The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints against Amazon EU about the retail giant’s guarantee to Prime customers to receive One-Day delivery on orders.
The problem is that Amazon says that its Prime customers can have “All You Can Eat One-Day Delivery” as a benefit of paying a subscription fee.
It’s a promise that bets against any items not turning up within that time limit and there could be many reasons for a delay.
Complaints arrived that challenged whether the claim, “Amazon Prime members are entitled to free guaranteed One-Day delivery on all items marked as Amazon Prime eligible delivered to Mainland United Kingdom Locations” as misleading as customers who had signed up to the service found that a significant number of orders were not delivered within one day.
Amazon responded, saying that the time when an order is placed can affect the resulting delivery time. It stated that the Prime One-day delivery was a guaranteed service and that customers would receive their order ”1 business day after dispatch”.
The company also said that this would not necessarily be one day after the order was placed, but would be one business day after the order was due to be dispatched by Amazon as set out in One-Day Delivery terms and conditions and the help pages.
So when ordering an item for this type of delivery, it helps to read the small print and maybe not to order just before the weekend.
However, the ASA has upheld the complaints and says,
“Because we understood that Amazon used non-guaranteed services such as Royal Mail First Class for these orders, we considered that describing the service as “guaranteed” was misleading. Because we considered the “One-Day delivery” claim was ambiguous and the claim that the service was “guaranteed” was not adequately qualified or substantiated we concluded that the website was misleading.”
Amazon need not worry too much. This is more of a mild spanking as the ASA has told the company to include clear qualifications on pages which state ‘One-Day Delivery’ that this refers to one day after dispatch.
The regulator has also told Amazon to remove the claim that the service is guaranteed, until this can be substantiated.
What’s interesting about this outcome is that it only took three complaints to have the service scrutinised.
When so many of us exist in a digital world where a flash mob of righteous indignation can be stirred up in under an hour, it’s nice to see that the voice of the few is also heeded – especially when they know where to send their complaints.