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Thursday, July 4, 2013

The 'Ol Switcharoo: Follow-up on Apoc Set Pricing

Yesterday I posted about GW removing the kits from their online store that could save customers money when buying Apoc sets individually rather than with the one-click option. Well, in follow-up to that I have the following two stories. The first one is directly related and the second one is tangentially related.

So the Vyper kits that were creating the disparity in price that this whole issue is based on were removed from the store. Well, one of my closest friends ordered some of them a few weeks ago, well before this price thing had gotten anyone's attention. Then the other day he got an email which he paid no mind until he saw GW's reponse to this on Natfka's blog. Here's the email he got:

Thank you for writing into us! When your order was getting picked in our warehouse unfortunately the stock for the Eldar Vyper was incorrect and there were not enough Eldar Vypers to complete this part of your order. Because the rest of your order was already picked when they went to pick the Vypers and were out they had to ship out the rest of the to your address. Because this item was not shipped out you were refunded to your paypal account that was used to pay for this order. I have just check the stock of the Vypers and we do have them back in stock so if you were still wanting to order this than right now I believe we should be able to get this shipped from our warehouse. Should you have any other questions please give us a call at 1-800-394-4263 and we will work to get you helped out.
Games Workshop
North America Customer Services
Please do not delete previous email threads as this will help us serve you better!

Before he knew about the price issue it seemed like an honest stocking mistake. But now it seems a little too convenient that he got this email just as GW removed the cheaper option from the store. I'm far too cynical to see that as a coincidence. They made a mistake in pricing the new set and their solution to the small amount of potential profit (not actual lost profit, mind you--just more that they could make if they paid enough attention to price models the same across the board) they might have lost is to cancel that part of people's order and then to lie to them about why they've done so. The terms "bait and switch" and "the 'ol switcharoo" come to mind, which brings me to...

Screamers and Flamers updated through White Dwarf and subsequently nerfed, not quite into the ground, but only about a meter above it. Those units might be decent still, but they were made into the two most broken units in the entirety of 40k with that White Dwarf update. What Chaos Daemons player wouldn't/didn't buy at least a box or two of each? And how many competitive players bought huge allotments of both? My friend (the same guy) did that and while I did make fun of him for it, I feel bad for him because those units should never have been made so good they were absolute auto-includes. Cheesy as Screamers were, no one deserves for models to get updated to be very attractive units at a time when there are no prospects of them getting a new codex only to see them nerfed hard a few months later. And not only that, the Sisters of Battle had already been updated through White Dwarf and were showing no signs of getting a proper book. There was already precedent set for one to expect Daemons to be set for a while with the WD rules.

If you haven't noticed, I complain a lot about prices in our hobby. But at least there are ways to justify high prices at least. It costs a lot to run a multi-national corporation. My own company has to sell a lot of touch sensors just to break even. It's not easy when operating costs are high. But the two instances I just discussed reek of scam, in my opinion. And I actually don't even remember the Screamers and Flamers nerf getting talked much about in terms of what it suggested of GW's business practices. Seriously, in both of these cases, shame on you, Games Workshop. Very disappointed.