The Nintendo Switch is out -- hooray! Unfortunately, some customers who pre-ordered from Amazon with a promise of launch-day delivery are getting the short end of the stick.
As you might imagine, people are pissed. According to a handful of reports on Twitter and Reddit, as well as a first-hand account from Gizmodo's reviews editor Alex Cranz, as of this afternoon, some Amazon pre-order customers have been left without a tracking code for their Switch shipment. Instead, they have been relegated to a "preparing for shipment" status from Amazon.
@AmazonHelp Preordered my Switch and Zelda BOTW CE on Jan 13th with GUARANTEED Mar 3rd Delivery. Still "Preparing for Shipment" Unacceptable
— Fractured Fissure (@FracturedDivide) March 3, 2017
So, my copy of Zelda is "Out for Delivery", but my Switch is still "Preparing for Shipment." HRMMMM.
— Greg Cashman (@outriderc) March 3, 2017
it is now 10 am on march third and my switch order on amazon is still saying "preparing for shipment"
— Digidestined Slug (@InternetSlug) March 3, 2017
This is the worse interaction I've ever had with Amazon shipping. Nintendo Switch
"Arriving today by 8pm
Preparing for Shipment"
— Rebur (@Chaos5061) March 3, 2017
Upon placement of her pre-order, our own Alex Cranz was told she'd receive her Switch by March 3rd. However, when she called Amazon's customer service department, she was told by Ryan, a member of the customer service leadership team, that it was "unlikely" the device would arrive by the end of today. (This is despite the fact that her tracking status says the device is "shipping soon" and should arrive by 8pm today.) While her credit card hasn't been charged yet, it has had a hold placed on it.
According to Ryan, the company had issues with its inventory. One user on Reddit was also apparently told that the company simply doesn't have the stock to ship, and that consoles for American customers won't arrive until March 7th at the earliest.
One Reddit user says that an Amazon Live Chat representative had this to say:
Thank you very much OK, I'm going to be 100% honest with you because I don't want to give you any false information. We've been receiving a lot of contacts about this issue. The problem is that all orders for the Nintendo Switch are being a little delayed since we still have not received any of them. We are still waiting and they are on their way to our facilities but we don't have any further information I do want to make it up to you for this inconvenience though So what I can do is this. I can add a promo certificate of $US50 ($66) to your account.
It's important to note, however, that the information from customer service reps isn't necessarily coming from Amazon itself, and that different representatives likely know different things. Moreover, not all Amazon pre-orders have had delivery issues; in fact, some customers in that same Reddit thread received shipping notification messages. Others also successfully ordered consoles through Amazon's Prime Now app.
Regardless, it appears that there may well be something amiss, and at least some unlucky Amazon users will likely spend the weekend without their new consoles. Of course, we've seen this kind of launch-day fuckery before, and Nintendo itself is no stranger to console shortages, most recently with the NES Classic Edition (which is still difficult to track down).
We've reached out to both Amazon and Nintendo for insight into the apparent fulfillment issues, but as of press time have not received a response. We'll update if we hear back.