I ordered Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition on November 26th, and it shipped on the 28th. I had selected the standard shipping option, and I was told I could expect the game to arrive on December 8th.
I am a college student splitting my time between my home with my parents in Portland, Oregon, and my apartment at the University of Oregon. I had the game shipped to my apartment because I assumed, based on the estimate that I was given, that it would arrive before I left after the term ended for me on the 9th. However, the game did not arrive on the 8th, or the 9th, or any of the other days since. Because I'm not there to pick up the game, one of my roommates will have to repackage and mail it to me in Portland, which will take several more days.
I guess it's small potatoes in the big picture - I am, after all, fed, clothed, and getting an education, so I probably shouldn't be griping about having to face a delay in when I get to play a video game. But I had specifically been looking forward to spending my time off from school playing this game; it was my way of rewarding myself for working hard all term. I had thought about ordering it sooner, but I held off - I am a particular fan of the Fallout series, and I knew that if I had it with me while I was at school it would be one big fat temptation to not study. I addressed the package to my school address because your estimate said it would arrive on the day I finished my last final, which I figured would allow me to spend the afternoon playing the game before taking it and my XBox back up to my parents' house for the holidays.
Again, the more I make of this, the more I feel like a spoiled brat for even complaining, but hear me out: I feel that a cornerstone of human civilization is the trust that one can exchange currency for goods and services. Now, consider this - I gave you guys $42.00, and in return you've given me a bunch of lies about when my video game will arrive, plus no video game. I don't want to accuse you of anything, but what do you have against civilization?
I understand that once the item ships, it's in the hands of the United States Postal Service. You at Amazon really have no control over my game's amazing, time consuming adventures in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. However, while I was told that the game shipped on the 28th, according to the tracker it didn't leave the Seattle area until five days later, on December 3rd. To give you some perspective, it only took four days to get to the Moon - and that was 40 years ago. Both because my game spent five days being shipped nowhere and because you’re the ones who I gave my money to, I address this letter to you.
Incidentally, out of the $42.00 I spent roughly $3 on shipping and handling, and I really feel somewhat dishonest about that, seeing as your people have been shipping and handling my video game for so long now. I mean, my two-ounce video game spent a whopping four days in transit between Federal Way, Washington, and the sorting center in Portland, Oregon. You guys are shipping the HELL out of this video game - I feel as though I should give you more money, if anything.
On that same note, I did a little research, and according to Google Maps, a large highway known as Interstate 5 runs between Federal Way, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. From what Google says, it takes 2 hours and 28 minutes to get from Federal Way to Portland on I-5. I don't know why my game has taken four days. Maybe you were delivering my game via an Oregon Trail-style covered wagon pulled by a team of snails, or maybe you just had grandma deliver the game, and she spent four days putting along in her '84 Plymouth Ciera at 35 miles per hour in the left lane, turn signal blinking the whole time. But on the off chance that your delivery people just didn't know about I-5, I highly recommend it. In fact, I highly recommend the entire Interstate Highway System, because in my experience it's one of the most efficient ways to transport people (or, hey, even video games) over distances in less than four days.
Also, it might interest you to know that the same highway runs between Portland and Eugene. I only mention it because the last update on my stuff says that it left the sorting center in Portland three days ago, and perhaps the driver got lost on the way from Portland to Eugene. Also, I just checked, and it's possible to drive from San Fransisco to New York City in less than three days - almost less than two days. So again, you really should iron out some of the problems in your shipping department. Maybe get them a GPS unit for Christmas or something. Just don't order it from yourselves, because you probably won't get it until Easter.
Again, though, I really shouldn't be complaining, because it's just one luxury item that I'm waiting a little longer to use. There are bigger problems in the world, and my quality of life hasn't been affected that much. However, I was really looking forward to playing my game, starting on December 8th - the date that you told me. And for the past five days, I have not been playing my game. And that's frustrating to me. Not as frustrating as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is for residents of the Gaza Strip, but frustrating all the same.
In the end, your entire business thrives on the fact that people are willing to buy something at a reduced price from your online store rather than spending a few bucks more for it at the mall. However, while this game probably would have run me $50 at GameStop on Black Friday, I guarantee you I would be playing it right now instead of amusing myself by writing blog entries. If the delivery aspect of Amazon.com colossally fails, like it did here, what are you really offering?
I get it – this is an isolated incident and by and large Amazon is one hell of a reliable way to get things. That said, could you at least refund my shipping or give me some store credit? I feel like this whole issue is pretty out of line.
Truman Capps doesn't think this is such an out of line thing to to bitch about in an era of space travel and large hadron colliders.