AMAZON IS facing possible investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after multiple complaints that it is not meeting the "Unlimited One Day Delivery" claims made by its Amazon Prime service.
The £7.99/m or £79/y service offers next day on a wide variety of products, but The INQUIRER noted on Saturday that many items were marked as being available on Wednesday - despite the company offering a seven-day delivery service in London.
(In the interest of balance, we should point out we were able to buy something this morning for evening delivery today, so it is a mixed bag).
Amazon is advertising that Prime customers can order for pre-Christmas delivery right up until Saturday (23rd).
The Guardian points out that on the site, it uses the alternative phrasing "Your order will be dispatched with the intention that it's delivered one day after dispatch." and that you should advise customer services if they don't meet that deadline if it is advertised for a specific product.
But customers have pointed out that customer service policy is to wait three days before launching an investigation, which rather diminishes the point of a rush one-day service as it means that if you have to re-order, you risk doubling up if the old one turns up, repeating the problem if there is one, or if you are eventually given a refund, waiting "5-7 days" on top of the three you already waited, meaning the time from order to refund can be anything up to 11 days with nothing to show for it.
The official line from Which? and Citizen's Advice is simple. If Amazon says a time, and they don't meet that time, then they're in breach of contract. If the time critical part matters, you're entitled to a full refund.
Again, in fairness to Amazon, it has been offering refunds with minimal fuss and in some cases, a free extension to Amazon Prime Membership.
It does flag up two questions immediately. Firstly, is it cheaper for Amazon to pay the penalties than fix the service, and secondly, are delivery drivers being blase about their service because Amazon is blase about refunding?
We've asked for a response from Amazon, and will update this story to include it. In an initial statement, Amazon asked us to point out that there is currently no investigation by the ASA regarding the validity of the One Day Delivery claim. It also asks anyone with an issue to contact Customer Services. (Incidentally, their webchat service is excellent).
For their part, the ASA confirms this, stating "We have received a handful of complaints (five) about Amazon parcel deliveries and we are at the initial assessment stage. We have not yet made a decision on whether the complaints warrant an investigation."
Last week Amazon confirmed it will end its 'ban' on Apple TV and Google Chromecast devices after two years. µ
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