ASA considering investigation over Amazon delivery complaints

ASA considering investigation over Amazon delivery complaints

The Advertising Standards Authority has said it is assessing whether an investigation into Amazon parcel deliveries is warranted, following "a handful" of complaints.

The statement follows reports of customers complaining they had been misled into signing up to the internet retailer’s premium service Amazon Prime, costing £79 per year and offering “unlimited one-day delivery”, to beat the Christmas rush, with some deliveries via the service arriving late.

The Amazon Prime website reads: “Need a last-minute gift? Can't get out of the house? Realise you forgot to pick up something? With Unlimited One-Day Delivery from Amazon Prime, your shopping problems are solved.” Under "Help and Customer Service" it also states: "Your order will be dispatched with the intention that it’s delivered one day after dispatch." 

The ASA told The Bookseller: "We have received a handful of complaints about Amazon parcel deliveries and we are at the initial assessment stage. We have not yet made a decision on whether the complaints warrant an investigation."

Amazon has been criticised by the ASA in the past for its description of delivery charges. In 2012 the watchdog told the retailer it must change the wording of its Prime offer, then costing £49 annually, after "misleading" customers by describing delivery as "free".

However the ASA recently backpedalled on one of its rulings about Amazon UK’s “misleading”  delivery charges. It acknowledged that in a situation where an Amazon Basics electrical product for £18.49 did not qualify for free delivery, that the delivery options were "complex and dependent on a range of factors".