This post actually isn't about Douchebeer, and is on topic..
Heh, found this going through my email, did I ever post this here?
ally Posted By: LordRahl
Apologies for the long post but there is no good way to tell this story without a lot of explanation going into it. This whole post is about submitting to CBCS. Normally I would expect CGC to pull this kind of post but given that this is anything but promotion of the competition, I hope they let it be.
I'm just relaying my experience and providing a cautionary tale that could save someone some money and heartburn. People will take from it what they will, I don't care to "prove" anything. You either believe me or you don't. I don't much care which. The CBCS cheerleaders, of which there are some on these boards and certainly more on their boards, will find some reason to excuse the incident. I will be posting this to their board as well but I expect it to get taken down and since this board has plenty of people that submit to both, I wanted to get the word out.
I will preface this by saying that yes, absolutely I'm pissed at CBCS. This is much like any negative review of a company you will get. I'm also hopefully being objective, but I'm sure some of you will tell me if not.
Here is the story:
All books mentioned were pressed either by Joey or Phil. Most of you know Joey, Phil was the owner of Comic Collector Shop in Mt View, CA and now owns a pressing company by the name of CPRS. I've known Phil a long time, good guy and knows what he's doing. Both he and Joey are excellent at what they do and above reproach.
A couple of months ago I submitted around 40 books to CBCS. This was during the CGC case problems when I didn't feel comfortable submitting to CGC with the new cases (pre well fix). 1 book was a 2 day modern, 5 books quickstream (equivalent to CGC standard) and the rest were modern and consumer (30 day TAT).
I get the 2 day modern back with no problems. Subsequently I get back the 5 Quickstream books. All 5 QS books came back with a crease on the bottom of the back cover in about the same spot on all 5 books. I know for a fact these books did not have these creases when I sent them away. So I get the graders notes and sure enough there is a note for each book for a crease on the lower edge of the back cover for varying lengths. So I know the damage wasn't from the actual encapsulation process. It had to have happened between my sending them off and when they were being graded.
I call CBCS and tell them what is going on and of course my first question is, are the rest of my books damaged? They still have 35+ books that are waiting to be graded. They needed to go investigate and would get back to me. A couple of days later, I call again to check and sure enough "yes most of the books have some degree of this damage". How many exactly they danced around and never said.
So, really only one of 2 choices as to what happened. Either the books were damaged in shipping on the way to CBCS or they were damaged while there. They tell me they need to look into it and they have cameras in the receiving department and they need to review the footage, etc. After a few more days, I call back again. After a lengthy conversation, the answer I get is "we didn't do it". Reasons given were that "there was no impact to the backing boards", "their process would not allow for such damage to happen" etc. The no impact to the backing boards comment surprised me as I couldn't see how the books would get damaged without the boards getting damaged. I had to take them at their word because I couldn't see the backing boards but I was skeptical as it looked like impact damage.
At this point I'm pissed. I have no reason to believe them that the damage didn't happen there. In fact I think it did (more on that later). But even if the damage happened in shipping, the box would have been damaged. I would think the least they can do is call me and say "hey the box is beat up, books might have been damaged, do you want us to grade these? maybe file an insurance claim?". They didn't do this. I had no opportunity to file for insurance because by the time I knew there was a problem, over a month had passed from the time I mailed the books and CBCS had thrown away the shipping box.
Not wanting to go off half cocked, I tell them to send the books back so I can see how bad the damage is to the rest of the books. I also tell them that I want a refund. Obviously for the 35+ books they have not yet graded that are being sent back raw but I also want a refund for the 5 QS books that were graded damaged as I don't think they should have graded them to begin with. The books were going to be broken out and given back to Phil to try and remove the damage. They refused to refund the QS books but said they would send back the rest and refund for those.
Took a while but I finally got the rest of the books back last week. The "no damage to the backing boards" was a complete lie. Straight up. Either they had a blind guy looking at the boards or they just lied. They should have at least sent back the books with some new boards so as to hide the lie. ALL the books were damaged, not just some and ALL the backing boards showed damage, coincidentally in the same area as where the creases were. Some of the books had the crease where I described the QS books were damaged and some of them had the more traditional corner impact that crunched the backing board and caused spine creases at the bottom of the spine where their impacted.
So the box that these were in was worked over pretty well. Here is why I think it happened at CBCS. There were around 40 books in the order. I got the 2 day modern back first, 2-3 weeks before I got the QS books. That 2 day modern is the ONLY book out of 40+ that wasn't damaged at all. Coincidence? Maybe. I know what I think, you can make up your own mind about it.
Could it have been shipping damage? Possible. Given the extent of damage, the box had to have shown extensive damage. Why not call and tell me? Why continue to grade books as if nothing happened? It would have sucked but at least I could have filed an insurance claim if the box was damaged in shipping. We are talking about several thousand dollars in damage given the reduction in grade and the caliber of books that were damaged.
Moral of the story is. CBCS will not take any responsibility for damaged books. There is no way for me to prove that they were damaged there. But even if they weren't, CBCS didn't even bother to let me know that there was a problem with the books when they got them, if in fact there was. And to add insult to injury, they refuse to refund the grading fees for the QS books which were graded damaged and have now been broken out and given back to Phil to try and remove the damage.
Take from this what you will. This little incident has cost me several thousand dollars and I know I won't take the chance to submit to them again.
"Honesty is my only excuse, try to rob me of it but it's no use." Metallica
"I would have happily, gladly, joyfully bought all of those books for cover price, as many as they had. If they had 1,000 copies of X-O #1 in the late 90's, I would have gladly paid $2,000 for them all." Joe VanHagar
Why are some comic collectors so proud to have fake OCD? Is it cool to pretend to be mentally ill?
"I write because I'm not quick on the uptake. I completely lack the ability to express myself...like at all...in the moment." Joe VanHagar