The customer experience is greatly affected by how a customer is treated, including communications and meeting expectations.And just to be absolutely clear, this Preorder Agreement is what you agreed to when you made a deposit. I have excerpted and highlighted some relevant parts of it below.
1. No Obligations
Each Preorder you submit for a Vehicle acts as a deposit for a future purchase of the Vehicle. You are under no obligation to purchase a Vehicle from us, and we are under no obligation to supply you with a Vehicle.
5. No Guarantee of Delivery Date
You are preordering a Vehicle without specifying the model, features, and options. We will endeavor to produce Your Selected Vehicle in the future and your priority will be set by the date of payment of your Preorder Fee, our manufacturing schedule, our delivery and service operations availability and execution of the Final Sales Agreement. There is no guarantee as to delivery date based on your Preorder.
9. Force Majeure
The obligations of you and Rivian under this Agreement (other than your payment obligations) will be suspended to the extent that such party is wholly or partially precluded from complying with its obligations under this Agreement by force majeure. Force majeure includes, but is not restricted to, ... epidemic, public health emergency, quarantine restriction, ... or any other event or circumstance beyond such party’s control.
Nothing wrong with taking a deposit for a product with the understanding said product will be available in a reasonable amount of time.
If the seller isn't confident they can deliver a product in a reasonable amount of time (....hhhmm a year? two years?) then it is not going to create a great customer experience if it takes in excess of three years. It would be wiser to delay taking deposits from customers.
Nothing is gained by taking a deposit and not delivering for 3 and 1/2 years, or more. Customer experience is your customers’ holistic perception of their experience with your business or brand. Delivering a great customer experience is hugely important for any business.