I'm someone who has (had?) long-pending orders for pre-arrival wines that won't be filled. My exposure isn't huge, but I have skin in the game. I just re-read the entire thread (slow work day here), and here are some rambling thoughts.
I do wish I'd paid more attention to this thread at the time. I might have acted sooner. Honestly, I thought it was the same old debate over PC's business model, and I tuned it out. Damn you, thread drift.
Of course, the thread did drift, starting in March 2015 and accelerating in September 2015. But I missed all of that. And I didn't act until I finally read the WS stories. By then, it was too late.
Starting in mid-December, I placed numerous calls to PC, sent many emails, and last week, I finally received a response from PC. They offered me a refund minus a 15% restocking fee. Thursday evening, I was told my refund had been "submitted" -- whatever that means -- but that PC couldn't say when it would issue. Maybe my refund check is pre-arrival?
Re-reading the thread, I agree that there was significant pushback whenever someone ITB raised questions about PC. And seeing that, I can understand why those ITB would have been reluctant to offer their thoughts. Which, with the benefit of hindsight, is a shame. I think more information would have been beneficial, even if it was anecdotal and not backed by hard evidence.
Again, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems clear that emotions on both sides clouded the issues, which is also a shame. Maybe PC critics like Paul Battaglia had no evidence to support their claims, but circumstances haven't proved him wrong.
(Personally, I like Paul, and in my offline dealings have found him to be kind and generous. Others disagree based on his posts on the board, and I won't begin to try to allocate fault for that. I will say that I personally try -- but not always succeed -- to avoid reading the worst into what anyone posts online. I struggle enough to accurately convey my own thoughts, let alone understand perfectly what others intend and mean. But I digress...)
Altogether, I'm out three cases of wine worth about $2K. I would be interested to learn more about the breakdown of the pre-arrival wines. Re-reading the thread, it does seem like champagne was something that was frequently offered at fire-sale prices towards the end and was something that was rarely filled towards the end. And in December, when I was checking PC site, there was ZERO champagne in stock. But I mostly buy champagne, and this could be my bias creeping in.
My anecdotal experience is that pre-arrival times for champagnes definitely increased over time. Whereas at first, my pre-arrival wines took maybe a year at the outside to arrive, the length of time that I waited for them increased.
At the end, I had three cases of champagne, all of which had been pending for two plus years. None of these were rare, terribly hard to find wines. Other than six bottles of 2005 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, none of these wines were steeply discounted. Those "facts" alone, had I paid attention to them, should have served as a warning sign to me. But like others, I reassured myself that PC had always come through for me in the past. (Again, this is personal and anecdotal and with the benefit of hindsight. So discount as you see fit.)
I'm not thrilled to lose the wines or the money, but I'm not hurting. Hopefully, others are ok too.
Apologies for the long, rambling post.