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Home » Consumer, Featured, Shopping Comparison

The Nintendo Wii Story – A Circuit City and FedEx SmartPost Shipping Tragedy

Submitted by on September 13, 2007 – 2:11 pm22 Comments

I often post from the point of view of eithier a developer or an industry analyst. This post is not one of them.

Lately, I’ve run into trouble as an online consumer. Specifically getting shipments. Here is a real-life post from being an everyday consumer:

I ordered a Nintendo Wii from on August 30th. I got it right before they sold out. Everyone here was really excited about it. Well, it still hasn’t been delivered yet. Here is my FedEx SmartPost tracking log:

Today is only one day after the estimated delivery date, but it hasn’t moved from the Edison NJ warehouse in 4 business days. I’m starting to think something is wrong so I decided I’d try to find out.

I started out by calling FedEx.

FedEx Rep 1:
Rep 1: Thanks for calling FedEx…
Me: Hi, I’m trying to track a SmartPost package…
Rep 1: We don’t track FedEx SmartPost, you have to call your local post office.

Ok, calling the post office

Local Post Office Rep (Pat):

Pat: Do you have a tracking ID?
Me: I believe so. (Read the number).
Pat: That looks to be a FedEx number. We probably haven’t received any information from FedEx yet.

Back to square 1. I call FedEx again.

FedEx Rep 2:
Rep 1: Thanks for calling FedEx…
Me: Hi, I’m trying to track a SmartPost package…
Rep 2: Let me transfer you to SmartPost department.
Me: (Thinking why the hell couldn’t you do that the first time?)

Wait to be transferred…

SmartPost Rep (Mary):
Mary: Hi, how can I help you?
Me: (Explains the whole situation)
Mary: We are a 3rd party organization that hands off packages from FedEx to the Post office for finally delivery. We usually have a 1-3 business day turn around once it enters the Sortation (that can’t be a real word) facility. Since it hasn’t moved since September 7th, I would say there is something wrong with your package. Perhaps the package, packaging or label was damaged. I would call Circuit City and tell them you talked to us, and we feel that the package has been damaged or lost.

Great, now to call Circuit City…

Circuit City Rep (Michelle):
Michelle: You can only report lost after 15 business days from shipment.
Me: So I can’t do anything until September 20th?
Michelle: I’m sorry sir, but we can’t report it lost until 15 business days from the shipment.

End of Story

I’m still hopeful that I might get my package, but this whole thing has turned into a nightmare. I thought I’d save a couple bucks for free shipping. I should know better. Now some kid who works at the Edison FedEx sortation facility is probably playing my stolen Nintendo Wii right now; or maybe its on the back off an unmarked truck to be sold on the black market… who knows, but at least I’m optimistic.

Lessons learned

  • Never use free shipping from Circuit City again.
  • Never receive or ship using FedEx SmartPost (I’m not the only one that has problems).
  • Stop shopping online its not worth it =)
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  • Nathan

    Wow, I think we both ordered from the same batch of circuit city wii’s online and ran into the same disgusting problem. I called fedex a week ago. The guy said he couldn’t find anything under my name, address, or tracking number. He never mentioned smartpost was different. I figured it out myself, called them, and they said they agreed my package appeared to have gone in the wrong direction, but that it was back on track now. My fingers are crossed for it arriving sometime before 2008.

    September 14, 2007 11:35 AM Shipment Accepted SEATTLE, WA *
    September 14, 2007 8:55 AM Electronic Shipping Info Received SEATTLE, WA *
    September 14, 2007 4:30 AM Sortation Center Departure KENT, WA
    September 11, 2007 12:12 AM Sortation Center Departure NEW BERLIN, WI
    September 6, 2007 2:01 PM Sortation Center Arrival KENT, WA
    September 5, 2007 9:41 PM Sortation Center Departure SACRAMENTO, CA
    September 3, 2007 3:27 PM Sortation Center Arrival SACRAMENTO, CA
    September 3, 2007 12:05 PM Sortation Center Departure EARTH CITY, MO
    August 31, 2007 8:14 PM Sortation Center Arrival EARTH CITY, MO
    August 31, 2007 5:30 PM Pickup MARION, IL

  • Marc Mezzacca

    Well at least yours made it past the “Sortation” center!

    Are you from Seattle? By the looks of it, it has been handed over to the USPS.

  • Victor

    My package was shipped 16 days ago. It’s been picked up in my city for 9 days. I went to the post office hoping they could do something, but the package wasn’t there. This is it’s route. Estimated in home was 9/7/07, which was 10 days ago.

    September 6, 2007 12:35 PM USPS Entry MONTEREY, CA
    September 6, 2007 11:47 AM Shipment Accepted MONTEREY, CA *
    September 6, 2007 5:46 AM Electronic Shipping Info Received MONTEREY, CA *
    September 6, 2007 1:00 AM Sortation Center Departure SACRAMENTO, CA
    September 2, 2007 8:25 PM Sortation Center Arrival SACRAMENTO, CA
    September 1, 2007 3:17 AM Sortation Center Departure NEW BERLIN, WI
    August 30, 2007 6:16 PM Sortation Center Arrival NEW BERLIN, WI
    August 30, 2007 6:16 PM Pickup WAUSAU, WI

    Next time, I’ll use DHL. I used their slowest service once, and my package went from New York to California in a quick 4 days.

  • Daniel

    Did your package ever show up, because Im now extremely worried. Ive read so many bad smart post reviews and Its too late to change my shipping on an xbox 360. I swear, if that thing doesnt get here by the quoted time and they do that to me, Im going to get my parents to file a law suit! (Im 15) :-p

  • Celena

    Man, I wish I would’ve read this two days ago…I just ordered a Wii from Circuit City and it already shipped…is it too late to cancel my order?! It’s supposed to arrive on October 11th, but after reading these posts, I am not very hopeful!:-( What a disappointment!

  • Jonathan

    Yeah I hear ya, Celena. I ordered my Wii bundle from Circuit City online Sept. 28 (Friday). I got the game and controllers on Monday and was actually really surprised, so I thought I’d check the status of the actual Wii console (and I don’t understand why they didn’t just ship it the same way as the controllers/game):

    Status: Electronic Shipping Info Received
    Est. in Home 10/05/2007
    Date Time Description Location
    October 2, 2007 12:37 AM Electronic Shipping Info Received OVERLAND PARK, KS *
    October 1, 2007 8:52 PM Sortation Center Departure EARTH CITY, MO
    September 28, 2007 8:34 PM Sortation Center Arrival EARTH CITY, MO
    September 28, 2007 5:30 PM Pickup MARION, IL

    It hasn’t been nearly as long as these other people have had to wait, but seeing the package steadily progress the first two days and then stop at a sortation center has got me worried. I guess it’s at least good that USPS got the shipping info…which seems to be more than a lot of people have received. This sucks. I wish people would post updates of whether or not they ever got their package instead of just complaining about stuff, getting the rest of us worried, and then leaving us in the dark. It’s like a horribly directd film.

    For all of you who read these posts and are now worried about your OWN package(s), keep an eye out for my follow-up. I’ll post an update within the next couple days and let you know if anything changes…

  • Jonathan

    Wow…that’s funny. The status changed WHILE I was typing the above comment.

    October 3, 2007 5:14 AM Shipment Accepted OVERLAND PARK, KS *

    I don’t know what that means, but I’ll keep everybody posted.

  • Jonathan

    My package was delivered today at 11:00 AM. Here’s the current update as far as what the tracking website says at the time my package was delivered. THERE IS HOPE!

    Status: Shipment Accepted
    Est. in Home 10/05/2007

    October 3, 2007 5:14 AM Shipment Accepted OVERLAND PARK, KS *
    October 2, 2007 1:17 PM USPS Entry OVERLAND PARK, KS
    October 2, 2007 12:37 AM Electronic Shipping Info Received OVERLAND PARK, KS *
    October 1, 2007 8:52 PM Sortation Center Departure EARTH CITY, MO
    September 28, 2007 8:34 PM Sortation Center Arrival EARTH CITY, MO
    September 28, 2007 5:30 PM Pickup MARION, IL

  • Sue

    I placed an order for a Wii from Circuit City on Sept. 27.

    I received an email from Circuit City saying that it was shipped Fedex SmartPost on Sept. 28. Eleven days ago.

    It is allegedly shipping from Walnut, CA – which is 40 miles away from where I live. Yes, less than an hour away.

    As of Oct. 9, I have not received it. The FedEx website says only “Carrier Notification Made”. According to FedEx, there is no record of them receivng this package.

    Circuit City’s customer service center says there is nothing that can be done until the package is “late” by their standards. As someone mentioned in another post, “late” to Circuit City means 15 business days. 15 business days to travel 40 miles.

    Of course, they charged my credit card on Sept. 28. That part went without a hitch.

    Doubtful that I will ever receive it. Either Circuit City overextended themselves on Wii consoles or the package was stolen before it ever got to FedEx.

    Thank you Circuit City.

  • Sherry

    A same story here. I placed my order for wii on 9/27 The FedEx website says “Carrier Notification Made” since 9/28.

  • Brian

    I ran into the exact same problem with the Kent sortation center. I ordered a WII and some other accessories on Sep 28th. I got the WII on the 10th, but the accessories are at the sortation center since the 5th. I live about 30 miles from there. Called Fedex, who told me to call the post office, which there is only an automated system. Then I called Circuit City, got diconnected. Called again and am now on hold and was given the 15 business day spiel. I agree to never accept the free shipping again

  • Sue

    Updating my 10/9 post re Wii that allegedly was shipped on 9/28 from Walnut, CA but never made it past “Carrier Notification Made”. As of 10/19, Circuit City finally admits that the package is “lost” and will issue a refund. We’ll see how long it takes Circuit City to actually process the refund. Have disputed the charge with Amex. I will never buy anything from Circuit City again. Maybe one of these days they’ll realize that they have a huge theft problem.

  • Jeff

    I also ordered a Wii from and have yet to receive it. According to Fedex tracking information, it almost got here. Pines Annex post office is less than two miles from here. Same old story, the post office claims it never arrived, Fedex claims it delivered it to the post office, Circuit City says it hasn’t been long enough for a refund, and the dirtbag thief sells my Wii on Ebay. I’m going to report this to the US Postal Inspection Service, y’all should do the same if you haven’t already.

    Oct 17, 2007 12:00 PM USPS Entry PINES ANNEX, FL
    Oct 17, 2007 12:04 AM Sortation Center Departure ORLANDO, FL
    Oct 16, 2007 9:15 PM Electronic Shipping Info Received HOLLYWOOD, FL *
    Oct 15, 2007 3:36 PM Sortation Center Arrival ORLANDO, FL
    Oct 15, 2007 8:44 AM Sortation Center Departure ATLANTA, GA
    Oct 12, 2007 2:53 PM Sortation Center Arrival ATLANTA, GA
    Oct 12, 2007 2:54 AM Sortation Center Departure EARTH CITY, MO
    Oct 11, 2007 9:13 PM Sortation Center Arrival EARTH CITY, MO
    Oct 11, 2007 5:30 PM Pickup MARION, IL

    * indicates data from USPS

  • Ramkumar

    very bad shipping.
    very bad customer service
    never buy from circuit city
    Even after waiting for 16 days i am told that they can only do any thing about my order only after 15 business days

  • Chris

    I ordered a Wii bundle online last Friday, 11/9. I unfortunately did not know about Fed Ex Smartpost until after learning that the tracking numbers are weird on the Wii portion of my order. I checked via my order number online and it says, shipped 11/9, expected date of delivery 11/30. Do you think it is a coincidence that the delivery date is 3 weeks (aka 15 business days) after the shipping date? I’m guessing they know that a lot of these are getting lost/stolen, and they want to save themselves the time on the customer service calls. Ugh.
    Luckily, I got a 2nd Wii at Target yesterday for my niece and nephews. If ours doesn’t come by the end of November, then I can keep that one for us – bc they don’t know I got it yet.

  • seth


  • dimitri

    so i bought 3 mp3 players over the weekend. 2 for my sister and dad from, and a different one from these were both last friday. shipped on sat and woot shipped yesterday. now, i never heard of smartpost, but i kept trying to get into the tracking system, but it wouldnt work, so i decided to research this smartpost thing. now im terrified. both packages need to come asap, and now i dont know what im going to do. the things from woot are being sent directly to my house, where my dad would take them to my sister when he visits her in 2 weeks. and me, out of the 5 times ive bought somthing from, their free shipping would take one day. but for some reason, this time, they do it smartpost, so now i need it to get here before 12/5, because im having it sent to my dorm 5 hrs away from my house, and im leaving for home that day. so if i dont get it in time, it would be a total of 40 days before i would get my package. i really hope im one of the lucky ones.

  • Inna

    My First and it was worst. I made an order on Dec 12 for a Helicopter for my son and till today it is on some station in Atlanta, GA waiting for directions. The funny thing is that I paid an extra 8 dollars for shipping 3-5 business days.
    Can anybody tell me if there is any US Department where all these stories can be sorted?

  • David Knight

    OH how I wish I’d read this all before order a Christmas gift from Circuit City! My package has been stuck with FedEx SmartPost in West Virginia since 12/20… original delivery date was 12/21! Changed to 12/28 and it hasn’t moved since the 20th of December! Simply awful! This service is terrible, I can’t even get anyone on the telephone.

  • rex07

    i wish i had read this b4 ordering my xmas present from circuit city.the thing i really hate is that the website said standard shipping is free, if its free then why did they make me pay 6.05 for shipping.any way the estimated date for the arrival was on 12/24 and i still dont have it, its bee 11 days since it was is the tracking history.
    Date Time Description Location
    December 28, 2007 7:12 AM Sortation Center Departure ATLANTA, GA
    December 22, 2007 12:42 AM Sortation Center Arrival ATLANTA, GA
    December 21, 2007 11:41 PM Sortation Center Departure EARTH CITY, MO
    December 19, 2007 11:33 PM Sortation Center Arrival EARTH CITY, MO

  • Jason

    I guess this is something that is not new to FedEx. I ordered a package that was shipped on the 12th of December. It was received into my area on the 19th but I still have not received it. I called FedEx several times and was sent to a answering machine. I have left several messages over the course of the last few days and have still not heard from them. I would recommend to everyone that they NEVER do business with FedEx unless they do not want to get their merchandise and receive no support in finding it.

    Here is a copy of the fedex tracking that they supply.

    Manifest ID: 2445018
    Status: Sortation Center Arrival
    Est. in Home 12/21/2007
    Date Time Description Location
    December 19, 2007 4:57 PM Sortation Center Arrival KENT, WA
    December 18, 2007 6:54 AM Sortation Center Departure BROOKLYN PARK, MN
    December 14, 2007 3:45 PM Sortation Center Arrival BROOKLYN PARK, MN
    December 13, 2007 1:21 PM Sortation Center Departure INDIANAPOLIS, IN
    December 12, 2007 8:33 PM Sortation Center Arrival INDIANAPOLIS, IN
    December 12, 2007 12:00 AM Pickup FORT WAYNE, IN

    * indicates data from USPS
    Save results as text file

  • Michelle

    I order a Wii bundle & Rockband bundle for Wii from Circuit City as well. I checked the tracking number on USPS and it stated “shipment accepted” and I did recieve my Wii that same day, BUT the Rockband bundle stated “shipment accepted” too and I DID NOT recieve that. Does anyone know what “shipment accepted” means? I even asked my mailman and he said there were no other deliveries for me that day at the post office. Any advice?

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