Something Bordering on Fraudulent Definitely Going On With Amazon Delivery Estimates

I reported before of clicking on the "today" one-click button at Amazon, meaning that I would pay a premium to get it here today (an option in the Phoenix area but not all locations) and having the item delivered one, two, or even three days later, rather than same day as promised.   This is happening with my Amazon orders more often than not - they are showing up days after they were promised when the sale was made.

It has now happened two more times.  On Tuesday evening I bought two small items I needed for an emergency computer rebuild, clicking in both cases on the button for delivery on Wednesday.  Neither showed up on Wednesday.  Neither showed up on Thursday.  The tracking on the site now says Friday. (By the way, all the rest of the stuff ordered from Newegg on a one day delivery showed up exactly as promised).

I went back and looked and the order confirmations sure enough say delivery on Friday.  I would never have ordered the item for Friday delivery, and in fact skimmed through multiple similar items until I found one that could be delivered on Wednesday.  I am positive I clicked Wednesday delivery, but a day later I got confirmations for a Friday delivery, without so much as an apology or even acknowledgement that this was not what I was promised.  I am sure Amazon will just call this user error on my part, but it now has happened on 8 or my last 10 rush shipments.  I GUARANTEE I know how to use Amazon, and have the order history to prove it, LOL.

I am convinced Amazon is executing a bait and switch, luring me into the purchase with the promise of a quick delivery and then delivering it several days late when it is too late for me to do anything about it.  Next time I do a rush order, I am going to take full screenshots of every step I take to prove what is going on.  Anyone else having similar experiences?  Amazon was dead-on reliable on these types of things until about 6 months ago, and then started to go off the tracks recently.


  1. ErikTheRed:

    I'm pretty sure I've experienced issues where an item's listing page showed one type of delivery and then it was silently switched in the shopping cart. I'm not positive that I've seen delivery times switched after checkout, but I'm fairly fastidious and I've cancelled and / or redone a heck of a lot of orders in the last year where the delivery time definitely got switched at some point. I check fairly carefully at each step now. I also use Amazon a lot (probably an average of 10-20 orders a month)...

  2. obloodyhell:

    I have prime, and something was promised on friday, but now is showing monday.

    Prob. ties to using the USPS is my guess. They've been doing that a lot more and the post office sucks.

    But I checked and it says right now that it hasn't shipped yet, so this can't be blamed on the USPS this time...

  3. BGThree:

    There is a distinction between "one day" and "same day" but I suspect you're aware of that. One day can mean same day or as many as 3-4 days, but same day is what you expect (I guess it disappears as an option after 1pm or so?). It's confusing enough that I filter it with the one that says "get it delivered TODAY, July 29". The 1 or 2 day filters are meaningless now.

    Are you getting tricked by the "add on item" semi bait & switch? It will prominently say "get it delivered today" but only if the rest of your order totals $35+. I don't think the add on item counts toward $35. Further, the rest of the order must also be eligible for "get it delivered today" for the add on item to arrive today. I THINK.

    "Alexa, tell me what time the milk, leather repair kit, 65" OLED TV, handyman, and 33 gallon drum of personal lubricant is going to get here" "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that unless you add $23.37 worth of exciting Prime TV episodes to your order."

  4. Agammamon:

    'One day' is accepted as meaning 'by the end of the next *business* day' (m-f). So if you order something on Tuesday it should get there Wednesday. *Maaaaaaaaybe* if you ordered late in the day and you live in the boonies (like I do - Yuma) and USPS is the delivery service, Thursday.

    But not Friday and certainly not the next Monday.

  5. HenryBowman419:

    I have had no problems whatsoever (in NM). I suspect that you may be experiencing a local phenomenon.

  6. LoneSnark:

    screenshots are the way to go here. You said they were going to charge you extra for the rushed delivery...did they? You say the order confirmation email shows Friday delivery, so it may be a coding problem on the website: one-day delivery is not available to you for the item in question, but it allows you to place the order by mistake, a mistake which is corrected on the backend, not charging you for the unavailable rush delivery.

  7. morganovich:

    i have been having a repeated issue with amazon since moving to puerto rico.

    prime does not work correctly here. they say it is "3-5 days". this is bunk. it's 3-5 days from when it ships, but it now takes 7-14 days to ship in the first place.

    they claim that this is because it is now "standard" and uses different trucks etc.

    it's ridiculous. i can see it taking longer in transit, but if i pay extra for "expedited" it packs and ships the same day.

    i have tried experiments where i order 2 things on the same day. the one i order "expedited" and pay extra for packs and ships the same day and i get it in 3 days, the pother does not ship for 1-2 weeks, then takes 3 days to get here.

    they claim that is "on time" as the shipping only took 3 days.

    i think it's total BS. it makes prime worthless to me except as a video streaming service.

    there's no fixing it with amazon. they claim this is "working correctly".

    i'm going to be back in the conus for 2 months and am interested to see how prime works there.

    it was nearly flawless before i left in march.

  8. Orion Henderson:

    I own a small mail order company. I suspect that Prime has gotten out of hand with them and they can no longer keep up. They are so big that they are getting away with it. For now. I think it will be coming back to haunt them in the not too distant future.

    They have managed 2 decades of extraordinary growth remarkably well. Maybe they've hit a wall.

  9. Orion Henderson:

    I don't think USPS is the issue here. I think the issue is getting products out of the warehouse on time.

  10. Orion Henderson:

    You would be surprised at how many people do not understand this.

  11. Q46:

    Have you reported this to Amazon and what did they say?

  12. David Stambaugh:

    It isn't just you. I don't do same day or next day but the two day promised as part of a Prime membership. Sometimes it shows up on time, but about 30% of the time it's a day late. Every time I call to complain they say that 'processing time' is not included. When I explain their web site promised it on Thursday and it didn't arrive until Friday they explain I don't understand their process. I think a class action lawsuit is in order

  13. Mike:

    Same here. I just do normal Prime shipping or slower, though. Have never tried next day (not even sure if it is an option here.

  14. John Moore:

    This is so odd. I live not far away from Coyote (56th & Cactus) and Amazon never misses a delivery date.

  15. John Moore:

    I have seen them change when I get to the shopping cart. But... I suspect some of those were because I didn't have the $35 minimum order for free same day delivery. Others can happen if it is awhile between when the delivery time is displayed and the time you get to the cart.

  16. Mark Alger:

    I'm in Cincinnati and receive several shipments a week from Prime. I rarely have problems with Amazon-fulfilled orders, but frequently do with third party sellers. For that reason I tend to avoid them unless Amazon doesn't carry a specific product itself. Also: As some others have said, the problem may be with your local "last mile" carriers. And the problem is not unique to Amazon; they may just be higher profile. For example: in my 35 year former career, I learned not to ship via FedEx or DHL into whole swathes of Europe. Packages would be delayed unconscionably or outright lost. Investigation almost always revealed that the local deliveries were not made by badged employees of the courier company, but by contractors. I was able to get away with not shipping to e.g., Spain or Italy because I wasn't shipping to stationary customers, but to customers on the road, who would be moving every day or two. (Which is what made the shipments super time-critical in the first place.)

  17. Chuck Bradley:

    I'm seeing a different lie. Prime two day shipping becomes promised in three business days. Thursday evening's order becomes Tuesday's Delivery. Over the years, I've had a bunch of one day deliveries when I paid for two days. Now Amazon seems to be destroying the stock of good will they built up..

  18. Maximum Liberty:

    This really sounds like a coding error to me, especially if the Amazon system CONSISTENTLY treats your orders as normal orders rather than rush orders. For example, if the first confirmation you get also matches what they charged you for, it seems more likely that they have a system problem than that they are engaging in deliberate fraud. This kind of thing can particularly happen if their front end ordering system is a different system integrated to their back end shipping system. The back-end shipping system might be correctly determining that one-day shipping is not available, but the front end-system erroneously offers it to you. Give them the benefit of the doubt?

  19. mesaeconoguy:

    I've actually ordered Prime, and had USPS deliver on Sunday.

    No joke.

  20. mesaeconoguy:

    I think this has something to do with Jeff Bezos appearing in Star Trek.

  21. ColoComment:

    Me too.

  22. Dredd Scott:

    I have had this happen many times. My personal theory is that once you
    order something for 1 day delivery, if afterwards you happen to look at other items
    on Amazon, they delay your shipment on the hopes you buy some of those
    other items so they can save money on combined shipping cost.

  23. OhioCoastie:

    I ordered a presta valve adapter from Amazon to use for inflating my backup wheelchair's tires. I placed the order on Monday and selected next-day shipping. The adapter arrived on Wednesday.

    They didn't just formally miss "getting it there the next day" by a little. They missed it by 13 hours. I'm demanding a refund on the shipping charges.

  24. Ray Van Dolson:

    I feel like I've run into this as well, but don't buy frequently enough to discern the pattern.

    My best guest was that sometimes when buying an item that's delivered by a third party, that third party changes by the time you get to check out. If you aren't watching carefully, the delivery estimate can be different on your final checkout page from when you first added it to your cart.

    Perhaps the same can happen to the Amazon-sourced items too.

    Or like you surmise, there's just some serious ball-dropping going on by either their order fulfillment folks or in their code.

  25. Kurt:

    Be sure to save those 'screen shots' somewhere on your computer where you can find them later.

    When I bought a Kindle Fire and excepted the lower price (about $50 buck difference as I remember) for one with 'special offers splash screen', it was said in the fine print that after 6 months the screen could be released from showing the (essentially) ads for free. The ads on the splash screen didn't bother me so I left them as is.
    Year later, now the system is 'pushing' marketing apps and notifications about special offers that interrupt what I'm doing and hijack the tablet if I click on them by mistake. And I can't get them off the tablet. Now Amazon demands $35 to allow me to clear this shit off the tablet.

    Can I find that screen shot of the earlier original offer? Of course not.

  26. Lenny:

    I've experienced this - for me it seems to correlate with Amazon using their own logistics instead of UPS.

  27. marque2:

    The Libertarian answer for the store that sells bad meat, is that the market will quickly stop purchasing the product. For your Amazon situation, at least your choice not to use them any more won't be because you died of food poisoning.

  28. Agammamon:

    Because the FDA and the USDAA have stopped food poisoning inside the United States? Because Chipotle was more scared of government fines than consumers shopping elsewhere?

  29. marque2:

    You missed the sarcasm of my post, by a mile - more. Milton and Warren and other libertarians do not believe in government programs or intervention in business. I frequently point out, the libertarian remedies are frequently pointless when you are dead. Drugs are another, I get killed by a stoned driver - well my family can sue, yeah but I am dead, and he is a druggie so has no money - well that is your fault for not having insurance, - you aren't upset that I lost my ultimate liberty because of a stone driver - you are setting up a strawman argument - no it is an exams of something that happens fault - well your ignorant ...

    and the twisted libertarian argument with a rational person goes on and on along those lines.

  30. Jin:

    You should complain to Amazon and see what they will do to compensate you. If you are a Prime member, I've found that they will invariably agree to extend your membership by a month for any instance of late delivery. Help -> Need more help -> Contact Us, select your order, Problem with an order, Shipping or delivery issues, Shipment is late, E-mail, explain your issue and politely ask that you have your Prime membership extended for a month as compensation for your troubles. $11 every time you have a late delivery.

  31. FelineCannonball:

    Go elsewhere. If it hasn't shipped, cancel it.

    They are also providing estimates on back-ordered items for which they have no clue about future availability. I don't know if it is Amazon, or some of their affiliates gaming the system to get sales. But they need to get it under control.

    Best of all, if you never get an item it is not possible to put up a review. They can lie about it, but you can't counter. So shipping fuck-ups are under-represented in negative reviews.

  32. Joshua:

    You confuse libertarian for anarchist. Some are, some aren't. With regard to the butcher selling tainted meat, it's not just the individual consumer going elsewhere that steers them to not selling tainted meat, it's the entire market who will essentially shut down the butcher by not shopping there. I've never met a libertarian who says "libertopia" will be perfect, just better than present.

    I think you will find that both libertarian and state remedies are equally pointless when you are dead.

  33. marque2:

    I am not, I have had many the debate with pure libertarians and those are their arguments and I have read the supporting libertarian literature which supports the assertions. Getting killed from bad meat is from Milton Friedman. If you read Rothbard he is so extreme that he would say, if you don't your baby any more, put it outside and let it fend for itself. It is pretty brutal philosophy, but it is nowhere near anarchism.

    That said, I fully agree with your last sentence, and also humbly suggest to Warren, again, that he seek services from another establishment that suits him better.

  34. Protest Manager:

    What he said. But you really don't need screenshots, you just need the bill.

    If you paid for Same-day or 1-day shipping, and they didn't get it to you by then, then they owe you your shipping money back, as an absolute minimum. No?

  35. Snoturky:

    I placed a 1-day shipping order on a Wednesday. The shipping estimates maintained it was scheduled to be delivered on Friday evening (a day late), even though the Tracking information had it several states away minutes before that deadline. Monday afternoon it finally showed up. Some of my Amazon orders have arrived on time, but I think about half of them have not.

  36. Johnnyreb:

    I have never had any issues with Amazon Prime shipping. Third party vendors on Amazon are a different matter though. I do my best to avoid them even if they offer a lower price.

  37. Carrot Top:

    Your situation you described is accurate. Amazon is turning into a wild cat delivery service. Deliveries are happening anytime of day or night. The last couple of drivers I saw looked frazzled to the point of exhaustion. Don't forget Amazon puts the screws to plenty of there sellers too. I no longer buy from this company because it's impossible to communicate with the sellers or amazon unless you can email them 10 times and wait 2 weeks. They don't care.

  38. JTW:

    probably, and they'll probably find a way to fix it by increasing their delivery network, but that doesn't happen overnight.
    Out here, I've never had trouble with Amazon delivering late. If anything, most of the things I order from them arrive 1-2 days EARLIER than promised.
    3rd party marketplace vendors are another thing though, some of them don't take their shipping promises too seriously (and I've encountered a few who didn't ship at all, in which case Amazon always refunded me in lue of the marketplace vendor doing so).

  39. Jonathan:

    You might want to take a look at this thread on HN, as apparently it is possible to get Amazon to change who they use for your deliveries:

  40. DA:

    Ordered a $300 speaker on Wednesday, chose two-day Prime delivery. Didn't come until Monday. Called and complained, received 1 free month of Prime.

  41. notconvincedgranny:

    Their technicality? Two-day shipping has nothing to do with two-day fulfillment. In other words, if you place an order on Wednesday, and they don't pull and ship it until Friday, it's two business days from Friday (date of shipment), not from date of order. Couple that with their attempts to save on shipping costs by delivering to your local USPS, which doesn't feel the need to honor Amazon's commitment and you have an amazing clusterf*** for which you paid extra. I've had orders show up at 11PM - or not at all. I dropped Prime and its pretenses and try to shop locally now. Trying to be all things to all people has made Amazon a pathetic option.

  42. StillStandingNow:

    You fail to acknowledge the market monopoly Amazon enjoys. There IS NO ELSEWHERE for fast online delivery.

  43. marque2:

    Since I am actively boycotting Amazon, I can positively say your assertion is false. You only have to go a out 3 different sites to get your stuff rather than one. I am sure for any product you typically desire I can find a well known retailer other than eBay that sells the product.

  44. NickVonNyphe:

    Have also noticed your same observations regarding third party marketplace vendors... with a twist.

    Here's the scenario... for an International shipment
    - vendor offers incredulously low price
    - purchase is made and shipping expectations set
    - after not meeting shipping expectations, vendor blames carrier (USPS most often)
    - original purchase refunded by Amazon via "Gift Card" credit
    - seeking out same product from alternative vendor, run across same original vendor pitching product at 3-5x original discounted offer

    I've borne witness to this via spouse's purchases and been through this myself a handful of times now.

    The pattern emerged more recently during this last holiday season and the weeks following. The latest pertained to computer (MoBo, PSU, RJ45, et al) diagnostic equipment sent in, of all things, an International letter envelope, from Eastern US to Western Canada, which, after 4 weeks from purchase, 3.5 from purported shipping date, has vanished into thin air.

    While having Amazon refund me within minutes of filing this last claim, it does little to compensate for the time lost awaiting the shipment, let alone spent communicating back and forth with the vendor to determine WTH is going on.

  45. JTW:

    That's the age old bait and switch scam that's been used my dubious mail order companies for decades.
    Put an ad in a magazine for something and underprice it massively.
    When people order it, it's constantly out of stock, after a few phone calls they offer to send something else instead that is in stock but costs a lot more, more in fact than that same thing costs elsewhere.
    Or they refuse to ship it until you also order (at above market prices) things that are included in the purchase price as standard everywhere else.

    Think a camera where you, when ordering from such shops, after 2-3 phone calls, hear they now have it but you'll have to pay extra for the battery, camera strap, and things like that, bringing the total of the price way above normal market prices (and that often after your credit card or bank account have already been charged for the original order of course).

  46. Marty:

    The Amazon 3rd party delivery commitments are clearly bait and switch. Several times now, 2 day delivery has immediately changed to 7 day delivery after I complete the order. This is happening with shipments from their suppliers.

  47. CptMcquacken:

    You are definitely not alone.
    I ordered a product from Amazon that was not in stock.
    The website said they would have the product available to following Monday.
    I ordered next day shipping so I would have the product on that Tuesday.
    The entire week and Monday, the tracking said it would arrive on Tuesday.
    Tuesday morning, I checked and it said the product was out for delivery and would be in my hands by 8 pm.
    A little while later I checked and it said the product was not even shipped yet and would arrive A WEEK LATER.
    I called, notably pissed off. They didn't really have an answer for me.

    I was told they didn't have the product and it would be shipped later this week.
    Well, I know you didn't have it but your information stated when you would, and the tracking information changed the last second to reflect the truth. Why wasn't I notified before the last day? To make matters more infuriating (granted they were trying to work with me) They said I could cancel and then replace the order and have it the 15th instead of the 20th. So, people ordering this product on Tuesday, are getting it before I am and I ordered this to be shipped next day? WTF?
    I told them I didn't want to risk more problems considering that the product is highly desireable and going out of production.