What to Do If Your Amazon Prime Delivery Is Late

Amazon Prime has long been a boon for online shoppers. The service costs Amazon customers $99 per year (you get a free 30-day trial), and in return, they get free access to Amazon's Prime Video streaming video service and e-books, as well as the ability to buy household goods through Prime Pantry.

Perhaps most important, Amazon Prime customers get free two-day shipping and, depending on where they live and what they're buying, can even get products from Amazon the same day they're ordered. During the holidays, this convenience is indispensable.

But what happens if Amazon Prime's delivery is late? What do you get in return if the two-day shipping deadline isn't met?

Understanding the perks

Although Amazon doesn't do much to promote its late-delivery refund policy, it's actually a good one. According to the company, any Amazon Prime customer who doesn't get a delivery within two days on a two-day shipment, or within the hours Amazon specified, will qualify for one free month of Amazon Prime.

MORE: What Is Amazon Prime?

The free month is typically tacked on at the end of the period, so subscribers' end dates are pushed out 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 says on its customer service page. "Prime Extensions are limited to one per free trial and 12 for an annual membership."

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 a list of items currently being shipped to their home or office. From there, they can see tracking details, expected arrival time and more.

In the second frame, Amazon asks customers to "Select an issue" they're having. For example, customers can specify whether they're having a problem with their order or are just wondering where their "stuff" might be. Because this issue pertains to not getting an item on time, choose the "Where's my stuff?" option.

Next, Amazon asks for more details and, conveniently, offers a "Shipment is late" choice.

MORE: 10 Ways to Save Money on Amazon: Deals, Discounts, Coupons

Finally, customers can choose to contact Amazon's customer service via email, phone or live chat. Amazon recommends selecting the phone option to get support more quickly; customers can specify which phone number the rep should call. Online-chat waiting times aren't bad, and some users have said that Amazon has responded to emails within the hour they contacted the company.

In other words, any option is just fine.

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. 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 DealNews 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.

MORE: Christmas 2017 Shipping Deadlines

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.

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  • 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:

    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.


    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
  • 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!