Those two words can put a grey cloud in your memory or a wonderful singing song bird.
If you haven’t been following my review posts on the Sailor Moon sale group I’m a part of, you never saw the up-close experience I had while pre-ordering the Kaleidoscope wand.
Everyone who collects or at least buys Sailor Moon things knows that this year between June 2016 and June 2017 was the year for 2 major things revealed in 2016: 1. The Kaleidoscope proplica wand and 2. The Tuxedo Mirage Memorial Ornament also known as the Tuxedo Mirage Music Box were both being released some time in 2017. Today I’m going to be talking about the Kaleidoscope proplica and my “interesting” experience as my first pre-order of this item off Amazon instead of going through a proxy to get the Japanese release one month earlier when it was released in Japan.
Let’s just say that my experience with Amazon in the authoring book releasing category hasn’t been the greatest either so I had no idea why my hopes for ordering the proplica was so high. Anyway…
I was so excited for the Kaleidoscope wand when the pre-order went live in March 2017! If you hadn’t guessed by now, I get excited about few things in life and Sailor Moon rarities (next to the holy grail items) is one of the things I get excited about up there next to wonderful new book releases. I pre-ordered this wand brand spankin’ new from Amazon by clicking the beautiful yellow PRE-ORDER NOW button. Yeah, that. Books have gone OK pre-ordering off Amazon (except for that one time I was supposed to win a giveaway for pre-ordering a 5-book set, but the author refused to send me the prize after she thought my vague post about someone reporting a picture I posted online was about her). (What an arrogant person! Right?) Anyway, I didn’t really think pre-ordering a wand was going to be a big difference from pre-ordering a book. Boy, was I wrong!
After clicking that PRE-ORDER HERE button, I excitedly waited for my confirmation reservation email from Amazon. You know the one, right? That auto-email that says, “Thank you for your order. Here is your confirmation number. It will be shipped on blah blah date.” Something like that. Well, I got my email. Poof …. I was excited! I let it go to the wayside. I practically forgot about it since real life started getting into my main focus.
In May 2017, I got a random auto-email saying my order was SUCESSFULLY CANCELED. That had never happened before. EVER. It was also odd since I worked in customer service answering phones about stuff like this so I literally KNOW what the other end of the chat was like. I wondered why one Earth I got an auto-email saying that I’d cancelled my own order of something I’ve waited years to get? I hopped on this tablet I’m currently writing this blog on, and copied my transaction number, the email confirmation number, and all that shebang before going online and asking for help from online Amazon chat resources. When I went to chat in the Amazon rep window, I told the lady exactly what you’re reading now: that my pre-order was cancelled without my permission a month after I pre-ordered something. I was worried…Remember this was the first time I’d ever pre-order anything besides books off Amazon.
The lady on the other end of the chat, kind as she was, told me that since it was canceled she couldn’t do anything (remember that I was in the rep’s shoes doing that job too once upon a time…) so I’d had to go back and RE-pre-order it. I replied “OK” and did that. I got the second confirmation number of my order and the second “Thank you for buying blah, blah, blah” auto-email again. I sent it to the lady who confirmed, my order on her end. I asked if the order was really there and she replied “Yes, I see it. It will ship and arrive to you on this date.” I said, “Great! Bye!” My hope was once again restored. The end. sarcasm/ Yeah, right! I wouldn’t be writing this blog post if that was what really ended my frustrations.
THEN In June, 3 DAYS BEFORE the item was to ship, I got yet ANOTHER email saying my order of the wand as successfully canceled. I was angry. I really didn’t think this would be such a big problem. I’ve never had a pre-order problem with BOOKS. Why THIS wand and why NOW? So! I went back online, called up the same chat window with all my transaction numbers, order number, emails and literally everything except the wand I ordered in my hand ready, and opened another chat window. The FIRST guy was impatient. He couldn’t understand if I’d ordered it, didn’t order it, or even knew my own name. He basically showed me not everyone belongs in a job, any job, and some people should really just sit on their couch and stay quiet while the rest of the world moved on. Anyway, I shut that chat window down, sent a transcript to my email, and reopened another chat window to get another woman who was kind and respectable. She helped me get my wand pre-ordered AGAIN and told me that my order was complete AGAIN, and that my wand will be on my doorstep by RELEASE DAY (on Amazon, the release day was May 29, 2017). I was not exactly excited this time around, because that gave Amazon only 3 days to get their act together. I sighed with a heavy heart, worried, and replied “OK” again. Only 2 days, the day the item was to ship to me, the wand was CANCELED AGAIN. Yeah, by now I was livid. I was going to scream this out to someone because someone out there was intentionally screwing with me. Again. Trust me, I’m not a lady when I’m screaming my head off to make sure I got this wand. I had never had so much trouble over an order off Amazon in my life!!
SO! Taking a deep breath that didn’t help any, I got on the chat room representative for the … How many times now? FOUR? Seriously? So, I got on the chat room AGAIN with yet another person who said the obvious, that it was canceled (DUH!), and I went through the same ride again with “Ordering it” and “It will arrive blah, blah, blah…” By now I wasn’t even believing these people and I made it very clear I didn’t believe the person who told me it will arrive Monday, May 29th ON RELEASE DAY. This was a 2 to 3 month battle JUST to get the wand. What a pain in my ass! Overall, I really didn’t think the wand was going to be delivered THAT DAY.
SO! 24 hours later, guess what? Yep! I was back on the chat room waiting for a package that wasn’t going to arrive. Why? Because the DAY OR RELEASE I got an auto-email saying my order was cancelled. AGAIN. By now, as I’m watching EVERYONE ELSE who ordered off the same pre-order brag about their wand, I was sitting here wondering what the fuck was wrong with Amazon. I was going to punch someone. If I couldn’t do it in person, I was going to throw a fist at someone over the net.
SO! I did just that. I went onto the Amazon chat window, low and behold I got the SAME GUY as the impatient one who blew me off (according to my chat window transcripts) (Oh the fun) previously, and I was going to verbally smack him around some. I did just that…ON THE WAND’S RELEASE DAY which I was supposed to get the wand, but I didn’t. Seeing red, livid, frustrated, and on top of it all, pissed off to the point I was actually going to punch a wall, I screamed out my entire frustrations on the guy who blew me off. He told me to calm down. OHHH! NO! Not the right response to a woman. Ever! (Take a note of that every single guy out there! The LAST thing you tell a woman to do is “calm down” while she’s in a blind rage. If you get your junk kicked or punched, you earned it.) Anyway, I went into a blind rage over the wand, how it was cancelled on me more times than I could even fathom, and I needed to take my frustrations out on someone. Good thing it was the guy who blew me off before and not the nice lady who helped me. I told him exactly what I was feeling right down to if this order doesn’t get here TOMORROW I will be … Yes, I threw in the L word. Scary? Yes, I think I was.
So! The guy made the order FOR ME, put it on a 10% OFF the purchase FOR ME, AND FREE SHIPPING (the shipping alone was $28.99 to get it to me so fast) and had it arriving on that Friday, June 3rd. I was livid. I made him VOW to me that he’d get the wand to me. (Funny considering, he didn’t want to deal with me the first time around. Karma on him? Yes, I think so.) He gave me my tracking number, my order number, basically every number to prove I had it coming to my address on June 3rd. I even made him sit there on that chat until I got the confirmation email that I ordered it. Well, the email came and I settled from a raging boil to a simmering bubble of half contentness. When the guy asked me the normal “Is there anything else I can help you with?” question which, as a previous customer representative who worked in that job too, I knew it was just the typical one-liner to use before ending the chat. I was rude at this point and honestly, with the run-around, Amazon screwing with me just for the hell of it, I think I earned a second of being rude that time. I gave the flipper to my my screen (obviously the guy couldn’t see me), closed the chat window down without another word, and went back to my life after a very deep breath or three.
I came home from a day in town on Friday, June 3rd to find a HUGE box sitting on my front doorstep. It was HUGE. Like I’d never seen anything that big before. After ordering 50 paperback of my own novels from Amazon to sign and ship out to readers and bloggers, even that box didn’t compare to this one.
I threw my stuff on the dining room table, gently put the Amazon box with the little half-smile edges on my kitchen counter, pulled out a pair of scissors, and slowly with gentle kindness, started to open the tape. To my amazement, the huge wand in its huge box was even more beautiful in person. 2 months of fighting for this wand was worth it. I was a happy fangirl.
And that is why I’ll never pre-order anything Sailor Moon related, or toy related, from Amazon again. Ever! That was enough of a fiasco to make me realize that getting a proxy and ordering directly from Japan just to get it here in America is worth the extra shipping cost to fly my stuff over the ocean. Yes, it will be a tad big expensive, but anything to avoid THAT disaster bullcrap runaround will be worth it.
My overall rating for my first time using Amazon’s pre-order feature on something not book related is a 1-star out of 10-star.
Amazon, YOUR PRE-ORDERING SUCKS.