Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why is Amazon Prime Not a 2-Day Guarantee anymore?

Scene: Tuesday, 2pm
Friend (lives 45min from me): My two day Prime shipping means things arrive Friday? HOW is that two days? What number system are we using there?
Me: I think you have to place your order before a certain amt of time, like noon.. but I am certain it used to be much later.
Friend: Well, I can see that, except it says "for delivery on Friday, place order in the next 25 hours" How does THAT make sense? It implies fluid cut off times.
Me:  Idk. It makes me mad.
This conversation reminded me that I had an order to place that was still sitting in my cart. I added a pair of lefty scissors for my little Southpaw to the order, and then placed it. Lo and behold, same problem. What is going on? I started a chat with an Amazon representative and other than a moment when he totally OWNED me by explaining 2-day shipping does not mean 2-day delivery (Yeah Brandon, I know you did a little victory dance at your desk) and a hilarious moment when he called me "a great costumer" (the only person I costume is my kid at Halloween) it wasn't at all enlightening. 
Can someone else interpret this interaction for me? Why is Amazon's handling/fulfillment taking longer than it used to? How will we know when something is a 2-day Prime or 3-5-day Prime item? Does this lessen the value of Prime? With online shopping becoming more and more popular and Amazon's presence growing to Jack and the Beanstalk Giant proportions, can we expect Prime to mean "3-5 days" in the future? 

You are now connected to Brandon from Amazon.com
Me:I placed an order at 2:20pm today, Tuesday, for three items sold by Amazon, all of which are eligible for Amazon Prime. I chose the 2-day shipping option with Amazon Prime. Why are these items scheduled to arrive on Friday, three days later?
Brandon:Hello, my name is Brandon.
Hello Julia, before I look into your account, I would need to verify that you're the account holder. Can you please provide me the name on your account, your e-mail address, and your billing address?
Me:Julia [information]
Brandon:thanks, and the order number?
Me:Order# [number]
Brandon:appreciate it, just a minute to check the order
Alright Julia, I can see here that the order is okay, sometimes an order may take some hours extra to be ready for us to ship it. This is one of those cases.
But for sure it'll arrive on Friday
Me:Why would it take an entire extra day (as this should be arriving Thursday with two-day shipping) to put together two workbooks and a pair of scissors?
Brandon:Well Julia, as you said is two day shipping, not two day delivery. Shipping is the process and duration that an order is in transit onnce it has been handed out to a carrier, meaning that this part of process doesn't include the time that an order may take to be prepared before it ships (Fulfillmnt). This doesn't mean that we can't deliver an order two days later (we do that most of the times), however due to handling and other particular situations, sometimes the package may take more than expected to be ready for shipping.
once*, sorry
Me:I guess I just don't understand why Amazon was always able to manage 2-day Delivery for all of the years I've had Prime, but suddenly in the last few months to year I can't count on that.
I realize that I am embodying the whiny "first-world-problems" procrastinator customer.
And this particular order really doesn't need to be here on Thursday, or even within the next week, although my son would love it as soon as possible.
I just wanted to talk to someone who could explain why there has been a shift in the Prime guarantee. Often I get my things in two days, but it's not a guarantee anymore (Amazon-sold items, I mean).
Brandon:I understand your point, I really do. And all we want is to give you the best service we can, if in the past month you've been having problems, I apologize for that, I can promise you that I will report that and we will work in order to fix it. You've been a great costumer and we really appreciate that.
Me:There aren't any specific circumstances you can fix, really, but thank you for the offer to report them. I was spurred to ask this question by another friend who also has Prime and also has been seeing slower ship times, so I don't think it's just me. It is disappointing because sometimes I will delete an order from my cart because I realize that I cannot get it in time for whatever event I needed it for, and I have to go with an inferior product from my local Walmart (the only store with any kind of selection near me). So I suppose if there is anything to report as a problem, perhaps just general customer dissatisfaction regarding ship times.
Thank you for your assistance today.
Brandon:It was my pleasure Julia, is there anything else I can offer my help today?
Me:No, I do not believe so.
Brandon:Thank you so much for giving me a chance to help you today and talk to you, Julia. I hope you have a great day, and thank you for being part of the Amazon Family.

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