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Amazon challenges ‘guaranteed delivery’ meaning

Amazon challenges 'guaranteed delivery' meaning
Amazon challenges 'guaranteed delivery' meaning

Amazon has turned to the courts to help define the legal boundaries around ‘guaranteed delivery.’ 

The giant e-commerce faces a consumer class action, accusing Amazon of not delivering what it promises: guaranteed delivery for specific purchases. 

Reuters quotes from the papers filed by Amazon’s attorneys in the Seattle federal court, proposing that the case be thrown out. It claims that ‘guaranteed delivery’ doesn’t mean strictly that the delivery is guaranteed. 

Consumers argue that it violates Washington state’s consumer protection law.

Complaint details

A complainant alleges that in September, Amazon met a delivery date for a purchase; however, it fell out of the 4-hour window the consumer picked for the package to be delivered. 

Reuters states that the Indiana resident paid  $2.99 for “rush shipping,” but without the specific service, one would assume the extra fee would be returned. This is, however, not the case. It might sound petty, but his lawyer says “millions of Amazon customers” have experienced the same service. 

On the contrary, Amazon’s lawyer Perkins Coie argues that the ‘guaranteed delivery’ promise pertains to a date, not a time. Coie told the court “that the “terms do not guarantee that customers will receive their orders during that window.” It is simply a preferred option, not a requirement. 

What is guaranteed delivery?

Choosing same-day, express, or priority delivery opinions will allow customers to select a “guaranteed delivery date.” Amazon clearly states on its website that if the order is late, the individual must reach out to customer care. “Our liability is limited to refunding the amount paid by you to us for the item (including applicable shipping fees).”

Amazon also points out that a customer has additional rights under each country’s specific consumer law, which should not be disregarded. 

However, it also warns that the date can become unavailable “due to changes in inventory or delivery capacity before you place your order.” The details around the preferred delivery window are not specified on the website, making it complicated. 

Read the fine print

Erika Kullberg, who claims to be a lawyer, posted a viral video on TikTok last year. She encourages customers to demand a refund when Amazon fails to deliver on time, during guaranteed delivery. 

In the nearly three million times viewed video, Kullberg shows her followers how to demand a refund for the shipping fee. She also shows how to claim a 30% price discount on the purchased item due to inconvenience. She claims to have discovered the loopholes in Amazon’s fine print. 

Many Amazon users agree that this works. Alan Billings says: “This is actually true, and Amazon won’t hackle you for it usually. If your package is late then they will usually refund you a partial refund.”

Another user called Emmy confirms the same happened with her late delivery. “I ordered a 50” TV off Amazon Prime, and the package was delayed like a week. So I got a full refund for the TV and got to keep it after it arrived.”

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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