A Letter of Concern to Weta - Third and Final Draft

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    I just received and read the letter from Richard and Tania. I really didn't expect to get a response at all and to actually get one and one so soon after the Letter of Concern was sent to them, surprised me. I guess everyone will have to read it and decide for themselves if their response went far enough to assuage their fears going forward.

    Personally, I feel like I will accept their response and believe that they are going to make the necessary changes to ensure that QC is a top priority for them moving forward.

    So, with that said, I have decided to resume purchasing from Weta and have preordered the new Helms Deep environment. I pray that my renewed trust will not be broken in the future. Time will definitely tell.

    I'm grateful for all the time and effort that went into creating and crafting the Letter of Concern and I'm grateful that RT has read it, processed it, and is taking steps to ensure that purchasing his products will be an enjoyable experience again.

    Comment


      Originally posted by N2Darkness View Post
      I'm happy to hear a response to the issues us collectors have addressed.

      I'd be more curious to know their answer to actual issues like the Argonath seam or the Sauron cape. Did they deem them quality issues?
      I worked with QC for a short while and it ended up hairy because of tensions from managers who just wanted So I know what you mean.
      If you'd like an answer about the pauldrons for Sauron, I just received this answer to my CS ticket. It's not specifically about the cape however, or any of the other issues.


      "Thanks for getting in touch, I am very sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

      We have been experiencing a higher than normal volume of customer enquiries since the launch of our website, we are currently working on expanding our team to be able to help all of our customers so we really appreciate your patience at this time.

      I understand you are not satisfied with the Sauron Collectible you received. When working on a project for seven years, props and costumes go through several changes over time. Keeping records of their various states throughout production has allowed us an incredibly unique insight, especially when creating collectibles over twenty years later.

      For Sauron, we wanted the reference photo provided for the artist to be of the highest quality. This photo was of the armour post-production, which had been set-up on a mannequin in preparation for a museum display and provided an incredible level of detail. Unfortunately, Sauron’s pauldrons had been swapped left for right while being attached to the mannequin.

      With Sauron’s armour having been changed many times throughout filming, it was more difficult than usual to ascertain the “correct” look, and as such, this one slipped past our eyes. We've changed the process for how these photos are reviewed for our future collectibles but we will not be reproducing this item or new pauldrons.

      As we will not be reproducing the item or new pauldrons we are happy to provide a full refund for your order. If you would like a refund, we will require you to destroy the collectible beyond resalable condition and send through a couple of photos. As soon as we receive this, I can process your refund.

      Please let me know if you have any questions."


      So they acknowledge the pauldrons as issues.

      But they don't want to offer partial compensation, or replacement parts. They offer a full refund in exchange for destruction of the piece, which is a horrible thought to me...
      I will keep the statue as it is for the time being. Not gonna break it for a refund anyway...
      Last edited by Valarauco; 7 December 2022, 11:41. Reason: Making it clear that their answer was about the pauldrons.

      Comment


        Originally posted by Elessar View Post
        Kudos to Weta for sending this out and letting folks know what’s been going on and what they’re doing. Some of this I knew just from conversations with them. I take the opening that as I assumed was the case they are always watching the board. I would give more weight to overall comments on the board than the letter itself.
        Well, that's nice that they have conversations with you, but there are more of us here. So, by your reasoning, our heartfelt effort was a colossal waste of time and likely went in the trash bin before being read, right? Ok, good to know.

        Comment


          Originally posted by N2Darkness View Post
          I'm happy to hear a response to the issues us collectors have addressed.

          But, to me this letter asks even more questions.

          I worked as a QC technician for many years and it was my job to know the entire process from beginning to end and to be able to identify any and all issues. From daily visual checks and measurements to make sure parts are being produced to specification.

          It said they were sending "someone from their team" to the factory. Who is that person? What are there responsibilities? because if it is some type of production manager or supervisor it has been in my experience that none of these types of people have ever sounded any type of "quality" alarm to fix or halt production. They are there to make a quota and keep costs down or according to plan. I know being "too picky" costs lots of money to try and make things perfect, but do they really escalate an issue? or is it always everything fine.

          I'd be more curious to know their answer to actual issues like the Argonath seam or the Sauron cape. Did they deem them quality issues?
          Well, yes. Because TOE was well before Covid, and as I recall there was a QC person in China - Gabriel? I don't recall the name. Also there's the line about "there will always be variances"....because, IMO it's always been odd there are runs of spectacular paintwork (Thror, Eomer, Bard) and then there's - other factories.

          But not to be too negative, because, the fact that a letter reached WETA is definitely a plus, that dedicated customers felt it was time to say something and, were heard. That's awesome. No collector should be having to live in terror after spending $$$.


          Comment


            Originally posted by Valkrist View Post

            Well, that's nice that they have conversations with you, but there are more of us here. So, by your reasoning, our heartfelt effort was a colossal waste of time and likely went in the trash bin before being read, right? Ok, good to know.
            I did not say that I’m the only one out there. It’s just that I’ve talked with them about some of the things covered because I was having simple conversations with them. So for me some of that wasn’t news. I’m not going to apologize for having built relationships with folks because they didn’t share this information publicly. I’m not saying it was a waste of time at all. I would also pump the brakes on any this being THE reason things get smoother going forward. So please don’t take offense. It’s not intended to be that. .

            Comment


              I’m glad that they came with a response. QC was never an issue I experienced, but so many people did, so I hope they’ll improve in the coming years.

              Their site is still horrible though. During BF I ordered mini Smaug and Mini Epic Sauron with my remaining weta dollars. I got told the warehouse cancelled the order again (after doing the same to Balrog earlier without letting me know…), but that they would send it to me in the next days.

              Week later, order is complete on the site, but still no shipping notification, so I guess the warehouse have issues again. Not sure what is going wrong, but I’m sure as hell not gonna order limited items from them directly anymore. Horrible, horrible. I hope to get a response soon.

              Made by Bill59

              Comment


                Originally posted by Ithildin View Post
                I just received and read the letter from Richard and Tania. I really didn't expect to get a response at all and to actually get one and one so soon after the Letter of Concern was sent to them, surprised me. I guess everyone will have to read it and decide for themselves if their response went far enough to assuage their fears going forward.

                Personally, I feel like I will accept their response and believe that they are going to make the necessary changes to ensure that QC is a top priority for them moving forward.

                So, with that said, I have decided to resume purchasing from Weta and have preordered the new Helms Deep environment. I pray that my renewed trust will not be broken in the future. Time will definitely tell.

                I'm grateful for all the time and effort that went into creating and crafting the Letter of Concern and I'm grateful that RT has read it, processed it, and is taking steps to ensure that purchasing his products will be an enjoyable experience again.
                I just read it too... I think, that it is a weta step, to improve... But I have recently had the disappointing environment of the Argonath and I still don't dare to book the new environment of Helm's Deep...

                I think I'll wait to see how they reach collectors and then I'll decide if I buy it... I am happy, because it seems that the letter has been able to serve and draw attention to weta... but I have to wait, to see the results and fully trust weta again... a company that has given us so much joy for many years...

                Congratulations for the preorder... and hopefully they arrive well and I decide to buy it too...
                Last edited by Cliperión; 7 December 2022, 11:46.

                Comment


                  Of course we're going to have the full spectrum of reactions to this letter, and here's mine:

                  I really appreciate the honesty and clarity of this letter. I've travelled for work before, including international, so I totally get the very real blocker of not being able to travel to China to have 1st person communication and QA with contractor and management on the ground. Instead Weta kept producing stuff having to put their trust in their contractors in China. Stuff got through that might not have if Weta employees were able to do their normal due diligence. That time period of not being able to participate in person is ending and things are returning to business as usual.

                  Now that they explain it like that, I totally get it. I also trust that upcoming collectibles such as Dead Marshes and Leaflock will be of the highest quality or they'll make it right. It was very smart of them to specifically call out Dead marshes as a the current focus, that being their most expensive piece and people have been rightfully concerned.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Elessar View Post
                    Kudos to Weta for sending this out and letting folks know what’s been going on and what they’re doing. Some of this I knew just from conversations with them. I take the opening that as I assumed was the case they are always watching the board. I would give more weight to overall comments on the board than the letter itself.
                    I think Weta hardly has a presence on the FoU, certainly not like they once did. To keep track of all the various threads and comments about various issues would quite the job. They would need to be on here daily. It seems far more likely and logical given the timing that the November Letter reached Richard and he chose to issue a statement on the issues raised in it. No doubt Weta is aware of the complaints about QC due to the amount of messages the must have recieved from CS, but the timing seems to be too much of a coincidence.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Valarauco View Post


                      So yes, they acknowledge that it's an issue.

                      But they don't want to offer partial compensation, or replacement parts. They offer a full refund in exchange for destruction of the piece, which is a horrible thought to me...
                      I will keep the statue as it is for the time being. Not gonna break it for a refund anyway...
                      The pauldrons are an oversight and design mistake, not a manufacturing flaw. Those are big differences in my book. If you mostly receive what is on the pre-order screen (slight paint apps variations) then you can't complain. But when there are parts that don't assemble or extra material added to fill a gap, those are grounds for a refund or replacement. If your not happy with the prototype, then don't order. Plain and simple.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Cliperión View Post

                        I just read it too... I think, that it is a weta step, to improve... But I have recently had the disappointing environment of the Argonath and I still don't dare to book the new environment of Helm's Deep...

                        I think I'll wait to see how they reach collectors and then I'll decide if I buy it... I am happy, because it seems that the letter has been able to serve and draw attention to weta... but I have to wait, to see the results and fully trust weta again... a company that has given us so much joy for many years...

                        Congratulations for the preorder... and hopefully they arrive well and I decide to buy it too...
                        Thanks.

                        I hear what you are saying. I too, had to process what they had said for a while before coming to my decision to resume purchasing from them. I wish you luck on deciding which direction you need to go.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by TMcLim View Post

                          I think Weta hardly has a presence on the FoU, certainly not like they once did. To keep track of all the various threads and comments about various issues would quite the job. They would need to be on here daily. It seems far more likely and logical given the timing that the November Letter reached Richard and he chose to issue a statement on the issues raised in it. No doubt Weta is aware of the complaints about QC due to the amount of messages the must have recieved from CS, but the timing seems to be too much of a coincidence.
                          Not posting sure. I don’t pretend to know every detail of what they’re doing and when they’re doing it but I do know they keep an eye on the board. Again unless things have changed. It could very well be the case the letter made them go we must issue a statement. More likely it was the final nudge that they should just let everyone know all the stuff going on. Either way as long as things are smooth for everyone it’s all good.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Valkrist View Post

                            Well, that's nice that they have conversations with you, but there are more of us here. So, by your reasoning, our heartfelt effort was a colossal waste of time and likely went in the trash bin before being read, right? Ok, good to know.
                            Got this image.png?
                            I do not think it went unnoticed. Not at all. Valkrist Good job.
                            Chyld fo Durin

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Chyld of Durin View Post

                              Got this image.png?
                              I do not think it went unnoticed. Not at all. Valkrist Good job.
                              Chyld fo Durin
                              Agreed. Great job Valkrist your efforts are very much appreciated. I love Weta, they have been good to me in the past and I have been a loyal customer in return, but they are not above Criticism. It is very hard to criticise a friend but It needed be said

                              Comment


                                Not super comforting to know they can't even QC their own letter about lack of QC.

                                Comment


                                  I think it really is a positive action by Weta, which time wise has to follow our letter. Also, I've noticed an increase in complaints on Facebook which might also have pushed them towards a reply. I'm glad they responded and I'm looking forward to see if they indeed will have better quality control etc. For me, I never had much issues, besides having to file Sauron's back to make the cape fit. But I do hope things will improve. As Bilbo says, I do believe the worst is behind us.

                                  Comment


                                    Great response from Weta. I’d like to see anyone affected get compensation in WD or equivalent. I think this would be a nice and fair gesture on Weta’s behalf.

                                    Comment


                                      Originally posted by N2Darkness View Post

                                      The pauldrons are an oversight and design mistake, not a manufacturing flaw. Those are big differences in my book. If you mostly receive what is on the pre-order screen (slight paint apps variations) then you can't complain. But when there are parts that don't assemble or extra material added to fill a gap, those are grounds for a refund or replacement. If your not happy with the prototype, then don't order. Plain and simple.
                                      I appreciate your opinion on this matter, but also respectfully disagree.

                                      This whole issue has already been argued to death in the Sauron thread, so I won't continue. I will say however that I agree that manufacturing issues are far worse than design mistakes, for the same reason as you state.

                                      Those were also the main issues that I had with my statue, and it's a shame that they didn't mention the manufacturing issues that I encountered in their response. Such as the cape not fitting, and various parts not sticking to the statue as they should.

                                      Comment


                                        Originally posted by Ragadaz View Post
                                        Great response from Weta. I’d like to see anyone affected get compensation in WD or equivalent. I think this would be a nice and fair gesture on Weta’s behalf.
                                        Great concept, but I doubt it will happen.

                                        Comment


                                          I did not receive this letter unfortunately so I am glad you all shared it here.
                                          I think it is quite unique for a man and a woman in this poisitiion to write a letter like this.
                                          It osunds like Weta feels for me: honest en of good will.

                                          I hope that is enough, for me anyway, to keep the faith.

                                          Let's see what happens when my Bag End On The Hill arrives....

                                          Comment

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