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Amazon can’t promise “One-Day delivery” says ASA

By Chris Dawson May 24, 2012 - 10:21 am

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have decided that Amazon, who’s delivery service is legendary, can’t offer One-Day delivery in case someone orders over a weekend!

Anyone who’s purchased from Amazon will know that they’re probably the best deliverers in the country. The dispatch and shipping arm (which also handles FBA items on behalf of sellers) is a well oiled machine which pumps out millions of orders with robotic efficiency from warehouses around the world.

The main sticky point in the complaint which the ASA upheld is that “One-Day” meant one day after dispatch” and this wasn’t sufficiently highlighted on Amazon’s website. In the situation someone ordered late on Friday evening their item is normally dispatched on Saturday and delivered on Monday, that’s Three-Day delivery, not One-Day delivery and the ASA doesn’t like it.

Of course any sane buyer realises that couriers don’t deliver on Sundays and that there’s a cut off point for dispatching orders and that One-day delivery means the next working day after shipment. To avoid the same problems Amazon have had with the ASA, it would appear that you need to spell this out (probably in one syllable words) and make sure it’s prominently featured next to all delivery offers.

Amazon were also chided for using Royal Mail First Class deliveries as that’s no longer a First Class Next Day service. According to the Royal Mail website, delivery would takes between one and two days for First Class post.

The ASA concluded that “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“. I conclude that if Amazon, the best in the business, can’t provide a One-Day delivery and get it right then the rest of us have no chance.

  • Stuart
    5 years ago

    “Of course any sane buyer realises that couriers don’t deliver on Sundays and that there’s a cut off point for dispatching orders and that One-day delivery means the next working day after shipment” DO THEY?

    I actually cancelled my Amazon prime membership this year, I joined the very week it started, because of so many failed next day deliveries, in fact four parcels at Christmas took over three days to arrive!

    • 5 years ago

      Maybe they don’t realise :-D

      It’s interesting though because it’s not just Amazon Prime, what about selling on eBay with 24 hour courier and 1 day dispatch time?

  • 5 years ago

    I notice considerable buyer confusion when it comes to dispatch time and delivery time on eBay.

    It only takes one person in two hundred to misunderstand it for you to lose Top Rated Seller status as well (to give perspective: two people in two hundred in the UK can’t read or write).

    The ASA is quite rightly realising what the marketplaces need to adopt — it’s not about dispatch: it’s about delivery – measured in working days. Two is the gold standard. One is a lie.

    • 5 years ago

      “Working days” is crucial here, plus of course defining what you mean by a “working day”. Does that include Saturday? What about the extra Bank Holiday Tuesday coming up in June?

    • 5 years ago

      Don’t forget that many people also perceive days that never actually existed.

      Back in 2006 I came back from the Post Office to an angry message from a Canadian buyer wanting to know where his package was. He’d paid for it 3 days earlier. The problem is that when I counted the hours since his purchase it was only something like 20 so not even a single day had passed. I pointed this out when I replied telling him I just shipped his package. He then responds with some sort of crazy math to prove that it had in fact been 3 days.