I just sent them this. Pity.Dear Games Workshop,
I have been playing Warhammer 40000 since its Second Edition, and have always been loyal to the company. Despite - like many long-term players - being dismayed at disproportionate price hikes over the last decade-or-so in particular, and despite your apparent unwillingness to listen in any meaningful way to your 40K customer base, I have always striven whenever possible to buy my models and rulebooks directly from GW.
A last week I pre-ordered my copy of the new Sixth Edition rulebook. Like so many others I have been full of positive anticipation for it and the new direction in which I assume you will be nudging the game and the hobby, encouraged, of course, by your trailers and publicity for the launch. Imagine, therefore, my displeasure and disgruntlement at not receiving my pre-ordered rulebook today. This after having received an email on Wednesday 27th June informing me it had been shipped. I find this utterly, utterly unacceptable.
I live in a rural area. By no means am I in the back of beyond: I'm only 25 minutes from Plymouth - a major city, postal hub and (for that matter) GW store location. However, other family commitments, coupled with the cost of travel, parking etc. and an apparently misplaced faith in your ability to post a book to me in a reasonable amount of time meant that I knew I'd be unable to get to a GW store on the feted 'launch day', so I chose to take advantage of your pre-order service. In the past my use of this service has resulted in the receipt of your products in a very timely manner indeed - my copy of Codex: Imperial Guard, for example, arrived the day before its official launch. This made me a happy customer. To wait until an 11am post in order to discover I did not receive something posted three days ago and then be in a postition to be able to do nothing about it is simply not good enough.
I called your helpline, and a pleasant gentleman called ++++ reassured me that I ought to receive my order "in the first half of next week" - "hopefully Monday", and explained that they don't usually get products to home addresses for launch days, suggesting that I ought to have gone to a store to pick it up. He also provided me with a tracking reference (although what help that will be on a Sunday when nothing travels in the post or on Monday when I'm hard at work I don't know) and (only) after listening to my complaint gave me this address to which I might email my thoughts on the matter. Please be clear: my grief is not with ++++.
I fully anticipate and appreciate that there would have been some notice/tickbox/small-print etc. advising me that delivery time might be upto 28 days or somesuch, but what was certainly lacking was a HUGE warning clearly stating something to the effect of:
"IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE THIS PRE-ORDERED PRODUCT ON ITS LAUNCH DAY, PLEASE ENSURE YOU GET IT SENT TO A GW STORE, AS IT PROBABLY WILL NOT GET TO A HOME ADDRESS ON THE RIGHT DAY".
Maybe this could even come with an addendum: "...EVEN IF IT GETS POSTED THREE DAYS EARLIER AND YOU LIVE ON THE UK MAINLAND".
Please forgive the flippancy there, but I hope you get a sense of my frustration (and this really is the crux of my complaint): If it had been made clear that I probably wouldn't receive my pre-order on or before the advertised date then I wouldn't have pre-ordered it. In fact, I would have planned to visit GW Plymouth or GW Exeter and I almost certainly would have purchased more of your products whilst in store.
In short, you have lost the faith of someone who really ought to be a valued customer; you have lost money I would have spent; you have almost certainly lost my direct custom, which will now most likely go to independent traders who seem not only to be more friendly but also a damned sight more efficient; and you have lost an awful lot of goodwill in someone who has always championed your work in a rather public and widely-read context, albeit anonymously.
I respect that you still run your business primarily from the UK, and I applaud you for the friendliness of your customer services team. I only hope that (a) someone has taken the time to read and understand this complaint, and (b) someone has the wherewithal to reply to me personally. I hope you are able to take my comments on board, and I look forward to your response.