The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has confirmed that Amazon’s promotional claims of ‘guaranteed next day delivery’ breaches regulations, and will need to be changed.
The investigation was carried out following numerous complaints from customers who were not receiving their paid-for items until sometimes two or three days after purchase.
Amazon tried to defend the claims, arguing that misunderstandings from the terms and conditions are what caused the issues with some consumers.
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The official policy is that items bought from Amazon will arrive one day after dispatch, not simply, one day after purchase.
Similarly, if a purchase is made late on a Friday, then it is not likely to get to you until the Monday. The time of the day in which any item is bought seemed to affect the likelihood of next day delivery though.
The ASA have come to the conclusion, however, that these aspects of the policy were not made explicit enough to customers, and that the word ‘guarantee’ insinuated beyond doubt that the consumer would expect their items within 24 hours.
There was also conjecture and a conflict of terminology in reference to Amazon’s partnership with the Royal Mail in delivering their goods. While Amazon guarantees items arriving at people’s doors in one day, the Royal Mail first class service they use states their deliveries may take one or two days. Once again, the essence of the word ‘guarantee’ is completely negated as a result, and Amazon must now make the necessary adjustments.
The ASA said: “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.”
An Amazon spokesman was keen to promote the general service and delivery quality from the company, however: “Amazon measures success on its ability to deliver items by the delivery date that is provided to each customer when an order is placed.
“Whether it’s Prime, Free Super Saver or any of our other delivery services, we work hard every day to ensure that our customers receive the products that they want, when they want them.”