Full transparency, we use Amazon affiliate links in an effort to obtain additional website revenue. It can be a great source of income for an independent outlet, but it won’t stop us from calling Amazon out on their anti-consumerism practices. Cancelled pre-orders, heavily delayed shipping, and straight up lies have us losing trust in Amazon.
(For the purpose of this article, we will not be hyperlinking our Amazon Affiliate codes.)
If you’ve followed recent news, Amazon made the decision to remove the Amazon Prime discount, a reason that many held a subscription to Amazon Prime. While many weren’t phased by their decision, many took to online forums to speak out against the company. Personally, the Prime discount was great, but it wasn’t the reason I pre-ordered from Amazon. I pre-ordered from the online conglomerate because I liked receiving my games on time, or sometimes, the day before it’s official release.
However, recently, software is arriving unusually late, sometimes not until the week after the game is released. An example of this is shown with the launch of the Nintendo Switch. I ordered a complete Nintendo Switch package for it’s launch, well in advance to get some quality time with Nintendo’s newest console. I was quoted the release date of March 3rd, 2017, but didn’t actually receive my bundle until March 9th, 2017. I was livid. As a gaming outlet, we wanted to get our review out for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but this process was heavily delayed due to the amount of time it took to get the game and the console to our home. When speaking with an Amazon representative at that time, the response I received was “We are experiencing higher than normal volumes right now which has caused delay with your order.” Ugh.
We have been hit by mass confusion with the giant online retailer and their business of video games. In a personal order, I had reserved a copy of the Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition for Xbox One. Expecting that I had the $249 version of Fallout 76 on reserve, I received a notice weeks after stating that the order was cancelled. The reasoning behind the cancellation shocked me the most:
“Although we’d expected to be able to send this item to you, we’ve since found it won’t be released after all. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience we’ve caused you.”
Hold on. It won’t be released now? Was there an official announcement that we missed? Did Bethesda cancel the Power Armor Edition? We had to get down to the bottom of this.
First, we contacted Amazon’s customer support, and we tweeted them asking about the cancellation. Amazon’s customer support was sympathetic, but mentioned that the game would be released “sooner than expected” and that we would receive an email regarding this in the coming days. Wow. The release date was pushed forward and that was why my order was cancelled? Interesting. Shortly after this discussion, we were approached by Amazon’s customer help over social media. They asked if we pre-ordered the game for the November 14th release date. After clarifying that we did, we were told that they had no information regarding it’s release and that they will be updating the product listing on their website.
So what is the deal here? Was Bethesda’s Fallout 76, specifically, the Power Armor Edition delayed, cancelled, or pushed ahead of it’s November 14th release date? At this point, we reached out to Bethesda themselves for some clarification on the matter. Bethesda was quick to respond and, as it turns out, no delay has been announced. They told us that “Fallout 76 is planned to launch on Nov. 14.” We also received confirmation that the Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition would release on November 14th as well, albeit, in limited quantities.
So, I have three different responses from Amazon on why my order was cancelled, but no one is willing to hold accountable to the fact that someone messed up. That is why I can’t get my hands on the Power Armor Edition. Come on Amazon.
Other reports are coming in that several Nintendo Switch games have been cancelled, including Daemon X Machina – a title revealed during Nintendo’s last Nintendo Direct. It appears that those who pre-order the game on Amazon US received a message stating their pre-order was cancelled, with no reason given as to why. The caveat to this is consumers who have pre-ordered the game months in advance, taking advantage of Amazon’s Prime discount before it was removed from the site. Now that the orders have cancelled, so are their pre-order discounts, causing frustration on Reddit.
Looking on Amazon Canada’s video game catalog, there is software that isn’t even available for pre-order including Red Dead Redemption 2, WWE 2K19, and Spyro: Reignited Trilogy. Other games like Super Mario Party and Dark Souls: Remastered were just listed for pre-order within the last couple of weeks. So, what is going on?
Now, I get it, some of these issues can be brought to the publisher themselves. Availability and production of their software could lead to delays in pre-orders, digital content, and even games. That said, I expect Amazon, the middle-man in all of this, to remain as transparent as they can to their consumer. Stop leading consumers down a rabbit hole with conflicting information. This is how you lose the trust of the consumer and the single reason why I avoid mass retailers like Walmart, EB Games, and Best Buy as much as I can.
Have you had issues ordering from Amazon? Let us know in the comments! We would love to chat.