Some Amazon Prime Customers Report Changes in Shipping Times

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Amazon Prime’s Two-Day Shipping Questioned by Customers

Complaints arise from Amazon Prime members across the US questioning the disappearance of two-day shipping. While next-day and same-day delivery options are expanding, many customers are still experiencing longer delivery times in certain regions. This discrepancy raises concerns about the state of Amazon’s membership program and whether the company intentionally slowed down delivery speeds for select Prime members.

A former longtime Amazon employee named Peter Freese recently conducted a personal investigation after noticing a significant change in his hometown’s delivery speeds. In Omak, Washington, once benefiting from free two-day shipping, all merchandise now took an unusually long five business days to arrive. Freese speculated that this alteration was either an unaddressed technical bug, potentially impacting sales, or a cost-saving measure by Amazon.

After discovering similar complaints on social media, Freese conducted an experiment across all 39 counties in Washington. He found that in 13 of these counties, Prime orders took either four or five business days to arrive, despite displaying a Prime badge at checkout. Instead of promising specific shipping timeframes like “two-day” or “next-day,” these orders were labeled as “FREE delivery.” Although Freese’s experiment is not exhaustive, it supports customer complaints regarding exceptionally slow delivery speeds.

Amazon spokesperson Lauren Samaha denied any deliberate slowdowns, asserting that Prime delivery speeds vary due to several factors such as transportation capacity and customer location. She also dismissed the notion that Amazon had discontinued two-day Prime shipping in certain regions. According to Amazon’s website, “nearly all addresses in the contiguous US” qualify for two-day Prime shipping.

Freese’s experiment notably identified slow delivery speeds even in Spokane, where Amazon has recently opened two new fulfillment centers. To delve deeper, Freese conducted additional tests in different parts of Spokane County. Only one out of four addresses had faster delivery speeds, and even then, only six out of the 10 products qualified for two-day Prime shipping.

Amazon customer service representatives frequently address complaints by clarifying that the two-day shipping promise begins upon item shipment, not at the time of order placement. However, long-time Prime members have come to expect packages arriving two days after placing an order. The disparity between expectations and reality has left some customers without previous two-day shipping benefits despite paying full Prime membership fees.

It is important to consider the vast Amazon workforce consisting of a million employees in the US who operate under strict surveillance and demanding quotas to ensure efficient order processing and delivery. These conditions have resulted in higher-than-average injury rates and steep employee turnover, which have proven challenging for Amazon in some regions. Unionization efforts have already begun at multiple Amazon facilities across the country.

Amazon has acknowledged the need to adjust expansion plans due to decreased consumer demand and overestimation of required warehouse space and staffing. According to the logistics consulting firm MWPVL International Inc., Amazon has either closed or halted the opening of dozens of facilities, indicating a shift in the company’s growth strategy.

The inconsistency in Prime delivery expectations suggests potential cracks in Amazon’s once seamless retail operation. As customer dissatisfaction grows, Amazon will need to address these concerns to maintain its dominance in the e-commerce industry.

A screenshot of an Amazon checkout page for a Ring video doorbell.
A Prime order placed on Sunday, August 28, and headed to Spokane, Washington, shows a delivery date of Saturday, September 3.

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