Sunday, September 16, 2012

I'm Done With Panini Redemptions

If you've been collecting sports cards for any length of time, you've probably heard your share of redemption horror stories, or worse yet, experienced the frustration of a mishandled redemption first hand. I have had a number of negative experiences in the past myself, but the vast, vast majority of issues have all been with the same company - Panini. They were all forgivable offenses in which the delays were either manageable and/or offset by really cool replacement cards - until now.

Here's the blow by blow of the straw that broke the camel's back:


I submitted my redemption via Panini's website for a 2010 Panini Gridiron Gear Dexter McCluster Rookie Gridiron Gems Trios Prime Signatures #/20. At the time, McCluster was one of the more sought after members of the 2010 NFL Rookie Class. As such, low numbered auto patch rookie cards such as this were selling for good money. I decided to give it 6 months and then ask for a replacement card if they still hadn't sent me my card.

6/12/2011 - 185 Day Mark

I was tired of waiting and the value of McCluster rookie cards was dropping fairly rapidly. So I sent Panini an update to my redemption request in which I said, "Its been 6 months since I first submitted the redemption now. Can you please just send me a card of equal value?"

9/7/2011 - 272 Day Mark

Panini must have a very long list of things that are more important then following through on their commitments, because it took them a whopping 3 months to respond to my simple two sentence request. But thankfully the news was good. The Panini representative replied saying, "Your replacement card will be going out in the next few weeks. Thank you and have a nice day!"

Fantastic! I'm only a few weeks away from finally receiving my redemption. Right? Not exactly...

2/22/2012 - 440 Day Mark

Contrary to the promise that Panini made to me, 5 months has passed and still no card. And no explanation as to why the card hadn't been sent. So I sent them yet another message, "I never received this card (or a replacement). Please send as its been a year and a half."

8/14/2012 - 614 Day Mark

Out of nowhere, an inexcusable 614 days after first submitting my redemption to Panini, I finally received my card.. well, kind of. Here is what I got:

Hmm... something seems to be missing. Arguably the most important component of the card, the autograph, has been intentionally committed. And to add insult to injury, we can be reminded of that fact every time we look at the card thanks to the words "No Autograph" foiled stamped onto the front of the card. Wow.
Remember, the card is part of the Gridiron Gems Trios Prime Signatures insert set. So it took them nearly 2 years to send me the card, yet they sent it to me completely unfinished.

I don't want a Prime Signatures insert minus the Signature part. Instead of doing the right thing and sending me a comparable auto patch rookie card, they for some reason thought that it would suffice to send me a card that is so ridiculous that I'll be lucky if I can sell it for more then a couple of bucks. And incase you're wondering, the memorabilia pieces aren't even game used - they are from the 2012 NFL Rookie Photo Shoot!

My hopes were lifted when I realized there was a second card in the package. But then I pulled the card out and my hope turned quickly to anger and disappointment:

A low end sticker auto of Donruss' lowest end football product. And its a defensive back. I actually kind of like Ronde Barber, but this card comes nowhere close to compensating me for this debacle.

I'm not a big fan of Panini's products to begin with, so I don't forsee buying any boxes of their boxes from which to pull redemptions in the future. But if/when I do, the unused redemption is going straight to eBay because I've officially lost confidence in this company's ability to handle redemptions in a timely, honest, and dependable manner.

Have your own redemption horror story? If so, please share it with me belowlet me hear about it by leaving a comment below.