Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thank you very little to those losers at the online Goliath who spoiled our family Christmas this year. My mom told me around Thanksgiving how she had gone to and carefully picked out all of my brother's CDs ("usually ships within 24 hours"), only to find at checkout that many (most?) of them wouldn't be shipped until after Christmas. Oddly enough, the "late" items included several recent releases that should not have been in short supply. She wondered if it was their way of trying to get her to upgrade to a paid shipping option. It didn't work -- instead, she bought some of those CDs at a different store (Target, with its broad selection!).

Alas, my tastes are generally more obscure than my brother's, so the discount store CD bins were not so accommodating. This year I got the following gifts from my grandparents (Mom shopped for them at When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops by George Carlin and Both Sides of the Line by Jason & the Scorchers (the latter is a combination of their 5-star EP Fervor and their 5-star debut LP Lost & Found -- simply some of the best music ever made). My grandparents usually spend a lot of money on me, so it seemed odd that I received only two gifts... until I saw the little piece of paper listing the items that hadn't shipped yet. One book, one DVD, and six CDs! Yes, that means 80% of my gifts were not sent on time, and the order was placed on December 5.

Looking for yet another reason to loathe the online behemoth, I looked up the missing items that are expected to ship between January 11 and 26:
The Fine Art of Surfacing by The Boomtown Rats - "Usually ships within 24 hours"
Rumble! The Best of Link Wray by Link Wray - "Usually ships within 24 hours"
Blood of the Ram by The Gourds - "Usually ships within 24 hours"
Dem's Good Beeble by The Gourds - "Usually ships within 24 hours"
Mr. Bill's Disasterpiece Theater DVD - "Usually ships within 24 hours"
Made to be Broken by Soul Asylum - "Usually ships within 7 to 10 days"
Hitchhike to Rhome by Old 97s - "Usually ships within 7 to 10 days"
Signspotting by Doug Lansky (book) - "Usually ships within 4 to 6 weeks."
Well, isn't that interesting? So if I were to order these items today, I should expect five of eight to be shipped within 24 hours? And yet the order my mom placed on December 5 is not expected to arrive for at least two more weeks? Why do some people love this company when clearly they suck?

Of course, it could be -- and may very well turn out to be -- worse. A year or two ago my mom ordered a CD for me from which, after repeated delays, was finally declared impossible to deliver, vanished from the face of the Earth. Come to think of it, she never let me pick out an alternate selection!

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