So, I have the TV. But this purchase certainly did not go the way I had expected.
Poor tracking notification:
After ~5 days without any tracking information update to my woot account, I contacted Woot support and received a reasonably prompt response. I was provided a waybill number and a tracking website to plug it into (feel free to check my previous post for exact details of the response).
The tracking details never actually updated -- it always read that it was in transit to hub. I called the carrier Monday and was told it was not in their warehouse but they expected it later that afternoon (sweet!). I was assured I would be contacted just as soon as they had it in hand in order to schedule delivery. The entire week passed with no tracking update or contact back. It was a busy week for me, so fine. Maybe they too are really busy or it arrived late. I did try contacting them via e-mail and phone once each during the week but never got new information and the e-mail went ignored response.
Do it yourself delivery:
I called them twice on Friday to confirm if the TV was in. my first call was right around noon -- I was told the TV was there but it was too late to schedule delivery. The agent was unclear as to how long it had been there, but I would need to wait until next Monday for someone to even call just to schedule a delivery date. Not wanting to wait another 4 - 5 days I offered to pick it up from them and save them the trouble. to this they said 'no problem', and that 'someone would call me to confirm it was ready to be picked up'. I waited till 5:35...called their office and got a recording that they closed @ 5:30 (really?!). I decide that I am not taking no for an answer anymore. I tracked down their after hours number and got a warehouse agent in the local hub to answer my call. After a small conversation he said I was welcome to come pick it up, which after 50 minutes of traffic and rain I did just that. Not how I wanted to spend Friday, but sometimes you just gotta do stuff you don't wanna.
I feel for the other Wooters out there waiting to get theirs:
Why do I feel for you? Because I saw the mess that was headed your way. After signing a delivery receipt the warehouse guy opened the bay door to reveal the utter mess that was my package (and yours too). He urged me to inspect the package since these arrived in such terrible condition (it was easy since the box flaps were hanging open from the lack of tape to secure them). He also pointed out that several of the boxes were totally crushed and figured there was no way the TVs could have survived. One of the ruined boxes had even fallen over and the TV had just slid right out onto the ground. My TV had literally no packing material or support. There was a bit of clear film over the TV edges (nothing on the screen) and there were some random cardboard bits flopping around with the remote, manual and stand. Given the location of my TV on the pallet I figure I was 'lucky' because my box was sandwiched between several other wooters TVs (thanks for letting me use your TV as packing support for mine).
My Final Take:
The company that was responsible for packaging these televisions did an absolutely terrible, awful, crap job. Any carrier with any sense would have flat out refused to take on any responsibilities for these. There is no way that packaging would protect the contents inside. A single band of tape across the top was never going to hold 70+ pounds of electronics inside either. Also, despite being insanely slow on shipping and updates, I feel bad for the carrier. Having worked in the logistics industry (indirectly) I expect that they are gonna get dinged for the damages when people start filing claims against their damaged televisions. I don't blame Woot much at all on this, but with that said, maybe Woot should ensure the products they sell are delivered to their customers on time and not broken. The buck stops with Woot, fair or not.
Inspect BEFORE you sign for it, make the guy wait if you have to.