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I've purchased probably close to a hundred Lego sets over the course of my childhood, and my kids' childhoods (and counting). Over this time, I have NEVER been shorted a piece. EVER. They must have some amazing quality control at Lego.
But this past Christmas Day was different.
When my 8 year-old son opened the LEGO Batmobile and The Two-Face Chase that I bought for him, he was THRILLED! It was just what he wanted. Now, for the best part of a new LEGO set – the first build. He carefully opened the box, and then the bags inside the box, and began to assemble the minifigures first (as he always does). But after a few minutes, it became apparent that he was missing a piece! At first, I thought, “No Way. Lego doesn't do that!” But we looked and looked. And we cleaned and swept the room. To my amazement, it was simply not included in the box! And it wasn't just any piece that he could replace from his collection; it was Two-Face's pants (a one-of-a-kind piece).
I decided that I'd email Lego; I figured it couldn't hurt. But when I went to the Lego website, I found that you simply answer a few questions about the particular missing piece, fill out a form with your home and email address, and they will mail the missing piece to you for FREE! I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy this was (note that it is only free if the piece was missing from a new set).
2 weeks later, look what arrived at my house:
My son was happy to finally have his set complete. Now THAT is great customer service! (Sorry for the bad picture… but it was a very nice and classy letter, and the total price reads $0.00)
And if a piece happens to get lost over the course of playing and it isn't Lego's fault, they have a huge online database of pieces available for purchase. Or if your imagination leads you or your child to build something totally unique and original, this is where you can find some piece that you might need. Prices on individual pieces usually vary from $0.05 to $0.40 depending on the size… which I think is fairly reasonable. Just be aware that there is a minimum shipping charge, so it might make sense to order a bunch of missing pieces rather than in different orders (it would be silly to pay $5 shipping on a $0.10 piece).