Amazon FAIL

Last year, I resolved to learn a new language, preferably Cocoa, and I ordered a book from Amazon to this end. I ordered it on February 9, 2009.

It was delivered last Friday, February 26, 2010.

Now I admit, it was on preorder last February. But it had a release date of late May. They were offering it for preorder. Surely it would be available on schedule.

The other half of this order, for the free shipping, was A Dance With Dragons. Also on preorder for November 2009, and also not released. Knowing Martin, it’s probably not even done.

Lots of people blamed Martin. And while I’m rather annoyed with him myself, he didn’t put that release date up there. He didn’t jerk all of his fans around by their credit cards. Amazon did that.

Why do you do it, Amazon? You don’t charge for the preorder until it ships, so you aren’t making money off of it. So why do you offer things for preorder that you know will not be available on the release date?

That being said, Learn Cocoa on the Mac by Dave Mark is excellent, both readable and instructive. I’ve reached chapter 3, and when I’m finished with it I’ll give it a full review, from the perspective of one whose sole programming experience is a year of C++ in high school ten years ago.


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3 Responses to Amazon FAIL

  1. Diane H K says:

    I work in publishing.

    Here’s the deal. The publishing houses give an estimated delivery date to places like Amazon, and then hope like hell that nothing goes awry in production, printing, or shipping. Chinese New Year celebrations always wreak havoc on springtime-released books because printing dates get messed up while the Chinese factory workers go home to celebrate with their families for a week or moer. And if there is a maritime issue or disaster (such as the recent tsunami warnings and surges in the Pacific) it can destroy or seriously delay a shipment.

    We had an entire frontlist worth of books (frontlist are the newest titles in a publisher’s list of books) sink to the bottom of the ocean once when a container ship went down. It doesn’t happen often, believe me. And the publisher I work for (I’m the art director and book designer) had forgotten to insure the container’s contents, so the publisher was doubly screwed that year. Even though the ship and containers were recovered, books are a total loss because they don’t ship in waterproof, pressure-proof boxes.

    • Diane H K says:

      And that’s “more,” not “moer.” Yeesh.

    • GeekLady says:

      Wow, I had never considered how books got shipped over here before, or the snafus lying in wait for them.

      Still doesn’t excuse Dance of Dragons, though, since the book isn’t even FINISHED, and I don’t understand why a publisher would give an estimated date for something that hasn’t gotten to them yet.

      I’d be a bit more understanding if I knew it was problems with production and/or shipping versus “oh well, we think it’ll be ready by x date, so set the release date to y and hope we make it.” That just seems like asking for unnecessary trouble.

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