Shopping through this website (the online version of Pokemon USA is www.pokemoncenter.com) has been the worst experience to date that I can recall from an online retailer. It has every horror story aspect you can picture from online buying, minus fraudulent charges to the credit card. Even without this aspect, I want to pull out my hair from sheer frustration and my husband is irate at the lack of customer service.
My husband used Pokemoncenter.com to pre-order the latest Pokemon games as well as the newest movie. For reference, the games were:
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Blue
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red
The movie was:
Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
The games and movie were pre-ordered on September 3, 2006. The games and movie were scheduled to be shipped [separately] out on September 19, 2006.
The games and the movie were separate orders. Since they were pre-orders, Pokemoncenter.com had promotional items included, namely toys with the movie, guides and stuffed animals with the games. As with any online order from this retailer, the charges were processed immediately and accurately.
The problem? Simple. We have not received the games, to date. Today is September 29, 2006. Shipping was standard, however, the movie arrived about a week ago complete with the items it was supposed to have. Two emails from my husband has resulted in no replies. Today, he attempted to call the phone number on the site (listed under the "Contact Us" link) and was connected directly to a female's voicemail. He left a message around 4:45pm EST. While I am hopeful that he will get a call before the end of their business day (advertised until 6pm EST on their website), I remain dubious. It is currently 5:50pm EST.
My husband has used this site before, with satisfactory results. Approximately a year ago, he pre-ordered the Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness Gamecube video game, and it arrived quickly and packaged appropriately. Charges were processed against his card correctly, and nothing was out of sorts.
In terms of site layout, PokemonCenter.com is colorful and easily navigable. Items are easy to find using the search feature, and pricing matches those of brick-and-mortar retailers. The advantage of using this site is that it is officially licensed by Pokemon USA, and therefore, often has items that may be difficult to find for your resident Pokemaniac. In short, it has any and all things Pokemon.
Order accuracy, for what we have received, has been correct. Hopefully, if the games ever do show up, they will include all of the special items that were promoted.
Customer service is awful, miserable, non-existent, and any other negative adjective you can imagine. In fact, if it wasn't for the human voice that my husband heard on the voicemail, I would be willing to wager it didn't even exist at all.
In short, if you are hard pressed to find a Pokemon item, this may be a source for you. However, it may be better to go through eBay or another online retailer. You may get your order just fine, but if you don't, good luck trying to get someone on the phone (or email!!) to straighten it out.
Update: The package of games arrived today, October 2nd, 2006. So that places almost two full weeks since the game's release. AND no word yet from Customer Care.