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Amazon drops the ball for some on launch-day Switch deliveries

Not so fast

Amazon Prime box stock photo
Not your Switch
Samit Sarkar/Polygon

Online retailer Amazon offered “guaranteed release-date delivery” for the Nintendo Switch back in January, but when the Switch hit shelves today it appears a number of customers didn’t receive their order.

Multiple emails and calls to Amazon’s media relations team went unanswered over the past two days, but Twitter and other social media are alight with upset customers who learned today their orders didn’t make the cut.

My personal experience seems to jibe with what others who didn’t get their order today are saying happened to them. The Switch, which I pre-ordered on Jan. 13, was marked as an item that would be delivered today by 8 p.m.

That was the case all of the way up until about 1:30 p.m. when Amazon changed the delivery date to March 4 by 8 p.m. I wasn’t charged for the item until late Thursday night.

When I reached out to customer service I was told a number of different things. Three different conversations left me with three different answers for what went wrong.

The first customer service agent told me that he had discovered a problem with my order and that after he fixed it, the Switch was sent for delivery tomorrow. He did not respond by email when I asked what the issue was.

A chat with a different customer service rep resulted in an apology, though no real answer about what happened. I ultimately was offered a $10 gift certificate and an extra month of Prime. (I’ve heard other reports of $5 to $30 in store credit when contacting Amazon about the issue.)

Finally, an email from a third rep explained that the order was late because Amazon itself didn’t receive the Switch until today.

Another rep told our Phil Kollar that customer service has no way to contact shipment warehouses and can only rely on what the site shows.

While it’s possible some of the reasons I was given are accurate, it’s also possible that customer service, left to deal with this mess, don’t really know and are doing the best they can.

Amazon’s own description of “release-date delivery,” says it is only offered on eligible items and that it is free for Prime Members or when selecting two-day shipping. If it is not delivered on time, Amazon says it will refund the cost of shipping.

Online, people seem to be chatting about mixed results with online orders through Best Buy and Amazon, though the most vocal, upset customers seem to be those who used Amazon and were told today that their Switch is arriving anytime from Saturday to sometime next week.

While Amazon wasn’t able to get all of their orders out on time, it does appear that they’re still promising Prime Now deliver to folks in specific cities.

Update: I just received another email from customer service both apologizing and reiterating that they can’t tell me why they messed up.

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