They can't seem to decide if they want to be a great friendly place to shop, or a royal totally corporate pain in the ass. First they send out a big box of freebies from their grocery store, which was really cool, and put them up in my eyes. Plus they sometimes carry some harder-to-find items, like a coffee I like, which is a plus.
But then they start doing annoying crap, like tinkering around with their gold box, making it an obvious ploy to try to shove a bunch of spare inventory they have out the door, using a bait-and-switch tactic and shoving that in the place of their tried-and-true gold box that people had come to enjoy, as a more personalized service. Not to mention their trick with giving a 2 month Amazon Prime membership for free, but not mentioning when it happens to be ready to expire, so that it automatically starts getting charged for your credit card. (I ended up just staying with it anyhow since I got hooked, but I really don't like the way they did it.)
Then they kinda pick up a bit again in my regard by trying to show that they're listening to the customers somewhat, and adding some (supposedly) more personalized picks back to the "one-size-fits-all" new format. Which sounds cool... but yet, while they claim that it uses almost the same method of picking items as the old gold box, my own items and those of many many commenters have been *way* off, leaving us in some doubt as to the truth of this.
And now... now I'm just plain mad. So they have had the Wii listed on their site for a while, with sign-ups for emails about when it'll be available. Can they put it up for pre-order or anything? Nooo. Well, fair enough. But then they send out a mass email a couple days ago, saying "The Nintendo Wii will be available for purchase on Amazon.com on 11/19, Sunday morning (PST)." Which given that they even include the time zone, would indicate to me at least (and to others I've seen) that they'd be putting them up at midnight Pacific, 3am my time. So.... what happens? I end up staying up til the wee hours of the morning, and getting really crappy sleep after that due to restlessness and waking up and checking every so often, only to find out that they had them briefly up for sale around 11am Eastern time, and I missed them because Amazon was PLAYING SO DAMN COY, and wouldn't give *anyone* any straight answer as to when they were going up for sale, or why they were delayed. Which is one of the really annoying bits. I mean, I could have gone to bed and had a chance at grabbing one if they'd played fair with the loyal customers who actually signed up for notifications and crap, but no. Their customer service reps told everyone stories from "they'll be up any time now" to "they're in price negotiations and aren't sure when they'll be up" to "they don't know how many they have so they can't offer them yet(!)" and everything else in between. I mean, what the hell?
So now, I have no Wii. I figured Amazon would be my best chance, since I thought that with one-click shopping and everything, surely I'd be able to get a Wii when they went up at midnight. I didn't bother making plans to try to visit Wal-Mart or anything, since I figured my chances there would be slim to none anyhow, so... I have no clue now when or how I'll be able to get my hands on one of the consoles. I mean, it's not so much that I have to have one the very second it comes out (though it'd be nice! >:] ), but without that, I now have to go through a crap shoot over the coming weeks or even months, hoping I manage to visit a shop (ugh, so much for my hermitage) or click on a website *just* at the very right time to manage to get one. I mean, I know they're not supposed to be quite as scarce as the PS3, but it's looking like demand is still fast outstripping supply. What chance do I have?
I'm going to at least give Amazon one more chance... I'd like to get one of those X-Box 360 core systems for 100 bucks if I can, and it looks like that'll probably be the deal that goes up on Thursday. But otherwise, I'm really seething. I have multiple things sitting in my shopping cart, but I think I'm going to try to drag myself to the mall and pick them up there, going through that hassle rather than going the "easy" route and ordering them through Amazon, just on principles.