About a month ago, I was looking through my issue of Real Simple. They had this nice feature - 'gifts under $10, $20, $50, etc'. I saw a book that my brother-in-law would love Best By Number at SportingNews.com. He's a big sports fan and I think he would really enjoy it.
I ordered it on November 19th, and got a confirmation email right away. I didn't think about if for a week or so because I figured that it would take a week or so to ship, plus with Thanksgiving, that it would take longer. I forgot about it last week until my husband mentioned that we had not got it yet. I went to their website and send them an email - this was either Thursday or Friday of last week.
Because we're cutting it close, and they had no emailed me, I looked up their number and called them today. The first time I called, the guy on the phone told me that the book was a pre-order and that they didn't know when it would be in stock. When I ordered the book, there was no mention of that sort of thing. He did offer to cancel it for me, but I told him that I had to talk to my husband first, to see if he had any other gift ideas in mind.
The second time I called (to cancel the order), I asked the man I spoke to (Eric) why there was nothing sent out to the people who had ordered it - if you look at the book now, it said that the order placed after 11/20/06 won't be shipped until well into January. I ordered mine the day before the deadline. He did apologize and say that was pretty bad service of his company and that he was sorry. He couldn't guarantee that the book would be in stock before the 25th, but did mention that if I kept my order that they could give me express shipping for free. He also mentioned that Amazon.com or a local bookstore might have it in stock. While he was very nice and understanding, it really pisses me off that *someone* wouldn't think to fire off an email mentioning to people that it won't be in before the 25th.