Just How Much Trouble Is Wizard In?

The once mighty Wizard Entertainment — publisher of magazines including Wizard and ToyFare and comic/entertainment convention organizer — isn’t having a good year.

First came word that two of their four conventions were cancelled, the ones in LA and Dallas, leaving only Philadelphia and Chicago. (Wizard insists that Los Angeles has only been “postponed”. Baseless speculation has it that this is because that way, they don’t have to pay back deposits.) Although they did buy the New York Big Apple Con, putting themselves in a city that already has a huge comic show.

Next, they cancelled Anime Insider. Subscribers did not get refunds or any word on status, reportedly because Wizard has been eliminating staff all over, including customer service.

Wizard feedback

That might explain why their Amazon store has a horrendous feedback ranking, 47% positive at the time of this writing. (Bear in mind that general recommendation is not to order from someone with under 92%.)

Most bizarre are the feedback comments, with many unhappy customers complaining that instead of receiving the collectibles they paid several hundred dollars for, they got a “plastic Superman doll”. Thankfully, Amazon has refund policies that protect the seller in such cases, but what is going on over at Wizard Entertainment?

For more horror stories, visit their message boards (link no longer available). Three years’ worth of “I didn’t get what I ordered” with the refrain lately being “no one was available for me to contact.”

Update: Between the time of my starting to write this article and publishing it, their Amazon feedback rating dropped another point, to 46%.

Also, Wizard responded (link no longer available), saying,

During a recent inventory move we incurred some damage to parts of our inventory. Since many of our customers are collectors, these items are not suitable. When this occurs, we send people a free gift (with shipping at our own expense) to compensate them for their inconvenience. They also receive a full refund on their order.

So the doll was a complimentary action figure, and all these troubled customers were just confused and unaware they were refunded.


6 Responses to “Just How Much Trouble Is Wizard In?”

  1. Ray Cornwall Says:

    I am really wondering how bad WW Philly’s going to be this year…

  2. Johanna Says:

    I have thought about trying that show, in part because I’d like an excuse to go back and visit Philadelphia, but since they always put it on the same weekend as Heroes, I won’t go. Heroes is a much better show.

  3. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Johanna,

    I did get a refund for the remaining part of my Anime Insider subscription. I called the day after the word got out aobut it been cancelled. So maybe I got lucky.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Sounds like it, Ed! Sometimes moving quickly is good, before the company finishes shutting down. :)

  5. James Schee Says:

    Interesting…. I remember a few months back Wizard was having these massive sales on a bunch of comics. They were trades, HCs, statues, etc for like 90% off or more.

    I was tempted, but it sounded too good to be true. Especially given that it was Wizard.:)

    Looks like I was wise to be wary.

  6. World War Con: Big Apple 2010 scheduled for same weekend as NYCC 2010 | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

    [...] during this time, while 2008's holiday season saw Wizard's online retail component slammed with customer complaints. On the convention front, shows have been canceled or placed on indefinite hiatus (Atlanta, Boston, [...]




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