Reports are out that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) may rule this week that Amazon must drop their Prime Next Day delivery promise and make it abundantly clear to consumers that some products won’t be delivered the next day and that at certain busy times of year (or in exceptional circumstances) the One-Day delivery promise may not be met.
It’s expected that Amazon won’t be banned entirely from promising to deliver items the next day, but that they won’t be able to sell their Prime Membership as Unlimited One-Day Delivery. Somehow saying “Unlimited One-Day Delivery on millions of items in the UK most of the time but not on millions of other products any of the time” isn’t quite as sexy and appealing, but it would appear that this is what the ASA will rule.
The Times reports the ruling will probably including wording along the lines of “A significant proportion of Prime-labelled items were not available for delivery the next day… because consumers were likely to understand that, so long as they did not order too late, all Prime items would be available for delivery the next day“.
One-Day Delivery issues the ASA may rule against Amazon on
There are three issues which Amazon face. The first is quite simple – letting the customer down and failing to deliver on their promise. Amazon are fantastic and obsess about the customer but couriers, especially external couriers, can fail at times. Parcels get misrouted, vans break down, drivers go sick and at peak times of year couriers are just too busy and simply can’t get every time delivered next day. When this happens, if a consumer rings Amazon and complains they’ll often instantly be given an additional 30 days membership with their Prime expiry date extended as compensation. Amazon don’t mess around with keeping customers happy.
The second issue is one of scale – Amazon can and do meet their One-Day delivery promise on millions of items and in some cases same day delivery. However there are products available in low quantities in warehouses up and down the country which are simply too far away from the consumers to deliver next day. With their European FBA program, Amazon may have even moved a quantity of stock into a warehouse elsewhere in Europe and it takes time to repatriate the product and get it delivered.
Amazon’s third issue is that many products on their marketplace are sold and fulfilled by third parties. Amazon make this abundantly clear and even provide a ‘Prime’ search option so that customers can only view products with the Prime delivery promise. The ASA don’t think that Amazon make it clear enough that products fulfilled by third parties aren’t always available with free One-Day Delivery.
Amazon do at the point of sale make it abundantly clear what the expected delivery date for a product is and their Prime promise is already “Unlimited One-Day Delivery on millions of items in the UK and Same Day Delivery in select areas“… that’s specifically ‘millions of items’ and not everything that the One-Day Delivery promise applies to. However it appears likely that this may not be enough for the ASA as they are likely to rule that it’s not spelled out clearly enough when signing up for Prime membership.
I actually had this debate with Amazon recently – I purchased 4 items, all marked as Prime delivery. At checkout only 1 item would be delivered next day, 2 would take 2 days and the 4th item would take a whopping 4 days.
This experience has been consistent ever since they allowed 3rd party sellers to earn the coveted ‘Prime’ badge and subsequently not offer next day delivery.
I received a free month of Prime subscription as an apology that Prime-delivery items are no longer delivered in one-day despite that being the main purpose of the programme.
I particularly loved it at christmas when I received an email as a seller telling me the Prime promise was now two-days not one due to busyness of the season, but as a prime subscriber I got no such email!!! A friend was moaning about it and I explained and they were absolutely livid about it – basically saying they cannot change the parameters of a subscription. I explained they do this to sellers all the time but t was an interesting exchange!!!!
advertisers should be supplied with a dictionary definition of “unlimited”, none of them seem to grasp the meaning, which is genreally self-explanatory for the rest of us.
if there are limits of any kind, exceptions, ceilings, or other contradictions to the meaning of the word “unlimited”, then just don’t use that word. simple.
I use FBA and many of my customers report that amazon send them completely the wrong product they have ordered , so even when they do deliver next day the customer does not even receive the correct product. I would be interested to hear if anyone else experiences this issue frequently?
Just experienced my first instance of this: Ordered an item which had the “prime” tag next to it only to realise that ordering on a Saturday meant it would arrive on the Thursday.
I queried it with amazon and part of the reply was:
“I understand that Premium delivery means, the item should be delivered within one day from the date of dispatch”
What is the point of the prime tag and paying the subscription if delivery isn’t next day from ordering?
To be honest, it always used to be next day providing I ordered by a certain point in the day before – including Saturdays and Sundays.
I’ve also started to notice some prices aren’t competitive anymore and so without next day delivery, I’m not sure the £79 per year just to watch Grand Tour is necessarily worth it! Just my opinion.
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