ANOVOS, high-end costume and prop maker mostly known for their Star Wars products, is in hot water yet again from collectors and the cosplay community. After many years of broken promises and long waits for information on products, not to mention extremely long waits for refunds, they have now posted a message on their website about a new refund and preorder policy that is not going to win anyone over. The post is below:
This update reflects changes that pertain to orders placed on and after April 11, 2019.
To our customers,
To begin, we are going back in time to explain how a well-intended policy eventually led to a growing problem for both ANOVOS and customers alike. Specifically, how our Golden Rule policy concerning refunds prior to shipping ended up negatively affecting production cycles and fellow customers.
Our forementioned Golden Rule policy stated that so long as a pre-order product had not shipped, ANOVOS would provide a refund to any customer that requests it—no questions asked. While this policy is not standard in our industry, it was a way to make customers feel comfortable about their pre-order. The issue we experienced was not in its intent, so much as in its application.
For example, when a product had production issues and became delayed (as discussed in our earlier letter), we would push out the delivery date. This change caused some customers to cancel their orders, and in some ways, resulted in a buying habit of waiting until an item was in-stock prior to making a purchase. However, this “wait and see” behavior frequently backfired on the customer since the majority of our items are produced to meet a minimum order quantity, leaving little—if any—inventory available after pre-orders were fulfilled.
As an unintended consequence, cancelations of pre-orders caused a gradual shrinkage of overall production budget. Fewer pre-orders led to a number of issues including an increase in raw goods pricing, increase in per unit cost, a deprioritization of product (moving items to the back of manufacturing queue) and—in some extreme cases—the cancellation of items that no longer met the factory’s minimums. This not only elongated the manufacturing time for one project, but also other projects, causing a more systemic issue.
After careful study and consideration, the only conclusion is that the funds secured via pre-orders need to be locked in order to ensure a product is financed through production and delivery. The only path forward is one where all sales are final effective April 11, 2019. We will continue to honor any existing refund requests made prior to this policy change as business permits, and will still consider future refunds for customers after a product is in-stock and ready to ship, but only on a case-by-case review.
Many of you have been customers of ANOVOS for years, and we are thankful to our community for your loyalty and support. This decision was not made lightly, and is necessary to ensure all products are produced and delivered in a timely manner. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Joe Salcedo, CEO ANOVOS Productions LLC
Dana Gasser, COO ANOVOS Productions LLC
The response has not been good.
I ordered Kylo Ren over 3 yrs ago (this is my 4th Spring waiting & still nothing). Personally I'm still holding out as I want the costume over a refund, but I've heard many ppl waiting ages for one. Now Anovos says they are not going to allow them at all going forward. Fishy…
— Michael Taylor (@cryrid) April 11, 2019
— Fidgell (@IamFidgell) April 11, 2019
Writing a letter to say that you’re going to write more letters to explain why you didn’t do something you said you were going to do is the most Anovos thing you could possibly do. https://t.co/Vmf6fcOZio
— Mike Schindler (@mumbles3k) April 10, 2019
#StarWarsCelebration Is the ANOVOS complaint panel at Soldier Field? I havent seen anything about the lottery for it yet.
— Keith Franklin soon at SWCC (@Franklin808) April 10, 2019
I am unimpressed by the statements made by @ANOVOS. It's easy to write a statement, but this wasn't even emailed to people who have open "tickets". They still don't respond to emails(in over a week), their support chat is offline and their phone goes to a "Magic Jack Customer."
— VerseTrek Seth #WeAreStarfleet (@VerseTrek) April 10, 2019
Basically, there are years worth of these complaints, and they are not going anywhere. You may want to avoid this booth at Star Wars Celebration this weekend. Or you may want to pull up a chair and bring some popcorn, there may be a show.