A lot of talk has been going on about redemptions lately and the fact that, well, they SUCK!! While I haven't had the same results, typical of our bloguverse (I'm tired of the word blogosphere), I do see where the redemption idea has worn out it's welcome...assuming it was welcome in the first place.
It seems that much of the recent talk has been about Topps not following through with "on card" autos in their redemptions and instead, replacing them with unwanted or incomparable sticker autos of inferior subjects. That's not to say that getting an autograph on a card isn't a cool experience, but the fact that they aren't living up to their promises becomes a customer service nightmare.
My take on the whole thing is simple...don't offer what you don't already have in hand. If you are going to promise on card autos, they better be in your inventory at the time the redemptions are processed. I understand that there are millions of dollars invested in getting players sigs on products and stickers are an easy out when it comes to production. If that is the way they want to play it, then don't bother with a redemption. Take one of your stored stickers for that player and mass produce the card like everything else. Just don't patronize us by telling us we are going to get something when in reality, we are either going to have to wait for a year or not get it at all.
That being said. I haven't had as difficult time getting mine back (knock on wood). Of course, all mine have been Upper Deck redemptions and the process has been fairly simple. I have had six total redemptions in my card collecting career and they have all come in the last year or so.
2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Autograph Buyback
Luc Robitaille #BB-RO
Sent in 7/27/2009
2 Months, 25 days
2008-09 Artifacts Rookie Redemptions
Sent in 5/30/2009
2008-09 Ultra Rookie
Sent in 5/5/2009
2007-08 Ultra Rookie Redemption
Sent in 5/3/2009
2009-10 Ultra Rookie Redemptions
Sent in 12/26/2009
Hasn't shipped yet
(1 month, 16 days and counting)
2009-10 Artifacts Rookie Redemption
Sent in 2/11/2010
Hasn't shipped yet
(2 days and counting)
I'm not bragging here. This is just for informational purposes. This is also not an endorsement for Upper Deck either, because I have heard horror stories there too. I am just showing my own experience in the matter. Anyone else out there care to share?