I submitted a Topps 2017 Star Wars 40th Anniversary Signed Harrison Ford Medallion Trading Card to be graded in person at Frank & Sons Collectibles Show in CA back in July. The card was in excellent condition and the two PSA/DNA representatives that witnessed the transaction even handled the piece and told me how nice it was. There was no mention of any damage in the submission paperwork.
After I submitted the card, PSA/DNA graded and encapsulated the card then mailed it back a few weeks to a month later. Upon opening the package and inspecting the card, I noticed that the bottom right corner on the backside of the card was earmarked or flipped up. I contacted customer service to see if someone could fix it and emailed pictures of the damage. Although I knew the card was undamaged when I turned it in, I thought the damage may be minor enough that it could be fixed with little impact to the card’s vale. I was advised by a Customer Service Representative to return the card to PSA/DNA for closer inspection and returned it via USPS.
I corresponded with PSA a few times via phone and email and was told that they could attempt to put the card in a new case and try to set the corner properly. I agreed and after some time, I received the card back in the mail. The corner had been flipped back to lay flat and although I was disappointed that it had been damaged in the first place, I decided that it was acceptable enough to sell on eBay (which was my plan from the beginning). However, in examining the card closer, I noticed that the backside of the card was damaged in a different place; the sides were now slightly bent up/pushed in due to the new case it had been placed in.
I called PSA/DNA and spoke to another Customer Service Representative. I sent photos of the new damage and returned the card for review. I kept in contact with PSA regarding the status of the item and the case was eventually turned over to a PSA/DNA Supervisor. After a few weeks, the Supervisor contacted me and acknowledged that the sides were in fact bent by the rails of the case. However, the grading team in this matter still determined that the grade hadn’t changed from it’s initial NM (Near Mint) 7. PSA/DNA’s recommended solution was to put the card in a new case and send it back to me.
I told the Supervisor that I no longer wanted the card and would rather receive compensation for the value of the card. I paid for up to $1,999 in insurance for this reason, though I simply wanted the market value for the item. My estimate based on current EBay auctions was approximately $1200-1500. After speaking with her manager, Stacy conveyed that PSA/DNA would not offer me any compensation and stood by the initial decision of simply returning the card to me in a new case and refunding my submission and postage fees. I was dumbfounded. How is this company still so highly respected in the collectibles community?
Although the card’s grade was unchanged, the grading secondary to the real issue: PSA/DNA damaged my card, not once, but twice, and used its grading system to mask their incompetence in handling my item. And the truth is, even if the grade was not affected, PSA/DNA’s expert opinion holds very little weight now. But what’s equally unacceptable is, other than the Supervisor acknowledging that she too saw that the sides were bent, PSA/DNA never admitted to having damaged my card nor was I offered an apology.
The lack of accountability in this situation is astounding. Furthermore, I don’t understand why the company even offers insurance if, when an incident like this occurs, they are not willing to provide compensation for a damaged item such as mine.
In conclusion, I am very upset and saddened by my experience with PSA/DNA and recommend that anyone interested in getting an item graded should go elsewhere. I was so excited to get this item authenticated and was left completely and utterly flabbergasted at the outcome. I feel that PSA/DNA really needs to rethink its business practices and obligation to provide ethical services to its customers while taking accountability for internal errors such as this one.