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Amazon: "Did I Solve Your [Launch PS4] Problem?" Me: Hell no!

Posted by FriskyTanuki, in Rant 15 November 2013 · 1295 views

Back on June 10, 2013 at E3, Sony announced the PS4 at $399.99 for the launch this fall. I was actually passed out then because I had earlier that day and couldn't stand doing anything but sort of watch the E3 press conferences as they happened while in a daze. The next day when I awoke and came to my senses, I saw that the PS4 was indeed going to be $399.99 and that Amazon were taking pre-orders right then and there, so I made the pre-order right then. I wasn't sure if I was going to keep it, but seeing more information on the PS4 and Xbox One and a new email from Amazon stating that I had earned the Launch Edition that was guaranteed to be able to arrive on Day One, I kept it. I checked occasionally to make sure that the two-day shipping that I chose was still enough to get it to me on November 15, 2013 and each time it confirmed that fact and made me feel at ease for putting my trust in this company that I've spent probably thousands of dollars with to that point. Little did I know that keeping it was the worst decision of this whole process.

Fast forward to the past month where I go all-in on the PS4 launch and order a few games, an extra DualShock 4, get a code for another free PS4 game, order one more PS4 launch game at full price, and then I play the waiting game for the PS4 shipping email. Wednesday comes and goes, but nothing hits my email inbox. I periodically reload the order page on Amazon for the off chance that it'll be faster than an Amazon email, which you may know are about as fast as it gets. Thursday comes and I arrive home expecting to see that sweet "PS4 Shipped!" email in my inbox and to my astonishment, there's still nothing.

Furious at this shocking development, I jump on Amazon.com and check my order page to see the PS4 order only says "Shipping Soon." with a new delivery estimate of Tuesday, November 19 @ 8 PM. What the hell? How did my order not ship that day after five months of saying everything was ready to go for launch? I double check the invoice specifically and the payment options are just fine, my bank's site confirms that they got my $400, and there's still no shipment confirmation. I immediately jump to the Help section of the site and click on the Contact Us button to at least email them to see what is up at about 4:45 PM ET. I was courteous and even apologized if I sounded angry because that was the sort of situation I was in at the moment.

I get no response by 6:30 PM ET, so I hop back on to that same page and start up a little chat. To be clear, I've never had an issue with Amazon in five years of great service that wasn't solved quickly over email, so this was an unprecedented issue that I was tied up in for the most important order I've ever made with Amazon. I speak with Stephen, who was nice enough despite coming to the conclusion that he couldn't help me and that he had to escalate me to another person to help me with this problem. The unprecedented issues continue to pile up. Romeo shows up a few seconds later and before he can even start working with me, he's disconnected. What the F? This is such an odd sequence of issues that I'm just flabbergasted by how poorly this CS experience has gone. I get an email from Romeo apologizing for the disconnect and suggests calling in to help solve the issue. Apparently, Amazon has this new, to me at least, thing where you give them your phone number and they call you to start the whole thing, which is neat because I absolutely hate the whole dialing the CS number thing.

This fourth attempt at contacting CS over this issue gets me on the line with Annasasia. I don't at any point in this conversation blame her for anything or get mad at her because I know the issue lies entirely with Amazon and the system that apparently allowed this to happen. I even apologize one or twice to her if it came off that way since I understood that she didn't have any hand in the way that this played out.

I explained the situation to her about how I pre-order the PS4 Launch Edition that had told me I'd get it on November 15 at launch and how all of a sudden, it says that I'm getting it on the Tuesday, November 19. She tries to tell me that I chose two-day shipping instead of release date delivery, so I was supposed to get it on Tuesday all along. That's news to me because I've checked that date and the shipping options over the past five months that if such a thing were to have existed, that I would've done so to ease my OCD-ness about this specific order. No such shipping option ever popped up nor was I ever notified about this. I even still have the Amazon email from just after the Gamescom release date announcement telling me my delivery date was now November 15, 2013. If I somehow had the wrong shipping, why did nothing ever pop up to tell me that I should pick this other shipping option to actually get it on Day One? In fact, I had even done some research earlier this week on RDD and there's no consistent explanation that this is how it works. It's weird that she says this, but my order of Madden NFL 25 for the PS4 with two-day shipping arrived on release date this past Tuesday without any need for me to choose a specific RDD shipping option. To contrast that, my pre-orders of Knack, BF4, and ACIV arrived today despite releasing on Tuesday, so that is probably another CS issue that I'll raise tomorrow since I'm done with Amazon CS for today.

Back to the phone call, I explain to her how there was absolutely nothing anywhere to suggest that I did not have the correct options selected to get my PS4 on launch over the past five months. I've used Amazon enough to know that if anything will F with your delivery date, they'll let you know right that second. Knack did that as they notified me that they had to double check the delivery date before telling me that it was staying the same as it was before. Why would the PS4 be any different than anything else I've ever ordered from Amazon? She put me on hold so that she could talk to her superiors and/or whoever else could help with this issue and I get, I think, two more quick messages that she was still working on this, so I knew that she wasn't taking this easy.

When she does come back, she says that it was already in the process of shipping and she could only offer me a chance to one-day shipping so that it would arrive on Monday. This whole part of it eventually evolves to the point where she tries to console me with the small chance that after it ships tomorrow that it could still arrive on the launch day, but that it would still likely be on Monday. She also tells me that the estimated date on the order page is still just an estimate and that it wasn't set in stone. I understand that since I've had orders arrive days earlier than the estimate, but this was still a PS4 Launch order that was not due to arrive on launch. I tell her that I understand the whole estimate thing and that I'm still looking at getting the Launch PS4 four or five days after launch in the end and that I was still pretty upset. She understands that and we have this nice little Understanding Party for a bit.

I've obviously lost that battle. I'm not getting the PS4 Launch Edition at the launch despite whatever the site said for five months. At this point, I've lost all faith in Amazon as my go-to place for pre-ordering games. I've had small issues before, but this was far more important than any one game that maybe shipped a date later than I'd have liked. I had always pre-ordered my consoles at retail and took this one chance on Amazon, but they blew it in spectacular fashion. I was misguided to put all of my eggs in one basket, but since I work during the day, it was better for me to just have the PS4 waiting for me when I get home than dealing with the crowds later on launch day. She did tell me that I could just refuse delivery when it came to get a refund, but I made sure to tell her that I wouldn't do that since it would be hard to find elsewhere by then because I had gone all-in on Amazon.

As you might expect, the next part of this whole thing is compensation. They screwed me over by this oversight and I felt that I should get some form of compensation for the pain they've caused. The very first offer I got was way back when she first mentioned changing to one-day shipping with a $5 gift card. I promptly told her that this was compensation for a $400 item and despite doing my best, I could only get her to $20. At that point, I was sick of this whole situation, I hated Amazon for failing me on the one time I needed them to pull through for me, so I kind of wanted to get out once I saw that that was all I could get. I apologized for being angry about the whole thing during the call and stated bluntly that even though I accepted the terms of my surrender, that I was still not satisfied and felt I still got a raw deal. I had to serve the terms of my sentencing and wanted to start the grieving process. It's a bit melodramatic, but this is the internet and this is a blog post, so this is kind of the perfect place to rant to deal with the old-fashioned internet rage that I had in me after the call.

To perfectly cap off this entire ordeal, this is the email I got right after the call ended:

Posted Image

No. No, you did not solve my problem.

Update: I've received two email responses from Amazon CS to the two emails I sent to them. The first that I sent the second I noticed this issue mainly offered me a refund on the shipping while saying "deal with it" in as nice a way as possible for the shipping issue.

The second was sent after the call and included the account of everything mentioned here. That was the satisfactory CS response that I was looking for, so I'm no longer disgruntled over this outside of the obvious thing of not having the PS4. They apologized profusely for the shipping delay and all of the weird CS stuff that happened, which was nice to see. They also offered another $20 credit on top of the other $20 credit, so that is at least decent compensation for the situation I'm in now.

I've cancelled both of the remaining pre-orders that I had for Infamous Second Son CE and MLB 14: The Show on PS4, which I'll move over to GameStop the next time I'm over there.

I did see that Amazon was selling PS4's last night with the option of Saturday delivery, so I was sort of beside myself with that news. As of this update, the PS4 is not here. The tracking says that it's in the Kentucky carrier facility as of 8 AM ET with an estimated delivery date of Monday, November 18.




Dude. That...sucks...balls.
I don't think RDD exists anymore. Now you just select two day shipping to get it on release date for preorder, or at least that's been the case for the last couple for me (including my ps4 which was set for two day shipping, just shipped an hour ago and is scheduled to arrive tomorrow). Shenanigans on Amazon's part for sure.

Man, that blows. (goes back to PC gaming)

But, seriously. I'd be pissed off too because, like you, I'm a double, triple, quadruple checker.

I don't think RDD exists anymore. Now you just select two day shipping to get it on release date for preorder, or at least that's been the case for the last couple for me (including my ps4 which was set for two day shipping, just shipped an hour ago and is scheduled to arrive tomorrow). Shenanigans on Amazon's part for sure.

Yeah, I only remember that being a selectable shipping option back when it was $0.99 and an awesome, easy to use feature. I've still got another CS complaint to make about why Madden 25 arrived on launch day, but the other three games I pre-ordered with two-day shipping only arrived today.

I've, like you it sounds like, have preordered hundreds of things off Amazon and I always choose two day delivery. The items always come on release day. Only one time has this not been the case, and that was due to a blizzard which prevented UPS from delivering my game.

Well, just putting this out there, if you have another $400 on a card you can use just pick it up at Best Buy and send the PS4 back stating it arrived too late. There's a record of your problem with them, so they should foot the shipping.  You'd have to pay tax on it at Best Buy, but the $20 credit should help offset that.  Of course, if you paid for part of it with Amazon credit this wouldn't really be an option.  

How would I get a PS4 from Best Buy this late? At this point, I just want the PS4 here ASAP.

 

I just got a response from Amazon for that first email I sent, so the second email I sent after the call won't get a response until tomorrow. This response at least offered a refund on the shipping, but that's about it.

Sometimes they ship out late...even though it says shipping soon, it might have already shipped they just haven't updated the tracking.   I'm betting they get it out tonight and you still receive it sometime tomorrow.   At least I hope so, as that's whats happened to me 99% of the time on release dates.

Wow, that sucks, Frisky.  I really hope LinkinPrime is right and you end up getting it sooner than you expect at this point.  Of all the purchases for them to screw up the shipping.  I've been checking my Xbox One preorder on Amazon several times over the months since I put the order in, I know exactly how anxious for this launch you were (Me too; I'm taking next Friday off from work) so I can imagine how pissed off and disappointed you are.

Frisky, you should send an email about your experience to Jeff Bezos, jeff(at)amazon.com. He apparently welcomes customers to email him and takes it very seriously when they aren't happy.

That's NUTS!! It seem like Amazon has been dropping the ball on a lot of their orders as of late. They kept telling me the 22nd so I was planning to take off that day so I could be home to receive it so it didn't walk off my front porch. Then to my amazement I get an email yesterday saying ps4 has been shipped from Amazon and then UPS sends me an email with a delivery date of 11-15. Which is pretty sweet (not bragging) and not complaining, but had to make arrangements for a friend to be at the house for delivery. 

I use Amazon Prime, which always provides two-day shipping, and they always get me my stuff on time. They also have a reduced cost one-day shipping option for Prime members too. Of course, with a hot item like the PS4, I can see these screw ups happening. Still have every right to be pissed but, let's face it, this isn't something totally unexpected. 

Update: I've received two email responses from Amazon CS to the two emails I sent to them. The first that I sent the second I noticed this issue mainly offered me a refund on the shipping while saying "deal with it" in as nice a way as possible for the shipping issue.

 

The second was sent after the call and included the account of everything mentioned here. That was the satisfactory CS response that I was looking for, so I'm no longer disgruntled over this outside of the obvious thing of not having the PS4. They apologized profusely for the shipping delay and all of the weird CS stuff that happened, which was nice to see. They also offered another $20 credit on top of the other $20 credit, so that is at least decent compensation for the situation I'm in now.

 

I've cancelled both of the remaining pre-orders that I had for Infamous Second Son CE and MLB 14: The Show on PS4, which I'll move over to GameStop the next time I'm over there.

 

I did see that Amazon was selling PS4's last night with the option of Saturday delivery, so I was sort of beside myself with that news. As of this update, the PS4 is not here. The tracking says that it's in the Kentucky carrier facility as of 8 AM ET with an estimated delivery date of Monday, November 18. 

I know someone from another board that's in the same situation as you. They contacted Amazon, and Amazon gave them a $60 credit for a free PS4 game. I guess it just depends on what rep you get when you contact them.

Hopefully yours does not arrive DOA like mine did. I can't get a replacement from Amazon because they don't have the Launch Edition in stock. I called the up when they had 4 of the bundles available for purchase (just not the launch edition) last night and tried to get a replacement console. No dice. If I did not pay with credit, I would have purchased one (even though I already had the games in the bundle). However, they can't issue my credit back until they receive the item. Amazon is not really handling this launch as good as I thought they would.

Update 2: My PS4 has arrived.