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MonticelloCards
08-26-2011, 08:08 PM
Tracy Hackler – A Man Who is Changing the Hobby

By Michael Barton (aka MonticelloCards)

Without going into too much personal detail, I have had a very interesting life in my 35 years on this earth. Through the good and bad, I have persevered and kept a smile on my face even during the hardest of times. I am a firm believer in karma, and this week Tracy Hackler earned my admiration and respect unlike anyone before in this hobby. And he earned uber karma in the process.
Oftentimes, I find collectors truly need to put the shoe on the other foot and look at what actually goes into the thoughts, concepts and eventual production of each and every single trading card release. It takes a lot of manpower, and even more time and effort, to create just one single product. In regards to customer service, patience and kindness (I have always found) go a much longer way than complaining. But I have never in all my years in the hobby met someone quite like Mr. Hackler, whom I have had two conversations with my entire life. Those two conversations helped remind me why I love and adore this hobby so very much.
I had been patiently waiting a number of months ago for two redemption cards from Panini, so I sent a quick message via twitter to Mr. Hackler, and he literally responded within ten minutes. After a few direct messages and an email or two, he assured me the problem would be taken care of immediately. At the time, and relying on my prior experience with card companies, I must say that I was skeptical. The next morning, I was surprised to not only see that Mr. Hackler had taken care of the redemptions, but had also replaced each one with what I considered to be an upgrade. Three days later, these cards arrived and I was very satisfied with the way things were handled. I have been a Panini supporter ever since. But that is nothing compared to what happened today.
I have been going through one of the more difficult periods of my life recently. I struggle with things that most take for granted, but that is how my hand was dealt, and I play it as best I can. So after Panini’s Guess The Autograph Contest on their blog – The Knight’s Lance – I had sent Mr. Hackler a tweet about how I have been out of work for over two years and dealing with some serious personal issues during this time of my life. After talking further, he asked me for my address. I figured a Panini calendar or sample cards were on their way, and let me tell you, I have learned to appreciate the small things in life.
I am sitting in my apartment this morning and there is a knock at my door. It was FedEx with a delivery for me! I saw who it was from and I opened it as if I were enjoying my first Christmas. What I saw inside the box simply blew me away:

(Insert 2011 Panini Threads Box Photo. Added as attachment to thread.)



It was the first hobby box I had seen in months, much less had the opportunity to open! (Picture Ralph from A Christmas Story getting his Red Ryder BB Gun and you will get the idea.) I tore into this box with abandon, and for a little while, nothing else mattered. Pack after pack was as enjoyable as it was when I first got into this hobby a few decades ago. I posted a quick product review on my blog as soon as I was done opening the box, but when I saw SCF’s writing contest, I knew that I had to write this article.
So what is wrong with customer service? Each company has different issues for sure. But Tracy Hackler at Panini America is one of the good guys in this hobby, and I wish we all had his passion for not only trading cards, but for humanity as well. Thank you for the 100th time today, Mr. Hackler – the kindness of your simple gesture will not be forgotten by this collector.

MonticelloCards
08-26-2011, 08:09 PM
I'm sorry this did not format properly, this happens to me everytime.

CavFanatic31
08-29-2011, 06:37 PM
I think I may be able to help.... if you were trying to put in that picture into the post itself, there's a few things you have to do. Save it to somewhere on your computer... then use a website like photobucket that can give you DIRECT links to the pictures (i prefer tinypic.com because you don't need an account, and isn't slow like photobucket). Then you can plick the add picture icon and copy and paste the url given for your picture that is for a direct link. Hope that can help

Pheebs888
08-31-2011, 08:27 PM
Good stuff Michael! Published here:
http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2011/08/tracy-hackler-a-man-who-is-changing-the-hobby/