What the Tech? Amazon’s Delayed Deliveries

Billions of dollars in merchandise are in transit after Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping event ended last week. For many Amazon Prime members who expect their orders to arrive quickly, that doesn’t always happen.

Prime members pay $139 a year for a membership that promises discounts and free 2-day shipping. Most of the time Amazon packages arrive within that window but during Prime Days, many shoppers find their packages won’t arrive for 5 days or longer.

For example, I shopped for an Amazon Echo Show 5. Once I put it in the cart, I see it won’t be delivered for 3-6 months. What gives? Items that sell out, such as this one, can’t be delivered or even shipped until Amazon gets more in stock.

According to Amazon’s policy, delivery in 3-6 months still falls within the 2-day free shipping promise because the 2-day shipping clock doesn’t start until it actually leaves the warehouse and is in the hands of the delivery company.

So don’t expect any relief but you can cancel that order anytime before it ships.

If a product is in stock and doesn’t arrive within the 2-day promise, you can ask and Amazon might try to make amends. Amazon’s policy doesn’t spell it out, but if you search for Amazon Delayed delivery, Amazon Prime customers can chat with a chat-bot and plead their case.

If you ordered the item for a gift and it didn’t arrive in time, explain that and ask the bot for some help.

You’ll probably chat with a real person at some point and if you’re polite, you might get a small Amazon gift card as an apology. Many shoppers report they received a 1-month extension on their Prime subscription after a package didn’t arrive on time.

Again, be polite. Since there’s nothing on Amazon’s website that says it’s obligated to offer you anything, a representative may be nice enough to add $3-$5 to your account to make up for the delay or extend a Prime membership by a month.

If an item is going to ship late or you don’t need it in 2-days, you’re better off choosing “No Rush Shipping”. You’ll get $1 for each item ordered toward a digital purchase such as a Kindle book or music.

Non-Amazon Prime members can have shipping costs refunded if it doesn’t arrive when Amazon says they will. The policy doesn’t specifically address delayed deliveries to Amazon Prime members and nowhere on an order says the 2-day delivery is “guaranteed”.


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