When I got the Quinjet set, I dug through every bag but the manufacturers forgot a few pieces and my set didn't have any minifigures. How can I get the missing minifigures and the parts I'm missing?
Unlike the Collectable Minifigures question (where LEGO don't offer replacement parts), if this is proper set bought new, then you should definitely try LEGO Customer Services as your first point of contact.
At the original time of writing, the minifigures were still available, but most of the elements are now listed as "out of stock" because that set is a retired product - so I'm not sure what their policy would be now
You should contact LEGO Customer Service. They have web forms or a toll-free phone number you can call. They are willing and trained to speak to children, and can even send out replacement pieces without talking to an adult, as long as the child can recite their full address.
The LEGO Group stands behind their products 100%, even if the problem with the product wasn't their fault. If the pieces are all in stock, they will send them out to you at no charge.
These parts come from their warehouse in Denmark, so they may take a longer time to receive than a regular order. Shipping times are affected by customs and other international shipping issues.
If the total cost to replace the parts is higher than a certain %age of the value of the entire set, then they'll likely just send you an entire new set from their local warehouse. For more expensive sets, they may also have you send back the incomplete set (they'll provide the free shipping). Whether they need the damaged set back first depends on the situation.
Some parts individual parts may be on back order. More complicated pieces (such as Iron Man's helmet) tend to stock-out or end up on back order more quickly than standard pieces. If this happens, Customer Service will work with you to achieve the most satisfying solution. Sometimes this means trying to return the product back to the store you purchased it from, but it's not ideal. Those sets might end up back on the shelf (sometimes clearanced, sometimes not), and then another customer ends up with the same problem. Sometimes it means sending a low-priced "gift" to help alleviate the pain of waiting for you product to arrive.
The LEGO Group understands that you're likely a victim in this situation. You bought a product that someone else essentially stole from. They'll make it right, even though it's not their fault. For manufacturing or other issues that are their fault, they may even go above and beyond in making it right.
The LEGO Group takes several measures to ensure that their boxes are fully-packed. They weigh and scan the elements. However, there can still be issues on this front.
When the issues are on the production end, they're usually related to:
However, when pieces are missing from a variety of bags, it's often a sign that the set has been tampered with after production. So, to help narrow down production issues versus tampering issues, The LEGO Group has in recent years starting spreading out "high value" elements between the many bags in the set, or putting them in prepacks that are harder to get into. Then, when an entire Minifigure that's spread out over 4 bags is missing, it's easier to tell that it was a tampering issue rather than a production issue.
Customer Service will ask you some questions to further help narrow down the source of the problem. Every box or package has a manufacturer's code on it somewhere (such as on the tape on the boxes). This code lets them know which facility produced your set, and when the set was made. If enough reports of the same missing pieces from the same lot occur, then TLG can narrow down the problem to a certain time or place.
They may also ask for which store you bought it from. This helps them track local trends. Some stores have a greater problem with returned/exchanged sets that have been tampered with.
Source: Myself. I worked for LEGO Customer Service and I've handled this exact issue many a time.
Never thought it would happen but out of the 90+ sets I've gotten the past 4 years I've come across my first set ever with missing components. Ordered through TRU.ca so distribution shouldn't have been the problem since it's probably ware house direct. Set was Baxter Robot Rampage (79105) Came sealed/new yet bag 1 was missing all but one mini figure/skate board/mouser pieces, and bag 2 was missing mini figure, and string piece, and finally I also didn't get stickers with the set. How does one even begin to explain that to customer service. Exchange through TRU would probably have been the simplest but unless this was a return I really don't see them at fault.
Like the Twinjet mentioned guess it does happen.
Agree with customer service being the best answer. Especially if bought new. Didn't call in but did call up the set on the site, selected everything missing (which was abnormally a lot) Waited for an Email from a representative, responded with details/instruction number now waiting to see what happens.
It is unlikely that Lego mispacked all of the minifigures. In the Quinjet set, the figures are spread among several bags, meaning Lego would have had a packing error in multiple bags, and then coincidentally placed all of the mispacked bags into the same box.
More likely is that someone removed them from the box and returned the package to the store. If I were you, I would take the box back to the point of purchase and ask for a replacement. The set is still in production, so they should be able to get you another or refund your money.
I had a similar situation, though not as drastic, where a helmet did not come with the set.
Customer service said that each set is weighed out and therefore always complete but sent the missing helmet anyway FOC.
I questioned why there were always misc extra pieces if everything was weighed... no response.
It doesn't hurt to be nice and explain how many LEGO sets you own, I suppose.