This isn't a rant - more of an observation, and a question.
I've seen tons of threads recently about whether or not a particular product has been received - which of course gives the impression that delivery dates aren't being communicated properly and customer expectations are higher than the service they are actually receiving.
I understand why people, who are part of a community, look to receive feedback - but why would someone else being in possession of their product have any bearing? (All it does is raise awareness of apparently poor service and communication.)
In a way, it's a little bit like standing on the corner 100 feet from the bus stop - looking down the road to see if the bus is coming. As if it will make it arrive faster.
First thing I'd do if I was expecting something and it hadn't arrived:
Pick up the phone and ask WHY it hasn't arrived.
Businesses on the internet are no different to say, a mail order catalogue firm. I suppose a lot of it has to do with expectations being badly managed, and the apparent "instant gratification" that people are used to.
There is a lesson in all this (buried somewhere) - that you can give better customer service, even if your service isn't really that good - by telling people what to expect, and then keeping the lines of communication open. If you can't keep your promise... tell your customers, as early as possible. They will thank you for it, and you won't end up with the adverse publicity that these types of forum posts can bring.
Summed up in two words: Manage expectations
There's a great book called The Richer Way, for anyone who wants to see what an award winning company thinks about great customer service.