My Love-Hate Relationship with Amazon Tom March 7, 2011 Technology, True Life A couple weeks ago I decided that I needed to buy a NAS Device (Network Attached Storage) since I was running out of space on my 2TB and 1.5TB External Hard drive and didn’t really want to keep having to buy external drives in order to keep my data as well as a backup. After doing quite a bit of research I finally settled upon the Netgear ReadyNAS NV+. It’s an entry level NAS that had enough power to do what I needed it to do, so after much debate I went ahead and ordered it from Amazon. I ordered the diskless version and purchased 4 2TB hard drives separately. And with that came my first issue with Amazon. These items have been sitting in my Amazon cart for a couple weeks now, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy them yet. The NAS itself was around $304 with the hard drives at $80/each. However, the day I finally decided that I was going to order them I was greeted by a price of $325 for the NAS (HD’s were still $80). I also noticed that there was now a package deal where if you bought the NAS unit and any of the recommended products on a specific “Special Offer Page” you would receive up to $100 off. Ok, cool I thought, I’ll get a better deal anyways since I’ll get $100 off and with the $20 price jump I’ll still get $80 off the original price…. Yeah, not so much. The NV+ and the hard drives that I bought were only eligible for $20 off the total price. So basically Amazon raised the price of the unit in order to make up for the $20 discount they were offering. It honestly didn’t affect me too much because I was going to buy it for that original price anyways, before there was any discount, but it just seemed shady that they raised the price in order to charge the same amount after the discount… Oh well, I was going to order them anyways so I went ahead with it. Once I was at the cart page I noticed that they were offering a free trial of Amazon Prime which would get me a free upgrade to 2-day shipping. Since I had never used the trial I figured why not. I placed the order on a Thursday and everything on the Amazon page told me that the items would arrive on Saturday. Now I know you need to make special arrangements or shipping in order to have items delivered on Saturday, but I assumed that Amazon was aware of that and orders would be shipping accordingly. And I don’t know if this is my fault or not, but it seems to have lead to problems in shipping, but I left the box checked that said ship fastest and not ship items together… So with that being said, both items were in stock and shipping from Amazon.com so I assumed they would just come together in the same box and it would be all good. So later on Thursday I received an email saying that my order had shipped, cool. When I checked the email it also only mentioned the NAS unit itself, not the hard drives. I thought that was weird, but maybe they only listed the main item in the email and the other stuff would be there also… nope. I received another email later that day saying that my order had shipped… it was the hard drives. Funny thing is, is that the NAS unit shipped via UPS and the hard drives shipped via FedEX… And this is where the problems started. I had ordered the items with 2nd day shipping assuming that Amazon knew what they were doing and the packages would arrive on Saturday when I would be home, but upon checking the tracking numbers I was surprised to see that they were on track to be delivered on Friday, while I would be at work. I noticed all of this Thursday night so I went on Amazon.com to see if the packages required a signature. In the past I’ve had some items from both UPS and FedEX that have required signatures and some that haven’t, I’m not really sure how they determine if you need a signature. I couldn’t find anything on Amazon saying that these packages required a signature and actually the only thing I found said that packages over $700 required them… the total for my order was less than $700 so I just assumed no signature required… and I was wrong again. FedEx attempted delivery at 1130am on Friday and UPS attempted at 330PM. Awesome… that was going to be my project for the weekend, but now it looks like I have to wait until Monday… or maybe not. I jumped on FedEx’s website and changed the package to be picked up at the store around the corner from my apartment. I then did the same with UPS, but the pick up is about 20 minutes away, but either way at least I could get them Saturday morning and get things setup. The FedEx store called me at like 5PM to tell me that the package would be ready for pick up at the store at 10AM on Saturday, UPS called at 645PM Friday telling me that I could pick it up at 715PM that day! I had plans so that wasn’t going to happen, but Saturday it is. I left the house at 945AM and headed to UPS, got there shortly after they opened and was in and out with my package in about 5 minutes. Now it was time to head to FedEx. I got to FedEx around 11AM and they could not find my package. The person working looked up the tracking number and they said that it was still in transit… awesome. Why would they tell me the package would be at the store at 10AM when it wasn’t? They told me to try back around 1PM so I went home with no hard drives. Now this is where it gets good… as soon as I walked in the door to my apartment, took off my coat and sat down to eat breakfast, the phone rings, it’s FedEX and my package was ready to be picked up at the store! Ugh, seriously? The store is less than a mile from my apartment, talk about terrible timing… So I finished eating and headed back over to find my package sitting there waiting. So all in all I ended up getting my items this weekend and got them all setup, but between Amazon.com not informing me that the packages required signatures and the FedEx store not having my package when they said they would I’m not sure what to think. The Amazon Prime thing is still a good deal if you order a lot of products from Amazon, but the lack of information regarding signatures on packages is a little annoying. Berserk Hippo I have had Amazon Prime for a few years. Never had any problems. They have switched some shipping providers lately but it hasn’t caused any issues. I have seen packages show up early though. And as for them shipping separately and by different providers, did they come from different places? They have so many distribution centers it might have split up for that reason. And the pick-up issues seemed like it was FedEx and not Amazon. The signature thing is still weird to me. Can’t explain that one. AC Slater Yeah, the pick up at the FedEx store was definitely a FedEx issue, not blaming that on Amazon. It was more the signature issue that I was annoyed by, which would have been fine if they had just mentioned somewhere that it required a signature.