Anybody that uses the Army as an excuse why they are falling down on personal business dealings is dirtbag. The organization puts a huge emphasis on loyalty, duty, and integrity.
As someone with many family connections in both the military and law enforcement I STRONGLY agree with this.
I really want to chime in here with a long winded and detailed recount of my experience with DM and his business, but it will just be another TL:DR for most. I'll keep that part short, (well, short in comparison to my experience).
I originally made a decision to order from DM because he had in stock a rather large and heavy component for my build. I regret this decision based on a number of factors. Now I'm sure some people in the past (and currently) are having decent service from him. Customer service can be extremely subjective so I like to stick to facts where possible.
I recently concluded business of the one single order I made with ArcadeEmulator.net. Originally the order was placed in October of last year. I was misled by the shipping charges on his website and asked to pay more. I was given excuses via emails. I was short changed on a small part of my order, had to send constant follow up emails. But in the end I was offered a $4 refund for a small part of my order that had been missing on top of receiving the part as well.
In comparison I've also ordered from Ultimarc, Groovy Game Gear, HaRuMaN Customs, CraftyMech and Paradise Arcade, all within the same time period. All provided a great experience and in the case of both PA and CraftyMech they handled product issues in my purchase so well that I wouldn't hesitate repeat business. As mentioned in posts before I have an EXCEEDINGLY high demand for proper customer service, I work in eCommerce Marketing, have been a small business owner in the past, and also have held jobs that have a world class reputation (good and bad) for customer service. In my experience I did not find AE.net met anything close to what a regular person would expect from an online retailer in this day and age.
I get a strong feeling that AE.net is a side business meant to keep DM's ability to provide himself with cost prices for his hobby. At the risk of sounding cold hearted and insincere: providing long winded explanations of an apparent illness and making excuses of no time due to military service are not those becoming of a serious business owner. If you can't commit to the same regular expectations of any other small online retailer (shipping on days other then the end of the week, providing a website with proper shipping rates based on the products being sold, check the parts of an order before shipping, under promise/over deliver, etc) then you need to either shut your doors, or place huge disclaimers on your site stating the scope of your capabilities and prepare for people to voice a negative opinion as you sit there and take it, (and hopefully learn from it).
Bottom line: If you've had a decent experience with AE.net then nothing is stopping you from continuing to order from him. Please keep on doing so as long as he's in business. This is business
. At the end of the day we shouldn't need to hear excuses about other commitments, long winded excuses about an illness or single parenthood. Your warehouse burns to the ground and you can't fulfill orders, then that's another thing, customers (well most) would understand. Either live up to expectations or get out of the business.
Take a tip from Mark Cuban: "Treat your customers like they own you. Because they do."