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