After the structural collapse of the Lego Fire Brigade, I wrote to Lego to give them a chance to respond to my supreme level of annoyance. I got this underwhelming response via email:
Thank you for getting in touch with us about your missing LEGO® pieces.
I’m sorry there were items missing from your new LEGO set. We try really hard to make sure all LEGO toys are perfect, but sometimes a faulty one sneaks through. Actually – controlling the quality of the toys that leave our factory is a big job (about seven LEGO sets are sold every second!) and we spend a long time trying to get it right. We have a whole department of experts (and machines) who test every LEGO set before it leaves us – they even weigh every box to make sure there’s nothing missing.
We’d like to get even better at catching any faulty LEGO sets though, so I’m passing your comments onto the team in charge of testing. It’ll help them make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Your LEGO parts are on their way from our warehouse in Denmark and should be with you in 7-10 business days.
Thank you again for contacting us, April. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply to this email or call one of our friendly Customer Care Advisors at 1-800-835-4386 (from within the US or Canada) or 1-860-749-0706 (from outside the US or Canada). We are available Monday through Friday from 8AM – 10PM EST and Saturday through Sunday from 10AM to 6PM EST. Please have your reference number handy if you need to get in touch with us: (removed for blog posting)
Kera LEGO Direct Consumer Services
I guess this isn’t a terrible response but honestly, I was kind of expecting at least a coupon off my next order to apologize for the obvious breakdown in their quality control procedures. And just to remind you, I wasn’t missing a few blocks. I was missing an entire bag of blocks. I was missing every single dark grey flatty two-button piece (as discussed in my previous post, I developed my own sort of Lego language). I was missing the lights for the fire engine. I was missing the pretty little iconic gold helmets that are featured on the front of the fire station. I was missing the tiny little axes. I was missing the little gear shifter for the fire engine. I was missing the lights for the light fixtures. I was missing a lot more too. And it took me over 4 hours of block counting to figure out which pieces I was missing. Seriously, FOUR HOURS OF BLOCK COUNTING. Four. Like enough to drive anyone insane.
So, I blogged. I wrote to Lego. I tweeted Lego. I posted a review of my experience for their website. Now, I don’t think Lego set out to maliciously ruin my experience so I was careful to make sure the review I posted on their website was just my experience and not a Lego-bashing party. I think others considering purchasing a Lego set that costs about $150 will want to know if they stand the potential of sitting and spending 4 hours counting blocks. I tried to ensure it wasn’t harsh but was just a factual account of my experience. I tried to make it a little funny and upbeat. I made sure to include that ordering the missing pieces was simple. I made sure to point out that I still had fun building the set. I included pictures.
And then it took almost a full 2 weeks to get the replacement parts.
And when they finally came….THAT is when I really lost my temper.
First of all, I went onto Lego’s website and my carefully written and thought-out review of my experience was gone. Apparently, someone decided that my experience shouldn’t be included in their product reviews. Honestly, I find this completely unacceptable. And since I made such efforts to make sure it was a fair and non-bashing review, I was truly offended that it had been removed. I asked Lego to please explain to me why it was removed. There are certainly other reviews with complaints in them that have not been removed and I don’t think my review was any harsher than any of those.
But what really burned my cookies is that the replacement parts were STILL missing parts. They even sent me the itemized list of what parts I ordered but apparently their QC department wasn’t capable of checking to be sure those were the parts they actually put in the bag they shipped me. I’m still missing about 8 parts. However, they gave me 2 of some of the pieces I ordered. And they gave me these clear orangish bricks that don’t even go with this set. SO, AFTER WAITING FOR TWO WEEKS FOR REPLACEMENT PARTS, I HAVE TO PLACE ANOTHER REPLACEMENT PART ORDER AND WAIT EVEN LONGER TO FINISH THE BUILDING. In the mean time, I have these useless orange pieces I can’t use. How does that even happen? I mean, Lego gave ME the list to double check to be sure all the pieces were included. Why couldn’t Lego double check it before they let it leave the factory? I’m just baffled by this. And, in case you didn’t guess from my all caps outburst up there…I’m a little more than just frustrated now.
I wrote Lego again today asking for a reason why my review was removed from the website. And I explained how upset I am with their substandard QC process and that I am going to have to place ANOTHER order for missing pieces. I will update this if and when they respond.
If you are reading this, I’d like to ask that you post a comment. You see, my first Lego post was one of the most popular blog posts I’ve ever posted in terms of number of hits but only one person commented (Laura, you’re awesome, Elephant Chew – sorry, it’s an inside joke). So, if Lego even looked at the post, they probably dismissed me as having a loud mouth and a small audience. But I think Lego would be surprised to know how many people did read that post. I know that I was surprised. And since several of you have emailed me personally to ask about follow-up from Lego, I know you’re anxious to hear if the company steps up to make things right. I think Lego needs to know you’re all interested in their response. So, thanks in advance for posting comments.