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Calling LEGO about missing parts

My son got into the winter village sets and got all of them a few weeks ago. He got one for his birthday and liked it so much he wanted the others. He got 1 from WM, 1 from eBay, and 2 from [email protected] He got all the sets new and sealed.

It turned out that he had 3 missing parts, all of them small. And, the hair on one of the minifigs was deformed.

So, he called LEGO. This was after I told him it would not be an issue, because they supported their product well. Boy, did I end up with egg on my face!

The LEGO C/S person checked and said that they had received an above average number of requests about missing parts from my address and initially were not going to supply the missing parts.

As I recall I have only called LEGO about 3 times about missing parts. Once for the bottom of a minifig that had bad printing on it, once for the upgrade for the Excavator set, and maybe another time for a missing part.

Not that it matters, but I have gotten used sets on eBay that had missing parts and I either got those missing parts from the seller or just ordered them. I have never just called LEGO to get parts for a used set or anything like that.

Has anyone else had an experience like this? Do they really track how many missing parts requests they have per address?

Also, how common is it to have missing parts? The C/S rep said it was very, very rare, but I'm not sure he was truthful.

Comments

  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    I hope not because I have had far more missing parts than that over the years.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,333
    I have 2000+ sets, and never had a single missing part or deformed piece.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    I've got half as many sets but have had one deformed piece, 5 misprints and dozens of missing pieces. Count yourself lucky!
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,367
    This happened to me too, I think in May. They said they wouldn't give it to me until i faxed the receipt. Mine was by email and it annoyed me so much I took it to the store to return. The guys there went and found the part in the grab bag box.

    I'd had 3 incorrect parts before which means that the weight of the box was correct. Two were in MMV and one inTB.
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    I have experienced the following:

    #7597: One of the 62361 parts broke in half when a five-year old girl was trying to snap it in place. It must have been defective; parts shouldn't break under finger pressure. LEGO replaced the part when requested.

    #7636: The tubes that make up the combine blades were too short to be assembled as shown. Google searching shows other people with the same problem. LEGO replaced them with a set of longer tubes when requested.

    Series 7 Minifig: I received a hippie with a "limp" arm. There wasn't enough clutch between the arm and torso for the arm to stay in any position but down. LEGO replaced this with a randomly selected minifig (they wouldn't replace the Hippie torso directly).

    So I'm up to at least three replacements to my address. I hope I'm not close to being on "the list".
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    Very interesting. Thanks to everyone for sharing. So, I'm not alone in having parts missing, deformed, or with bad printing.

    As good as the LEGO mfg processes may be I don't see them being perfect. I'm sure they have very good quality control, but that doesn't mean perfection.

    Also, I don't believe LEGO weigh sets as a check that they have 100% of the parts. For one, if your QC is so good why weigh each box that precisely? For two, how can you weigh a box that has 1,000 parts precisely enough to know that a part that weighs less than 1 gram is missing? I don't see that being possible. Especially in a mass production environment.

    I could see them weighing sets to determine if they have all the bags, but I don't seem them doing much else with weight.
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,367
    It was part of the explanation they sent me from one of the earlier occurrences. Maybe they don't, but they're not going to catch piece substitutions that way anyhow.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    Only ever had missing pieces once, but didn't call. I used the online form instead. Parts arrived in about a week. This was only a couple of months ago too.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    As for the tracking of the address, I can't verify it, but have heard it. Essentially it's an honor system, so eventually I would imagine they would find it odd if too many requests came in.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited December 2012
    Yup I see that as being reasonable. Course, in order to be fair it would need to be adjusted based on the volume of sets a person bought. It was funny, because 2 of the 4 sets were bought from [email protected], so it would have been easy to verify that the sets were bought legit.

    Has anyone else heard about the weighing of sets? They told my son that, as they did Jenni. I simply don't see that as being realistic. Sure, they can weigh sets. I just don't see them being able to determine much by doing so.

    And, I'm willing to admit that my son could have lost the pieces or used them incorrectly in the build. But, that should be figured in as part of the equation. I mean, maybe the part wasn't missing. But, then again, the customer thought it was, because they were careful with their build and didn't find it. Just find it a bit much that LEGO would be so picky about a few small parts.

    Sorry to keep going on about it. It just bugs me a bit. :-)
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    I've heard the weighing thing too, but I'm 50-50 about it. My Pet Shop came with an extra bag (I know that's not what someone that's missing parts frequently wants to hear). And not a small bag, but a rather substantial one. At first, I thought based on the weighing idea that I'd be missing one of the other bags and instead got 2 of that particular one. But nope, had the full set plus an extra bag. So that set would have failed the weight test.
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,367
    The set they decided to stop at was bought at a LEGO store, and they can check my purchases through my VIP account. It's hard to mistake a panel for an arched window in the TB and a 33° 2x3 slope for a 45° 2x3 slope in the MMV. I've had a missing 1x1 plate before and assumed I just lost it, I didn't call them about that.

    There have been no licensed parts in my requests. If I'm calling with a 1200 point balance in my VIP account they need to just hand over the 4x4 plate. I shouldn't have to go to an office store and pay more than the piece is worth to fax them my receipt.

    If I get another incomplete set I will be returning the whole thing to the store rather than deal with that. Hopefully they'll have the piece again but either way it'll go back.
  • HokieJoe99HokieJoe99 Member Posts: 348
    I'm still waiting on a request that I made for a missing bag 2 from the mine way back when Walmart had them on sale. My set came with two bag 1 and no bag 2 so it probably would not have been noticed without some very precise quality control. I called back a week or two ago and the rep could see the request in the system, but he could not access it to see what the problem was. It's nice to have two trucks, but not at the expense of the trailer and dirt.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,171
    cloaked7 said:

    My son got into the winter village sets and got all of them a few weeks ago. He got one for his birthday and liked it so much he wanted the others. He got 1 from WM, 1 from eBay, and 2 from [email protected] He got all the sets new and sealed.

    It turned out that he had 3 missing parts, all of them small. And, the hair on one of the minifigs was deformed.

    So, he called LEGO. This was after I told him it would not be an issue, because they supported their product well. Boy, did I end up with egg on my face!

    The LEGO C/S person checked and said that they had received an above average number of requests about missing parts from my address and initially were not going to supply the missing parts.

    As I recall I have only called LEGO about 3 times about missing parts. Once for the bottom of a minifig that had bad printing on it, once for the upgrade for the Excavator set, and maybe another time for a missing part.

    Not that it matters, but I have gotten used sets on eBay that had missing parts and I either got those missing parts from the seller or just ordered them. I have never just called LEGO to get parts for a used set or anything like that.

    Has anyone else had an experience like this? Do they really track how many missing parts requests they have per address?

    Also, how common is it to have missing parts? The C/S rep said it was very, very rare, but I'm not sure he was truthful.

    I'm guessing they do keep track to ensure that someone is not abusing the goodwill. I'm also guessing they must monitor this if they do not want someone that keeps reporting they are missing either a licensed part, or a expensive part. I believe they also note that they could also charge you for the missing part, which surprises me that they do not at least offer this as an option if they think too many 'free' parts have been sent to your address.

  • PicopiratePicopirate Member Posts: 312
    Any tips on getting the right flower for the grand emporium? I ordered a replacement online and when that did not work i called. Both times i was sent the solid stud version (which came with the set) instead of the hollow stud version (which is in the directions and is required to be able to attach the part).
    See: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=4728
    and: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=98262
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    Never had a missing piece, but on Helms Deep I did receive an arch that was bent. Only time I've ever had an issue.
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    I have purchased around 100 sets this last year. Maybe 10 of them had missing or warped pieces and Lego replaced the parts every time no question. I also called to get replacement parts for my son's police boat when a neighbor kid stole it and his mom returned it to me missing pieces... Lego sent them for free and I was planning on paying for them all. They have also sent the wrong pieces on orders and I have never had an issue getting them to se d the correct ones, and they told me to keep the wrong Ones and not to worry. Lego CS is the best I have ever dealt with.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,763
    I have been sent the wrong pieces on a replacement lost parts purchase order I used to complete my bricklinked MF. All 6 pieces ordered of the black hollow dish parts were absent, as were a few pieces from other lines of the order (like only getting 38/42 pieces of that type etc. I did have one rogue piece in there not ordered, but weight-wise it wouldn't have matched the absent pieces (assuming that the automated pick for my order was also weighed).

    I was sent out the replacement parts to make up the missing parts after a few questions. I had to say to them "why would I lie, the set i'm trying to rebuild only has 6 of these parts, and I ordered 6, they simply weren't there, I don't need 6 in addition to the ones I ordered".

    Maybe the scheme is being abused by a few people and they're extra suspicious now.

    As previously said though, with legitimate requests for parts, how can they put a number on how many requests is reasonable when they don't know how many sets you've bought in any given period?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,197
    Tracking addresses will only work if they also track the number of purchases you make. Someone claiming 10 items missing per year may have bought one set, or may have bought 1000. Lego do not know - so I don't know how they can say anyone is abusing the system.

    I think it does depend on the sets you buy. I have had probably 10 problems with CMF in the last couple of years - mainly bad printing and what appears to be either a burnt / dirty piece or black ABS in a yellow arm.

    In contrast, with regular sets, I have had just one problem in the last two years - a Joker's henchman with bad face printing, which had smeared. But then I tend to check the premium pieces like minifig heads and bodies, and don't always count pieces in a set. They often don't get built, but bought for MOCs, so there might have been missing pieces that I never spotted.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    I've wondered this too, because I feel like I request a lot from LEGO and fear that I may be taking advantage of it. Every time I feel like I'm putting a request in for a broken part, missing, or misprinted part, I feel like its one time too many, but then I remember as an AFOL I buy in much more volume than their average child customer so I'm at a greater of a risk of getting faulty items.

    And yes, they have mentioned to me at least on 2 occasions that they "weigh" all the sets, I always assumed it was to make sure a whole bag isn't missing or added but @Yodalicious story makes me doubt that.

    I'm always as polite as possible, and apologize for any inconvenience and always offer to pay for parts/postage, but they've always sent me the items free. One time I replaced my Ironman helmet due to a slight misprint and scratch, and they had me send mine back in a prepaid envelop and requested the number on the back of the instructions (something about it being a licensed theme they could only send out replacement or missing parts once and needed to verify). Other than that I've had no problems, except I recently emailed them about my Elrond cape and never heard back...
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,333
    I believe they weigh the bags individually very accurately, then weigh the whole set less so. That's one reason small parts are in small bags so they can be weighed on smaller highly accurate scales.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    I think how many "damaged" parts you get will depend somewhat on your level of "putting up with it". I try to complain about everything that I think itsn't up to LEGO's standard working on the basis that they'd rather hear about it (I'm not going to be too upset if they say, "that's just the way it is").

    As an example, I just requested a replacement safari hat from my son's Monster Fighters #9466, because the supplied one had particularly bad (low) clutch power and would pop off at the slightest touch.

    The replacement is the same, so I guess it's just the way they've made that part. All the same though, I like to think that TLG would like to hear that its clutch isn't good.

    As an aside, I also think there were two missing parts from this set, but I couldn't be sure because my son was building it on his own, so they may turn up in a few weeks (I had spare as I had a copy of the same set for pieces).

    Like @huw I have found the contents of sets to be very accurate over the years (the number of times I've been certain that a part is missing only to find it later in the build, is testament to that), so in general if I find a piece appears to be missing, my assumption now is that it's been dropped on the floor or eaten by a toddler.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,197
    ^ I agree. Lego should always be informed of poor quality. And I've never had an issue with missing pieces, just poor quality - nearly always down to printing.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,019
    This is all very interesting and quite the conversation. Here is what I can add. I have called LEGO customer service more than a bunch of times and every single time the representative has been friendly and helpful and fulfilled the request. Typically it has been because I am missing one or two pieces. I have offered once or twice to pay and they say, it wouldnt be worth us going through the trouble, so we are just sending them to you.

    I think the system to have in place to actually "track" people would be both costly and ineffective, so maybe that guy was just having a bad day. Plus, how do they even monitor such a "tracking" system? Like people have said, you can have a kid order one set and an AFOL order 100 ( for themselves or to resell ) haha, and how can you decide who gets what and how many free replacement parts they get? I have heard about, researched and been told about the weighing process. I don't think this is some scientific technology but with today's advanced machines I am sure they can weigh the boxes down to a very small number. Nothing is perfect so things do slip through.

    I guess lastly, just be up front with them and honest and stand your ground. LEGO is all about customer service and if they want to gripe about 0.10 cents when they earn 100's of millions a year then gripe louder and you will get your way.

    Im just saying...
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    Thanks for all the comments. It is very helpful to know what other people's experiences are. I should add something that I forgot. I had a LEGO battery box that had a bad switch. It would only be ON when in the ON position and pushed in. A pain. I ended up calling LEGO about that and they sent me a new one. As other's have mentioned, I thought they might want the old one back in order to figure out why it didn't work in order to learn from the problem, but they didn't want the broken one sent back.

    So, maybe I have had a few pricey problems. A battery pack, a few parts, a SW minifig (which they sent me the wrong part for, and I didn't call back about), repair kits for the excavators (which I had them send me 3 off, because I had 3), repair kits a 2nd time for the excavators because they redesigned it a 2nd time. So, maybe they did send me some pricey parts. But, I buy a lot of LEGOS and all of my requests were legit.

    As someone stated, I think my son got a new C/S person who was wanting to strictly follow some rule he knew about. It sure sounds like some of you have called a lot more than I have and have never had your 'hand smacked'.

    Good point about weighing the smaller bags and why they put small parts in their own bags. That does make sense. But, even still, it would need to be an extremely sensitive scale, and need to weigh the bags very quickly. And, have the ability to remove a bag that is too light. All possible, but it would be a very expensive machine, I think.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    While they may or may not "track" overusers of the replacement parts system, why do some think this would be a costly or ineffecient process if they did? It would be simple. It's just a matter of keeping track of orders to specific addresses. Any decent business has that as an automated process. I can check Amazon orders back years. Same with other companies.

    Again, I'm not saying LEGO does indeed track and flag those that order multiple replacement parts, but it would hardly be difficult to do. It's simply a matter of pulling a history which is probably already available through some database.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    leemcg said:

    As an example, I just requested a replacement safari hat from my son's Monster Fighters #9466, because the supplied one had particularly bad (low) clutch power and would pop off at the slightest touch.

    Had the same problem with a hat in one of the Dino sets too.

  • crazycarlcrazycarl USAMember Posts: 392
    Ive only had one set with a missing part. The 5766 log cabin was missing 1 1x2 brown brick. I'll just order it with one of my pick-a-brick orders.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,171
    prof1515 said:

    leemcg said:

    As an example, I just requested a replacement safari hat from my son's Monster Fighters #9466, because the supplied one had particularly bad (low) clutch power and would pop off at the slightest touch.

    Had the same problem with a hat in one of the Dino sets too.

    Are you sure it is the hat or the minifig head that is the problem?
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    ^^ I was thinking the same thing.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,197
    ^ and ^^ it is easy to test. Most people have more than one minfiig head and hat/hair to swap and try.
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