On-line Pre-Orders: Apple Leopard Vs. Guitar Hero III
I recently pre-ordered two items on-line. Apple Leopard and Red Octane's Guitar Hero III for the Nintendo Wii.
Something unique that these two orders share in common is that I ordered them both directly from the Manufacturer. Also, both items included free shipping.
Unfortunately that is where the differences ended (both should rock as well I guess).
I pre-ordered Leopard from Apple's on-line store 4 days before it's release. Apple had a promotion for free shipping and guaranteed delivery on Friday October 26th (the in-store release date for Leopard). They shipped it overnight and I had it in my hands when I got home from lunch. By the end of work I was up and running with an updated Mac... and happy. The next day I went to my local Mac store and bought Apple's iLife & iWork '08 products suites to compliment my upgrade.
In contrast, I pre-ordered Guitar Hero III on September 4th (about 54 days before the release date of the game) from Red Octane's on-line store. Their bundle offered free ground shipping. No guaranteed delivery. I have been secure in knowing I would have my hands on the game regardless of the demand for the game and supply in the stores. Plus I was ordering a sweet bundle.
Flash forward to today and I am seeing tons of reports of Guitar Hero III being out and launch pics from the weekend, etc. And I am wondering where my copy is. I use Red Octane's order lookup and find my order has not shipped. I sent an e-mail to the support team and I get a generic response that my e-mail has been received and will be handled when possible. Tonight I check the status again and find my order has been shipped and I have a tracking number. I will have my order on Wednesday (Halloween, cool).
Why couldn't customer pre-orders ship the week prior to arrive in sync with retail stores? Is that too much to ask?
Also, there are no stand alone Wii guitars for sale to have 2-player games yet. As Apple was able to capture some additional cash with me buying some supporting software, I am anxious (to say the least) to get a 2nd guitar. Red Octane's support crew only sends you a generic canned "No announcements" response when you query about an extra guitar. I hope they get into the game soon.
While I may come off being very bitter against Red Octane for not having my order here earlier (and I am), I am mostly just pointing out how well Apple operates and serves their customers.