Amazon's "one-day delivery" not quite what it seems

23 May 2012
Amazon

Ads watchdog reprimands web retailer for misleading claims over next-day delivery

Amazon has been rebuked by the advertising watchdog for offering "one-day delivery" that doesn't actually mean items will be delivered the next day.

The offer, made to subscribers to Amazon's Prime service, promised customers "unlimited free one-day delivery on millions of eligible items sold by Amazon.co.uk".

However, three customers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that goods were not being delivered within the promised 24 hours.

Amazon argued that its terms and conditions stated that the item would be delivered one business day after dispatch, not the day after the item was ordered. The web retailer also insisted that it was a "guaranteed" delivery service, and that it would compensate Prime customers who didn't receive their goods by the stated date - although Amazon admitted that this policy of compensation wasn't published on its website, and that compensation claims were dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Despite Amazon's protestations, the complaints were upheld by the ASA, which ruled that the retailer "had not made it sufficiently clear or prominent that 'one-day delivery' referred to one day after dispatch".

The ads watchdog also cast aspersions on Amazon's claim of "guaranteed" next-day delivery, noting that some items were dispatched using the Royal Mail's First Class delivery service, which "according to the Royal Mail website" can "take between one and two days".

Amazon was ordered to provide "clear qualification on pages which stated 'one-day delivery' that this referred to one day after dispatch", and to withdraw the claim of guaranteed delivery until it could be substantiated.

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