Companies must provide easy access to compensation if they fail to deliver shopping on time, a consumer group has urged, after Amazon was ordered to clarify its “misleading” one-day delivery claim for Prime customers.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told the online retail giant to clarify that some Prime-labelled items are not available to be delivered by the next day, after it found its one-day delivery claim misled customers.
The ruling follows 280 complaints to the ASA, most from Amazon customers who reported not receiving their delivery by the following day.
The service’s chief executive, Gillian Guy, said: “We’ve found 40% of people who used a premium delivery service received their parcel later than expected.
“It’s more difficult for consumers to work out what they’re owed when their parcels don’t arrive on time if they’ve paid for a service like Amazon Prime, compared to when they pay for one-off deliveries.
“Companies need to honestly advertise delivery dates and make sure consumers have easy access to compensation when they fail to meet their promises.”
Amazon said the “vast majority” of the complaints followed widespread media coverage of an initial “handful” of complaints about the issue and provided data showing that the weeks with lower on-time deliveries were affected by snow and ice across the UK.
It said: “We acknowledged that the majority of orders were forecast to be delivered by the next day (and indeed were delivered on time). However, a smaller but significant proportion of orders at each of the time slots, including before 2pm, were not forecast for delivery the subsequent day, meaning that 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 or for Sunday delivery, all Prime-labelled items would be available for delivery the next day with the One-Day Delivery option, when a significant proportion of Prime-labelled items were not available for delivery by the subsequent day with One-Day Delivery, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”
An Amazon spokesman said: “Amazon Prime offers fantastic benefits to members including One-Day Delivery on millions of eligible items at no extra cost.
“The expected delivery date is shown before an order is placed and throughout the shopping journey and we work relentlessly to meet this date. The overwhelming majority of One-Day Delivery orders are delivered when promised.
“A small proportion of orders missed the delivery promise last year during a period of extreme weather that impacted all carriers across the UK, and we provided support to impacted customers at the time.”