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TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Mkall » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:46 pm

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craggy wrote:You've a lot of good points. However, these 6 figures are not gang-molded, so it'd be quite possible for them to sell the more niche figures under a made to order scheme, and if they're only shipping one a month, then I have to imagine that would in theory give them an extra month to supply info on how many of the 2nd figure need to be made, and so on. But they'd rather be all secretive about which one is being released when, in what I expect is a move to make people pay over the odds for the one or two figures they want from this set. Of course, it's nice that the shipping schedule is a secret, because that way anyone without the internet will not know what the first figure is 2 minutes after the first person receives theirs.

You're right too, I think the real reason the Club is going this route is they (and we as fans) have grown tired of mis-estimating the number of figs that they should sell. Punch/Counterpunch sold out in minutes the first time 'round, and the their Runamuck (or was it Runabout?) lasted 24 hours. Conversely their Airazor and Astrotrain took years to sell out.

Whether or not we like the method of distribution, from a business standpoint it's pretty good. They move a lot of product without worrying about over/understocking.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby NamelessOne » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:38 pm

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Here's the original idea I thought was going to happen:

Firstly, you'd have to maintain membership to be able to order;

Say Breakdown was $100 to start off with - you'd put in $50 deposit to ensure you'd be paying at least that much.

The more popular Breakdown becomes, (second batches and so on) - price goes down 5,10% until a certain date that orders have to be placed by falls.

This way, demand from everyone who wants a Slipstream, Scourge or Breakdown drives *down* the price, while everyone who wants one, gets one -

The same works for the Jackpots and Circuits, prices for these may be held at $100, but limited numbers of these would still retain the value, as there would be

A) less of these in circulation, meaning collectors who missed the boat would be more than willing to deal;
B) Collection completists would have SERIOUS bragging rights; 'yeah, I got ALL of the club exclusives this year' would be a boast for some, not a millstone for all.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby craggy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:42 pm

Mkall wrote:
craggy wrote:You've a lot of good points. However, these 6 figures are not gang-molded, so it'd be quite possible for them to sell the more niche figures under a made to order scheme, and if they're only shipping one a month, then I have to imagine that would in theory give them an extra month to supply info on how many of the 2nd figure need to be made, and so on. But they'd rather be all secretive about which one is being released when, in what I expect is a move to make people pay over the odds for the one or two figures they want from this set. Of course, it's nice that the shipping schedule is a secret, because that way anyone without the internet will not know what the first figure is 2 minutes after the first person receives theirs.

You're right too, I think the real reason the Club is going this route is they (and we as fans) have grown tired of mis-estimating the number of figs that they should sell. Punch/Counterpunch sold out in minutes the first time 'round, and the their Runamuck (or was it Runabout?) lasted 24 hours. Conversely their Airazor and Astrotrain took years to sell out.

Whether or not we like the method of distribution, from a business standpoint it's pretty good. They move a lot of product without worrying about over/understocking.

yeah, but lets say of the 6 figures, there's 5,000 people who want them all. (btw, a heads up here, I'm just going to pick up some relatively easily scalable numbers here, and have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how much any of this stuff sells) now, obviously those 5,000 will buy the lot. Now, there might be another 5,000 people who want half of them. Lets pretend that the fates are kind and the planets align and that that breaks down to 2,5000 people who want a particular 3 and another 2,5000 who want the other 3 and that those people all club together to buy the sets in pairs and half them. that's 10,000 sales.

now, there's a very real chance that there'll be a few people who might not want all of the figures, but will pay the money for all of them for the ones they want, and might later recoup some of the costs via selling their unwanted figures on ebay. let's say that's another 5,000, just to keep things nice and round. 15,000 sales.

now, lets say there are 20,000 of us out there who want one figure in particular. there might be another 10,000 who don't want that figure, but want one of the other ones. there might be another 5,000 who want another one, and so on, and so on.

Now, looking through this thread, yes, there are some names being repeated often and by most people as ones we'd want. There certainly seems to be a heirarchy of popularity we could establish. One could, if say perhaps, we owned the website that these figures were being offered through, run a poll to see which are more popular. We could, if we were running some kind of club, and only selling to members, and as such had the email addresses of these members, send out an email asking how many of each particular figure each member would purchase. Granted, sometimes these numbers will change, but it would give a rough estimate.

For the people who buy the whole set, there should be a discount, I'd be happy with that, but I think that the individual toys being sold on their own, even if they required a club membership to purchase them, would encourage a lot of people to buy who might not otherwise. I might not like paying $200 for Depth Charge and Scourge, but I'd be far more likely to do that than pay $600 for all of them and have to wait on each coming out in order to find someone to sell the unwanted ones to.

There will be people who'll just buy these because they're there, but for many of us, considering the current economic climate, I think they'd get more overall sales if they allowed the purchase of individual figures, and then made them to order. Let members buy 5 Ultra Mammoths if they want, or a dozen Slipstreams. Looking at this, I'm not seeing the majority of people saying "ah screw it, I only want one but I got thousands of dollars and time to spare" I see people saying "well, I want x but I don't care about the rest". I imagine it's similar on other fan sites, and really, the internet fan site are the target market for these, unlike a mass retail wave where the power of kids and parents can theoretically screw up any assumptions we make about case assortments and the like.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby GetRightRobot » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:18 pm

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Perhaps the most cost effective way to deal with the circumstances as they exist, because they are unlikely to change, is to network with other collectors. One individual with an existing club account uses a prepaid VISA (lessons learned) orders the set. Start a thread and deal with members you trust (or even other social media or your local collecting group of peeps) and find the person who wants the pieces you don't. If you end up with an unwanted figure, ebay it.

As a completist, and owner of 5 original versions of these characters' toy and the two existing Mammoth Primes, I'm keeping them all. But that's me, I just love updates on obscure figs and little complete lists, like every version of a mold and such.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby craggy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:32 pm

GetRightRobot wrote:Perhaps the most cost effective way to deal with the circumstances as they exist, because they are unlikely to change, is to network with other collectors. One individual with an existing club account uses a prepaid VISA (lessons learned) orders the set. Start a thread and deal with members you trust (or even other social media or your local collecting group of peeps) and find the person who wants the pieces you don't. If you end up with an unwanted figure, ebay it.

As a completist, and owner of 5 original versions of these characters' toy and the two existing Mammoth Primes, I'm keeping them all. But that's me, I just love updates on obscure figs and little complete lists, like every version of a mold and such.

honestly, they're not getting any money from me. Not directly. Not saying I might not purchase a figure off a fellow collector or even on ebay at some point but they're giving vague information in press releases, have an unreliable history when it comes to security and asking for me to send them information that no single other company I have ever bought anything from has asked for.

I can't afford to be a completist and I'm sure there are plenty of others who can't. Sure, they're a business and they want to make money. I like the idea of updates of obscure older toys as much as anyone. Hell, my most requested character is Stampede! I'm just saying that I think they'd sell more, and thus, make more money, so that they continued to be around to make these obscure characters into toy form, if they were a bit smarter and more flexible with it.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby GetRightRobot » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:43 pm

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craggy wrote:I can't afford to be a completist and I'm sure there are plenty of others who can't. Sure, they're a business and they want to make money. I like the idea of updates of obscure older toys as much as anyone. Hell, my most requested character is Stampede! I'm just saying that I think they'd sell more, and thus, make more money, so that they continued to be around to make these obscure characters into toy form, if they were a bit smarter and more flexible with it.



I hear you. It is not a great fit for many collectors. Some piece of mind can be found in the fact that the traditional secondary market price hikes will not be as effective immediately. With the production numbers being made to order, the mark up on ebay and such will be less consumer driven. I hope you get the figures you want and it doesn't hurt the wallet too badly. I do not blame you one bit for the lack of trust and general desire to do zero direct business with this "club". I understand completely.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Stormrider » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:47 pm

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Mkall wrote:
craggy wrote:You've a lot of good points. However, these 6 figures are not gang-molded, so it'd be quite possible for them to sell the more niche figures under a made to order scheme, and if they're only shipping one a month, then I have to imagine that would in theory give them an extra month to supply info on how many of the 2nd figure need to be made, and so on. But they'd rather be all secretive about which one is being released when, in what I expect is a move to make people pay over the odds for the one or two figures they want from this set. Of course, it's nice that the shipping schedule is a secret, because that way anyone without the internet will not know what the first figure is 2 minutes after the first person receives theirs.

You're right too, I think the real reason the Club is going this route is they (and we as fans) have grown tired of mis-estimating the number of figs that they should sell. Punch/Counterpunch sold out in minutes the first time 'round, and the their Runamuck (or was it Runabout?) lasted 24 hours. Conversely their Airazor and Astrotrain took years to sell out.

Whether or not we like the method of distribution, from a business standpoint it's pretty good. They move a lot of product without worrying about over/understocking.


I just don't get why these are being packaged as a subscription. Now that they are partnering with e-Hobby, they should pick up some cues from e-Hobby and set each one up as a separate pre-order. Why are they making this more complicated than it needs to be?
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Burn » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:51 pm

Stormrider wrote:I just don't get why these are being packaged as a subscription. Now that they are partnering with e-Hobby, they should pick up some cues from e-Hobby and set each one up as a separate pre-order. Why are they making this more complicated than it needs to be?


hmmmm ... let's see ... store member credit card details on unsecured server, have someone steal said credit card details, deny at first before admitting it and upgrading to a more modern system which requires international members to provide photo i.d.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the answer to your question is in fact, they have no idea what they're really doing and are making it up as they go along.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby GetRightRobot » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:53 pm

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Burn wrote:hmmmm ... let's see ... store member credit card details on unsecured server, have someone steal said credit card details, deny at first before admitting it and upgrading to a more modern system which requires international members to provide photo i.d.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the answer to your question is in fact, they have no idea what they're really doing and are making it up as they go along.



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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby craggy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:56 pm

Burn wrote:
Stormrider wrote:I just don't get why these are being packaged as a subscription. Now that they are partnering with e-Hobby, they should pick up some cues from e-Hobby and set each one up as a separate pre-order. Why are they making this more complicated than it needs to be?


hmmmm ... let's see ... store member credit card details on unsecured server, have someone steal said credit card details, deny at first before admitting it and upgrading to a more modern system which requires international members to provide photo i.d.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the answer to your question is in fact, they have no idea what they're really doing and are making it up as they go along.

hey, we've all been in that situation at some point in our lives, right? (no? just me?)

but what I do is just copy everyone else...

in this case, I'd say someone like BBTS would be the people to copy. they've supposedly got a secure system for credit cars now, so just get everyone to commit up front, to how many of each they're buying. charge them when the figures are shipping.

it's not rocket surgery.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby KNM2012 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:38 pm

Burn wrote:Simple solution ... stop supporting the club. >:oP

DONE! Then again... My return to collecting Transformers has me currently sticking with Takara Tomy. >:oP

Besides Burn, don't you think by now that Hasbro would be smart and listen to the fans? Much less offer reissues of their figures in series specific boxes for both fans who missed the originals and those who will buy them even if they own the TFCC originals? :???:
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby SW's SilverHammer » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:51 pm

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KUMA-NIN Maximus wrote:Besides Burn, don't you think by now that Hasbro would be smart and listen to the fans? Much less offer reissues of their figures in series specific boxes for both fans who missed the originals and those who will buy them even if they own the TFCC originals? :???:


:-? I know you're asking Burn, However I think your giving Hasbro way too much credit there.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Burn » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:55 pm

Why is Hasbro even coming into this? It's TFCC. Hasbro have granted them the license. That's all. Hasbro don't dictate to them how to run their business.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby gavinfuzzy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:33 pm

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Mkall wrote:
Gauntlet101010 wrote:What I don't understand is the timing and the limited time offer. There's a huge con going on this month that I'm going to. I budgeted for THAT. I'm not sure paying $300 for this right on the heels of that is a fantastic idea. I didn't expect such a limited time offer to come from TFCC.

They need to give the Chinese factories concrete production numbers if they want to meet their estimated ship date of January.



I'll be checking Tabao regularly now... Someone please steal some or something. Tabao's heck of alot cheaper than TFCC... there are still some botcons on there... :lol:
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby NamelessOne » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:53 pm

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Burn wrote:
hmmmm ... let's see ... store member credit card details on unsecured server, have someone steal said credit card details, deny at first before admitting it and upgrading to a more modern system which requires international members to provide photo i.d.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the answer to your question is in fact, they have no idea what they're really doing and are making it up as they go along.


Gotta add here that them asking for photocopies of photo ID AND their credit card for international customers isn't new - its old.... And means, paperwork wise, they haven't got any physical security bar the employees discretion with what gets done after this 'validation' process - they asked me to do it last Summer when I signed up in advance of 2012s exclusives, Runabout/Runamuck, *before* the ID theft issues....

Which means that, apart from some encryption services at the checkout, they've done f@ck all since the last go around.

Does BBTS, TFSource, HLJ, or any other retailer for that matter have full copies, back and front of your passport, drivers license, and, best of all, the very creditcard you use to buys stuff off the Internet?!?

It's more and more clear that TFCC hasn't changed how they do business since last time around...they're merely sorry they got caught.

I'm another one who will, from now on, refuse to deal with them directly, that's for sure..
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Burn » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:06 am

NaM3L3sS wrote:Gotta add here that them asking for photocopies of photo ID AND their credit card for international customers isn't new - its old.... And means, paperwork wise, they haven't got any physical security bar the employees discretion with what gets done after this 'validation' process - they asked me to do it last Summer when I signed up in advance of 2012s exclusives, Runabout/Runamuck, *before* the ID theft issues....


So let's try to work out what's going on here.

I was a member for the first five years of the club so I could get that lame arsed combiner. Once I got it I didn't rejoin until this year when I wanted Runabout/Runamuck.

At no point did they ever ask me for I.D.

I'm also Australian.

Over to you NaM3L3sS. Do you have any of that in common? Perhaps it's a regulation with your country or with new members?

Does BBTS, TFSource, HLJ, or any other retailer for that matter have full copies, back and front of your passport, drivers license, and, best of all, the very creditcard you use to buys stuff off the Internet?!?


Speaking of years of experience with HLJ, they've never once asked for any of that. When I first joined them, I gave them my credit card details. When I had to update my credit card, I provided the new details. Never once did I have to prove my identity.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby NamelessOne » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:50 am

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No problem Burn, to clarify:

When I joined TFCC in mid 2011, I used a credit card that would be due to expire at the *end* of that year, so I had to fax in a copy of said card, and photo ID (passport).

When I went to order Over-Run and SG Drift at the end of January this year, as I had added my renewed card details (note, the card that I began my membership with had since expired), I was asked to provide the same details again (same ID, new credit card) -

Looking back through my emails from them, I've included the text verbatim from their emails - due to your length of concurrent membership, this may be different from older members, or you may have a check / bank transfer in place, I am unsure of how it differs with Australian members ;)

"INTERNATIONAL ORDERS
Fun Publications, Inc. realizes that collectibles have worldwide appeal. We ship anywhere that the United States Postal Service or FedEx delivers. However, there are restrictions. Upon your first order, you will need to fax us a copy of your credit card, front and back as well as photo identification, which shows your signature to 817-448-9843. If a credit card transaction is made through our site without the fax confirmation of your identity, we reserve the right to CANCEL THE ORDER."

My membership lapsed in June (as the card I had last used on file with them had been terminated due to irregular charges as a direct result of the security breach at FunPub earlier this year).

As my membership didn't even cover anything of any worth (since they swapped portals, you didn't even get access to the Members Area that had content in it), and due to the breach itself, I happily let it lapse, as there had not been any firm news at that point on how, or when, the subscription service would work.

Idly looking at the cost details when announced this weekend, I noted that I would have to renew membership to apply for the subscription package ( this was before the service went 'live' as it were) -

I went to renew by clicking the 'renew' link on their main page, and was brought through the steps of renewal, and noted, before I added my (as far as FunPub is concerned, 'new') card payment details were required - that I would have to go through the whole 'photocopy, fax, validate' procedure again....

At which point, realising that nothing (past encryption of the e-data) has changed with them since the breach - they still require international subscribers to fax in a copy of the requested card and ID info - meaning that they are still requesting a copy of my full credit card number, expiry date, and security code on the back....

Even staff at banks and online payment systems (such as PayPal, Amazon, etc) do not have access to these numbers - they only see the last 4 digits of your card number (something I learned both at college, and was made aware of again when following up on the bogus transactions tried at the start of Feb with my bank) -

I'm aware of how 'faxed' records can be stored electronically, but the fact remains that they still require photographic proof, stored somewhere in their possession, of my full credit card details.

As often quoted by other posters on this, and other threads in relation to anything security related:

'Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice...'...

The (lack) of thinking on their part at every new announcement just staggers me - they are literally like a puppy that pees the rug, is admonished for it, then continues to pee the rug....
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby njb902 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:01 am

I agree with ya, it's kinda scary how people can defraud you online. add that to the apparent lack of credible online security, I mean how often do we hear of huge companies/organizations losing hundreds of thousands of people's personal info to hackers?
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Burn » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:13 pm

Still makes no sense to me NaM3L3sS!

When I renewed this year AFTER the credit card debacle, I chose to use a pre-paid Visa card so that if they were stolen again, good luck getting money from a card that has none on it!

I also changed my address. But NEVER did I have to provide any of the details that you did.

I know prior to the debacle I could never use their online system, something about not being able to process credit cards from Australia. So I had to do it manually for FIVE YEARS. Send multiple e-mails with my credit card details split up between them.

After five years I would have thought they'd improved their system. They didn't, then their exclusives were going to suck, so I didn't renew.

Wonder if this "new" system can handle all credit cards. Honestly, they should have just gone with Paypal like the majority of the world.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Stormrider » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:31 pm

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Would Paypal be an solution for international customers?
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby craggy » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:56 pm

Stormrider wrote:Would Paypal be an solution for international customers?

I can, and do, use paypal often to pay for things from companies in other parts of the world. I've never had to send anyone...ever...a photocopy of both my credit card and photo ID (which in my case is my passport) let alone have to find a bloody fax machine to use to send it.

I suppose they probably also take delivery by owl.
assembling a Neo-G1/TF:TM cast. Please PM if you have (or know of) the following at a reasonable price: Classics or Henkei Astrotrain, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, Blurr, or 3rd Party iGear Ratchet and Ironhide.
Also looking for Universe Repugnus and Overbite, Frostbite and Longhorn and any Webdiver toys.
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Burn » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:01 pm

Stormrider wrote:Would Paypal be an solution for international customers?


Hell yes!
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Burn
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Clayface » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:48 pm

Sooooo, anybody else have an issue with their subscription service once again screwing up with security? Today I received confirmation by e-mail that my order was accepted. The problem is, all the info in the confirmation e-mail was someone else's! Someone else's name, address, phone, and the last 4 digits of their credit card! And the order for that other person wasn't even for the TF subscription service - it was listed as the G I Joe service!

I'm sure they've probably sent all my info to someone else entirely as well!

WTF, FunPub!?
:BANG_HEAD:
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Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby craggy » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:01 pm

Clayface wrote:Sooooo, anybody else have an issue with their subscription service once again screwing up with security? Today I received confirmation by e-mail that my order was accepted. The problem is, all the info in the confirmation e-mail was someone else's! Someone else's name, address, phone, and the last 4 digits of their credit card! And the order for that other person wasn't even for the TF subscription service - it was listed as the G I Joe service!

I'm sure they've probably sent all my info to someone else entirely as well!

WTF, FunPub!?
:BANG_HEAD:

wow, I feel super confident sending them everything they (or whoever ends up getting sent any of my info) would need to steal my identity now.
assembling a Neo-G1/TF:TM cast. Please PM if you have (or know of) the following at a reasonable price: Classics or Henkei Astrotrain, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, Blurr, or 3rd Party iGear Ratchet and Ironhide.
Also looking for Universe Repugnus and Overbite, Frostbite and Longhorn and any Webdiver toys.
craggy
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Posts: 4713
News Credits: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:07 pm

Re: TFCC Subscription Service Details Revealed

Postby Clayface » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:06 pm

Yeah, I'm thrilled. Especially since I'm one of the ones that had their credit card info stolen in the last security f@ck-up by FunPub.

I'll be expressing my gratitude to them over the phone tomorrow.

Very, very loudly.
Clayface
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Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:29 am

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #102 - Hidden Mickeys
Twincast / Podcast #102:
"Hidden Mickeys"
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Posted: Sunday, October 5th, 2014