Skip to main content

What to do if your Amazon Prime delivery is late

amazon prime late delivery

Amazon is renown for its ultra-fast deliveries, but even the biggest online retailer in the world can drop the ball from time to time. So how can you avoid an Amazon Prime late delivery? After all, Amazon Prime members pay $119/year for expedited deliveries and the last thing you want is a late delivery. 

Also, with Walmart Plus — a new competing service — launching on September 15, Prime members have more options than ever for expedited delivery. Here are some pointers on what to do if you receive an Amazon Prime late delivery. 

Amazon Prime late delivery and the Amazon Prime Day

One of the biggest retail holidays of the year is fast approaching. Amazon Prime Day is expected to ring in thousands of deals on everything from TVs to video games. However, during busy times it can be easy for Amazon deliveries to get lost and/or fail to arrive on time. Should your Prime Day delivery arrive late, you should contact Amazon and mention that your purchase didn't arrive on time. Just remember to be polite about it and you may be surprised by what Amazon offers in return. 

Understanding the perks

Although Amazon doesn't do much to promote its Amazon Prime late delivery refund policy, it's actually a good one. In years past, any Amazon Prime customer who didn’t get a delivery within two days on a two-day shipment, or within the hours Amazon specified, would qualify for one free month of Amazon Prime. (Keep in mind that mileage varied.)

The free month was typically tacked on at the end of the period, so subscribers' end dates are extended one month.

"If you received free shipping through Amazon Prime, you may be eligible for a free one-month extension when the promised delivery date isn't met," Amazon once wrote on its customer service page. "Prime Extensions are limited to one per free trial and 12 for an annual membership."

However, since the publishing of this article, that page has been updated to provide more general information about late shipments. It now suggests that Amazon will offer you a refund on your shipping fees. It makes no mention of Amazon Prime specifically. You will instead need to contact Amazon customer service, which according to many Internet users, will give you the free month.

Keep in mind that some internet users have reported even better perks in return for a late Amazon Prime delivery. Several posters have reported that the e-tailer offered anywhere from a $5 to $20 gift certificate toward any product on the site, a 20 percent discount on an Amazon Prime membership, or other offers.

It's unclear exactly what triggers Amazon to offer one deal over another, and it might have something to do with the time of year and whether you've complained before or not. But a quick look online clearly shows that Amazon is willing to offer more than just an extra month of Amazon Prime.

So, the question becomes, how do customers actually take advantage of such deals when their packages are later than Amazon promised?

amazon prime late delivery

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Contacting Amazon

To contact Amazon, it's best to use the company's Contact Us page. When customers get to that page, they'll see the option to either chat with a messaging assistant that can answer basic questions or direct users to the proper place to have their issue addressed.

The page also gives users the option of having Amazon call them, as well as a wait time, so they have a sense of how long it’ll take to hear back from the company.

MORE: Amazon Prime Streaming Guide: Best Movies and TV Shows

If neither option is suitable, Amazon also provides quick access to a slew of help pages on everything from checking an order and managing content on devices to getting help with Amazon Prime and updating payment information.

Generally, Amazon recommends selecting the phone option to get support more quickly; customers can specify which phone number the rep should call. Still, online-chat waiting times aren't bad.

Talking to customer service

Once it's time to talk to a customer service rep, the process is somewhat simple. Customers simply confirm that they purchased a product and that it hasn't arrived. Amazon customer service will look into the claim, quickly determine that the package hasn't arrived and, in most cases, automatically offer a free month of Amazon Prime service.

But as mentioned, some people have been lucky enough to get more than a free month of Prime, so it's a good idea for customers to push back a bit and explain why the delay is such an inconvenience.

MORE: Is Amazon Prime Worth It? Here Are 17 Benefits for Members

Perhaps you ran out of critical household goods or you were counting on the product to land in time so it could be given as a gift. Whatever the case, the commenters suggest customers who come up with a good reason Amazon's delay is upsetting them are in a good position to get a bit more. As long as it's all done in a polite manner. In other words, writing in all caps or too much complaining will probably get you nowhere.

Given that Amazon’s official policy only allows for customer service representatives to offer a freebie on the first late Amazon Prime delivery, the company might be less willing to offer a deal if delays start to pile up. As such, it's a good idea to go for it all the first time around or face the possibility of more pushback on subsequent attempts.

Bonus tip: Avoid Twitter

amazon prime late delivery

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

One more thing: While it's fine to complain to Amazon on Twitter, the company discourages sharing order information on the social network and typically directs users to its customer service page. So, although Twitter might be more convenient, it won't expedite a resolution.

  • mskaty77
    Amazon said they wouldn't do the extra month of Prime because "We are only able to extend Prime if the item was delayed in transit." Never mind that it was to be delivered in 2 days then low & behold 1 week later it hasn't been shipped yet. It was out of stock but couldn't tell us?!?!?! Horrendous inconvenience since it was for a birthday present 1 day after it was to be delivered AND about $15 in gas to get something else!!!
    Reply
  • dezacher
    This extra month "promise" is bogus. I have an order I need that supposedly was "out for delivery" in my town. The product was never delivered and I got no explanation. Contacting the company after 8 p.m. the day this happened only got them to promise they would contact the carrier and try harder next time to make it on time. I got no promises of anything even though I let them know how much I needed the product today (which is true). Please do not laud Amazon for its good customer service when that is not true for everyone.
    Reply
  • marikomarianes
    I laughed at the first post from MSKATY77 because my order was delayed in transit, and I did not get any extension on my Amazon Prime. Their customer service must make up any excuse based on your circumstance. It's unfortunate that Amazon is getting so big that their customer service is getting worse. I've been an Amazon customer for many years - way before Prime was even an option, and their customer service was way better in the beginning. This month, I ordered a coffee maker which was supposed to have one day delivery. It did not arrive. If Amazon had put two day delivery, I would have purchased the coffee maker somewhere else, because who wants to go two days without coffee??!! Anyway, when it did not arrive, I complained to customer service, and this was their exact reply:
    Hello,

    I'm sorry to hear that you haven't received your package yet. Most packages that are late show up shortly after the estimated delivery date.

    I've checked our records and see that we shipped this order on time and scheduled to deliver the package on November 17, 2017.

    I checked and see that there was an unexpected delay in transit from carriers end. This is the reason your shipment was late. I'm sorry about this.

    I hope you'll understand that we do our best to ensure that all orders leave our fulfillment centers in time to meet the availability and shipping estimates listed on our website. In spite of our efforts, there are unforeseen delays with some shipments on occasion. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

    However, I've checked with Ontrac and see that they scheduled to deliver your package in the end of November 17, 2017.

    http://www.ontrac.com/trackingres.asp?tracking_number=C12.......

    When your order does arrive, there's no need to contact us. However, if you haven't received it by end of November 20, 2017 please let us know and we'll be happy to get a refund or replacement for you.

    In addition to our large selection, one of the benefits we strive to offer our customers is convenience; we regret that we have not met that standard in this case.

    We look forward to seeing you again soon.??

    We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the buttons below to vote about your experience today.

    Best regards,
    Balu J
    Amazon.com
    Reply
  • paulroberts27
    Just signed up for a prime trial, a few days ago. My first order, supposedly next day, was pushed back at the checkout; so i'm already disappointed. That being said, today is the day it is scheduled to arrive-even after the push back. Scheduled to arrive any time before 8pm is bad enough. Why they can't give me an estimated 2 hour slot to save me waiting for 13 hours, like most other companies do, is beyond me. Anyway, the tracking still doesn't indicate it is out for delivery & it's supposed to arrive today. 48 minutes to go, I don't think it's going to make it somehow. Ordered Friday, dispatched Saturday, not here Sunday (They have delivered many times on a Sunday), Not here Monday with 48 minutes remaining until 8pm. Not looking good Amazon. I don't hold out much hope for my pantry delivery then, either, supposedly takes 4 days for that to get here. I guess I won't be paying for that service. I will see what they offer to stream & then cancel, I think!
    Reply
  • mkmck69
    Amazon does a decent job of getting my stuff out on time, but they need to look into their relationship with UPS, because UPS is HORRIBLE! Constant incorrect information on their tracking site, and 7 out of the 9 orders I have placed in the last month have been shipped on time, but delivered late...2 of them in excess of 3 days late. Each time, Amazon has extended my subscription, and once gave me a $15 credit for future use. Great on their part, but I would assume that their contract with UPS is worth many millions of dollars a year. As I wrote to Amazon, for that kind of business level, they should expect better performance from their vendor. If my level of service performance to my customers was that poor, I wouldn't have many customers left.
    Reply
  • beaker38
    I ordered a $325 bed cover for my truck. seeing that they offered it on prime I bought it (Monday) and was expecting it to get here in 2 days via FEDEX. After it didn't show on the 2nd day (Wednesday) they offered me a 1 month extension on prime. It looked like it was gonna take another 2 days due to the distance it was at and dealings in the past with UPS taking forever. I told them that we are going to have a snowstorm on Friday night and i would have liked it before the snow storm. I asked Amazon is their anything else you could offer me as the guaranteed shipping fell through on their part. Expecting to get a gift card I was more than surprised when Amazon offered to do a total refund on the Bed Cover and still let me keep the bed cover which I was more than happy to take. The bed cover came Thursday to my surprise.
    Reply
  • clamosse
    Apparently the Prime membership means nothing in December. I've had two packages in the last week delivered days late. The first time I complained, I was given the free month. The second time, after going through 2 customer service reps, including one who told me I should have NEVER expected 2 day delivery (uh, what?) I was given a five buck credit. Apparently they can't keep up with the complaints in December. Canceling my membership as I need it to work year round, including December.
    Reply
  • chadg2008
    The Amazon - UPS relationship is a bad one. I order stuff weekly from Amazon using my Prime membership. Most of the time it comes USPS and it arrives within 2 days. However I have a package that is being sent UPS that has been at my local facility and "out for delivery" for 3 days now and I still have not received it. I have called UPS and they are zero help. I called Amazon and they offered me 1 month free of Prime Membership. I told them what was the point in me even having Prime Membership when you can't even get UPS to literally drive a box to my house from a facility that is only a few miles away. I cancelled Amazon Prime and will take my online shopping business elsewhere.
    Reply
  • kaitlinwho
    I had two orders with prime that were about a week late. One was $14.99, the other $56.99. After turning down multiple offers with the online rep through a live chat, they eventually refunded the $14.99 order and gave me $20 for the other. I'm almost certain they would have refunded both if I kept declining offers, but I felt so rude already. I think the key is to be respectful and patient with the reps.
    Reply
  • clamosse
    I think it all depends on who you are dealing with that day. Some customer service people are very cut and dried. You won’t be able to talk them into anything and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.
    Reply