I'm actually quite happy with Amazon, but there's one thing that really bothers me:

They say they guarantee their Prime shipments[1] to be delivered by a particular date, but what do they do when that date is pushed back (as was the case with one of my shipments recently)?


I even opened a ticket to complain. They didn't even take responsibility, just blamed the carrier (perhaps it was the carrier's fault, but at no time did I receive a guarantee from UPS or FedEx, etc).

To be clear: I'm bothered that they slap that "guarantee" on it and it means nothing. They just do it to make you feel warm and fuzzy, but they're not going to do anything about it unless you make a real stink. As seen in the conversation below, I did end up getting a $5 credit, but I didn't want it that way.

I either want them to stop giving me empty guarantees, or have some sort of blanket policy to give a small credit when the ball gets dropped. The latter seems unrealistic since they don't have control over a lot of what it takes to deliver a package, and I would be satisfied with the former. Just call it what it is: an estimated date of delivery.

If you're curious, here's a screenshot of the original conversation and the entire conversation in text form is below:

Me: Hi, I got a shipping notice that an item was shipped with a "Guaranteed delivery date: Tuesday, June 2, 2015" and I was notified on the day it was supposed to be deliver that it won't be here (estimated) until "Monday, June 8, 2015"

Amazon: Hello, my name is Redacted. I'm here to help you today.

Me: Hello

Amazon: I'm sorry to hear that you haven't received the item as promised.
Just to make sure, are you referring to the item "Canon CA-110 CA110 Replacement AC Power Supply Adapter Charger for VIXIA HF R200 R20 R21 M500 M50 M52 R300 R30 R32 LEGRIA HF R26 R28 R206 Camcorders"?

Me: Correct

Amazon: Thanks for confirming.
It seems that the carrier delayed the package in transit. In this case, I'll contact the carrier on behalf of you and instruct to deliver your package with high priority.
Will that work for you?

Me: Well, what exactly is meant by "Guaranteed delivery date"

Amazon: I understand your concern, Cameron. the carrier delayed the package in transit. I'll also forward this to our shipping team to check the issue with carrier.
In addition to our large selection, one of the benefits we try very hard to offer our customers is convenience. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience you experienced in this case.

Me: You didn't really answer the question

Amazon: I understand your concern that we've promised you to deliver your package on guaranteed delivery date and the package was not delivered as promised.
To help compensate any inconvenience, I'll help you with one month prime extension. In this case, are you able to wait until June 5, 2015 to get the package?

Me: So... the guarantee means nothing? It's just marketing speak?
A false assurance?

Amazon: No, Cameron. I'm very sorry about all of this. I hope you'll consider this an isolated incident and give us another chance in the future.

Me: Well, maybe you should change the text to always say "estimated" instead of "guaranteed" if you're not going to do anything when it falls short.

Amazon: I understand your concern completely. I'm really sorry for the delay in delivering the package. If you prefer I'll help you with full refund and please refuse the package while delivery. I'll also forward this to our shipping team to check the issue with carrier and this will not happen in future.

Me: No, it's okay. That's not what I want

Amazon: To help you, I'll contact the carrier on behalf of you and instruct to deliver your package with high priority.

Me: That's not really what I want either, and you've said that at least 3 times now.

Amazon: To help compensate the inconvenience I'll help you with $5 promotional credit to your account.
Will that work for you?

Me: I guess, but ultimately, I would like for Amazon not to say they guarantee deliveries when they don't typically do anything about it. Either have a policy to give something like $5 credit if something goes wrong, or don't claim a "guaranteed delivery." It's very confusing and misleading.

Amazon: I understand your concern. I'll forward this to our appropriate team.

Me: Thank you

Amazon: I've issued $5 promotional credit to your account.

Me: Thanks

Amazon: You're welcome.
Thanks for your understanding and patience!
Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Me: Nope

Amazon: Thanks for shopping at Amazon.com. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you again in the near future.
Have a nice day!
Take care, bye!
Please click the "End Chat" link to close this window.

Me: You, too! Bye

  1. I couldn't find any official agreement from Amazon as to what they mean by "Guaranteed Prime Deliveries," but if you do a search for it, you'll find a lot of other people that have run into the same issue. They seem to have better luck getting Amazon to do something more tangible to make up for it than me, but I find it very frustrating either way! ↩︎