Tell ShopDisney to Provide Equal Consumer Shopping Opportunities for Fans

Tell ShopDisney to Provide Equal Consumer Shopping Opportunities for Fans

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M F started this petition to shopDisney

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

ShopDisney worked for consumers and fans alike to purchase from.  There was no need for queues or drawings for an opportunity to purchase an item.  Let's be real though, a fanbase grows over time and as Disney's umbrella grows with new properties their merch lines grow larger attracting more fans.  Fast forward to May 4, 2020.  A literal dooms day.  ShopDisney launched a new queue system as a way to try and help with volume but it was a complete failure. A wait of 5+ hours for fans watching, waiting and hoping at the chance to purchase beloved Star Wars merchandise.  The alarms were sounded, ShopDisney was put on alert and fans turned out with outcry for help asking for a system of fairness and opportunity for all collectors. 

Months passed as ShopDisney put release after LE release on hold in the US while continuing with releases internationally. Driving many collectors to purchase items from the international ShopDisney sites which caused issues to evolve on those sites as well creating larger problems globally for technology and stock quantities. 

Never tell me the odds.

On July 9th we got our first update: Merch Pass - an opportunity for a chance to purchase. Put your faith in a random drawing and hope your odds are good to be given the chance to purchase what you want. Even at that only 1 person in your entire household can purchase the item or your entire order will be cancelled.

"Want to twin with your daughter in matching Minnie ears?  Hope you have different home addresses." - ShopDisney (Not an actual statement, a generalized version of their message.)

ShopDisney had failed us once again. They've moved forward with the second LE release for MMMA: June through Merch Pass to even further outcry as is visible in the review sections of the products and Disney Facebook groups online.  After the first Castle Collection Merch Pass drawing, ShopDisney dropped the leftovers onto the website which led fans to believe the same would be done for this release.  Many were online during the early morning hours of August 4th only to discover without issuing any statement regarding doing so ShopDisney had done a secondary drawing through MerchPass and was notifying another round of those selected today.  The terms and conditions of Merch Pass do not state a second drawing would be held and even so they do not state now how they held the second drawing to clarify the terms were equal.  Whether it be just for those who were not selected the first time, if everyone had their original requests entered into the drawing again so it was possible they would have a shot at purchasing a second time, or if they did the drawing for everyone again but only for items you didn't already purchase.  Now there are fans who have yet to be selected during the two rounds of drawings and the opposite spectrum of fans who were selected both times completing their collection.

Not The Happiest Place on Earth After All?

Only July 14th, ShopDisney held the Disneyland® Park 65th Anniversary Online Merchandise Event through an external website link hosted by the server 'Queue-IT.net'.  Upon admission into the queue for the event, the queue reached 75K queue members in line within an hour of the event start and the next morning when they stopped selling the merchandise at 10:30amPT (24 hours later) the queue still had a remaining 12K individuals waiting for an opportunity to make a purchase.  Some members who had been able to get into the checkout area of the form during the sale window were kicked out of the form prior to the 5 minute checkout window being over and placed back in the queue with thousands ahead of them.  Not two hours into the event the queue was halted for over an hour due to unknown errors only to start again with items now completely sold out without warning.  They've proven they will use external server sites, but have once again underestimated the server size needed for volume which they have historical data on from previous sales.

Is there a Happily Ever After?

Obviously, Merch Pass is not the answer.  ShopDisney never revealed how it came about or who developed it but that boat has officially sunk.  Back to the drawing board but luckily for ShopDisney, other online retailers have massive volumes of fans and buyers for releases and they're able to handle things just fine.  Take a look at concert sales for instance.  Anyone familiar with the running man?  If you log onto AXS or Ticketmaster for the chance at concert tickets, you are placed into a queue with thousands albeit sometimes hundreds of thousands of fans at the opportunity to purchase the tickets.  You get to watch the running man move and grove to the right as fans checkout in front of you.  This queue system works.  It handles massive volume smoothly, and despite some fans being angry because they couldn't get what they wanted; it's a fair system.  SDCC logic waiting room.  Those words speak for themselves as they are known for turning out hundreds of thousands internationally for much a much smaller quantity of badges.  Their logic waiting room randomizes the queue, keeps the queue updated on quantities, and has a smooth checkout process with a time limit once you enter.

This is the Way:

There is a solve.  There is a way for fans to have a shot at the merch which brings SO MUCH JOY to our lives right now.  The smiles on children's faces when gifted with a plush, the dress up adventures as favorite characters, shared journeys to galaxies far far away, and the feel of setting out for the day in your favorite Disney style.  We all need joy in our lives right now and we deserve equal opportunity at purchasing what we want.

Actionable Steps for ShopDisney: 

1. No more releases through Merch Pass, ever.

2. No release events through 'QueueIt' server again, ever.  Once your own system is in place it can also be used for park release events as well.

3. Halt Limited Edition releases until an inclusive and fair online release system is in place and has been properly tested and vetted internally prior to the release.

4. Overhaul of the existing website. Either bring in a team to create a system such as the above suggested queue systems OR purchase software systems which are pre-existing to handle the volume necessary for releases.  

5. Find a way to hold limited edition releases in stores/the parks safely during COVID. Whether it be by pre-purchasing a ticket days before to have your spot to pickup your item or have very limited individuals at a time in stores funneled to one register to purchase the LE items.  In store purchasing and releases are possible and preferred for some.

6. Include Canada in these releases as they have been unfairly removed at the opportunity to purchase online for any releases.

During these times of uniting it's time to work together with fans, ShopDisney and listen to what is needed to keep the magic alive in every fan, not just some.

Sincerely,

US Disney Fans

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