Heavy Metal Magazine Responds To Serious Criticism From Customers

Heavy Metal Magazine is the longstanding comics anthology known for publishing European sci-fi and fantasy comic books for an American audience, including considerable amounts of nudity, violence, and painted artwork. And a strong newsstand presence, and reputation helped by the sci-fi anthology movie of a fair few years ago. In recent years, it has been through a variety of owners and people in charge, including Grant Morrison and Kevin Eastman, though not all departures have been happy ones. And of late, it appears that customer service has really not been their thing.

We have received many complaints in recent months. One customer told Bleeding Cool "Since 2017 they've been failing to fulfil subscriptions and online orders, some taking over a year to be shipped. Others not even at all. I've recently had this happen and after months and months trying to contact Heavy Metal through their email and all social media trying to find out where my order is or if they could please respond to my enquiry (and politely I have to say) I have since been blocked by them on all social media. Any time I have interacted with customers in a similar boat and comments have been deleted and accounts blocked. I'm not the only customer to have had this treatment. They've also been removing all comments from customers trying to do the same on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter… I've since had to contact my bank and conduct a card fraud investigation in order to get my money back.  I think this information needs to be made public as it is costing customers as well as comic creators a lot of time and money without getting any answers. I am seeing many articles from CBR regarding Heavy Metal and their new announcements and endeavours but one look at every comment and thread and you can find hundreds of frustrated customers getting no answers while the company wilfully takes their money."

Heavy Metal Magazine Responds To Serious Criticism From Customers
Heavy Metal Magazine Responds To Serious Criticism From Customers

Heavy Metal currently has an F on the Better Business Bureau listing, with common complaints of people taking out annual subscriptions to the magazine but receiving no issues and getting no responses to their complaints, leading them to seek refunds through their credit companies. And replies to just one Facebook post from this week, with posts not deleted yet, read as follows:

  • Zachary Melton: Order today! Maybe get it someday? Probably not but give up your money anyway!
  • Clyde Johnson: Maybe one day the powers that be will get motivated to fix their customer service department. Here on FB we HM magazine fans love to celebrate the artists & art styles we've come to love from HM and HM inspired entities. However customer service from the magazine delivery stand points has still not picked up its game. How can you, in good conscience, continue to advertise and promote HM products and services, podcasts & NFTs when their deliveries and fulfillment of orders are still tragically faltering? I know this is not the job of this group page moderator, but you are connected to the company if by name alone; where's the accountability? Are you passing it along since emails from customers are not getting answered??
  • Mark Zirbel:  My wife bought me a HM subscription for my birthday in June. I have yet to receive an issue. She emailed HM to find out what's up. No reply. From your post it sounds like this isn't unusual? That's unacceptable. A subscription isn't cheap.
  • Clyde Johnson: Well Mark, sometime during the pandemic crush of 2020, things went off the rails. I started seeing fellow HM magazine subscribers having problems. Then this summer it got exponentially worse and many more customers (including me at that point) could get no reliable answers. So I've been posting here, and other social media to push for accountability from the company. I was blocked on Twitter after one of my posts criticizing their lack of responses. And since Mid-September their Instagram account seems to be "down".
  • Craig Turvey: I've been a faithful subscriber for years with no problem, bought a 3-year subscription in June (as my current subscription had ran out) and I've been ghosted in every way I've tried to contact them: email, 'chat' function on site, twitter, facebook, and the only phone number I could find for them is disconnected. I've just started a case with the Better Business Bureau… this kind of crap would never have happened when Kevin Eastman was holding the reins to the company. Get your act together!
  • Jesus M Gonzalez: I still waiting for my IRON MAIDEN comics!!!!!….. 1 year and 9 months already and nothing
  • David Pallante: never got my books had to open a paypal case to get my money back.
  • Robert Ell: I ordered some back issues a couple of months ago and still have nothing. Tried contacting customer service but no reply. Started a dispute claim with my bank to get my money back.

With all this, we got in touch with Heavy Metal Magazine's CEO Matthew Medney who told Bleeding Cool

"HEAVY METAL is aware of the issues with the delivery of items and subscriptions, and we are working diligently to make sure every customer's order is delivered as quickly as possible, and we are making every effort to respond to customer inquiries.

Unfortunately, given the nature of the root cause of the problem, where a hired third party responsible for printing and shipping has failed to fulfill their contractual agreement and obligations to our customers, we are continually uncovering more missing shipments we previously were unaware of. Now that we are aware of these missing orders, we are doing everything we can to fulfill them as quickly as possible, and we apologize for the delay.

In some cases, orders have required reprinting materials, and due to the ongoing supply chain issues in our industry that has prevented us from printing more books as quickly as we'd like to. With that said, we are scheduling all of the missing orders to be printed and delivered, and will have more knowledge on the timeline soon of when customers can expect their orders.

In addition, we will be printing and releasing the long-delayed RANX collection in hardback, but due to hardback material shortages at our plant, those printings are delayed until Q1 of 2022. We will have more intel on that for customers shortly.

We appreciate our fans and we are truly sorry for any unintentional distress this situation may have caused them. We will be answering customer service inquiries at Csr2@heavymetal.com and we will be fulfilling all orders as quickly as possible."

Good luck. Tell them Bleeding Cool sent you. We'd love to hear how you get on.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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