Amazon has knuckles rapped for misleading advertising

Channel News

Prime next day delivery service doesn’t do what it says on the tin says ASA

Amzon has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for not properly clarifying its advertising about its Prime delivery service.

The online retailer was taken to task over its premium one-day delivery service following complaints that customers had been left waiting for orders.

Amazon claims in its advertising that its Prime service gives customers “free guaranteed one day delivery” to eligible items delivered to all mainland UK addresses.

Its marketing materials stated: “Amazon Prime – All You Can Eat One-Day Delivery” the website outlined some of the benefits of subscribing to Amazon Prime including, “Unlimited FREE One-Day Delivery on millions of eligible items sold by”, “Express Delivery for £4.49 per item” and “No minimum purchase required”

However, the ASA was forced to investigate these claims after three customers complained that the offer was misleading. This was because they had signed up to the service but found that a significant number of orders were not delivered within one day.

Amazon tried to defend itself, telling the ASA that Prime customers were given a guaranteed delivery date when placing an order. However this would not necessarily be one day after the order was placed and could in fact be one business day after the order was due to be dispatched depending on the time the order was placed.

However, the ASA wasn’t convinced and upheld the claims, pointing out that Amazon didn’t make it clear that “one-day” could mean the day after the product was dispatched.

It also pointed out that Amazon used Royal Mail’s first class service for these deliveries, which Royal Mail states can take between one and two days. As a result this was described by the ASA as “non-guaranteed” which contradicted Amazon’s claims of “guaranteed” and thus made them misleading.

Amazon has been ordered to now change its advertising.

The ASA told Amazon to include a clear qualification on pages which stated “one-day delivery” that this referred to one day after dispatch. It also told the company to remove the claim that the service was guaranteed until it could be substantiated.

We contacted Amazon to find out if it would be changing the way it delivered items. An employee in customer services told ChannelBiz: “We do use Royal Mail, but then we also use contracted services too.

“We have no plans at this point to change the way we do our deliveries. The majority of our customers are pleased with the delivery service we provide on both standard and with Prime.”

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