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Bound and Determined

Monday, September 18, 2017

Starfinder is doing phenomenally well. Player feedback has been great, sales have been great... but one thing has not been great.

Shortly after we began shipping Starfinder Core Rulebooks out, our customers started reporting issues with the binding, in both the regular and limited editions. Unfortunately, no manufacturing process is perfect, so there are always going to be a handful of issues, but by the time we came back from Gen Con, we had received more complaints than we would expect for a print run this size. We talked to our printer about it, and sent them some samples demonstrating the issue. They agreed that there was a problem, and they are doing everything they can to help us make it right for anyone who was affected.

What's the Problem?

Our hardcovers use a method called case binding. First, each group of 16 pages (a signature) is sewn together. Next, all of the book's signatures are stacked into a book block, and the book block is stitched together. Then, a fabric reinforcement strip called a spine lining is adhered to the book block to give it additional stability, and the book block is attached to the cover by adhering the book's endpapers to it. (Note that the spine lining itself is not glued to the spine of the book. This is intentional: it helps the book lie flatter when open.)

The problem some customers are seeing with their Starfinder Core Rulebooks is that the fabric lining strip isn't properly attached to the book block, separating after minimal use. This issue is occurring only with a small fraction of Starfinder Core Rulebooks, so if you have been using your book and it doesn't currently show any sign of the lining strip separating, it probably won't occur with normal use.

In this photo of a book with a defective binding, the pages of the book are not attached to the yellow-and-white fabric lining strip at the bottom.

How Do I Get My Book Replaced?

If you have a Starfinder Core Rulebook with a defective binding, don't hesitate to have it replaced.

  • If you bought it from Paizo at Gen Con or through paizo.com, please send a picture or two demonstrating the problem with your book to customer.service@paizo.com. (Please be aware that our customer service team is currently working through a significant backlog, so it may take several days for us to respond.)
  • If you bought it from a store, return it to that store by Friday, October 27. You should be able to get an exchange from them or reserve a replacement if the retailer is out of stock. They will in turn receive an exchange or credit from the distributor they bought it from, and the distributor will do the same with us. (We have already contacted our distributors regarding this issue, so your store should be able to work with them to address this issue.) If your store remains unable or unwilling to help you let us know at customer.service@paizo.com; include the store's name and location so we can work with our distributors to ensure everyone is on the same page.

When Will My Book Be Replaced?

  • If you bought the regular edition from paizo.com, we will send out your replacement as quickly as possible, likely within 1 to 6 business days of responding to your email.
  • If you bought the regular edition from a store, they may be able to replace it for you immediately. However, the Starfinder Core Rulebook is sold out in many places, and we don't expect the reprint to reach stores until the second half of November; if your store is sold out, you may need to wait until then. Check with them to be sure.
  • If you bought the limited edition from paizo.com or at Gen Con, we currently don't have replacement stock. Our printer is going to ship us replacement copies of the limited edition along with the regular edition reprint, which we currently estimate will reach our warehouse in the first half of November.

Should I Wait for the Reprint to Arrive?

There's no need to wait for the reprint before requesting to have your book replaced. We are checking the books we're sending out, and you should be able to check any replacement your retailer has. And in the case of the limited edition, though we won't be able to ship your replacement right away, we can put the order into the system at any time so it will be ready to go when stock arrives. (The reprint will not have any changes apart from than the words "Second Printing" on the masthead page—it should otherwise be identical to a properly bound first-printing copy in every way.)

Paizo and our printer have high standards for quality, and we are very sorry for this inconvenience. We will do what we can to make getting replacements a quick and easy process.

—The Paizo Team

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Paizo Starfinder
1 to 50 of 152 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So what are the long term repercussions of the binding issue?

EDIT: Thank you for the auto-reply showing you got my email. I was paranoid the attachments might keep it from getting through and that would have been nagging at the back of my head for days if I had to wait for a human reply. (Also thank you for letting us do much of this in the forums when things like attachments are not necessary)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love the title and all, I'm just a little worried that people will know it's about Starfinder.

A sticky thread in customer service might also be helpful. :-)

I love the book!

Silver Crusade

Ack, second printing not out until November? It's going to be a long wait for me as it seems all sold out here


A real class act! Another reason to love Paizo.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I just want to say this: spineliningis.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So what do I do with a book that I got from amazon.com? I am likely going to incur return shipping costs. My book is absolutely defective.
(edit) I am just now finding out that my return window closed 9/16/17. So I can't return it now.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Skeld wrote:

I just want to say this: spineliningis.

-Skeld

I am assuming this is not a typo but foreshadowing some new beast or technology from Eox.

Liberty's Edge

senshi_shinri_teki wrote:
So what do I do with a book that I got from amazon.com? I am likely going to incur return shipping costs. My book is absolutely defective.

Just go through the Amazon Return procedure. Very easy and should be no cost to you.

Grand Lodge

Githzilla wrote:
senshi_shinri_teki wrote:
So what do I do with a book that I got from amazon.com? I am likely going to incur return shipping costs. My book is absolutely defective.
Just go through the Amazon Return procedure. Very easy and should be no cost to you.

Most people who pre-ordered this through amazon.com are now 2 days out of the window for returns.


Email sent.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
senshi_shinri_teki wrote:

So what do I do with a book that I got from amazon.com? I am likely going to incur return shipping costs. My book is absolutely defective.

(edit) I am just now finding out that my return window closed 9/16/17. So I can't return it now.

I'd send an email to customer.service@paizo.com with photos and an explanation of where you got the book and what their returns policy is.

It's possible the discussion Paizo are having through distribution channels will prompt Amazon to reopen this. If not, Paizo will take care of it, I'm sure.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Way to get ahead of the issues gang...sorry you all have to deal with it, I appreciated your efforts!


21 people marked this as a favorite.

Could the PDF be affected?


What if we want to get our copy replaced with a copy from the second printing? A lot of us have gone through multiple replacements, with none of the first run being any better than the others. If I want to replace my book, and get a copy from the second printing, is there any way to do that? If the second print run isn't until November, but I have to replace my book by the end of October, it sounds like I'll just be getting another book with a binding issue.


As one of those with an affected book pre-ordered through Amazon, should I first attempt to contact Amazon even though the return date has past or go ahead an email Paizo?


To the store I go!

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for the update, I am one of the ones with the defect on a limited edition copy, so it looks like I will be waiting for a while. I sent an email a few days back and just waiting for customer service to get to my email.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

8 people marked this as a favorite.
mycerius wrote:
As one of those with an affected book pre-ordered through Amazon, should I first attempt to contact Amazon even though the return date has past or go ahead an email Paizo?

Since it's a manufacturing error, still give it a go to get a refund or an exchange via Amazon even if it's outside of the return window. If they give you a hassle about it, please let customer service know.


Thanks for addressing this issue. I sent an email a while back and never received a reply back, though. I'll take mine to the store that I got it and check if I can get a replacement.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

3.58MHz wrote:
Thanks for addressing this issue. I sent an email a while back and never received a reply back, though. I'll take mine to the store that I got it and check if I can get a replacement.

We're still in a pretty rough backlog of emails. Hoping some overtime this week/weekend will help with reducing the size of our inbox.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

4 people marked this as a favorite.
mycerius wrote:
As one of those with an affected book pre-ordered through Amazon, should I first attempt to contact Amazon even though the return date has past or go ahead an email Paizo?

The first thing we are going to ask if you didn't purchase through paizo.com or from Paizo's booth at Gen Con is always going to be to please check with your original retailer, even if you're outside their return window, even if you don't have a receipt (although if you purchased with a credit or debit card you might be able to show them a statement with their store on it), even if they have a "no returns" policy. Check with them first. It could be that they waive some of their return requirements when the product is defective.

However! More important than the bookkeeping and logistics is making sure people who bought the book end up with a non-defective copy. So please, talk to the retailer first, but rest assured, Paizo's customer service team will be here in case you need us.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I had seen all the 'binding' posts and assumed that everyone with the binding problem literally had pages falling out of the book - since mine wasn't doing that I figured my copy had managed to avoid the binding problem. Upon reading this blog post and checking my copy (which I haven't had a chance to do much more than leaf through as yet) I realise that I actually do have the binding problem as well.

So THANKYOU to Paizo for addressing this issue ... and sorry, but you will be getting another email to add to the list ... sorry ...

Shadow Lodge

What if you purchased your copy while on vacation in another state 700 miles away? It's going to be inconvenient to replace it with them.

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Several people have a similar problem as you Delthos.
As far as I am aware, Paizo will replace your defective copy, if you have such a situation. Send them an email with some pictures and a note explaining why you can't easily go to the vendor selling you the book.

You most likely will be taken care of.

Grand Lodge

Is there a window on the replacement? I bought the limited edition (pre-ordered I believe) off paizo.com. I haven't used the book much at all yet, since I won't be starting a Starfinder game for a few more months at least. If, for example, in December or a month or two later I find it's defective, would I still be eligible for a replacement?

Wayfinders

What gets me is it says to email them if this or that...well I have recently switched from D&D to Pathfinder and Starfinder. I have had two issues, one with the binding of the book the other with characters on their site, and did email them...have ever since been waiting on a reply. At least I have this blog now so I know what to do, days after my email that customer service ignored. Look, I like Pathfinder and Starfinder...but ignoring emails of a customer who has recently spent a lot of money on their site and at stores is not a class act as some are saying.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

If you read through any of the customer service threads you'll find that they definitely aren't ignoring any emails, they'e just swarmed with them. And it takes time to respond to all of them.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

They answered my email, it took them a bit longer, but they did.

If you have a problem with it, write an email.

Now write several hundred of them.

Templates help, but they don't solve everything, a human being still has to personalize it and hit send.

And if all that doesn't help with your patience, what about the superiority of handling with more class then the next person.

Nobody wanted this to happen, ESPECIALLY Paizo, but it did, and at least they're being super awesome about it and making things right.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Delthos wrote:
What if you purchased your copy while on vacation in another state 700 miles away? It's going to be inconvenient to replace it with them.

They won't make you drive 700 hundred (or any hundred) miles to return it. :-)


captain yesterday wrote:

They answered my email, it took them a bit longer, but they did.

If you have a problem with it, write an email.

Now write several hundred of them.

Templates help, but they don't solve everything, a human being still has to personalize it and hit send.

And if all that doesn't help with your patience, what about the superiority of handling with more class then the next person.

Nobody wanted this to happen, ESPECIALLY Paizo, but it did, and at least they're being super awesome about it and making things right.

What he said^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pouches wrote:
What gets me is it says to email them if this or that...well I have recently switched from D&D to Pathfinder and Starfinder. I have had two issues, one with the binding of the book the other with characters on their site, and did email them...have ever since been waiting on a reply. At least I have this blog now so I know what to do, days after my email that customer service ignored. Look, I like Pathfinder and Starfinder...but ignoring emails of a customer who has recently spent a lot of money on their site and at stores is not a class act as some are saying.

I can help with the character images part!

I assume you're disappointed in the lack of Starfinder images.

They have their top Tooth Fairy working on it, in the meantime, if you sort by date added, if you go back I wanna say page 5-8 there should be a few images from Iron Gods, and then a bunch more around page 12 or so.

While not exactly Starfinder images, they'll work for now.

Hope that helps! Welcome to the community!!


Amazon is only offering a refund, not a replacement. I don't want a refund, I just want the book. I'm already working on a campaign and I need the book. What should I do?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

It's a tough spot for them to be in. I have been a long time fan but just recently made the jump to regular customer with Starfinder. I always heard of their great customer service and long admired the quality of their books so with Starfinder's recent release it was the perfect time to jump in as It is great to be in on the ground floor of a new release. My core book developed the spine issue within the first couple days of opening it and I contacted customer service immediately. It was a pleasure to be surprised and see them live up to everything I have heard. Their customer service is excellent and its nice to know and see personally just how they stand behind their products and treat their customers with respect. It's not something you run into often enough these days. looking forward to being a long term customer and hope to see Starfinder grow and mature with time. It's nice to actually buy something and feel like your money is going to a company that actually cares and does its best to produce something worth the hard earned cash.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xyden wrote:
Amazon is only offering a refund, not a replacement. I don't want a refund, I just want the book. I'm already working on a campaign and I need the book. What should I do?

Contact Paizo. :-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Xyden, my suggestion would be to take the refund from Amazon and either use it to buy the book at a local store, or else use it to buy the pdf here to use temporarily, and then buy a hard copy later when you have the chance. It appears Amazon is no longer selling the CRB, perhaps because of this problem.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Since I subscribed, I got the PDF before my physical copy, so I started reading it before I had that. The side effect of that, plus the fact that I have yet to actually play the game (sad!), is that I haven't used my main book much yet. However, once I had it, that's how I finished my reading, and it always made scary crackling noises every time I opened and closed it. Once I knew what to look for, I saw that my pages were separating from that white/yellow strip as well.

It's too bad that the printer had this problem on this batch. This huge new release is really not the best time for Paizo to have to suffer through this....


Dorrin wrote:
Is there a window on the replacement? I bought the limited edition (pre-ordered I believe) off paizo.com. I haven't used the book much at all yet, since I won't be starting a Starfinder game for a few more months at least. If, for example, in December or a month or two later I find it's defective, would I still be eligible for a replacement?

Probably but being the limited edition, you run the risk they'll run out of stock. I'd suggest opening and closing it a few times - lying it open flat on a table as the blog picture illustrates. My book had the binding problem and it manifested very early and very obviously (with minimal use).

It's worth remembering that the problem is not ubiquitous. Paizo sold thousands and thousands of them and we obviously only see reports of the ones with problems. Additionally, a group of friends are likely to have bought from the same batch (and one suspects some stores are replacing defective copies with second defective copies) Those kinds of reports can give the impression that every copy is going to fall apart.

In another thread, they commented that the error rate was higher than usual but not universal.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Paizo has new Limited Edition books from the printer that should arrive in November, so I imagine there is no hard time limit on the first edition printing. :-)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Unfortunately my copies from gencon are signed :-(


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Amazon is doing the refund not replacement bit for me too.

If I just order a new book from Paizo now, should I have confidence that I'd get a good one? (I have three copies of the PF CRB, so its not like I mind buying a second copy of the SF one and relegating the bad binding one to the "emergency use" book :) )

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

It has been stated that the warehouse team is checking the binding of books cursory, so any obvious defective books should not leave the warehouse.

For a more thorough check the warehouse team doesn't have the time, and it would render the book "non-mint".


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wasn't this an issue with the Inner Sea World Guide? I love that book, but the worst binding of any Pathfinder hardbounds. Still have to be really careful when I flip through that one. :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My Inner Sea World Guide held up pretty good until I messed it up myself.

It was an issue with Gods And Magic (both my copies) and Sword Of Valor (my first copy fell apart almost immediately, second copy is holding up fantastically well).

Another tip for prolonging the life of the softcover books is to fold the crease along the spine (I like to use a hardcover to help with that) before you open it, it'll add ten years onto the book.

Grand Lodge

Amazon was willing to make an "exception" for me and allowed me to return the book outside the return window without paying shipping costs and giving me a full refund without any issues. Now I have to decide if I should re-order one through amazon, which has a discount price ($47.51) and free shipping (for Amazon Prime) but I could get another defective book or if I pay full price at a local retailer where I can inspect the book first and pay full price or buy it from Paizo.com where the book should not defective but I will pay full price and also be charged $7.81 for shipping (to Portland, OR).


Since Amazon has no copies available for exchange, what does Paizo recommend? The only copies available are via 3rd party sellers who are scalping for upwards of $110.

Besides, ordering a replacement from Amazon is very likely to result in getting yet another book with the binding issue.

Very disappointing.


Miniature Mart is sold out. I guess I'm waiting until November.


Amazon in Canada is sending me an exchange copy. Here's hoping its in better condition than my first...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Or just talk to Paizo directly, it wasn't every book in the first printing, just way more than usual.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Colecago wrote:
Unfortunately my copies from gencon are signed :-(

Keep it as a collector's item, and use your replacement copy. I don't think they're making you ship the defective ones back.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

4 people marked this as a favorite.

If you feel like you have a special circumstance please email. We will look at the options for your specific circumstances and determine how to help you best.

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