back to article Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS

Amazon has suspended next day delivery in Blighty after reporting its busiest day on record. This decision could mean the families of last-minute present hunters will go without gifts on Christmas Day, said a Reg source, who says he was told express delivery would not begin until the New Year. Amazon denies this and claims the …

  1. Tsung

    So does this affect Amazon Prime Members?

    If it does... then they have paid for a next day delivery service which they wont be getting...

    1. Richard 81

      Re: So does this affect Amazon Prime Members?

      It appears to (as I've said, I've just started the trial), and the best I could get on my purchase today was delivery on Thursday.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: So does this affect Amazon Prime Members?

        That's going to be fun for their customer service staff then :)

        I don't see the connection to BF either. Why would a massive 1-day sales spike mean they cannot do next-day delivery for the whole of December - surely the BF sales are the problem not their normal day-to-day stuff?

        I do note Amazon are now offering two new delivery options:

        No Rush: it takes longer but they GIVE YOU money

        Scheduled: pick a specific time for it to arrive

    2. D@v3

      Re: So does this affect Amazon Prime Members?

      Won't be renewing my prime next year, not because of this, but due to the general poor quality of the 'next day' delivery.

      More than once (this weekend included) I have been tracking a package, waiting inside for the delivery, only to see the status change to 'failed' despite no-one trying to make a delivery. Also, seeing it changed to 'delivered and signed' when no attempt has been made, only to find that it has been delivered next door. Thankfully I have honest neighbours (at least on one side)

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: So does this affect Amazon Prime Members?

        That's the fault of the couriers operating in your area, or more specifically the individual drivers, not anything specific to Amazon.

        I am only a member for free next-day delivery - joined before they rolled out video streaming and jacked up the price. I'm not sure we'd stay at the higher price but if it's not even next-day shipping, what exactly is the point?

      2. Graham Triggs

        Re: So does this affect Amazon Prime Members?

        Have you reported this to Amazon? It happens sometimes, and they've generally been quite good at providing compensation when they fail to meet the delivery times on (what is effectively) a paid option - even when the failure is outside of their direct control.

    3. Graham Triggs

      Re: So does this affect Amazon Prime Members?

      To be honest, the whole Prime thing might be a little bit mis-sold.

      It's not so much a next day delivery promise, as you get the cheapest paid delivery option free. Usually, that is a next day delivery. In some cases, it's an "expedited" delivery that may still take 2-3 days. (I think this means they are unable to physically ship it on that day, but it will go on a "next day" delivery service.

      I don't necessarily have a problem with them pushing back the promise in times of high demand - it's more important that they are honest about what you will be getting at the time, you can't always anticipate every peak, every weather event, every service disruption ahead of time to ensure that you can always provide a next day delivery.

      I'm not entirely happy with them mixing the "next day" and "expedited" services in general use - at least not in terms of marking an item as "prime eligible". It's too easy to see something as being "prime" and expecting to get it the next day, without noticing that it was only ever going to arrive in 2-3 days. They need to be much clearer about that - possibly splitting the markings to "Prime eligible" and "Prime next day".

      But also, it's not much of a guarantee. I placed an order last week, that was shipped on Royal Mail with no tracking code. It should have arrived on Saturday, it still hasn't as yet. It's a bit early to chase up on a "where is it", but I'll be giving them hell in a couple of days about their failure to put it on a guaranteed next day service.

  2. Richard 81

    Boo!

    I've just started my 1-month trial of Amazon Prime. At best, I'll be getting the first class post option for free.

    At least I'm not actually paying for the service I'm not receiving.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Alfie
    Headmaster

    Have I been asleep for a long time, or is it still four weeks until Christmas?

    In which case the rush delivery of this Thursday doesnt mean that anyone will be dissapointed by the late delivery of presents.

    Or has El Reg been taken over by the Express?

    1. Snorlax

      That's what I was thinking.

      Even if you opt for super-tightarse delivery, you should still get your item in plenty of time for Christmas?

    2. 's water music
      Joke

      Have I been asleep for a long time, or is it still four weeks until Christmas?

      In which case the rush delivery of this Thursday doesnt mean that anyone will be dissapointed by the late delivery of presents.

      yebbut it is my wife's birthday on Wednesday. What do you get the lady who already has a car air-freshener and plenty of screen wash?

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        How about...

        A chamoix leather?

        Then she can give it to you and say,

        "Clean my car!"

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        An oil change at the nearest "quick oil change" shop?

    3. Dave Bell

      This looks more like the usual delivery sluggishness for the time of year—post early for Christmas and all that—than anything to do with Black Friday.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        I bet if you want to courier a parcel using DPD or RM directly you can get it next day, just like you could last week.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    never used Amazon

    Don't like contributing to any slave labour regime really, partiicularly U.S. ones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: never used Amazon

      Really? Do the people work for free, get beaten and are refused the possibility to go home?

      No?

      So nothing to do with slavery then.

      1. fridaynightsmoke
        Facepalm

        Re: never used Amazon

        Slavery my arse.

        I remember all the breathless articles in the Daily Mail and others when Amazon's Rugeley distribution centre opened, about the indignity of people working as temps on minimum wage, walking around a warehouse and putting boxes on a trolley as instructed by a terminal.

        Everyone I know rolled their eyes, temp 'order picking' is bog standard (and easily available) low level work* around here. Maybe it's shocking to metropolitan cappuccino-sipping journalists.

        *Yes, I've done it. Still got the agency-branded high vis vest.

    2. LucreLout
      Mushroom

      Re: never used Amazon

      Don't like contributing to any slave labour regime really, partiicularly U.S. ones.

      The thread is about commerce, asshat, not politics. Please go moan about the unfairness of capitalism over on the Guardian. Or Mumsnet.

    3. Rufus McDufus

      Re: never used Amazon

      I worked for Amazon and it was one of the best-paid jobs I ever had.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: never used Amazon

        A friend is currently doing 60 hour weeks at Amazon with dynamically varying shift patterns. His social life is suffering - but he's looking forward to spending the overtime payments after Christmas. He sees it as a "make hay while the sun shines" seasonal opportunity.

        However - at least some of that overtime has been mandated as "compulsory" - and some of the abrupt shift changes are poorly communicated/organised. That doesn't sound employee friendly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: never used Amazon

          "However - at least some of that overtime has been mandated as "compulsory" - and some of the abrupt shift changes are poorly communicated/organised. That doesn't sound employee friendly."

          @AC:

          Let me guess - he's working for an agency (rather than Amazon directly) who are using "compulsory" overtime because they (the agency) didn't hire enough temp staff for the busy period.

          He is free to leave though, isn't he? His overtime's probably not compulsory if they don't have him chained to a wall...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: never used Amazon

            "Let me guess - he's working for an agency "

            No - he's permanent staff now. He was glad to get the job after being unemployed for 6 months - even though it is a long commute every day. He does find it annoying to turn up for work only to find that they have changed his shift at the last minute without telling him - a wasted journey. When he was agency staff they used to text him about any sudden changes.

  6. sandman

    OK so far...

    We've been experiencing better than normal delivery times just using the standard free delivery. Two days has been the fastest, four the slowest.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looked at the Amazon offers last week. They trumpeted big discounts on the RRP of selected products - available for only a short window. However several times the Amazon page for the article showed many Amazon Marketplace sellers with the same reduced price.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prime was trumpeted as...

    ...giving free one-day delivery as standard. If they're taking this back, do I get my subscription fee back?

    No?

    Time to consult legal types, then...

    1. Snorlax
      Facepalm

      Re: Prime was trumpeted as...

      Time to consult legal types, then...

      That should read:

      "Time to consult the terms and conditions I agreed to..."

      Availability of One-Day Delivery and other delivery benefits depends on stock availability, order deadlines (which may vary) and in some cases on the delivery address.

      1. Thecowking

        Re: Prime was trumpeted as...

        Those terms and conditions don't mean much when they are not delivering what the headline feature of the product is.

        They sold it as free next day delivery. Now it's three days for me to get a hat from them. I was planning on leaving when this period ran out anyway (the instant video is nearly worthless to me without it on Android tablets* or chromecast), this just made it certain.

        Shame, I used to like Amazon.

        1. Snorlax
          WTF?

          Re: Prime was trumpeted as...

          Those terms and conditions don't mean much when they are not delivering what the headline feature of the product is.

          They sold it as free next day delivery.

          Wrong. You were sold a service with the caveat that, at certain times, one-day delivery isn't possible.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: Prime was trumpeted as...

            Given Amazon's normally excellent customer service, if lots of people start kicking up a fuss I wouldn't be surprised if they part-refunded subscription costs.

          2. Thecowking

            Re: Prime was trumpeted as...

            This is the usual "We'll try and get it to you next day" which sometimes goes awry. That's fair enough.

            This is "We're not actually going to even pretend to get you your stuff in the timescales you've paid for. We won't tell you either."

            You _can't_ even choose actual next day delivery, so they've basically admitted that the service you've signed up to is not being delivered. Fie on the terms and conditions, they can write what they like in them, I don't care. It's all about what they sold, and they're no longer delivering on that.

            I've not had an email saying "Sorry, this has happened" or even seen a notice when I placed an order. Nope, they've basically just removed the product I paid for.

            1. Snorlax
              Facepalm

              Re: Prime was trumpeted as...

              Fie on the terms and conditions, they can write what they like in them, I don't care. It's all about what they sold, and they're no longer delivering on that.

              You know what you should do?

              Write them a strongly worded letter, and threaten to withdraw your custom if you don't get your hat by "next day" delivery.

              That'll teach them.

              1. Thecowking

                Re: Prime was trumpeted as...

                I will.

                Give amazon their due, they do respond to those letters normally. However I'm writing one a month or so at the moment, which no amount of apologising can make up for.

      2. JetSetJim

        Re: T&Cs

        Indeed, they read:

        "We will not be held responsible for any delay or failure to comply with our obligations under these Terms if the delay or failure arises from any cause which is beyond our reasonable control. This condition does not affect your statutory rights."

        and:

        "For One-Day, Express and Evening delivery please see their respective terms and conditions."

        lastly, from the One Day T&Cs:

        "If you choose One-Day Delivery, your order will be dispatched with the intention that it's delivered one day after dispatch" (emphasis added)

        I think more than enough scope for a Get Out Of Jail Free card, although IANAL and I have no idea how many of their conditions are legally acceptable. But, the One Day conditions do state:

        "We use a range of carriers to provide our One-Day service and delivery time frames may vary by carrier, but all deliveries will be attempted by 21:00."

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: T&Cs

          All of those T&Cs mean they give you the option to choose the next day, pay the delivery company to get it there the next day, get the van loaded at the time required so that the delivery company can deliver it by the next day. The delivery company might not deliver by the next day however Amazon did everything they could do to get the article to you in one day.

          But if the option isn't there or Amazon pay the delivery company for a 2-3 day delivery, then they are breaking their own T&Cs.

  9. IsJustabloke

    5.5 million sales...

    and they still won't post a taxable profit.

    Also you know that Christmas is still 3 weeks away right? I think even Yodel could get a parcel to you in 3 weeks.

    1. Ralph the Wonder Llama
      Meh

      Yodel?

      "Say you have tried or do not. There is no do."

    2. Dylbot

      Re: 5.5 million sales...

      Let's not go nuts here, I've personally dealt with a situation where they couldn't deliver for three weeks because they couldn't find the address. The parcel in question was going to a massive school.

    3. Franco Silver badge

      Re: 5.5 million sales...

      Not if you live in a flat with buzzer entry, which apparently is an utterly alien concept to them. Even better, their collection depot nearest to me is open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. They don't seem to understand why I don't think this is much use......

      Like many people I signed up for 30 days free of Prime to do my Christmas shopping. Won't be paying for it seeing as I'm not getting next day delivery and the offerings on Instant Video are pretty poor.

    4. fridaynightsmoke
      Coat

      Re: 5.5 million sales...

      "Also you know that Christmas is still 3 weeks away right? I think even Yodel could get a parcel to you in 3 weeks."

      It is true that they occasionally manage to deliver a parcel within 3 weeks, just not to the intended recipient.

    5. Only me!
      FAIL

      Re: 5.5 million sales...

      Tax the number of sales and all of a sudden they will have only 1 sale on the books

      UK. Yep we sell there, so that is one sale. Shall we expand to the rest of the EU including the UK.....ok EU=1 sale

  10. Alan Bourke

    Almost all of this is buying presents no?

    So who gives a rat's arse if it doesn't arrive next day, as long as it's in the next few days?

    1. John Bailey

      Re: Almost all of this is buying presents no?

      "So who gives a rat's arse if it doesn't arrive next day, as long as it's in the next few days?"

      Nobody.

      But it doesn't sound nearly as apocalyptic if you say it like that.

      Realistically.. Anybody who waits until December to get stuff delivered for Christmas is asking for trouble.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Almost all of this is buying presents no?

      Not really. Almost-always next-day delivery has rather changed my whole approx to buying stuff. If I am working (doing programming or on a DIY project) and find I need something, the fact I can just buy it and it turns up the next day is a massive boon. Compared to the old fashioned "wait and see when it will arrive" approach.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "One-day" delivery, NOT "next-day"....

    ...so as long as they deliver it "one day"....they will have hit their promise.

    If the had said "next-day" or "next business day" then that would have been a different matter.

    I guess if they delivered an order across more than one day (ie multiple consignments over more than one day), then that might get them in hot water too.

    Ho hum..

  12. MrWibble

    Probably because everyone who's ever shopped with them has been offered a one month trial of prime, over christmas. So it seems that they can't cope with all of us who have no intention of continuing after christmas, but find it useful for those last minute presents.

  13. The Dark Lord

    Patience Padawan

    I ordered a bunch of stuff on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday (yes, yesterday). In each case, with the Free "whenever you like" delivery.

    It's all been dispatched already. And I don't NEED any of it today. If I did, I would go to a bricks & mortar store.

    Prime seems to be a good way to tax the impatient, to me.

    However, it would be nice to understand why Amazon stole my daughter's £10.33 gift card balance... I don't think that the cash paid for the cards expired, so why should the cards?

  14. dotdan

    Prime used to be next-day, then it became one-day. It used to be £49pa, then became £79pa. They used to use Parcelforce, then they adopted Yodel and "Amazon Logistics".

    None of those changes were for the better, and certainly in the last 18 months if you've actually needed something the following day, Prime delivery was not reliable enough to be sure it'd be there.

    I only order from companies using Parcelforce, UPS and DPD these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Deliveries

      UPS has a track record with not delivering to my place. I live at the end of a route and their drivers just want to get back to base.

      So I get the' deliver or collect' note.

      with Parcelforce there is an office a few miles away.

      UPS? 30 miles

      DPD? 25 Miles

      Amazon? Where are they? The moon?

      Sometimes it is actually better to go and buy the stuff yourself.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Amazon do use DPD, at least they always have done for most of my prime deliveries, the last one of which was last week.

  15. Prawn

    As a prime member, if you contact support your prime membership will be extended by one month for this change in service.

    Same goes for missed. late deliveries. Think i am onto my 4th "free" month already.

    1. EuKiwi

      I have never, ever had anything but the most exemplary service from Prime.

      Friends of mine when I was living in Ireland worked for Amazon, and they told me they had massive powers to keep Prime customers happy, whether it be waiving monthly fees or applying credit.

      I've had to send back a few items in my time, and on every single occasion it was a joy to deal with Amazon.

      I'll happily spend a few euros more to buy from them knowing that it'll be no worries if I have to send something back.

  16. Stevie

    Bah!

    Well, I can't speak for the T&C Blightside, but in the USA Prime membership does *not* guarantee you'll get your tat in two days (Prime is a "free two-day delivery" deal here) but that the mailing part of the fulfillment will take two days.

    So when I stampeded to buy a home NAS I saw a thrilled journo here trilling about, that was available as a Prime offer (and therefore superduper desirable), I was a bit nonplussed to discover the turnaround time was going to be on the order of three months.

    Turns out no-one actually had any in stock yet, and wouldn't have them for yonks. But when they did they'd send it out as two-day mail.

    So I cancelled out of that order, took a breath and the urge to own wore off.

  17. cosymart

    Ordered Friday Arrived Today

    Ordered via standard delivery and the items arrived this morning. What's the fuss about?

    1. EuKiwi

      Re: Ordered Friday Arrived Today

      The fuss is based around the fact that the world is full of far too many people who have far too much fucking free time on their hands.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prime rebates or extensions are being refused

    I've just been on live chat with Amazon support. I pointed out this article, and the fact that as a longterm Prime member there's only multi-day delivery available to me at the moment - even on small easily postable items like DVDs. They refused an extension of my Prime membership because they hadn't failed to achieve the delivery estimate for one of my previous orders.

    I pointed out that they're not even attempting to provide the service I paid for, but because they're not even trying, they can't fail; therefore as they've not failed they're just keeping my money and that's it !? Requesting escalation to a manager didn't help either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prime rebates or extensions are being refused

      I've just had a very similar conversation with Amazon customer support. The gist was that they aren't doing anything wrong because they are clearly stating the expected delivery date. The fact that they are failing to provide a service I currently subscribe to was considered irrelevant.

      This on top of repeated late deliveries and increased subs to include an unwanted video service has ensured I won't be renewing.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Analogy

    What if you bought a 1st Class rail season ticket - and then the rail company decided not to include any 1st Class carriages on their trains for that journey? Sounds like a partial refund would be obligatory.

    Amazon could have mitigated against the PR disaster by sending out emails to all the subscribers offering an automatic compensatory extension to their subscription.

    1. EuKiwi

      Re: Analogy

      What if you bought a 1st class rail ticket, and then a massive tree fell across the tracks? Would you then be of the opinion that the rail company should have been in a position to oppose nature?

      Don't be a twat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Analogy

        "Would you then be of the opinion that the rail company should have been in a position to oppose nature?"

        Acts of $deity are usually accepted as legitimate exceptions. Choosing to not deliver the paid for service for reasons of poor planning or increased costs is the supplier's liability - not the customers'. When a train service is unexpectedly suspended rail companies have been known to provide taxis to complete the in-flight passengers' journies.

      2. Da Weezil

        Re: Analogy

        There is a huge difference between a tree falling across tracks and a train company saying "we cant be arsed to provide the premium facility we have sold". Prime is a premium service sold on the basis of a 12 month availability, for them to suddenly say sorry that's only going to be 11 months now isn't acceptable

        If you cant see that you really need a reality check.

        Analogy Fail!

  20. EuKiwi

    Hrm.. well, I call bullshit.

    I'm not in the UK, but being a Kiwi there are several items I tend to order every year from the UK for 'cultural reasons'.

    I ordered a pile of stuff this year, and it was all in one order. I DO have a Prime account in Germany, but obviously not in the UK.

    All 8 items were shipped yesterday. One standard, not express, shipping charge of about 7 euro.

    Estimated delivery time - oh, I don't know. Maybe this week, possibly next. Before Xmas anyway. Estimated says this Thursday.

    So to those of you wailing and gnashing your teeth - seriously, get a hobby or at least a more vulnerable target for your vehemence because you're boring the shit out of me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hrm.. well, I call bullshit.

      Sorry if this is boring you, but for many it is just another case of companies deliberately failing to provide a service that has been charged for. For an international outfit like this to be doing this is especially disappointing, I assume they are relying on the size of Amazon being a deterrent to any action against them for possible breaches of trading regulations in the UK. Personally I am hoping that someone affected by this does raise it with a decent trading standards dept. I don't think that T&C boilerplate can be used to suspend a service in the way that they have.

      If you pay for a period of a service it should be available throughout - or there should be a clear and specific mention of something like this - which would probably preclude them selling it as a 12 month service as they clearly don't intend to provide service for a 12 month term as charged for.

      You have the option to direct your gaze to other less boring items...

    2. Pete 47

      Re: Hrm.. well, I call bullshit.

      Welcome to the top-tier of British national pastimes.

      1> The weather

      2> Moaning (it's practically a sport).

  21. Banksy
    Pint

    Good day for an advert

    Just seen an advert on prime time TV extolling the values of prime with a particular focus on the virtues of next day delivery. Good timing.

    Pint for the advertising staff at Amazon.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I let Prime lapse back in Nov, don't see myself subscribing again.

  23. Badbob

    Prime. Out.

    My Prime is due up in January. Unless I get some kind of compo for a service I've paid for but not receiving, then it might be going bye-bye!

  24. Prof Denzil Dexter

    Just to add, another user here who's paid for prime and getting 3 day lead time. Customer service are very polite but shit.

    Its borderline fraudulent that they're still trying to plug next day though.

  25. 404

    UPS and FedEx fine print

    If you look at both UPS and FedEx T&C's, they do not guarantee Next Day Delivery from Thanksgiving through the 1st of the year. No matter who you purchase your merchandise from, they *always* have the next day option with the much, much, higher delivery prices, and will gladly point at the carrier for not getting your merchandise on time.

    I went round and round with Newegg & FedEx a few years ago - you can pay for next day, but it ain't gonna happen, not around Christmas anyway. Maybe that's why Amazon* wants those drones so bad.

    *Prime member for several years now - we order so much stuff for aquariums, computers, house, etc - it's more than worth the price, considering delivery costs.

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