Hey, gang, I'm back. Hope you all enjoyed your Holidays and that Santa (or the Chanukah Aardvark or Whomever) brought you everything you wished for. Since I promised to let you know how everything worked out with my ordering gifts online for the first time, I thought I should fill you in on the results of my first (but, sadly, probably not my last) game of Holiday Roulette.
As you may recall, coming into the home stretch, there were still more than a half-dozen ordered items that had not yet arrived here at the Weinwords corporate offices. Well, Amazon came through like a champion. On the final mail day before the holiday, several books and a DVD or two ordered from them arrived in perfect condition and just in time. Items ordered from various other sources, however, did not.
A long out-of-print British edition of a book my wife really wanted, ordered from one of those ancillary Amazon people, arrived with the mail on the 26th, although it had been ordered a week-and-a-half earlier, while a DVD ordered from another Amazon ancillary that same week-and-a-half earlier had arrived within 48 hours.
A trio of DVDs ordered 10 days earlier from DeepDiscountDVD.com finally arrived on the 27th, although when I ordered them, I had paid extra for 2-5 day delivery. When I went to check my account to find out where the heck the DVDs were, it turned out DDDVD had not charged me the extra money as I'd asked, but simply sent the disks by their standard free shipping system, which can take up to two weeks to arrive.
The saddest of all the missing merchandise, however, was a handmade necklace I had ordered for my wife back in August at the World Science Ficition Convention in Anaheim. The artisan had sent the necklace to me First Class Mail, receipt signature required, on December 10th, but the package never arrived. I checked my local Post Office several days before the weekend and, while they had received evidence on the 13th that the package had been sent, they had no evidence that it had ever arrived at their branch. As of today, it still hasn't arrived. In another week or two, the seller can put in a claim for the loss and she has promised to make my wife a new necklace to make up for the lost one, but it's still terribly sad that all that effort has come to naught.
So what have I learned from all of this? Well, for one thing, I'm gonna do my online ordering a lot earlier next year. I wonder if I can still have all those lumps of coal shipped by freight?