inventory is a joke? (in Off-topic)

Todd May 31 2005 9:16 AM EDT has the reputation of being reliable, up front, etc. So when I got a gift certificate from someone last Christmas from them, I was pretty excited to see what I could order.

On December 14th, I placed an order for a DVD that was due to be released on on Feb 14, 2005. I was sent a confimation from that the product would be shipped around that time.

I received nothing by the end of Feb, so I navigated through their massive web of help pages and finally found one of the FAQs (2nd most popular, it seems) entitled "Where's my stuff?". Apparently this happens alot. I filled out the required information, and waited for an emial. They are excellent at follow up, I received a response within 24 hours saying that they are sorry, but they did not get enough product to cover the orders.

I was told my ship date would be March 7th, and that they would send me an email when it is shipped. March 7th came and went. Nothing. So, I emailed them somewhere around March 21st. Guess what? they are sorry, but they did not get enough product to cover the orders. My estimated delivery date would be March 31st.

Guess what? I am now June 1st, and I receive this email after sending a somewhat direct email to their customer support: your estimated delivery for this product is Aug 25-Aug 29, 2005. What was a Christmas present is now (maybe) going to be shipped in time for my birthday at the end of August.

I see this DVD all over the place now. It's not rare. To me, it seems simple.. if you have orders for 500 DVDs, then order 500 DVDs. I cannot begin to believe that they cannot acquire enough inventory to fill their orders. Maybe it is because I was cashing in a Gift Certificate? If I had paid cash, would I have been bumped up on the list (things we will never know).

Is this an odd case with, or does this happen a lot? Anyone else had similar experiences?

QBJohnnywas May 31 2005 9:31 AM EDT

I've never had any problems with Amazon. I, quite often after a seeing a cinema release in the UK, will order the US version on dvd. On average if I've seen the film on the Saturday I'll order the dvd the same day and receive it within about 5 days. The longest I had to wait was 9 days and they contacted me twice during that time to keep me informed of progress.

Amazon.Co.Uk (the UK version obviously!) will sometimes ship within 24 hours of ordering.

The problem though with a lot of the online businesses is that they don't hold a lot of stock, as they don't actually have large premises/warehouses. And, because you don't have a store to go into and actually shout at somebody, a lot of people tend not to complain. Therefore a lot of companies, and it sounds like the case here, feel they can get away with substandard customer care.

Todd May 31 2005 9:33 AM EDT

Substandard is an understatement.

Relic May 31 2005 10:03 AM EDT

I have ordered many things through, my wife in fact ordered two things within the past week or so. We received both items already. Sounds like you just got a bad deal all around. When you call again (if you call again), ask to speak with the manager of the person who picks up the phone, if that person does not jump to help, then talk to their manager, explain your entire problem and you will get results. I almost always ask to speak with a manager instead of the support person who picks up the phone and has absolutely no power to help you other than their little UI screen of help tools. Good luck getting your DVD.

AdminG Beee May 31 2005 10:07 AM EDT

You're too old for Bambi Todd !

PS. Wifey got hers when I pre-ordered it tho ;)

Bolfen May 31 2005 10:16 AM EDT

Uh, are you sure that the DVD was released on 2/15?

That's the problem with pre-orders is that the release date can change.

I've never had any problem with Amazon for DVDs, CDs, etc. And the only thing I can think of which would cause a problem is if the release date changed.

Which DVD was it?

AngryZac May 31 2005 10:32 AM EDT

Ordered plenty from Amazon, no problems yet. Although when I went with the free shipping it did take abour 7 business days...that was stated beforehand though.

Todd May 31 2005 10:33 AM EDT

The DVD was "Dynasty Dysected" - a paintball video, yes it is out. I've seen it in even the smallest paintball stores.

Go to and search.. they show it out of stock. :( It's REALLY very easy to get.

AdminG Beee May 31 2005 10:37 AM EDT

Here was me thinking it was Bambi... that was released on DVD in the UK on 14th Feb. Honest, I only bought it for my wife - it wasn't for me and I've not even watched it !

Anyway, do Amazon take Canadian money ?

NSFY May 31 2005 10:38 AM EDT

I think it is an anomaly. I have never had any problems with Amazon and have used several gift cards. Perhaps export of paintball DVDs is restricted given Canada's warlike tendencies and recent anti-Americanism.

Todd May 31 2005 10:39 AM EDT

There is an but this was a gift certificate from someone in the USA, so it was in $US, and I ordered from (They ship to Canada).

Ascent May 31 2005 10:45 AM EDT

Never had any problems with them, either. Perhaps with titles that might be in lesser demand they don't keep them in stock? Dunno.


AdminJonathan May 31 2005 11:31 AM EDT

I can understand just-in-time inventory management, but

a) Amazon has a warehousing system probably only eclipsed by the very largest big-box retailers, and
b) when you're talking about a _pre-order_, there's just no excuse.

Quark May 31 2005 12:16 PM EDT

Agree with Jon. And surprised - we've ordered several times from and - even delivering to Canada was faster than And I know one of the consultants that helped Amazon design their logistics system - that shouldn't be at fault. It might be a selective under-order for a product, since has been known to play politics (under-order Ann Coulter's book, and slow delivery on several conservative titles). Though why they won't ship a paintball DVD I don't know. But a manager should definitely comp you something if you can talk to one.

Special J May 31 2005 12:31 PM EDT

I know your first reaction is to blame Amazon, but think of it like this.

Your DVD is not published by a top line company, you know it is a B class film. The publisher could have failed amazon, and since amazon does not have a track record of this time of behavior I only assume this is true.

Amazon : Give us ### copies of this movie when it is released.
Publisher : Ok.
-Time goes by
Publisher : We found out we can charge more if we sell it at stores that are directly in contact with the target customer base, so amazon you only get ## copies and you have to deal with customers who are upset.

What is amazon going to do? Send a team of bullies in to beat up the company?

One bad episode with a company, even it was 2 seperate times they let you down, does not mean that company is a joke. It means you are having bad luck.

Paying with a credit voucher does not get you subpar treatment, do you honestly think amazon cares how you pay? Simply put, no. Quit being silly with your allegations.

I understand you are upset, but you are acting quite silly when you look at it from the broader picture.

Todd May 31 2005 12:43 PM EDT

Mrwuss: I fail to see how I am being "silly". I have received a total of 4 emails from them, all postponing delivery.

If you notice, my post was an inquiry. I suggested some possible reasons for the delay (gift certificates having a lower priority), I was not stating this as fact.

I'm simply trying to find a reason why something that was ordered almost 6 months ago, and has been on the market for almost 4 months is now being postponed for an additional 3 months.. Did you miss that part? They now say it will be 3 more months before they think they will ship. (putting the approx delivery time overe 6 months after it is available on the market). Now, _that_ is "silly".

NSFY May 31 2005 12:47 PM EDT

heh - mrwuss - Todd is not that upset or making crazed allegations - he just wants his stupid paintball dvd. I would be mad if my chet atkins dvd was late (it wasn't btw).

Oh and anyone that orders anything authored by Ann Coulter deserves all manner of bad things including an all expenses-paid golf outing with Tom DeLay. Toxic black waste holes!

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] May 31 2005 12:49 PM EDT

straight up ask the manager what is taking so long, or you can tell them your sueing for money stolen...=P

Unless you could actually do that, just go with the first one.

Todd May 31 2005 12:58 PM EDT

Smallpaul, thanks for your contributions... :P

1. Good luck getting anyone on the phone from There is a toll free customer service number, but there is no option to speak to a live rep, they are all just voice helps.

2. They offered a refund, and have given me free shipping (when it ships), and a $5 voucher. w00t! I still dont have my DVD.

Special J May 31 2005 1:19 PM EDT

Silly is waiting 6 months for the item to be shipped, take the refund and get something else.

Go down to the local PB store and get the DVD.

QBsutekh137 May 31 2005 1:22 PM EDT

Chet Atkins DVD...goodness, NSFY, you crack me up!

Todd, I would say the combination of the pre-order and the fact that this is a "second-tier" specialty DVD is causing you fits. No, there is no excuse for it. You should call and cancel, get your credit back, and ask for an additional $10-$20 voucher for the time you have had to waste waiting. Amazon needs to "make this right" with you. Then you can go buy elsewhere.

I have had good and bad luck with almost any web site/brick building/person I have dealt with. I have a friend who had been shopping at Musicians Friend (music performer catalog/web site) for almost two decades, and just recently they screwed him over. Delays, sent the wrong thing, and then required him to jump through hoops just to get the damn thing returned/credited. Every place makes mistakes. This bigger mistake was not making it right for a guy who spends multiple thousands $$$ annually on instruments and musician studio electronics.

Give Amazon a chance to make it right, and if they don't, leave and never look back.

Undertow May 31 2005 1:47 PM EDT

Yah, throw an online fit. Makes me wish there was a virus named "Temper Tantrum".
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