As the holiday seasons ramps up into full gear on this Black Friday, one of the most popular shopping options is Amazon.
I am a big fan of Amazon. At least from a convenience perspective, Amazon has evolved into a great company. With features such as free 2-day shipping, free returns, and an easy to use website, it’s the go to source for many.
And while ease of use is convenient, it also makes it easy to overspend.
But the point of today’s post isn’t to discuss the challenges of controlling your spending when it’s so easy to let go. Instead, I have a personal observation about Amazon’s service.
Amazon’s Delivery Service is Key to Their Success
We have been Amazon Prime members for years now. We use their subscription services and Amazon has taken over as our primary vendor for household items. This is in addition to the books, movies, clothes, and everything else we buy from Amazon.
And for years, their delivery has been nearly flawless. Items marked Prime are received within 2 days and sometimes in 1 day. During all this time, I cannot remember ever having a delivery issue.
UPS was the preferred shipper with an occasional FedEx delivery. It was easy to log in and track the status of your shipment. But then Amazon started using the United States Post Office in addition to the private carrier companies. And things haven’t been the same since.
The benefit of the USPS was Sunday delivery for some items.
The downside is that I’ve noticed a significant decline in delivery quality.
More than once, we have ordered items marked Prime only to realize that while the shipping might be 2-day, the item wasn’t available to shop for days or even weeks. Either it’s not clearly marked or we’re just used to getting Prime items in 2 days, but either way, it’s frustrating to order an item thinking it will arrive in 2 days only to discover later that it will be arriving much later.
I’m not sure if this is a delivery issue, an Amazon issue, or an issue with the specific sellers on Amazon.
And It Gets Worse
And if that’s not bad enough, we have started getting notifications that items were delivered by the USPS when in fact they haven’t been delivered.
Just yesterday, we received a text notification that a book we ordered was delivered the prior morning. This itself is odd because usually we get a notification within minutes of an item being delivered. In this case, the notification came 24 hours after delivery was supposed to have happened.
But even after receiving the notification, the item hasn’t been delivered. I suspect we’ll see the delivery later today.
The cynical side of me thinks that the delivery driver was supposed to have delivered the product on Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving). But they didn’t want to work late that day. I assume they marked the item as delivered so as to not impact their performance metrics and they took the package home with them planning to deliver it the next business day.
We’ll see if it actually gets delivered today.
Make Sure Your Gifts Arrive on Time
From my perspective, this was never a problem with Amazon before they started using the United States Post Office for deliveries. And while the problem may be somewhat isolated, Amazon needs to retake control of their delivery before it becomes a systemic problem.
Amazon has spent years building credibility getting people comfortable buying products online. It won’t take long for consumers to find other options if they find the Amazon service suddenly having reliability issues.
And if you’re buying through Amazon and especially if you’re buying something with a time-sensitive nature (i.e., a Christmas present), I recommend ordering early and checking the shipping details before placing your order.
Readers, have any of you experienced reliability issues with the Amazon delivery experience? Have you noticed any correlation with Amazon contracting with the post office?