Meet Hatchy…our naughy Hatchimal who refused to unlock and hatch. I guess just like babies, not all Hatchimals have the same birth experience.
In my last blog post, I shared Henry’s experience with receiving a Hatchimal and the magic of it hatching and “growing up”. This post is about Charlotte’s experience. She opened hers at the exact same time as Henry. However, hers did NOTHING. The egg didn’t light up or make one peep. It was not magical. Indeed it was quite sad. Having her younger brother running around chanting “MY Hatchimal LOVES me!” did not help the matter. My sweet brother-in-law was so distressed he offered to run right out to the store to get her a new one immediately. We all laughed because he has teenagers and no clue of the Hatchimals craze this season. If only it were that simple.
So we called Customer Service after examining everything possible. The phone line was not open on the weekend. We searched online for answers. There was no advice for what to do if your egg did nothing. So we finally packaged it back up with the hope of an exchange after Christmas. I took a final picture of Henry’s fully hatched Hatchimal and Charlotte’s in the box and tweeted the company as a last ditch effort.
The Twitter representative asked me to private message them immediately. I was finally in contact with someone! Based upon the messages we exchanged, I was under the assumption that we could not replace the Hatchimal if it was manually hatched. Therefore, we kept it packed back up in the box to await an exchange. Charlotte wanted to see it hatch. She watched her brother play with his correctly functioning Hatchimal all weekend and sadly kept asking if she would receive a new Hatchimal that worked. Charlotte was quite the trooper. She never once threw a fit.
On Monday I tried to call Customer Service at 10:00 AM as instructed but never got through. I tried again in the afternoon. I was on hold 12 minutes the first time to only be disconnected. Then I was on hold 27 minutes the next time before someone answered. Trevor the Customer Service Representative should receive an A+ for his customer care skills once we connected. He was kind, patient and understanding.
He explained that plenty of dysfunctional Hatchimals had indeed been returned and we would not have to mail ours back. Instead, we would have to “damage” it for an exchange. “Damaging” it began with manually hatching the egg and then writing our Case Number on the Hatchimal’s belly with a Sharpie so you could not resell it. We would have to email a photo of that and of he receipt in order to get a replacement. He opened our “case”.
Manually hatching the Hatchimal at home in front of Charlotte (who was now home from school) definitely took away from the magic of the toy. We did want a replacement at that point because it still was not responding and Trevor said it was most likely a faulty toy. I hung up the phone after receiving more istructions for our “case”. As one last suggestion (“but it probably won’t work”), I replaced the batteries…and it came to life. Of course.
At this point, Charlotte was very happy and immediately attached to her new toy. I explained the replacement process to her and as I moved closer with the Sharpie marker she flipped out. For real. Tears and all. She did NOT want me to write on the Hatchimal’s belly. But then when I explained that she would never see another one hatch, she cried even more. She was torn.
Looking back, I never would have made the phone call in front of her. I would have pretended to send it back so she wasn’t a part of that process. It tore her up. She couldn’t imagine “damaging” the old one. After thinking about it for a day, she decided she would rather keep the one we have that is now working with new batteries. She is too afraid of not getting the same one as a replacement because that was not guaranteed.
It’s a toy. She’s 7. She is very fortunate to have a lot of great things and not lack for much. But I must say, the customer care experience was less than perfect. Once I finally got to a human voice 48 hrs later after opening the egg that would never unlock or hatch, Trevor was great. These toys are THE hot toy of the season. Therefore, I truly hope Hatchimals does not leave parents stranded Christmas weekend if they receive a “dud” like we did.
The Twitter person mentioned receiving something “extra” if we manually hatched our egg to compensate for Charlotte losing that experience. I replied via email to the company explaining everything once we decided to not going forward with our “open case” for a replacement. I’ve yet to hear a response. That was days ago. At this point I don’t expect anything. It’s beyond obvious that the success of the Hatchimal product was way more than the company could handle. I hope they learn from all of it. I just want to forget it all.
So what do you do if you get a dud this holiday season? Good luck. If I were to go through it all again, I’m not sure what I would do. On the one hand, I wish we would have manually hatched it from the beginning so Charlotte could at least play with it. But we also got to see Henry’s hatch which was the coolest part of the whole thing. So part of me would have asked for a replacement without her even knowing or seeing the manual hatch process. Whatever you do…if yours doesn’t work, have a plan ahead of time! But here’s hoping NONE of you have this same experience.