Sorry Rob Gronkowski, The NFL Shop Can't Spell Your Name

New England Patriots rookie Rob Gronkowski is reader Alison’s new favorite player. Unfortunately, the NFL Shop sent her a jersey with the man’s name spelled incorrectly. Now they say they’re out of female jerseys and suggest Alison just keep her chin up and wear the (free) misspelled jersey.

Here’s Alison’s story:

My Uncle and I are long time readers of The Consumerist and he suggested I share this custom jersey failure with you. Maybe I am being a huge child about this, but I am going to write it anyways.

Last week I decided to order a jersey of my favorite new NE Patriots rookie, Rob Gronkowski #87. I went to, who I have made numerous purchases from in the past, and I ordered a women’s custom jersey.

I quadruple checked the spelling of this tight end’s name because who wants to look like a fool in a misspelled jersey? Not me.

I ordered it so I would have it for this week’s home game against Buffalo. I received it last night after compulsively tracking it on the UPS site. It fit perfectly and it wasn’t until my Uncle read it as “Groinkowski” this morning at work, that I realized it said “Gronowski”.

I immediately called their customer service and a very nice, but slightly confused customer service rep named Alison tried her best to help me. She informed me they were sold out of the female jersey blanks. She said I could keep the misspelled jersey at no cost to me. She offered to credit back my gift card, which is awesome, but I really want the jersey.

I asked if I could get in a youth size, which I can, but I had to cough up another form of payment because they cannot transfer or re-ship an item that is not the same.

She offered me a women’s jersey in a player that is already printed, Moss, Brady or Maroney (who was just traded). I own all three in men’s sizes and do not need them in women’s sizes. She also told me I can just wear the misspelled jersey, but I informed her that anyone who noticed would give me a hard time (these are New England fans and they can be assholes).

She seemed slightly confused and apologized that the NFL Shop would misspell a current player’s name. But really there is nothing she can do, but credit me back and hope that the blanks come back in and I can re-order at that time and hopefully get a new jersey before the end of the season. Which is useless to me.

I am a lifelong fan and loved them when they sucked, when they were good, when they lost their QB to a season ending injury, when they got rid of my favorite LB Willie McGinnest, and even now when they have a 1-1 record for the new season.

Thanks for reading my rather wordy and most likely full of grammatical errors, complaint.

Say, Alison…from one NFL nerd to another (Go Bears), did you know that there are people on eBay that sell NFL jersey lettering and number kits? It’s true. Some will even make any nameplate you need for a reasonable price. One you get it, you just sew the nameplate on and you’re good as new…

For example, you could get a refund, keep the jersey, wait until the NFL Shop has female jerseys again and, in the meantime, have a new nameplate made… That way you would end up with two jerseys for a little more than you would have paid for one.

Just a suggestion, but that’s one way to make the best of an annoying situation.

As for Mr. Gronkowski, sorry buddy. Keep catching touchdowns and maybe the NFL will learn to spell your name.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Patriot says:

    I’m not exactly sure what the problem is. They screwed up. They refunded your money. They don’t have the item that you want in stock at the moment. What are they supposed to do now?

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      I guess use magic so the shirts will be in stock RIGHT NOW.

    • Eli the Ice Man says:


    • tbax929 says:

      It doesn’t look like she’s asking them to do anything else. I read it more as a cautionary tale – check the spelling on your jerseys. While she seems frustrated by the failure, she also seems more bemused than angry – at least that’s how I read it.

    • BStu78 says:

      They still screwed up in a way they can’t correct. A refund was the least they could do. Its good that the OP isn’t out any money, but they still don’t have the goods they were seeking to secure. Consumers can be wronged even if they aren’t out any money and company’s can still have screwed up even if they’ve taken good faith efforts to make reparations. At the end of the day, she didn’t have that jersey for the game she was going to. Both the game tickets and the jersey would have cost a not insignificant sum so its hardly improper for a consumer to expect to get what they were paying for. While its not the outrage it would be if the NFL Shop tried to offer only store credit or something, its still newsworthy that they carelessly botched an order and were then incapable of making good on their mistake.

  2. FilthyHarry says:

    They screwed up, admitted it, offered a refund and let you keep the merchandise. It sucks they don’t have what you want in stock at the moment, but this doesn’t seem to rise to the standard of the usual Consumerist complaint.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      Sadly, based on recent stories this is the “standard consumerist complaint”.

    • macoan says:

      I think NFLshop did the correct thing.

      They refunded the money (guessing all including shipping) – And on top of that, let the customer keep the shirt, which they could have easily enough asked for it back before they refunded everything.

      A+ for NFL Shop in my opinion. They don’t have any more in stock, not sure what the customer is really wanting here or complaining about.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        I’d say an “A” for effort, but a “B-” for execution. Sure, they certainly did all they could to fix it, but apparently their screw-up now means they don’t have the resources (jerseys) or the time (for the next game of a 16-game season) to completely make up for their mistake. And this was not a complicated or unusual order, where it would be more understandable.

        So yeah, they did better than most places would do, but she certainly shouldn’t be blamed for still feeling disappointed.

  3. TimothyT says:

    They must hire from the same talent pool as Consumerist.

  4. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    It may end up as a collectors item… unless of course the NFL is making a special effort to hire dyslexics and this becomes a common occurrence.

    • Gstump says:

      well its a custom jersey, if it was pre-printed you would have a point but you can probably them to say jerk on the back with the number of your least favorite player,
      *checked, moderate filter, smeg head is acceptable

  5. TasteyCat says:

    Mistake made. Refund issued. I think we’re good here.

    If it was necessary to quadruple check the spelling the name, it seems there was reason to believe it could easily be misspelled.

    If the payment was/will be credited back to a gift card, why not go back on the site and order again, in a youth size?

  6. Gstump says:

    Lady: This is spelled wrong.
    CS: Ok, we well refund you, but we have no more.
    Lady: Can I get a new one?
    CS: No were sold out
    Lady: But I REAAAAAAALLLLYYY need one.
    CS: …
    What does she want them to do? Magic up some clothes. oh perhaps the can scrape the traded dood’s name off and put her favorite guys name on.
    I would have used the quote “these are New England fans and they can be assholes” but she donts seem like an asshole, just an american football fan.

  7. SkyRattlers says:

    You gotta love a story where the complaint is about a misspelled name and then the OP proceeds to misspell her favorite LB’s name. Now poor Willie McGinest gets a spot on the shelf right beside Rob Gronkowski.

  8. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    It seems like the NFL shop should figure out how to send her a name plate to use.. or perhaps allow her to send her jersey back so they could fix it and re-ship it back to her. I don’t really think they could be “out of blanks” so quickly though.. lame.

    Speaking of NFL Jerseys for women.. has anyone else seen the new, overly dramatic, ad for the lady jerseys by the NFL? It shows multiple women throwing jerseys back at men, in an “I’m LEAVING YOU!” fashion, and then suddenly at the end they are wearing these flirty looking flutter sleeved women’s jerseys. I just tried to find the ad online but I couldn’t find it.. maybe it’s too new. Anyway.. I just thought it was rather ridiculous.

    • colorisnteverything says:

      Trust me, they rarely have sizes in Women’s jerseys that fit small people.

      My Colts jersey took a long time to find and I had to compromise for a limited edition rather than a regular jersey. The one I wanted (asked for it for Christmas) had run out and my mother told me I had to choose another one. It’s very annoying because I like football, too! Yes, I am 5′ tall.

    • theblackdog says:

      The only issue with sending her a new name plate is that they are typically sewn on using the multi-threaded stitch (I have no clue what it is called) that is used to sew sleeves and seams on shirts. Those look like a PITA to take out, and unless you have the sewing machine for it, you won’t be able to sew the new nameplate exactly like the old one.

  9. edrebber says:

    Many merchants would have required Alison to return the jersey before issuing a refund. I wonder if The Consumerist has ever made a spelling mistake.

  10. Tim says:

    I think their reaction was reasonable, though it would have been better if they offered to give her the correct jersey for free as well.

  11. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Take Meg’s advice… get a nameplate made, keep the Jersey, and order a new one when they get the blanks. There’s no real complaint here, honestly. Shit happens- they can’t make you a new one, they offered to re-credit the gift card you used. That’s awesome in my mind.

  12. Valajin says:

    The NFL Shop is shady. I have had dealings with them in the past and they wont get another dime out of me. I’m glad this woman got her refund…at least she got that!

  13. Ivory Bill says:

    This Pats fan has a useless jersey and a full gift card. She should just call the NFL shop today and order the youth jersey (if it’s acceptable to her) or wait until the women’s “blanks” are back in stock.

  14. Griking says:

    File a charge back for a refunded purchase. That should confuse the hell out of them.

  15. Cyniconvention says:

    “New England Patriots rookie Rob Gronkowski is reader Alison’s new favorite player. “

    “I immediately called their customer service and a very nice, but slightly confused customer service rep named Alison tried her best to help me. “

    I wonder if reader Alison had a brief chuckle with CS rep Alison about the name irony.

  16. sqeelar says:

    You’d think the MFL could spell.

  17. stephent says:

    yup she is being a child. Of course she is a NE fan so… They gave you a free jersey take then name off and wear it until you can get a name plate made for it.

  18. fredmertz says:

    Of course, it deserves to be asked how someone arrives at Rob Gronkowski as their favorite player.

  19. Beef Supreme says:

    Get a blue sharpie and some white tape…

  20. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    “…New England fans and they can be assholes…”
    Needs no embellishment.

    • Avrus says:

      As a Jets fan, I thought it was a pre-requisite to be adouchebag to be a New England fan.

      “Please check this box to confirm you’re a douchebag prior to ordering New England merchandise.”

  21. giantspbpk says:

    To go against most of the comments here, I actually agree with the OP. Say she had tickets or even was going to a party to watch opening day. She planned on wearing the jersey and now can’t. There is a time-sensitive component to these orders that a refund of the initial purchase price doesn’t take into account.

    I had a similar incident with an marketplace purchase about a year ago. I was taking an open book professional licensing exam and ordered a study guide through the web site. It turned out that the company was unable to fulfill the order in the end, but took nearly a month to notify me, before that saying it was “in the mail”. Long story short, I had to order the book from another source after that and only received the book less than a week before the test. It was essentially useless to me at that point. I explained to amazon that while the refund is nice, I had to reorder the book (at a higher price) and lost valuable study time. They should be responsible for damages as well as the refund. For example, if I had to retake the test, I was on the hook for a $275 registration fee plus air travel to another state where the exam is given.

    The OP’s situation could be less serious (given that it’s a jersey), but similar nontheless.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      If you felt that Amazon would have owed you the registration fee had you failed, you were welcome to sue them. Judges often have dull jobs, they need a laugh periodically.

      • regis-s says:

        You never know. Wasn’t that guy that tried to sue the cleaners for millions because they lost his pants a judge? He could get a nutter like him and make a killing.

    • HoJu says:

      So she couldn’t wear this to a game or a party? It’s not like her boobs are exposed or anything. If anyone says anything to her she could just say “Yeah, the NFL store screwed up and are taking forever to fix it.”
      Oh the HORROR!

    • fantomesq says:

      You think that you’d be entitled to refund of airfare and test registration fees because Amazon was unable to send you a book you ordered?!? Holy unsupported entitlements, Batman! If Amazon was actually liable for these due to a delayed book shipment, then the cost of books would skyrocket! No, you’d be due a refund of your purchase price only. Similarly here by refunding her purchase price, she’s been taken care of… by letting her keep the mislabeled shirt, she’s actually ahead of what she’s entitled. People think they’re entitled to a lot more than they actually are.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        “Holy unsupported entitlements, Batman!”

        I just giggled like a school girl… priceless

    • rmorin says:

      “Damages” ??? Are you crazy? That’s like saying “I ordered from a pizza joint, and it took 40 minutes, when it usually only takes 30 so they should be liable for paying for the filet mignon I ate while waiting cause I got real hungry”. Amazon does not run a “get you a book for your exam” business, so they can’t be liable for not doing so. If they do not get a book to you in THEIR stated time frame you can make an argument for your money back but nothing more. By your logic I can think about 8000+ businesses I could have pending lawsuits against.

    • tbax929 says:

      I disagree. First of all, your situation is nothing at all like the OP’s. Secondly, she could have just worn the damn thing and made a joke about how the NFL store couldn’t even spell her favorite player’s name correctly.

    • yevarechecha says:

      Hey, my parents pre-ordered me a book from Amazon for my 16th birthday. It was supposed to be released in time for my birthday. They kept pushing the release date back, but I figured I’d get it eventually.

      I’ll be 23 next week. I still don’t have the book. I think we eventually canceled the order after 2 years, but I kinda wish we’d left it open just to see what happened. “Yeah, uh, I ordered this book 7 years ago, any idea when I might get it?”

    • Gstump says:

      so your saying “The NFL Made Me Go Naked To a Party” is a better title for this piece?

  22. ToddMU03 says:

    Go Colts.

  23. FinancialPeace says:

    srr, wh s ths nws??? Ppl mk mstk, gt rfndd. Cm n, cnsrmst ! Slw d r wht?

  24. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    How permanent are the letters? Is there any way to take the jersey to a local atheltic supply shop to see if they can remove the letters and put the right spelling name on it?

  25. HoJu says:

    I would wear it because it’s a somewhat interesting story. It’s an easy ice breaker for people to strike up a conversation with you.

  26. Morte42 says:

    Why can’t the NFL shop just send the nameplate then? Are they out of female jerseys nameplates as well? /sarcasm

  27. AlexTNOA says:


  28. RandomHookup says:

    He just scored a touchdown, so I don’t think his feelings are all that hurt.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      I don’t care who scores the TDs, as long as the Patriots score them. The Bills deserve to go 0-16! I picked Pats -14 and they’re covering and it better stay that way, Brady!

  29. ginnel says:

    This is a big enough problem in your life to complain to The Consumerist about it? I think I want your life. Maybe you’re disappointed, but they did refund your money. Someday you may have real problems and wonder why you couldn’t let little stuff like this roll off.

    • MMD says:

      And maybe you’ll have something better to do than make petty potshots at with whom you disagree.

      I know, I’m a dreamer…

  30. drjayphd says:

    Looks like she picked the wrong rookie TE. When in doubt, follow the pothead.

  31. dangermike says:

    “who wants to look like a fool in a misspelled jersey?”

    A misspelled jersey looks only marginally more foolish than a correctly spelled one.

    • tbax929 says:

      Oh, I don’t like something so no one else should either!

      I love, love, love my jersey collection, although I don’t buy them from the NFL shop (too expensive). If you think it looks silly to wear a jersey there’s an easy solution – don’t wear one.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I admit to owning a NHL jersey, but to be fair, I only wear it while I’m at a game or watching a game. I don’t think jerseys are appropriate to wear otherwise.

    • MMD says:

      Morally superior troll is…well, actually not morally superior after all.

  32. tbax929 says:

    Wow, the comments are a bit harsh about this post, and Consumerist for that matter. Did all of your teams lose today or something? Why the hostility?

    I’ve never understood why people take the time to comment on a story just to point out they don’t think it should be on Consumerist. Feel free to start your own website and only post things you feel are worthy of your time.

    • dangermike says:

      Oh, I don’t like something so no one else should either!

      The story is fairly well spelled out. She bought something, was dissatisfied, complained, and was completely reimbursed. The company in question stood behind their products. It even sounds as if they would have replaced if possible, but that they’d run out. I’s a non-issue. She now has a free jersey that can use as sleepwear or wash rags or even just a funny story.

  33. zlionsfan says:

    I think the problem from the OP’s perspective is twofold: first, because of the restrictions on what you can get on an NFL jersey (the NFLPA is very particular about how existing players are displayed), you’d think they would have gone out of their way to spell each name correctly. Second, women’s jerseys are much more difficult to get than men’s jerseys, as I learned trying to get a customized jersey for a friend for her birthday (they were sold out of a particular jersey for months; can’t imagine this helps their reputation with female fans), so anything like this has a disproportionate impact on women.

    I don’t blame her at all for not wanting to wear a jersey with a misspelled name. And yeah, I suppose she could get a nameplate from someone else, but they sure don’t look easy to attach correctly, and I doubt a crooked nameplate would look any better than a misspelled one.

    I don’t think this is about what they can do to fix it as much as it is to vent about what happened.

  34. rpm773 says:

    I came here to discuss the Grabowski Shuffle. Bing, you screwed me again!

  35. XTC46 says:

    They said they cant do a direct trade for the youth item, but will refund the gift card. Take the refund, buy the youth or mens version, or wait until they have the female version available. Seems like they gave her the solution, but she didnt like it (or just didnt think to use the option they gave her?)

  36. Kid Notorious says:

    At least its not pink…

  37. Kid Notorious says:

    On a side note, I find it a terrible injustice that I still cannot buy a MEXICO #7 Eagles item from any licensed vendor…

    (Ron Mexico was Vick’s herpes medication alias)

  38. durkzilla says:

    Want my wife’s Rosevelt Colvin shirt? No refunds for players who get waived two weeks later…

    Seriously, why is this on Consumerist? It seems to me like the folks at NFL Shop did exactly what you’d hope they would do.

  39. Rachacha says:

    Keep the jersey in mint condition with the tags on it. Official NFL wear with an error on it could become a hot commodity if the player gains the fame of Emmit Smith or Dan Marino. Something like this is extremely unique and to a collector might be worth a lot.

    • wags says:

      This was a custom made jersey. She could’ve just as easily waited until Smith got retired and purchased a jersey with his number and the name “Smtih” on the back.

  40. caknuck says:

    1) Take the refunded money and buy an away Gronkowski jersey
    2) Go to a sporting goods store that does custom lettering and have them make a (correctly-spelled) Gronkowski nameplate. It’ll probably cost you $15.
    3) If you can’t sew yourself, have a friend with a sewing machine remove the old nameplate and sew on the new one.
    4) Congrats, you now have 2 Gronkowski jerseys for the price of 1.125.
    5) When the Pats trade/release him, you can repeat steps 2 & 3 for whoever inherits his uni number.

  41. NotEd says:

    All you need to do is buy a new letter K and a ^, then iron them both on in the correct location to insert said new letter. .
    Istant correction at a discount price

  42. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    The “K” adds too much weight and causes him to throw his back out.

    /U of Arizona fan who wishes he had returned for another year.