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July 31 2005

An employee at Warp 1 responds to Nathan's Serenity comic tale about overpricing from the point of view of the store. Looks like they got a few comments.

We've chatted about this ad naseum in the original post, but I'm wondering if there will be any real fallout for this. I am 100% completely on Nathan's side of this. The comic shop guy was a lying dick, and Nathan had every right to make his feelings and experience known. This is how capitalism works, and Warp 1 now has to deal with the consequences of poor service.

That being said, the Browncoats probably should've spoken with their wallets not their email and fax machines. It's one thing to go onto a website and decry a personal experience. It's quite another to respond to someone else's experience as if it were your own. This is the kind of mob mentality that gives fandoms a bad name.

It should've simply been that Edmonton Browncoats stopped shopping at Warp 1. Now it's some kind of internet scandal which kinda casts Browncoats as insane-os. These are the people we should be "recruiting", not driving away.
Is it really cool to link to someone's LJ like this? I see that it's a public post, it just seems a little much to me.
edited away

[ edited by Dym on 2005-07-31 20:32 ]
The fact that an employee of a retail business would go on the net to "answer" this issue is what interests me; first rule of business is the boss (or the appointed company spokesperson) speaks for everyone! This is a perfect reason why...only possible outcome is to make matters worse! To be honest, I'd fire the guy for his comments...
I don't think it was really meant to be an answer for Nathan's story; the guy posted more as an anecdote of something interesting that happened at work. I posted similar stories when I worked in retail, though never with someone famous as the customer.

Now, of course, he has to defend himself and his post in the comments. Which is kind of silly, how so many people seem to be arguing business practices with someone who has no authority and no deciding power over business decisions.
Allyson, the LJ gave permission to link. My comment xposted: A customer who receives bad customer service won't tell anyone unless asked; a customer who receives bad customer service will tell everyone he knows. Customer Service 101.

2 quick points: 1) explaining why the price was so high might have nipped things right in the bud. Why would you want to let anyone believe you were gouging if you weren't? Say "we bought these comics at a very high price because we'd rather be known as a place where you can get titles at a higher price than not at all." Makes sense - nothing worse than going to places only to find they don't carry what you're looking for. 2) Once you knew who it was, all bets should have been off. There are Serenity trading cards, Firefly DVDs, any number of things Nathan Fillion could have signed or continue to sign in the future. You got a whole lot of bad publicity, missed out on who knows how much in potential revenue but you got your $20 for the comic. Good business?
Is it really cool to link to someone's LJ like this? I see that it's a public post, it just seems a little much to me.


Well this guy clearly wants this spread on the net, probably as much as Nathan's rant was, since it's as close to their side of the story as it's going to get. It's clearly the point of his writing this so I doubt he minds.

And this pretty much is what I thought it would be: they're getting some angry calls/mails/faxes. Pretty much the worst that can happen. Big whoop-tee-doo. Hardly 'Oh Nathan has destroyed their livelihood!!'. At the most it will teach them some manners and some level of professionalism. (One can hope)

As I said before the number of people that are avid comic book buyers and FF fans, and read this story and live in Canada and buy regularly at this store and now decide not to do it anymore is going to be very very small. I think they can survive a couple of well deserved angry faxes and stupid voicemails.

And if the guy had simply said "Oh I know they're expensive. They're just really hot right now, we're selling them out all over the place and the only guy I could get another batch from made me pay through the roof so they're more expensive now. Sorry about that but it was this or not have them at all." I doubt Nathan would've been angry to begin with.

If you act like a butt to your customers, you risk bad word of mouth. Pretty much the bottom line here.
This livejournal guy is an idiot. By admitting that other stores are selling the comic for cover price, it just supports Nathan's story of price gouging at Warp1. Two things are possible: either Warp1 comics is marking up prices extremely high, or their planning is so poor that they have to rush delivery of comics at the last minute at a higher shipping cost in order to satisfy demand. So, they're either jerks or morons. After looking over the journal, I'm thinking a little of both.

Now, I've never met Nathan, but he seems like a nice person from interviews and what-not. I completely sympathize with his situation. He felt he was getting hosed by Darryl at the comic shop. I probably would have just decked the guy if he had treated me like that. Also lends credence to my whole theory that these people are morons and jerks...you don't treat your customers like idiots if you want them to buy stuff.

[ edited by gtman8503 on 2005-07-31 21:22 ]
Why would he buy the comic? He is a firefly fan too? You'd think they'd send him a complimentary one.
It reads like spin to me, they are trying to rewrite history. Fact is that other stores all over Canada and the US are selling the comic at cover price, they were not only price gouging but they were also being very rude while doing it. I don't regret the e-mail I sent to them.
Admittedly, if they got 20,000 e-mail then they must have felt very put-upon. Well, boo-hoo. I really think they brought it upon themselves (and I thought it was the store owner, and not some clerk, who was dealing directly with Nathan that night).
To be absolutely clear here - the blog in question belongs to somebody else who works there (who was on the phone at the time). The store owner themselves dealt with Nathan when he arrived.
This whole thing is terribly embarrasing. Nathan loudly proclaims, "That guy is a jerk! Let's get him!" And all the fans form an angry mob and start shouting "Jerk! Jerk! Jerk!" It's all so silly.

If the price is too high, don't buy it. If you try to argue about the price and demand to see the company's private purchasing records, there is a good chance you will be treated rudely, perhaps even lied to.

No need to start a petty Internet war in the name of Serenity. I think everyone involved looks bad. That would be Nathan, the fans, Darrel, the lovers, the dreamers and me.
This whole lj entry sounds very manufactured to me. Those who work in comic book stores can tell me how likely it is that they would be buying expensive copies to resell. The stores I know just took my name and said they would call me when the second printing came in.
I think the reaction by the fans was too much but I agree with the general complaint.
Nathan is on right now looking at the 349 replies to the topic he started.. If only he had a webcam.
gtman8503: let's refrain from personal abuse, can we?

At least some of the comments to the LJ entry are critical but respectful. It would really be too bad to make the Browncoat community look like a bunch of wackos over something like this. (And, relatedly, you're not really striking the right note by talking about "My Captain" to someone who doesn't appear to be familiar with the show to begin with - it kinda paints you as a little, um, obsessive . . . certain terms that fly inside a community don't necessarily do so outside of it).
SNT: "certain terms that fly inside a community don't necessarily do so outside of it."

Amen to that.
gtman8503: let's refrain from personal abuse, can we?

At least some of the comments to the LJ entry are critical but respectful. It would really be too bad to make the Browncoat community look like a bunch of wackos over something like this. (And, relatedly, you're not really striking the right note by talking about "My Captain" to someone who doesn't appear to be familiar with the show to begin with - it kinda paints you as a little, um, obsessive . . . certain terms that fly inside a community don't necessarily do so outside of it).


Calling the store employees morons and jerks isn't "personal abuse" since I explicitly said why I thought that said employees were morons and jerks. My opinion of them is based on reading Nathan's message, the livejournal entry, and some other information about warp1 comics that's made it's way onto the web...it isn't just name-calling for the sake of name-calling, which would be "personal abuse". If I had started cursing at them, or calling them absurd names, then that would be "personal abuse". I looked at both sides and called it like I saw it. BTW, the language I used was much softer than that which is being used over in the livejournal comments, where most of the anti-Nathan comments are critical but far from respectful.

I don't consider my language over the top, as I would call these people far worse to their faces if they treated me the same way they treated Nathan. In fact, my fists would tell their faces exactly what I thought of them, if I was treated like that.

Also, I never referred to Nathan as "My Captain" or did anything of the kind. I didn't even post on that livejournal site.
Are you saying Browncoats can't say our gorram shiny phrases elsewhere in the 'verse?
gtman - hitting a shop clerk over a comic price? Oh my.
It's not only the price, it's the way they treat the customer, gossi. From the descriptions of Warp1 comics I've seen on the internet, someone there definitely needs their _____ kicked.

Plus, I have rage issues...:-)
I gathered. If a person in a shop is a treating you like a dick, punching them back makes you worse than it dick. It also makes you a criminal.
I gathered. If a person in a shop is a treating you like a dick, punching them back makes you worse than it dick. It also makes you a criminal.


gossi:

Well, I was just joking about the "rage issues" thing, hence the smiley face.

Anyways, yes, I occasionally am a jerk. But only to people who I feel richly deserve it. I just refuse to stand there and take that kind of treatment. The few times I've been in situations like that, I just walk away and leave my merchandise wherever I was. I've only hit someone in a situation like that one time, and that guy richly deserved it.

And, I'm sorry, but just punching someone doesn't make you a criminal by a long shot. If it did, our jails would be overflowing with everyone from grade schoolers to the elderly.

If I said anything to offend you in my post, I'm sorry...didn't mean to. I didn't think there was anything particularly offensive there.

[ edited by gtman8503 on 2005-07-31 23:10 ]
Well, in the UK punching a shop assistant for being a jerk would be (criminal) assault.
When I first read Nathan's experience with Warp1, I thought it's possible that might have been one bad isolated experience. Afterall, everyone has their off days and maybe the owner just did a bad job in explaining why the price went up. However, since Nathan's post went online, I've heard from a lot of people who live in that area with their own bad experiences from that store. Everything from lying to people about the rariety of an item to pulling a items right out of customers's hand to raise the price on the item. The store has quite the reputation in ripping people off and it's quite legendary in it's bad customer service, especially from the owner. Some comic book fans who live in that area refer to Warp as "Way Above Retail Price". It seems to stay in business simply because it apparently does a good job in keeping things in stock and if you really need a figure or a comic and don't mind paying a bit of extra for it, then that Warp1 is likely to have it.

While I hope fans don't try to give them a hard time by sending e-mails and faxes which I don't think solves anything, I do hope people vote with their wallets and take their business elsewhere. The store definitely has it coming to it for the way it treats their customers.
gtman8503, if a mod asks you to tone it down, it is a very good idea to do just so. At Whedonesque we try to discuss the contents of the links we post without attacking the people involved.
Well, in the UK punching a shop assistant for being a jerk would be (criminal) assault.


It's assault here in the States, too, but unless it's serious, they usually won't press charges. There's a difference between just hitting someone and beating them near to death.

In fact, the one time I did hit a store employee, a Mall Security Guard came up to me as I was leaving and told me "Good job...that guy's been asking for it for a while now."

It all depends on the viciousness of the assault.

[ edited by gtman8503 on 2005-07-31 23:20 ]
gtman8503, if a mod asks you to tone it down, it is a very good idea to do just so. At Whedonesque we try to discuss the contents of the links we post without attacking the people involved.


Didn't realize it was a mod, but it still doesn't change that what I said didn't constitute "personal attacks" or "verbal abuse" or whatever. I was discussing the content of the link, and offering my analysis of the situation. I couldn't think of any "softer" words to describe the people at Warp1. My general rule is this: If you can hear it on broadast TV in the afterschool hours before primetime, it's not particularly offensive.

I mean, if ya'll think it was incredibly offensive, you can ban me if you want. Your board, your rules, and all. I'm not going to take it back though, because I didn't say anything wrong.

[ edited by gtman8503 on 2005-07-31 23:40 ]
I know it's not my place to say, gtman8503, but saying "This livejournal guy is an idiot", etc... is a verbal and personal attack. It's fine if you have an opinion about something--we all are very opinionated here, but what the Simon, Caroline, SNT and all the other mods say goes. This is their site and if you don't like the way it runs, that's not their problem, it's yours.

Plus, I too live in the states and while I've never assulted someone, I'm fairly certain that assult is assult. If your only defense is that you can hit someone as long as he or she is not near death...than let's hope we don't live near each other. A physical attack on anyone is a crime. That's all I have to say.

[ edited by MySerenity on 2005-07-31 23:42 ]
Okay, all this assault talk has me agitated...so, going way off topic in hopes of cooling things down:

Two plain peanuts were minding their own business, when, out of nowhere, one of them was a salted!

/mega-apologies in advance to all...please don't yell at me, hit me or otherwise assault me!

/and, MySerenity, you don't actually have to hit someone physically to be charged with assault:

http://www.nolo.com/definition.cfm/Term/22542B6F-FEDB-450A-889A82A49EA50CEB/alpha/A/
Oftentimes when someone has an experience similar to Nathan's, it isn't an isolated incident. The crime isn't the price of the book which is steep but somewhat understandable but the way the owner lied. 19.99 is much more acceptable when the person behind the counter is courteous and understanding.
I stand corrected, Chris. Then again, I'm seventeen years old and know next to nothing :) However, since my dad is a lawyer, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to brush up on my legal terms!

[ edited by MySerenity on 2005-08-01 00:09 ]
I must be a wuss. Middle-aged and my fist still hasn't launched a pre-emptive strike against a store employee's jaw. And I thought I did have rage issues. Must reassess self.
gtman8503 you were told to tone it down, you didn't and you're now banned.

I suggest we all abandon this thread, it's going nowhere.
Simon I promise I'll abandon just after this one teensy reply.

Two plain peanuts were minding their own business, when, out of nowhere, one of them was a salted!


God that made me wet my pants with laughter! Oh and Nathans brother holding the comic up to his head....priceless!
OK, I'll be leaving now.
shoot! I was just gonna add - BEN IS GLORY!
:::hides in shame::::

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