October 4, 2014

Disenchanted with Hallmark

I’ve been a bit disappointing with Hallmark as of late. In the beginning of the year there was the issue with my keepsake ornament club (KOC) membership not being activated for over a month after I signed up (and I still have not received my reward points by the way…). The less forgivable issue, however, is the quality of the ornaments.

The one ornament I am happy with

I purchased 5 including the two from joining the KOC, 2 from the July premiere and 1 from the October premiere. Exactly one came in pristine condition – Santa’s grandfather clock. The paint job is misaligned on the sprinkles of Mice Cream Sundae, and one of the tails looks like it may fall off. Both Present Packing Penguins and Baby’s first Christmas have small but noticeable scratches. And Happy Little Elf’s gundrop is missing sprinkles on the front.

Domingo thinks I’m being too picky, that you get what you pay for. Maybe, maybe, I agree with Happy Little Elf which is only a $8 ornament. Baby’s First Christmas and Present Packing Penguins are $20 and $18, respectively! When I was picking up Happy Little Elf today the cashier asked if I had inspected the ornament yet. Um no. It seemed wrong to take it out of the box before paying for it. It is a collectible after all, or at least is marketed as such. Don’t collectibles lose value as soon as their removed from the packaging? Apparently the store accepts no refunds or substitutions even if the ornament is sold broken!

The frustrating thing about this is that it’s the first year I’ve ever had issue with the quality of the ornaments. In the past five years I’ve only had two issues with ornaments, neither of which was Hallmark’s fault. I purchased Snow Fort Fun off of ebay which came with a scratch becaused by an ornament hook that was still attached to it. (So much for mint-in-box.) I also purchased Santa’s Magic Sleigh from amazon which came broken in two. It too was reported as new, never been open, but the break was clearly the kind of break that would happen if someone pulled the ornament off the tree by grabbing the sleigh, not something that could happen naturally.

So now I’m disenchanted with Hallmark. The initially driver behind my desire to collect ornaments was to have a tree with personality – one that reflected both Domingo and I. We now have more ornaments than tree. So maybe next year I start looking at other brands. Maybe (hopefully?) this year was just a fluke.

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