Change Payment Card On Amazon Pre-Order, Lose Your Shipping Date

It’s too late for Jared, who won’t get his copy of Mass Effect 3 until Friday, the poor thing. (Other people who placed pre-orders got theirs yesterday.) But he wants everyone else to learn from his mistake. If you pre-order an item from Amazon, but change your method of payment for the order before it ships, you’ll lose your spot in line and your release-day shipping. Sure, this usually doesn’t matter all that much, but we’re talking about a game here.

He wrote in last week:

I had a pre-order for a physical copy of the Mass Effect 3 Collector’s Edition with since July 26th. When I placed the pre-order I had opted for Amazon’s release date shipping option. Unfortunately, last month my debit card that was used as payment for the pre-order got canceled because of a security breach at another merchant.

Today I remember to check the pre-order since Mass Effect 3 releases on the 6th and I see my old debit card is still on the order. I update my payment method with my new card. But wait… what’s this? Delivery date of March 9th?

Turns out if you change your payment method on a sold-out pre-order you lose your release date shipping. Not even Amazon customer service can bring it back. At the very least they waived the $3.99 I would have otherwise had to pay for overnight shipping (Prime member). I can’t place the pre-order with another merchant as everybody’s sold out of this edition of the game.

At this point I’m thoroughly annoyed, had I known this would happen I would have placed my pre-order with a brick and mortar Gamestop where you can change the payment method when you go pick the game up.

Someone prefers Gamestop over Amazon for something? Wait, am I still logged in to Consumerist’s e-mail account? Yep, I am.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Echomatrix says:

    The system probably has to reenter the order into their system. If you e-mail customer they might be able to upgrade shipping. I wouldn’t necessarily hold it against them since you can cancel and pick it up locally still.

  2. Total Casual says:

    If he had to *absolutely* play it on the 6th, buying at a physical outlet is the only way to go. End of discussion.

    • MMD says:

      Except that most people who placed pre-orders received it yesterday, as *advertised*.

      • Charmander says:

        But most people didn’t change the details of their orders at the last minute.

        • MMD says:

          I can see this if he’d changed the shipping address or the item quantity. But why should changing the card number affect the ship date? They don’t charge the card until the item ships.

    • GrandizerGo says:

      Not true at all.
      Amazon ships out items to be delivered on the release day all of the time.
      I get games, books and movies that way all the time.

      • Total Casual says:

        This happens for me too, but we will never have the *certainty* that the guy in the article expects.

        Although… what if the truck delivering copies to Gamestop crashes…

    • Geekybiker says:

      I got to play on the 5th with no risk of it selling out. Digital distribution FTW.

  3. baineschile says:

    Go buy it at Gamestop NOW. When the game arrives in the mail from Amazon, return that one to Gamestop, still in package. Viola!

    • GrayMatter says:

      What does a musical instrument have to do with things?

      • nocar says:

        Voi·là vs. Viola

        Used to call attention to or express satisfaction with a thing shown or accomplished.

    • Straspey says:

      VIOLA [vee-oh-luh] ‚ÄÇ

      Origin vi·o·la

      1 [vee-oh-luh] noun

      1.a four-stringed musical instrument of the violin family, slightly larger than the violin; a tenor or alto violin.

      2.a labial organ stop of eight-foot or four-foot pitch, giving tones of a penetrating string-like quality.

      Origin: 1715–25;

      And – voil√† — there you have it.


    • BuntaFujiwara says:

      The article doesn’t state it, but it refered to a “sold out preorder”, which probably means he pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition, which all stores both brick and mortar and online had sold out of months ago. I had to order it on Amazon myself because GameStop, Wal-Mart and Best Buy were all sold out of pre-orders for it.

      He probably had no choice but to stick with Amazon because you couldn’t get it any other way. That being said, Amazon just got a small amount of them back in so, so who knows. Also, I’ve NEVER not gotten a game from Amazon that I pre-ordered, I’ve had multiple instances with Best But/GameStop where they didn’t get the game in, or enough of the game. So in my experience, Amazon only takes pre-orders on what they’ll actually get.

  4. mrvw says:

    I enjoy videogames quite a bit, but i can’t get past the fact he preordered this last July.
    I’ve never preordered a game that far in advance……..

    Other than that, that information is good to know,

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Maybe this wouldn’t be the case if the payment method was changed further away from the shipping date?

    • macdude22 says:

      My Debit Card Expired last month and I remembered to change the number a couple weeks ago with amazon. My Release Day shipping on the preorder was not affected.

      • katarzyna says:

        Possibly because they weren’t sold out, so there wasn’t a queue for the item?

        • macdude22 says:

          Probably, I was just confirming AlteredBeast’s hypothesis that changing the payment method further out wouldn’t have caused a delay. I had that exact situation.

    • Preyfar says:

      This happened to me. I lost my former debit card, and updated it on Amazon. Deleted the card outright, and added the new one. However, Amazon didn’t update the billing for the pre-order… and given this happened 5 months ago, I didn’t think I’d have to update it.

      So I got hammered by the same thing.

  6. sirwired says:

    If I were to hazard a guess, it’s because Amazon doesn’t want people selling pre-order slots. I’ll bet they don’t allow you to change the delivery address either.

  7. Tyanna says:

    First world problems…….

    • MMD says:

      Third rate troll.

    • bfwc07 says:

      …as would describe almost every article on this site. I’d suggest any “first world problems” post gets an automatic disemvoweling, along with a link to websites and message boards about third world starvation for those who find consumer issues too trivial.

  8. ganzhimself says:

    Eh, I had a pre-order from Amazon for ME 3’s N7 Collector’s Edition as well and I guess pre-ordering eight months and twenty-nine days before the game’s release was not enough to get it on release day either (who’s counting, right?). It’s coming today, so there’s that. First time in 6+ years of doing business with Amazon that they let me down. I was downright annoyed, but I went out and bought a copy at a local store and will just have to flip the one from Amazon now.

    • ganzhimself says:

      Oh, I nearly forgot to mention after sending some strongly worded emails to Amazon I did get a $10 credit for my troubles. That was a nice gesture I suppose.

    • blinky says:

      Do people know how lame it is to be whining about not getting a game on release day?

      • ganzhimself says:

        Do people know how lame it is to, well, to put it bluntly, be an asshole?

        • bfwc07 says:

          There’s definitely something fun about playing a game on release day, just like seeing a midnight or first day show of a new movie, or listening to a new album the day it comes out, especially after anticipating the release.

        • whylime says:

          I think you’re the one who’s coming off as an asshole. Yes, it sucks that you didn’t get your game on release day, but this is first time Amazon has messed up in the 6+ years that you’ve been doing business. No only are you whining online about how they “let you down,” but you had to send them a strongly worded email too? And you “suppose” a $10 credit is a nice gesture? Really, it was only *one* day late. Give them a break. Shit happens.

  9. feetmonkey says:

    That doesn’t make sense. Hubby did the same thing – preordered the game and changed the method of payment before it shipped (although maybe 1-2 weeks before shipment). He was playing it last night.

  10. BlkSwanPres says:

    This is a strange situation, I have changed my payment method closer to ship date without problems. Hmmm very strange.

  11. rrbrown3 says:

    I changed my payment method on Sunday for the Collector’s Edition and I didn’t have any issues, still received my game yesterday. Must have been some sort of glitch in Amazon’s system that made it think the order was being entered as new.

  12. Captain Spock says:

    Fortunately I decided to play through the first 2 games again first… so no issue! (well the issue was I couldn’t find my game saves to import)

  13. Pete the Geek says:

    This is a consumer advocacy website and receiving a pre-ordered game (or anything else) late due to the merchant’s undisclosed policy IS a big deal. “Turns out if you change your payment method on a sold-out pre-order you lose your release date shipping. Not even Amazon customer service can bring it back”. Amazon customer service staff even went the extra mile to give this customer lousy service by passing on an opportunity to correct this absurd situation!

    • MrEvil says:

      Looks like Amazon’s order display is the one that messed up. I ended up getting my game Yesterday.

  14. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Amazon also debits your gift card balance for Subscribe-and-Save orders whether you want them to or not. One-time orders can be placed on a credit card even if you have a gift card balance, preserving that gift card balance for a special treat, but apparently Amazon insists that I spend my holiday gift cards on cat food. >:|

    Oh well, less impulse spending for me at Amazon, I guess.

  15. Kusac says:

    I had pre-ordered Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning last September because I had received a 25% birthday discount on the Origin site, to be received on the release date, February 7th. Nothing was changed during this time, I had even received an email the week before stating that it had been shipped. I received it on Friday the 10th instead of the 7th. Because of that, I no longer have faith in online pre-ordering, I’ll be going back to the stores in my city for future pre-ordering.

  16. HeyThereKiller says:

    Same thing happened to me… pre-ordered on 11/16, changed the shipping address two weeks ago, got bumped from release day shipping. Customer service waived the $3.99 overnight shipping charge, but a week later I got an email saying that I was bumped back up to release day so it ended up not mattering.

  17. MrEvil says:

    Jared here, Amazon managed to ship the game Monday evening and it arrived on my doorstep yesterday. I stayed up until 2AM playing. Looks like my suggestion to the CSR to not have payment method changes alter release date delivery was taken to heart. However, just be careful when making changes to an online pre-order.

  18. pop top says:

    Somewhat off-topic and possible ME3 spoilers ahead but… After hearing all the shitty things they’ve done to ME3 (the MMA fighter character, Tali’s face being a sexy elf, Joker and EDI having sex, etc.), I’m just not excited to play this game anymore. And I say this as a huge ME fan. I’ll wait for some non-paid-for reviews to come out.

  19. Preyfar says:

    The EXACT same thing happened to me, except Amazon /CANCELLED/ my order to “fix it”. The Collector’s edition was sold out, and they cancelled it… telling me to re-order. The next available copy was $270.

    LUCKILY for me, Amazon got more in stock, but I was enraged. I’d had it on pre-order for nine months, lost the debit card I pre-ordered with… but they wouldn’t let me change it. Even their CSRs couldn’t change it. =|

    I was severely miffed.

  20. farker says:

    The real lesson here is…never use a debit card to pay for something online.

  21. LogicalOne says:

    Pre-order? Pre-order? What kind of word is that? Ordering before you order? When you are done pre-ordering this game, haven’t you ordered it?

    Stop the madness!: pre-order, pre-boarding, pre-registering, pre-paying…arrrg!!

    • ganzhimself says:

      It’s just really a place in line at Amazon since you don’t pay for it until it ships. I can see how they just dropped orders or moved people’s priority status around… No one actually paid for it until it was “ready to ship” in their system. Other retailers actually require a deposit or payment in full for pre-orders, which should avoid issues like this from ever happening. If they had offered the option to pay in advance I certainly would have.

    • MMD says:

      You’re ordering before there’s a physical item to ship. Since most things that are ordered already exist (food at a restaurant, coffee at Starbucks, physical items from Amazon), pre-ordering refers to something non-standard (ordering something that doesn’t exist yet).

      Pre-boarding means boarding before the standard boarding everyone else does.

      So, it’s actually pretty logical, LogicalOne. Why does it bother you so much?

  22. Not Given says:

    I preordered a DVD at Amazon on the first day it was orderable, the order said what date I would get it and the release date. As the months went on people I know who preordered after me got an earlier arrival date. My date kept getting pushed back the whole time. People who ordered on the release date got theirs a couple of weeks before I got mine. It really pissed me off.

  23. SerenityDan says:

    I had to change payment methods for the Collector’s edition on Monday and I still got it release date. Strange. What’s stranger is that that I’m on here instead of playing it… bye.

  24. Telekinesis123 says:

    This is exactly like what happened to me with Dark Souls Collectors Edition on Amazon. I wanted to use an airmiles promotion for amazon so I had to switch out my card to my amex, I asked them beforehand if it was ok to do this and they gave me the OK. Then when I cancelled my order at their advice and tried to re order it said they were “sold out” and I lost my pre-order and the limited collectors edition, which had shortages everywhere and still don’t have. I asked then to fix it as obviously if I had it before and they were going to deliver it then they had one, it didn’t disappear …”sorry sir but there is nothing we can do”. What a massive failure for my first time re ordering a game.

  25. MPD01605 says:

    Maybe he should have waited until it tried to ship and the payment failed? In theory, he’d get an email asking him to update payment and then he can select or enter a new one and it should ship the next day. It should just hold the shipment until payment is remitted. Maybe it means a day’s delay, probably depends on the timing.

    But that’s only happened to me once some years ago so I’m just guessing its relevance today.

  26. adamwade says:

    This is not universally true. I do this all the time and have never gotten a delay over it. From other posts, it seems that this title is having shipping/availability issues – I can tell you I’ve done this at least fifty times over the years and never had this happen. In fact, recently, I had an order that was packed to ship for release date, the card was declined (I had not updated expiration date), and I fixed it a few hours after Amazon notified me and it STILL got to me on release day. Sounds like this is an isolated incident and it’s definitely not policy.