2017 1 None 100%
2019 9 1 89%
2020 47 3 93%
2021 73 19 73%
2022 25 4 85% Some sets have to be returned multiples time until getting a box in good condition.

Finally the first order cancelled the 30 September. I didn’t notice the reply by email.

And in October, two orders cancelled.
I contacted the support by phone, they didn’t know why, and later I have received the email informing me that I have been banned by Lego.
In addition five backorder for bricklink sets in 2022.

Some of the issues

2019:
The issue was with one large order with many sets and two box damaged.
Lego has offered VIP points because it was not possible to replace them because they were already retired.
TIPS for Lego customer: limit number of sets in the same order, the higher the weight, the higher are the risks for some boxes to be squashed

2020:
For two of them it was missing the gift (I guess it was a bug with the website, misleading that the gift was added) another box was damaged.
TIPS for Lego customer: ensure that the gift with purchase is in the basket before paying.
Even if a banner shows that gift should be there, like for order above XX, it doesn’t means it is working.

2021:
For one of them the parcel has never reached me
I have received a notification on my phone that the parcel was delivered, but it was not in the front of my house.
After checking the tracking status, I have learn that some documentation was missing and it has been returned to sender (lego). This order had two good gift with purchases. Lego was not able to resend parcel with them they only offered the newest GWP available at that time which were rubbish in comparison.

For another, when I noticed one order not delivered, I have checked the tracking status and identified issue with documentation that looked like similarly to above issue and that it was going back to Lego.
I have contacted Lego support, they have check tracking status and send me a new parcel.
But later, I have received the first parcel. It was not returned despite the status.
I have then contacted Lego and send back this order received now in double by mistake.
I doubt that all Lego customer will inform Lego in such case.
I have high standards, but i am a fair customer.

The worst was for bricklink orders for the serie 1 with all boxes damaged. Lego support has offered VIP point but the value was ridiculous compared to the damages and the new value of these sets on the market at that time.
I have refused the compensation on VIP point because it would mean accepting this resolution.
So this case has not been resolved in my point of view.

2022:
One order of brick (for around 800 nok) has never been received. After talking with support it seems it was never sent and i was not billed. (I will nee to check)
Problem is i took a very long time to make this order, and Lego could not even provide a way to get the inventory of the parts ordered.

For at least one set, the porsche , i had to return it three time. (Inital damaged, replacement damaged, replacement with imperfection).

Example of damages:
For the porsche the corner was not aligned properly. It may have been acceptable if it was received like this the first time but this was the second replacement set and with the work associated to replace a set i was not accepting issue anymore.

In general, I would say contact with support personnel has been good or above expectations.
There were few disagreement sometimes, like for compensation for bricklinck sets or the order that never reached me but these are exceptions.

I have received part missings for two sets.
I have received a replacement for sticker where i did screwed up when applying them. (I asked if it was possible to buy replacement sticker but instead they send it to me)
After an order was cancelled because above limite of one account, the gift with purchase redeem code associated was blocked. Support has simply send the gift alone instead of providing me a new code to replace the one blocked as i have requested initially.

The issue is with transport, bad packing and/or bad transport company, at least for delivery in Norway, ending up with support cases that could have been easily avoided. In 2019 and 2020 such issues were the exceptions.

Improve packing

In the past there was air bags in the parcel.
It was replaced by some kind of “papers” which didn’t provide so much protection
And later nothing.
So it is evolving … but in the wrong direction.

I am ready to pay for transport, if it is a problem of cost.
I already mentioned it to support, if there was a premium “collector” service that would guaranted boxes in good condition i would take it.
For example, parcels using the large brown box dedicated for large Lego set, with the set number outside e.g. for set 10305 have prevented damages most of the time.

And for small items like keyring it is better to have them in small box to prevent damaging Lego boxes in the same parcel during transport.

Manage customer expectation

I also buy Lego from other online stores in Norway, and unfortunately i have also experienced Lego boxes damaged.
For example with lekekassen i complained and got a partial refund, however they have made it clear that it was an exception and they will not do it again.

This is the reply I got from support:
All our products are subject to risk of some damage during transport. We do not guarantee “mint condition” on our deliveries, and cosmetic damage like this can happen. This is not covered by a refund and is also stated in our conditions.
We know that collectors demand boxes in perfect condition, but unfortunately we can’t guarantee this.

This is not good customer service but it is good management of customer expectation.
From this date it was clear that ordering from them is a lottery and I should not have high standard.
Then it is my responsibility if i buy from them or not.

If Lego told me something similar from the start, i would have adjusted my expectations.
But instead Lego has waited for the last email, which is the ban, to inform about this.
This is the first time i see rules explained AFTER the penality.
Dear LEGO® fan,

Thanks for getting in touch with us regarding your recent LEGO® order.

I’m really sorry, but as we’ve had to cancel your recent orders in accordance with our shipping and handling terms, we’ve decided not to accept any further orders from your account. Our terms of service, including our returns and shipping policies, are in place to make sure we’re fair to all LEGO® customers and so that we can guarantee a consistent level of order support.

We don’t take these types of decisions lightly and we do take care to run extensive checks before reaching a conclusion. However, once we’ve decided not to accept any further orders from an account, the decision is final.

If you’d like to find out more about our shipping and handling terms, you can read them online here: https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fshop.lego.com%2Fen-GB%2FShipping-Handling&data=05%7C01%7Cflow.service.mailbox%40LEGO.com%7C8d0928e277564f2adac008daa57db613%7C1d0635156cad41959486ea65df456faa%7C0%7C0%7C638004256587520112%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=Z58HGR1SAHnMP2HYG%2Ff7WHnDH8d69bxw5MM8IA%2FfJ%2FM%3D&reserved=0. As it explains in those terms, we reserve the right to cancel an order if it raises concerns. Any future orders you place will be automatically cancelled in accordance with those terms. Once again, we regret that this means that you’ll no longer be able to purchase LEGO sets directly from us. However, if you’d still like to buy our products you can still buy them at your local toy store or with other online shops.

Kind regards,
LEGO® Service

There is some irony in this reply with “As it explains in those terms.
After clicking this link I have not find anything about such term in this page.


Proactive instead of reactive

Instead of  cancelling the last 3 orders and ask customer to contact support, inform directly of the ban.
I only got the email below before the ban, but it was not telling that the next orders will be cancelled.
Actually if Lego would have started by this, and properly managed customers experience, it would have solved many issues.

We understand that you want your parcels to arrive in a certain quality, and we’re sorry to hear that there is no LEGO® Brand Retail store close to your current location.As my previous colleague said in his email, we feel that we can not live up to the quality that you expect, seeing as you wish to return the majority of the orders you place with us. We therefore have to limit the amount of returns we send out for what we consider pretty minor damages (creases and small scratches). You can provide us with pictures of future damages, but bear in mind that for some of these we may just be able to offer other forms of compensation, such as VIP Points. Thank you for your advice on offering a premium service. We always appreciate advice on how we can make our services better. We hope you have a lovely rest of your week.

Schedule tasks to monitor tracking status of each order and if anything is abnormal, act upon it early. It would have avoided the parcel to be returned when there was documentation missing.


Add options to export as CSV or EXCEL all orders

It took me a lot of hours just to extract all the transactions for this post.
So ideally, the ability to export all transactions and content of each.

Fix issue with VIP code not valid after an order is cancelled

It is not always easy to have control of all previous order and when reaching a maxium the order may be cancelled. But if a VIP gift with purchase or discount code has been used, they can’t be used again.

Avoid “cancel order” because limit reached

To avoid cancelling and order because limit are reached, the best would be to prevent such orders to happen in the first place.
Ideally if the number of sets already ordered in the past were visible before adding an item to the basket it would solve this issue. And if the limit is already reached, “gray” the option to add this item.
It would also solve the previous issue with VIP code “lost” when the order is cancelled.

I have now more than 26000 VIP points.
With 15000 points for 1000 Nok discount, it means around 1700 Nok.
In addition I have order many VIP gifts , but at time of writing,  I can’t redeem them because my order will be cancelled due to the ban.
And with the latest 3 orders cancelled, the 3 associated VIP gifts have not been sent.
So around 15000 point of VIP gifts so another 1000 Nok.
So 2700 nok total (around 270€)*
So regardless of term and condition, if the ban is maintained, i think majority of people will consider it as a theft.
If Lego representative could suggest a solution it would be perfect.

* Without taking into account that it is more cost effective to use points for VIP gifts than for discount.
TIPS for Lego customer: Do not accumulate many VIP points.
It is good to have a small reserve for interesting gifts but there is a risk of loosing everything at any time.

I have also ordered 5 bricklink sets, months before this ban and they are now in “back order”.
Because the ban has happened after these orders, I expect Lego to deliver them.
If Lego representative could confirm that they will fulfil these transaction it would be perfect.

Removing the ban would fix the two issues above.

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ahmedaljanahy Creative Designer @al.janahy Founder of @inkhost I hope to stay passionate in what I doing

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