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CBCS Graded

A letter from Jeromy Murray, VP of CBCS and Beckett7282

CBCS Pressing SteveRicketts private msg quote post Address this user
Dear CBCS Customers and Collectors,

When Beckett (Eli Global) purchased Comic Book Grading Service in late 2017, we knew that we were adding a real asset to our team. For years we discussed the possibility of adding a comic grading service, but never really had the opportunity to do so. With the acquisition of CBCS, we added a respected and known name in the comic grading industry that fit perfectly with Beckett Grading (BGS) and Beckett Authentication Services (BAS). While speaking to the CBCS staff in Florida, I realized that CBCS was a company full of knowledgeable and passionate employees who were challenged by a competitor that owned most of the market share, which was very similar to where Beckett Grading was in 1999. Eli Global and BGS are excited to add CBCS into our family and equally excited about the challenges and opportunities available to us.

Let me take a moment to address the turnaround delays and to sincerely apologize for CBCS not being able to get your comic books processed and shipped back to you in a timely manner. This situation is neither ideal for you nor for us. Our primary goal is to get your comics in and out of our offices as quickly as possible, while handling your books safely, and maintaining the grading accuracy and product quality you've come to expect from CBCS. I’m writing this to personally accept responsibility for the delay and to ensure that none of the blame be placed on any of the past or current CBCS employees. I truly believed the transition of CBCS would be simple, and that we would be down only a few days while we relocated the office to Texas, with us back in full operation within a week. This was an oversight in my judgment. While the physical transition has been a challenge, we are excited that the number of order submissions is at an all-time high!

The good news is…we are on the right path and making solid progress! We are adding members to the CBCS team and investing in the growth of this company. We are hiring many knowledgeable comic hobbyists and enthusiasts who are very excited to be working in an industry they are passionate about to strengthen the CBCS name in the industry. Our goal is not only to get turnaround times under control, but to make them better than ever before! We are working on new products, procedures, and services that will improve our services and lead the industry. These improvements in quality and time are also extended to our CBCS Pressing services, which will continue to work out of their Florida office. Bottom line, we are going to become the company that you wanted CBCS to be from the beginning, and the customer-service-driven company the comic collecting hobby deserves. CBCS will succeed!

I humbly thank you for your continued support, your understanding, and for your comments or suggestions. I ask you to continue to trust in CBCS. This is such an amazing company and I am truly honored to be a part of the team.

Sincerely

Jeromy Murray

Vice President: Beckett Grading, CBCS Grading, & Beckett Authentication Services
Post 1 IP   flag post
Collector Masochism private msg quote post Address this user
This statement is too little too late. I have two first timers in my order who will never use this service again because of the over 4 month turnaround and still no end date in sight.

It's just too out of hand.

There is a lot to love with CBCS, your slabs are superior, your red label verified signature and art preservation are awesome, but the TAT has been inexcusably long for way too long. I will personally opt to deal with raw books over dealing with cartoonishly absurd wait times.

You have had my money, and my comic books, since April, and this statement has done nothing to change that. Plenty of people on here have been waiting longer than I have, and the folk on the board while nice enough people, seem to have a collective case of Munchausen's Syndrome because they are afraid to say how they truly feel for fear of rocking the boat. The boat is dead in the water. Taking responsibility is only the first step. We need to hear a timeline for correcting course.

I hope things get better, but they have only gotten progressively worse since I slabbed my first book in 2014.
Post 2 IP   flag post
Collector michaelekrupp private msg quote post Address this user
Good to know. I have been planning on submitting a few items but am waiting until I start hearing better things about turnaround times.
Post 3 IP   flag post
Collector Zevgoli private msg quote post Address this user
If you are responsible for this mess why haven’t you been fired?
Post 4 IP   flag post
Collector Gotlift private msg quote post Address this user
Well that just about sums it all up.
But I think the cat is out of the bag now and this may get ugly.
Post 5 IP   flag post
Collector IcantfindwhatIwant private msg quote post Address this user
It’s great to see the TAT issue is finally officially addressed, but, a more detailed update on when we can expect things to be back on track would have paired nicely with that apology.
Post 6 IP   flag post
Collector Frontier2Xterra private msg quote post Address this user
While I am happy to see TAT's have been acknowledged and appear to be in process of being remedied, I see no timeline on this fix. Weeks, months, a year? How will the backlog be addressed while keeping up with the current volume of incoming?

There are really no details here.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Collector vacaboca private msg quote post Address this user
Change and transition are hard, and scaling up logistics and throughput are hard too - investing in infrastructure, process improvement and core functions will bear significant fruit in the long term. Good luck, I expect good things to come from these challenges, and the efforts you and your team are making.
Post 8 IP   flag post
Collector BabaLament private msg quote post Address this user
To: Jeromy Murray,
Vice President:Beckett Grading, CBCS Grading, & Beckett Authentication Services

From: BabaLament (Real name available via CBCS forum registration search.)

RE: A letter from Jeromy Murray, VP of CBCS and Beckett

Mr. Murray,

Good afternoon sir. I would like to start by thanking you for your open letter, posted by @SteveRicketts on August 30, 2018 at approximately 3:30PM, CST. This is the first communication many of us have received, albeit indirectly, from a CBCS representative regarding the issue of Turn-Around Times (TAT). While appreciated, I respectfully request further information regarding several of the items in your letter.

TAT's have been unreasonably long prior to the physical transition of the CBCS offices from Saint Petersburg Florida to Dallas Texas. One year ago the reason(s) provided for extended TAT duration(s) were related to recovery from disruption caused by hurricanes Harvey & Rita. Between the hurricane recovery and move to Dallas, TAT's did not see a noticeable improvement. Your statement regarding the move to Dallas, "the physical transition has been a challenge," does not inspire confidence that TAT's will be shortened in the near term. At what point do you project CBCS being able to accurately & reliably provide TAT estimates?

Additionally, your statement of, "we are excited that the number of order submissions is at an all-time high(!)" does little to alleviate our concerns. Taking in new orders and accepting payment for your service, while fantastic for the quarterly P&L report, isn't alleviating the core customer complaint that TAT's are too long. Quite the opposite, it appears that CBCS is building up further backlog that will extend TAT's even further.

Adding staff is a positive step; but as with any organization, new employees need to be trained and accrue experience under the supervision of qualified/certified personnel prior to being turned loose to function independently. There has been quite a bit of consternation with a competitor (using the term very loosely) based out of Oregon whose inconsistency in quality has functionally invalidated consumer confidence in that brands legitimacy. Customers have come to expect quality & consistency from the CBCS grading team; would you please inform us what quality control measures are in place to ensure continuity of grading with the addition of new staff?

Beyond the subject of TAT's, the most prolific complaint CBCS customers using the forums have appears to be the near-absence of Customer Support. The online dashboard is rarely updated, thus unreliable as a primary means of information regarding customer orders. Another issue is the lack of ability to contact Customer Service in a prompt/efficient manner. Having attempted several times today (every hour on the hour since 9:00AM, CST) to reach CBCS Customer Service via the Customer Service phone number, both the Customer Service & Billing extensions roll to voicemail, which then inform customers, "the voicemail box is full, please try again later." As of 4:33PM, CST, I have yet to reach a human being at CBCS. E-mails are replied to after weeks of delay, if at all.

As a customer, I consider this grossly unacceptable. While each and every member of the CBCS Customer Service staff I have ever interacted with has been professionally courteous and efficient, being able to reach the Customer Service department is a trial exceeding that of Dante's trip to the 9th level of Hell. I have been informed by Beckett Customer Support that CBCS is going to be integrated into the company-wide Customer Support; is there an estimated time for that project to be completed? Also, will there be any sort of upgrade to the existing Customer Service department between now and the integration with Beckett?

Again sir, I appreciate the outreach to the community from a member of senior management. From the tone of your communication, I am hopeful that CBCS is merely in a transitional/growing-pains phase, and that normal business operation(s) will resume shortly. However, in the interim, and speaking only for myself, I would consider more frequent communications from CBCS senior leadership to be greatly appreciated. If I may be so bold, I respectfully request CBCS consider hosting a live Ask-Me-Anything/Forum Q&A with senior leadership, to address these and other questions from the CBCS customer/consumer community.

Thank you for your time and attention.

V/R,
BabaLament

"Let no act be done at haphazard, nor otherwise than according to the finished rules that govern its kind." - Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus
Post 9 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
Trust for CBCS to deliver is at a very low - but hopefully this time it is different.

Actions speak louder than words. So let’s get some commitment and targeted dates for various deliveries

Otherwise - it is just same spin - different person!
Post 10 IP   flag post
Collector Gotlift private msg quote post Address this user
If I may add to this. Once you lose a customer due to disgust or poor treatment you’ve lost him forever. Getting them back is next to possible.
Let me give you a personal case
50 years ago I had a problem with a set of Goodyear tires. To make a long story short. Bad non caring treatment was the cause for me leaving disgusted .so in 50 years neither me nor anyone in my family have ever owned a Goodyear product.
This is what happens. Just go roving the forums and Facebook comic groups and it gets pretty vial. People are very upset out here.
I said enough. Please fix it soon. Rebuilding ones reputation is a long a costly project. Thanks for reading this.
Post 11 IP   flag post
Collector BLBcomics private msg quote post Address this user
Sure are some loud valid sounds of obvious frustration venting here. Time is money in this game. That said, if Beckett's can infuse $$$ in to hiring additional staff ASAP I think CBCS will end up blowing CGC out of the water once "TAT" is improved upon. There are a LOT of souls rooting for CBCS success.

Also. HIGHLY essential this chat forum is improved as soon as possible. Comics collectors love to talk hobby. This present system is unwieldy causing many to gravitate else where.
Post 12 IP   flag post
Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Is there even any evidence that they're catching up on TATs? I see people posting about getting the 2 days and whatnot back on time, but that has to be at the expense of all the moderns continuing to be backed up.

And pressing must be terrible. I'm in week 19 of my 12 week pressing order.
Post 13 IP   flag post
Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
I keep pondering the concept of moving an entire grading company in the middle of the highest volume , peak submission point of the entire year, for comic books. We know when the big shows are and how this has to influence submission levels....but choosing that exact time to uproot and move the entire company seems.....like a way to destroy the very thing you are trying to improve. Accepting responsibility is great for morning boardroom meetings, but this company is creating some perceptions that will take years to erase.
I keep trying to find a sample in my mind of any other type of company or business that operates within a spectrum that provides a service based on a business model that requires half a year wait for customer based service....it isn't going well for me
Post 14 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
Stay silent you get criticized. Speak out, acknowledge the problem and take responsibility you get criticized. What flavor is preferable I wonder?

No one wants to wait. I don't want to wait. And if people are waiting too long, then not only are they frustrated but they are also calling, which makes it difficult to even get through to customer service for non "it's taking to long" issues.

But a steady drumbeat of criticism on boards and FB, #soon and all that isn't going to make books get graded faster. They moved a company. That didn't go as quickly as they hoped and they lost some staff members creating vacancies. It takes time to hire and train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkseid_of_town

...I keep trying to find a sample in my mind of any other type of company or business that operates within a spectrum that provides a service based on a business model that requires half a year wait for customer based service....it isn't going well for me


Well - CGC had that business model for a decade. Back when they had no competition. Four months was the minimum wait for regular moderns and in summer months it stretched to six. So competition by CBCS has made things much better. I appreciate that and cut CBCS some slack as a result.

While you are just making a point, I can think of lots of things you have to wait a long time to purchase. Sometimes years long lists. Sometimes paying full price up front (to get in line) sometimes only a deposit. Premiere sports cars. Season tickets for many professional sports teams, NCAA tournament tickets.
Post 15 IP   flag post
Moderator Jesse_O private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkseid_of_town
I keep pondering the concept of moving an entire grading company in the middle of the highest volume , peak submission point of the entire year, for comic books.


I've thought about this myself and there IS one scenario that I can picture. CBCS officially started in July, 2014. I do not know when they got their building, but it makes sense to me that rather than sign another another lease (which I'd assume is a yearly lease) and move everything in 4-6 months, to just go ahead and bite the bullet and move. If they had signed a new lease, they would have had to pay lease for 6-8 months on an empty building in St. Petersburg, FL. (which I am sure is not cheap). I do not know if that was the case, but it fits this scenario.
Post 16 IP   flag post
Collector BLBcomics private msg quote post Address this user
I don't think "years to rebuild" is what is going on here. There is no good time of year to move a company half way across this country.

MOST sales via the slab gig is via internet, Auctions via eBay, the big houses, etc. Or inside the comic book stores.

Larger shows are moer cosplay fun in the main. Media guests.

Or the sig witness protection programs, etc.

Most collectors are readers who come to smaller shows to root thru boxes seeking stacks.

That all said, my long time friend since 1967 Buddy Saunders is coming up here soon to pick up 8,000 to 10,000 NM/M high grade 1967-1983 comic books from me as I get out of being a dealer to finish my comics business history projects instead.

These high grades are going to flow thru his mycomicshop.com site.

This is just phase one BTW.

Is CBCS going to be able to handle the flow influx?

My answer is I have high confidence in CBCS.

Hire more expert grader staff.
Which I know is being worked on.

Before you guys know it, you will also be certifying magazines, concert posters, movie lobby cards, etc. Sky is the limit

(And I love Goodyear products.)
Post 17 IP   flag post
Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
Stay silent you get criticized. Speak out, acknowledge the problem and take responsibility you get criticized. What flavor is preferable I wonder?

No one wants to wait. I don't want to wait. And if people are waiting too long, then not only are they frustrated but they are also calling, which makes it difficult to even get through to customer service for non "it's taking to long" issues.

But a steady drumbeat of criticism on boards and FB, #soon and all that isn't going to make books get graded faster. They moved a company. That didn't go as quickly as they hoped and they lost some staff members creating vacancies. It takes time to hire and train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkseid_of_town

...I keep trying to find a sample in my mind of any other type of company or business that operates within a spectrum that provides a service based on a business model that requires half a year wait for customer based service....it isn't going well for me


Well - CGC had that business model for a decade. Back when they had no competition. Four months was the minimum wait for regular moderns and in summer months it stretched to six. So competition by CBCS has made things much better. I appreciate that and cut CBCS some slack as a result.

While you are just making a point, I can think of lots of things you have to wait a long time to purchase. Sometimes years long lists. Sometimes paying full price up front (to get in line) sometimes only a deposit. Premiere sports cars. Season tickets for many professional sports teams, NCAA tournament tickets.[/quote]
Post 18 IP   flag post
Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
Key to my comment or central to the point I was making, is a SERVICE that accepts 4-6 months delays as business as usual...sports cars involved buying a material good, entertainment venues are providing access and hosting entertainment ....I although I guess by extension you could argue grading is not a service, you are purchasing a plastic slab.
Post 19 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLBcomics

That all said, my long time friend since 1967 Buddy Saunders is coming up here soon to pick up 8,000 to 10,000 NM/M high grade 1967-1983 comic books from me as I get out of being a dealer to finish my comics business history projects instead.


Congrats Bob for the sale, but still keeping 40k books to yourself?
Post 20 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
Stay silent you get criticized. Speak out, acknowledge the problem and take responsibility you get criticized. What flavor is preferable I wonder?


Ironman - sorry but there is little goodwill left. It is similar wording we have heard many time before just from different representatives of CBCS.

What is needed to gain a bit of goodwill are not words or saying sorry, what is needed are concrete plans. Eg TAT, what is the current TAT what are the concrete goals which are being worked towards and timelines.
Post 21 IP   flag post
Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
I think arguing there is no good time to move a company is similar t arguing there is no good time to run out into traffic to cross a street. So why be prudent , look both ways and proceed with caution when it is safe, rather than just


I think the argument that because most slabs sales are done through auctions or ebay dramatically misses the entire point...we are not discussing where the slabs are bought or sold...we are talking about where the books are submitted, either through witness signature programs or the comic convention presence of CGC and CBCS....I mean for real, if people were not submitting books and making it worth their time, they would not have representatives at these shows accepting those submissions right?
Regarding the perception that big shows are mostly cosplay and entertainment, I respectfully disagree and I have witnessed Heritage holding a large record breaking auction live at a con, as well as other companies doing similar events. I also buy a lot of books at shows and discuss and work with representatives from CGC when I see them as well.If this were a valid argument comic dealers would stop renting tables and making their presences known at the cons....instead we have the Overstreet dedicating an entire section to those same dealers that give market reports in large based on...not cosplay, but actual show sales.
Congratulations on your sale to Buddy and I hope it all goes well for you. I buy a lot from them and will look forward to owning some of those great issues you have put out there for us collectors, Truly amazing and thanks for that.
A final note to ponder...the move to Dallas has been done already. More staff is clearly needed but moving a grading service that relies on professional comic grading to a city that houses the single largest comic book sales organization known may prove to be .......a dilemna
Post 22 IP   flag post
Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by poka
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
Stay silent you get criticized. Speak out, acknowledge the problem and take responsibility you get criticized. What flavor is preferable I wonder?


Ironman - sorry but there is little goodwill let. It is similar wording we have heard many time before just from different representative of CBCS.

What is needed to gain a bit of goodwills are not words or saying sorry, what is needed are concrete plans. Eg TAT, what is the current TAT what are the concrete goals which are being worked towards and timelines.

Precisely, instead of the cliché terms and sentences each new talking head is supplying, people are looking for a solid time schedules, a stated plan to get it done, and perhaps a method of remedy for the ill will being created. ...people seem to want a solid bottom line when how where and what...For myself I have a single book submitted, back in April. It was bought and sent entirely as a test to determine if I wanted to move forward with some more key higher level issues...a week later the move was announced. When I read online before submitting the TAT implied 12 weeks...the form when the book was submitted then doubled that to 24 weeks. Had I known that was the reality...a six month wait, it would have answered my question without submitting. Because mine was silver age book needing pressed, I know it has not even been worked on yet..with 3-4 weeks further wait before sending it to Dallas for grading, labeling, slabbing and the eventual trip home.
Week 22...imagine my chagrin to learn there are people who have waited longer .
Post 23 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMan
Well - CGC had that business model for a decade. Back when they had no competition. Four months was the minimum wait for regular moderns and in summer months it stretched to six. So competition by CBCS has made things much better. I appreciate that and cut CBCS some slack as a result


Someone sucking in the past is no excuse for somene else sucking now.
Post 24 IP   flag post
Collector Scorpion private msg quote post Address this user
Jeromy Murray, VP of CBCS and Beckett
too little to late if it was some employee that did something wrong he would fired already,

but wait a VIP mess up, let still keep him, OMG you should have been fired for a mistake like that. you you knew this would make TAT longer. but ya keep everyone's money that paid and not give a discount for this delay is is so messed up 4 months or longer for comics to come back is to long.
i just sent 25 comics to CGC looks like you lost that profit you could have made. i will be sending 10 more to CGC next month and am sure i'll get them back before i get my last order i sent in to you guys.
nuff said.
Post 25 IP   flag post
Collector Squack private msg quote post Address this user
First off, let me say that I echo the sentiment of having faith in CBCS. However, it is increasingly difficult at the moment to defend them in any real way. My plan, currently, is to hold off on submissions until things get better. If they stay the same or, heaven forbid, get worse, I still have my books. If TAT's get better, they have more of my business. All we can do as consumers use our voice in the form of the dollar to make sure the message is sent. Unfortunately, it seems with submissions being up, that message is not being received, which is causing a disconnect between the perception of the business and the reality of the business. I am hanging in there, but do recognize the vast opportunity that CBCS has missed in the market.
Post 26 IP   flag post
Collector dpiercy private msg quote post Address this user
Just want to point out modern submissions, that are not fast passed, have ALWAYS taken at least 6 months. I have submitted books since the beginning and know this to be true. I don’t expect that to ever change. Just my experience and opinion.
Post 27 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpiercy
Just want to point out modern submissions, that are not fast passed, have ALWAYS taken at least 6 months. I have submitted books since the beginning and know this to be true. I don’t expect that to ever change. Just my experience and opinion.


That is a sad expectation when CBCS’s own expectations are 8-12 weeks


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Collector Lonestar private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by poka
Trust for CBCS to deliver is at a very low - but hopefully this time it is different.

Actions speak louder than words. So let’s get some commitment and targeted dates for various deliveries

Otherwise - it is just same spin - different person!

This sums up my feelings perfectly.

Unless there is significant progress made to catch up on backlog and to get TAT to a reasonable level, and that is seen by this community very soon (within next 30 days??), then this letter from Becket/CBCS VP is noting more than a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.

My apologies to the Bard.
Post 29 IP   flag post
Collector TheComicDoJo private msg quote post Address this user
I’m a new dealer however I’m not going to offer the service to my client base until turnaround times are under control. It would be bad business for me and unfair for my clients.
I am however submitting for myself, family and friends. It stinks having to tell them it could take 4 months or longer while I see other folks getting CGC books back in weeks.

His apology was needed however it has done nothing to restore any confidence in the company.
Post 30 IP   flag post
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