What to Do If Your Amazon Prime Delivery Is Late

Amazon is renowned for its ultra-fast deliveries, but even the biggest online retailer in the world can drop the ball from time to time.

However, what many shoppers don't know is that Amazon will try to amend things if your packages don't arrive on time. Here are some pointers on what to do if your Amazon Prime delivery arrives late. 

Understanding the perks

Although Amazon doesn't do much to promote its 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."

MORE: Best Prime Day Deals

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.

However, some internet users have reported even better perks in return for late delivery. Several posters have reported on internet forum sites that when they contacted Amazon to inform the company a package was late, 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. 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?

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 who commented on their Amazon offers on deal-tracking site DealNews, 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 Amazon Prime shipment, 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

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.

    Your comment
  • 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!!!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • cwl1984
    This is the first time i using Amazon prime. And my Item didn't deliver on time as it promised. Then i google, there are plenty of complains about Amazon prime delivery time. That's sad.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • gcaltman
    After many years of being a satisfied Prime member, I am appalled at how 2-day delivery has become non-existent. Amazon has taken no less than 5 days to deliver "guaranteed" 2-day shipping for about the last 3 months. As soon as I place an order, the 2-day shipping updates to 5+ days out. Then it updates even further out the closer the delivery date gets. I ordered several items a full week before Christmas. Same deal, the delivery dates "updated". I called CS and the non-English speaking rep actually said, "We can't guarantee an item is in stock just because the website says it is." I told her to cancel my order. A few days later, a couple of items trickled in and I realized she had NOT canceled my order, as requested, so I tried to do it manually on the site. I received a message stating I couldn't cancel because the order was already in process. This order, which was a Christmas present, was not due to ship for another 7 days! An item I ordered a full week before Christmas was not going to ship until well AFTER Christmas. But I wasn't allowed to cancel it! This item arrived yesterday. YESTERDAY!!! 9 DAYS PAST CHRISTMAS! Seriously rethinking my Prime membership renewal this year. Way to take care of your customers Amazon. What a joke.
  • kfbg
    Uunfortunately I too must offas my dissatisfaction with Amazon's customer service. I had an order to my office marked as delivered to the mail room when it was not. We dont have a mailroom. This is a private office in our building and no other tennants. Contacted customer service who asked me to wait 24 hours and contact them again if it did not arrive. Since it was a Friday and I wasn't going to be in the office Saturday, although the office was open, I contacted them on Monday. Then I was told that the order was not considered lost until 9 PM that night. I expressed my frustration and disappointment. No other orders to my office got lost so I know their delivery service knows where my office is located. Both USPS and UPS deliver to us daily. I was offered the one month extension but turned it down as it has very little value to them so why should I have any value to me? I don't expect the order to arrive and told that to customer support. AMAZON does not keep on top of their private carriers. I've had numerous personal orders to my home just tossed on my porch without bothering to ring the bell. Fortunately none of mine were stolen in December but several people did have their packages stolen. I also have a perimeter alarm so i was made aware of the deliveries by it.
    So I fully expect to have too either reorder my items or cancel for a refund. In my frustration with their lack of support I cancelled my Prime membership. They didn't care. Didn't care either when I said I would order elsewhere from now on. Amazon has grown too big and become too arrogant. It is the prime example of what happens with a monopoly and they are becoming a Mega monopoly.
  • kfbg
    They actually had the nerve to admit to me that some of their carriers mark shipments as delivered before they get delivered. Which i have found to be true on personal orders. I get pinged by Amazon that my oder has been delivered but find nothing on my steps or in my mailbox. Thats why they ask for the 24 he delay before they would process the issue. Yet they wanted me to wait 72 hours before they would act on it. But they apologize for the inconvenience! I'm surprised to hear that anyone got more than the month extension on Prime! That's all she was willing to offer me but I'd have to wait to 9 PM before anything else gets done. I think it's actually a disadvantage to have a local Amazon distribution center. Most of my Prime orders come by small delivery services instead of one of the major carriers.
  • kfbg
    Just to further complicate things, my order was being shipped in two parts. Both were marked as delivered to my non-existent mailroom on time yet neither package has actually arrived. Tracking info from their small carriers is useless.
  • kfbg
    One last point. Calling Amazon seems to get the best result. After my very disatisdying CS session I did some research on their site and found that they say I only have to wait 36 hours before I can get action on my claim of late delivery. So since it had been almost 72 hours since the alleged delivery time I decided to have Amazon CS call me. Now this person claims that he shows my package as in transit and it should arrive by close of business today. I bring to his attention that I was given a completely different explanation of the situation via chat with CS. I explained that I should not have to wait any longer and that as a Prime customer I expect 2 day shipping and do not expect to be fraudulently advised of a delivery to a non-existent mail room. He then offered me a full refund to my credit card for the entire amount of my order which I accepted. I promptly received an e-mail to that effect from him. Moral of the story is don't stop fighting and speak directly to a human to get the best response.
  • Giroro
    My Amazon Prime orders usually arrive when Amazon says they will ... the problem is that the timeframe that they quote me for 2 day shipping has never, not even once, been less than 3 business days.

    Usually how it goes is I order a product on a Wednesday around lunch time, which is after their arbitrary early morning cutoff. The product ships out the next day on Thursday, which I guess Amazon doesn't count as a shipping day. So in Amazon's eyes, the first day of shipping is 2 days after I ordered it (Friday) and the second day is the following Monday. So anything that I order after a Monday or Tuesday morning ends up taking 5 calendar days to show up, which is not very convenient and absolutely not worth what Amazon charges.

    We just have to accept that Amazon Prime isn't about shipping anymore, it's just an elaborate way to trick people into subscribing to an inferior Netflix knockoff where it's way too hard to separate the 'free' videos from the absurdly-overpriced rentals. Also, I can't figure out how to make it work on my phone/chromecast.
  • jasoncburgess
    Looks like they've removed this policy from the link above. I spoke with a representative this morning who advised me this policy is no longer available. However, since I was promised this by a previous associate who do not follow through, they could offer it as an "exception" since their supervisor approved it.
  • lgdodds
    I literally just got off the phone with an Amazon "supervisor" who said they can't extend memberships anymore--even though they did last month. He assured me he would like nothing more than to be able to do that, but it's not even possible in his system. They've raised the amount a membership costs--and lowered the benefits. So...pay for 2-day shipping and if you don't get it....oh well.
  • ashleypetefish
    I ordered on Amazon Prime and purposefully chose an item that was Same Day Shipping because I was ordering for my cousins birthday the following day and I wanted to receive it the night before to wrap it etc. Item was not delivered. I called Amazon the next morning and inquired about my package and they said for some reason it didn't go out for delivery...uhm how is that possible when it was specifically same day delivery?! The rep I spoke to was not sympathetic at all and basically told me she couldn't even guarantee it was delivered the following day - she essentially told me it could end up being TWO days after the day I ordered it same-day delivery. She offered me a $5.00 coupon on my Amazon account when the item I ordered was nearly $100.00. This is not the first time my packages have been late but this is the last straw. I have been a loyal prime customer since 2008 but I am cancelling my membership today.
  • Frisky_Dingo
    I ordered a hat on Monday. Well before noon. It was supposed to arrive yesterday, 10/24/18. First problem, I had it delivered to my job, and it was scheduled to arrive at 8PM. The mail room closes up shop at 5PM! Then, I get a notification at 3:00AM that my package has been delivered. When did USPS start delivering packages in the dead of night? I don't get it because I work in NYC. I can see if I was in North Dakota or something, but I'm a two minute walk from the post office. There's Amazon guys walking all over delivering stuff. There's an Amazon book store a two minute walk in the other direction from the post office. I would say that I would just use their lockers from now on, but you know how when you pre-order a game that you get it the day it's released? In my case, not so with the Amazon lockers. When you choose a locker as your delivery location with a pre-order, that option goes away.
  • hapolloy
    Here is a conversation I had with an Amazon rep regarding my late package. They basically didn't even believe that the package was late. After it wasn't delivered the next day, I received another message stating that my package can't be found. All they offered was to refund my package. So I'm basically getting ripped off because I'm paying for Prime and the shipping is the only reason I do so.

    Me: My package was expected to be here today. I have waited most of the day for it since it was out for delivery, and now I get a new arrival date this late at night. I go with Amazon instead of a brick and mortar store because their prime shipping second day delivery makes things convenient. However now I am being delayed once again by a failed shipment guarantee date.
    You are now connected to HariPriya from Amazon.com

    HariPriya: Hello, my name is HariPriya. I'm here to help you today.
    I'm sorry to hear that there is a delay in order delivery.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/css/summary/e...(See full link)
    Are you referring to this order?

    Me: yes
    This is stuff I could have picked up at a local store, but chose amazon due to their arrival date. Now I'm set back by another day for relying on Amazon.
    HariPriya: I'm really sorry about the delay.
    Could you please allow me 2 minutes so that I can check and get back to you?
    Me: sure

    HariPriya: Thank you for staying connected.
    I have checked the details of the order and see that currently the order is out for delivery.
    I could tell you that the order will be delivered within end of today.

    Me: This is the message on the page:
    Now expected October 23 - October 24
    We're sorry your package is late
    We're working to get your package back on track, and we'll let you know when your package is out for delivery.
    Please come back Thursday if you still don't have it and we'll help you out.
    Was expected today

    HariPriya: No (My Name).
    Me: ???

    HariPriya: The order is out for delivery October 22, 2018 02:06:11 PM Atlanta US.
    You should receive your order shortly within end of today.

    Me: Thats what I saw all day. Now when I click on the order from my list, It clearly says the message I showed you earlier. One sec, let me show you a screenshot.

    HariPriya: Sure.
    I have already added the delivery instructions on your order so the carrier will make sure that the order is delivered today.
    I don't mean to rush you, but we've been idle for 1 minute. I want to make sure our chat's still connected. If you aren't able to respond in 1 minute, this chat will close.

    Me: (Link posted to screenshot of tracking information)
    thats the screenshot of what i'm seeing
    If my package arrives today, I'll be happy.

    HariPriya: I'm sorry for the information in the screenshot However, the order is out for delivery and it will reach you within end of today.

    Me: So its 9:51PM my time. You're telling me that they're going to deliver a package after 10PM today?
    I find that a little hard to believe.

    HariPriya: Please give me a moment so that I'll get in touch with the carrier and get back to you with an update.

    Me: sure

    HariPriya: Thank you for staying connected.
    I have checked the details in the carrier end and see that they have marked as out for delivery However, they have mentioned that they were unable to deliver the package now.
    But the carrier has given an update that they will attempt for delivery by tomorrow at the earliest.
    I truly apologize for the inconvenience with this order delivery.

    Me: Well this is unacceptable to me. This isn't the first time Amazon has guaranteed a delivery and failed to come through. Only difference is this time I bet on it. I'll find some other way to vent my frustration. Thanks for ou help.

    HariPriya: I could understand that how this repeated inconvenience could color your expectations.
    However, I have forwarded the issue to our concerned team and they will make sure such issues are not occurring in any of your future orders.
    HariPriya is typing...

    Me: Sure, good day.
  • lccascio
    The problem with late deliveries from the consumer perspective is that they immediately go to a low priority status. I notice once my order is delayed, it will sit at my local amazon facility for days as "out for delivery". I think once the on-time delivery metric is blown, there is little incentive for them to get you your package in a timely manner. I am trying out a new approach which is to immediately cancel late orders and then re-order them, especially with items promised same or next day.
  • perfectdude373
    I ordered a switch on black Friday and just thought that it was late in getting to me. It was actually lost in transit and all they gave me was a refund. If they used to give you free credit they don't anymore.