So, I decided rather late in the season to get my son an inexpensive digital camera for Christmas. I ordered it from Newgg, a company I've had great service from in the past. I bought a motherobard and CPU from them a few years ago; I've ordered various little things like flash drives and hard drives.
They took the order for a camera, case, memory cards, and card reader. I paid with PayPal; everything went through normally. The package went out; it is supposed to be delivered today. I wanted to make sure of that, since we're obviously getting pretty close to Christmas, and my family is also planning on going out of town. In fact, we're taking the train out of town to see family. The plan was for my son to enjoy taking pictures of the trip. So it has to be here, or there wasn't much point.
Today, the day that my UPS package I've been tracking is scheduled for delivery, I got a note saying that it was all just a joke... the package I've been tracking doesn't actually have a camera in it, and I should get a refund in two or three days. Oh, it does have a cheap little camera case in it, which I threw in just because they were shipping me the camera anyway. Which means I just paid $5.24 to ship a $10 camera case.
I'm scrambling to try find the camera locally. I'm fortunate in that my finances aren't that tight right now, but if they were, I'd be completely screwed, because i wouldn't be able to charge the replacement camera on my debit card until the PayPal refund went through.
I can't recall any company I've ever ordered from screwing up an order in quite this way. I mean, I've had items cancelled on me at the last minute, or delayed, but I've never, ever been charged for an item that was not actually shipped. I'm a bit boggled by just what kind of a failure in their IT infrastructure allowed the charge to go through. Wow!