ASA considering Amazon Prime claims investigation

After complaints by a ‘handful of customers’, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has said it is considering an investigation into the next day delivery claims made by Amazon for its Prime subscription members.

The last order day for Prime members this Christmas is said to be this Saturday with a view to goods being delivered on Christmas Eve. Amazon state on their website, “Your order will be dispatched with the intention that it’s delivered one day after dispatch.”

The advertised delivery times don’t always go to plan, particularly in times of high demand. Where there is very high demand and this isn’t planned for by Amazon there are numerous instances where parcels have been delivered sometime later than the next day.

According to consumer champions Which? this is a breach of contract: “If you paid for delivery by a certain date or time (eg by Christmas or next-day delivery) and the delivery arrives late, this is a breach of contract. If it was essential that your goods were delivered on time, you have the right to terminate the purchase and get a full refund.”

The Advertising Standards Agency will have to carefully examine the wording of the Amazon Prime claims as it is possible to present language that leads people to believe that next day delivery is guaranteed yet legal eyes to be able to claim that no such warranty has been issued. If there is sufficient evidence the ASA may go after Amazon.

The ASA has gone after Amazon before over other claims regarding Amazon Prime. In 2015 the ASA upheld complaints by six customers that Amazon did not make sufficiently clear that a paid subscription would automatically start if not cancelled during the free trial and did not state what the cost of the subscription would be. The regulator concluded that the ad was “likely to mislead”.

This might translate into a New Year hangover from hell for the online giant. Apex Insight will naturally report on this as it develops.

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