Amazon has a pretty good scam going with Google Pixel 4/4XL pre-orders. If you were duped like me into buying from Amazon by pre-ordering the new device, you probably found out today that your order is now going to arrive a month later instead of by the end of the day. I purchased a white version of the phone from Amazon with the same deal, a $100 gift card – comparable to the Play Store $100 credit that was being offered last week, and a great release day delivery date last week when the device was announced.
So what is the scam? Well, if you are like me, today the shipping date slips to 1 to 1.5 months later with a new range of November 22 to December 15th. OK, I get it. Amazon sold something they didn’t have their hands on, and the supply chain failed or something, maybe they took too many orders, whatever. Sad. But the issue here is that they ship the $100 gift card the second you order the device. So you get a $100 card in the mail a day or 2 later, and READ THE FINE PRINT – NO REFUNDS OR RETURNS. WTF! Now I have a $100 forced purchase with Amazon, and no phone. I now get to choose from 2 terrible choices: wait forever for the device and get the deal they promised, or cancel the order and find it somewhere else and BE FORCED to spend $100 on Amazon. That is a SCAM. They probably sold a million devices, with 50% or more likely to cancel when they see the “Oh, sorry you aren’t getting this anytime soon” email, they rack up 50 million dollars in sales DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
I love me some Amazon goodness, and have been shopping with them since the early days of books only. This experience has really put me in a new place with them though. I think this is really a deliberate move on their part to drive sales knowing that they win, without having to provide an actual product. Maybe I’m wrong. But I’m guessing that there are a bunch of people out there that just got a mandatory $100 purchase forced on them today should they cancel and grab a Pixel somewhere else. Way to piss off a customer base Amazon, you do evil.