Upper Deck’s policy on replacing damaged cards has changed. They will still replace damaged cards up to a year from the date of the card’s manufacture, but you can no longer just drop the cards in the mail; the process is a bit more involved.
I’ve documented my most-recent return of defective cards to Upper Deck, so you know what to do — and how long it will take – if you get damaged cards in your latest box break.
Earlier this year, I purchased three boxes of 2014-15 Upper Deck Series One Hockey. Each box had a defective jersey card. The three defective cards were of John Carlson, Sean Couturier and Braydon Coburn.
Normally, I’d toss these in an envelope with a letter to Upper Deck, as they have always done an exemplary job at replacing damaged goods.
But Homie don’t play that anymore.
Upper Deck pulled their address of their website, so I gave their customer service number a call. The friendly Upper Deck rep told me that they removed their address from their site so that customers would stop sending unsolicited packages of damaged cards.
Now you have to contact QA via email first, get a case number number and write it on the package — or they will send your package back unopened!
So, if you have defective cards, the first thing you want to do is email email@example.com.
I did that, and one day later got a response. Upper Deck’s QA Department asked for the usual stuff (name, address, card numbers) plus the following information:
Where did you purchase the item from:
Do you still have the receipt:
Do you still have the holograms and UPC:
Is your product hobby or retail:
I’m surprised they didn’t ask for my height, weight and blood type — and disappointed that they didn’t ask who my favorite member of Guns N’ Roses is.
Unfortunately, I had no idea where the receipt was, and had kept only two of the three empty boxes. I explained this in my reply.
The next day Upper Deck’s QA wrote back, issuing a case number and revealing their address to send the damaged cards to. Here are the takeaways from that message:
Typically, we need the receipt and UPC to replace any damaged or missing cards, but we can honor a 1x courtesy replacement for the missing receipt.
I don’t get why the receipt is so important. What does the receipt prove?
Any package sent without the case number on it will be returned back to sender, unopened.
We cannot stress enough the importance of sending your package with signature required or another traceable method as Upper Deck will not be held responsible for lost packages without confirmation.
Great…signature confirmation adds another $2-3 to the cost. But Delivery Confirmation is $1.05 in the U.S. I opted for that instead.
Due to the large number of packages we receive everyday; it may take 4 to 6 weeks for your package to be logged and processed following reception of your package. We cannot guarantee that your replacement will be the same card, however, it will be of equal value, most likely determined by Beckett.
Large number of packages they receive every day? Maybe Upper Deck should, you know, not make so many defective cards. Surely, that would cut down on their incoming mail. (I kid, Upper Deck.)
And considering the three jersey cards I was sending back — Carlson, Couturier and Coburn — I actually would have been happier if I received jersey cards of three different players as my replacements.
Anyway, I sent out the cards, spending 55 cents on a padded envelope and $3.37 on postage.
Exactly 71 days later, I received replacements.
Most collectors would rather have a jersey card of Galchenyuk than of Coburn, but I actually liked Coburn, since he used to play for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.
Overall, returning defective cards to Upper Deck takes a little more time up front, and requires you to save things you’d normally throw away.
So, in summary:
- Keep your receipt.
- Keep the UPC symbols from the bottom of the box, and maybe the NHL hologram stickers from the box tops (couldn’t hurt, right?).
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to send them scans or photos of your defective cards.
- Be sure to write the Case ID Number UD QA issues to you on the envelope you mail to them — or your envelope will be returned unopened.
- Wait a while.
- Expect to get the same card as a replacement, but secretly hope to get a better card than the card you sent.
Has anyone else dealt with returning damaged cards to Upper Deck since they changed their replacement policy? Tell us about it in the comments below. ■