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Amazon customers complain of delays during COVID-19 pandemic

Some wonder if Amazon Prime is still worth paying for
Posted at 12:58 PM, Jun 02, 2020

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you may have noticed something different during the COVID pandemic. Packages take longer to arrive and some deliveries are no longer free.

That has some Prime members asking: "Why are we still paying $120 a year for this service?"

Laura Becker has always loved Amazon Prime for its free quick shipping to her home.

"Two days, easy, for most orders," she said. "Sometimes things came in a day."

Longer wait times, less free shipping

Becker says once the pandemic hit, that two-day shipping became three days, five days, even longer.

"I ordered something for my daughter, who lives in Alabama," she said. "And she got her product in 10 days."

Other items, like a large jug of Gain detergent Becker wanted to order from a third-party Amazon merchant, do not even qualify for free shipping these days.

"Actually, it says it is not eligible for Amazon Prime," she said.

The problem, she said, is that "I can't have any guarantee it will be here. Before, I knew if I need it this Friday, I can order it Wednesday."

Amazon is not offering any Prime refunds at this point, but Becker understands why some people are asking for one.

Company unprepared for surge in orders this Spring

A report on CNBC -- about Amazon's "unpredictable" shipping during this crisis -- quotes the company's CFO, who says they were "overwhelmed" by demand for essentials.

And unlike Christmas, he explains, they had no time for preparation, to ramp up and hire extra workers months in advance.

Becker understands, saying, "I get that. I'm a patient and understanding person. But at the same time, I'm frugal, and I am paying for something that I am not getting."

Amazon says it has been limiting sales of nonessential items, such as toys and electronics, so it can concentrate on items like food, medical supplies, diapers, and baby wipes.

But as more retail stores reopen, the company hopes to get back to normal, so you don't have to wait weeks for an order, and so you don't waste your money.

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