Apr 20, 2011

Redemption Blues

"We do not honor expired redemptions" intones the Topps customer service rep in a cheerfully, ominous voice. 

"But it's such a rare pull, can't I at least tell you the story and see what can be done?", I say.

"Sure, but we don't honor expired redemptions"

No two words that grace a card engender such distress....expiration date.  This is expired, it is no more, it has ceased to exist....it is a dead card.

"I was opening a box of 2001 Topps Series 1 this week and the redemption said congratulations, you have just won a 1963 Topps 537 featuring Pete Rose.  Can I give you the authentication number and see if anything can be done?"

"We probably don't have this card in stock or probably gave it out in one of our giveaways.  Anyway, we don't honor expired redemptions."

"Is it possible to verify if it's in stock?"

"I'm sorry, we don't honor expired redemptions."

Yes, this redemption expired 4/25/2002.  It does state explicitly on the back of the card about being received no later than the expiration date. 

The redemption card is false hope, whether in 2001 or 2011.  The redemption card says you can get something, but you better have had the foresight to know to get it before the arbitrary date we set. 

Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is 200/200, or in this case a 1963 Topps Pete Rose.

I am discouraged by the reams of expired redemption cards littering the tapestry of the hobby.  Tantalizing enticing and dreams of a received mail package burst.  Visions of the value of the pack lottery wither.

The redemption is expired; you may not return to former glory.


Anonymous said...

I hate redemptions. Expired or not. If it's an older product and there are redemptions in it, the box better almost be free.

stusigpi said...

Upper Deck was telling me that prices go down when redemptions expire (not true usually) and so you should know that when you bust. Why couldn't they have just slid that rose into the pack?

Offy said...

The worst part of it is that the card companies are completely unsympathetic. They won't even acknowledge that the redemption card is there because they didn't do their job properly. The collector ends up out a card, usually a good card because it's not tough to get the signature of a nobody, and the card company couldn't care less.

Play at the Plate said...

Redemption cards rank right up there with sticker autos.

Dan said...

I didn't go through the same runaround that you guys did (Offy and stusigpi) with your 2007 Masterpiece cases.

I did get a good price on the box (I mean it's a 2001, there's not much hype behind it now, though it's a cool set)......even so, the redemption insertion itself was misleading.

the pack odds state to look for hobby originals inserted 1:1172 packs (yes, it was that tough of a pull)

the odds of having this redeemed previously are basically none.

I got the same message everyone else got...expiration dates matter more than substance or customer service.

Jim said...

I cringed when I read this post. Just painful.

ThingsareFunnerHere said...

I'd send a certified letter, let them know you are a blogger, so they know people have read your story, etc. Perhaps they will then send you SOMETHING; maybe not the Rose card but maybe something more current. Worth a shot.

Fuji said...

I hate redemption cards... hate them... hate them... hate them. And on so many levels too... however... the whole "expired redemptions" is easily the most frustrating and disheartening.

If companies are going to include redemptions, then they should be accountable for holding onto the stock until cards have been redeemed.

And if they don't want to backstock all of these cards, then don't put redemption cards into packs.