Yesterday, I received an e-mail notification from Amazon that a book I pre-ordered in April 2016 (Year of Yesh, the 22nd annual collection of Patrick McDonnell’s charmingly funny Mutts: the Mutts treasury has been a Xmas tradition for nearly twenty years now) had been despatched to me and was expected to be delivered today.
At 10.16am, today, I received a second e-mail from Amazon about this book, detailing my pre-order profit: I had ordered the book at the advance price of £14.99 but it had been published at £14.97, and thus I had saved 2p.
Exactly 65 minutes later, I received a second e-mail from Amazon about this book. It apologised for delaying the delivery of my book, confirmed Amazon would refund my delivery charges and basically confessed that Amazon had no idea whatsoever when the book would be available.
Complicating things further, when I checked my Amazon Orders, there was no sign of Year of Yesh as either a fulfilled or Open Order.
So I have reordered the book, for the reduced price of £11.60, inclusive of postage and delivery (though even as I was writing this very line, a fourth e-mail arrived, confirming refund of £2.99 delivery charges but still suggesting that my now-vanished original order will be delivered. Sometime.)
I wouldn’t normally mention this except that Year of Yesh was not the only book I have on pre-order from several months ago. Another such was Rick Geary’s latest Casebook of Twentieth Century Murder, The Black Dahlia. For months this has been set for publication in late November 2016 but, with that date almost on us, Amazon e-mailed me to say that they haven’t had the book supplied. Even up to today, Amazon had no idea when it might be shipped to me.
The fact that it’s been available via eBay for at least three weeks already has nothing to do with this.
So, exasperatedly, I have cancelled that order, and bought the book through eBay with free postage, which will cost me £1.80 less overall, though instead of getting the book for Xmas, as was the original idea, I won’t get it until mid-January.
Postscript: 40 minutes after this post, the original order arrives, bang on time. I have immediately requested cancellation of the duplicate. I wish I knew what’s going on.