I'd just request a return label and send it back if you are that upset about it. Most places give free return shipping. Apparently it costs 7 bucks to send the package. Now they are spending 14 bucks to send it and have it sent back, and then find another online retailer. Send an email to the company and post it on twitter and I bet you'll get a favorable response.
What's silly about this entire argument is that all shipments are going to involve some degree of ground transportation unless both you and the warehouse have a landing strip in the front yard.
Just because they offer a 2nd day air doesn't mean that ground wouldn't get it there just as fast, you're just paying for the guarantee that it gets there when you want it to.
I sympathize with all the posts to the effect of "if it arrives on-time, who cares how it was shipped". However, wording is everything in today's world and courts. If a company means "2-day service" when they say "2-day air", then they should sell you "2-day service" and not the air option. By explicitly stating "air" they are committing themselves to using that method.
For an example of the importance of wording, see this article about an air ambulance service that got in trouble for describing a helicopter using "our" when they don't actually own the machine. The helicopter is owned by a third-party company that exists for the sole purpose of owning the helicopter for the ambulance service's use (and, for all practical purposes, is therefore the service's helicopter). The Associated Press: Feds fine Ore. Mercy Flights over personal pronoun
The best option for the company would be to sell a 2-day guarantee, likely at the air-freight price. Then, they are free to choose the cheapest shipping that meets the deadline.
When you ordered the product, and selected 2nd Day Air, the company had no idea where you lived until you clicked "Submit" to send them the order. You mentioned in a post, it wasn't shipping that far from where you live, so they determined it would be more efficient to ship the item via ground transportation and you would still have the item within the 2 days when they processed the order. It would be like if I ordered something that shipped out of Kansas City to DSM - why would they pay for air transportation, when in three hours they can drive a truck to DSM, scan the package in, and have it ready to go the next day?
I would look for fine print on the website in regards to shipping, they may have something that states they can ship the item the most efficient way possible based on proximity to their warehouse.
I am guessing the OP makes more than $7/hour but yet has spent much more time than an hour on the issue.
It is absolutely ridiculous for someone to be upset that their package didn't get to ride on a plane.
"I placed an order with a well-known online sporting goods retailer. Ground shipping was offered free, but I felt I was getting a pretty good deal and needed it by Wednesday, so I sprung for an extra $12 to get it shipped 2nd day air (which basically made the total cost the same as other retailers had the same product). So what did they do? They charged me the $12, and shipped it ground anyway".
As good business ethics, if you charge someone for a service which later becomes unnecessary you should voluntarily refund the price of the service. It doesn't cost twelve or even seven additional dollars to ship by ground, so the money should be refunded. It is like if a contractor sells the "extra" materials that you purchased for a building and pockets the money. If you didn't need the service or materials, it still belongs to you and not the person handling it.
Who cares what it says, everything is automated for optimization? 2nd day is 2nd day. Would you have been ****** if it shipped on a truck and got there next day. So ****** you would stop the carrier and say whoa, you better take this back as I'm not supposed to get it until tomorrow. No you would be elated. And like someone said before, it is always going to be on a truck, it just depends how far. Living in Des Moines you'll get anything from the east coast to Colorado in 2 days from when they ship. Now you know and knowing is half the battle. And yes I work in logistics for a retailer. And yes I hate it when my stores will ship 3 day select and it is only a 1 day transit. For most internet companies, what you are ensuring is that the item gets processed and leaves the door. At least you are getting yours in 2 days. Some companies will process for a day or two and then ship you an item 2nd day air and you'll get your 2nd day air service in 4 days. Would that have made you happy if it went "air"?
Having said that I would still get to someone and get my money back just because I'm cheap.