Thursday, October 25, 2007

Amazon: Intentionally slowing down free shipping?

We'll know in a few days, but I suspect the answer to be "yes". I ordered a few cd's last, all in stock, and all directly from Amazon and not a third party. As I usually do, I got the free Super Saver Shipping since the order qualified. I don't expect to receive the order in two days or anything, but I certainly expect it to be shipped as soon as the items are pulled and ready.

I made the order on October 19th, and it didn't ship until October 23rd, even though all the items were in stock. But even now, when I login to check the status of the order and click "track your package," a message comes up that says "tracking information not available at this time." I may be way off base, but I suspect that it hasn't been shipped yet and is simply on hold in a warehouse somewhere, since the estimated delivery date is October 31 - November 6th.

Seriously, 12 days at the earliest to deliver 4 in-stock cd's, when I'm in DC and likely near a distribution center of some kind? I'm guessing if I ever do get detailed tracking info that I'll find out that the package did not ship on the 23rd, but likely several days after that.

There's no form of shipping on the lowest rung, UPS, DHL, FedEx, or even USPS, that takes 8 days to make it to a destination that's not hidden in North Dakota or something. Once it's shipped, there's no reason it would take less than 3-4 business days to get here, unless the CD's were ONLY in a warehouse in Seattle. And even then, UPS usually still makes it cross-country in five days.

I've used Super Saver Shipping for years now, and I suspected that Amazon is intentionally delaying their free shipping to entice customers to sign up for their new Amazon Prime shipping service; a great deal if you order 9-10 or more times a year.

Turns out I'm not the only one who has noticed the drop in service:

and most damning of all, their own customer forum

Amazon, if I'm way off base here, I'll delete this post. But I seriously doubt my order is even in the mail.

I'll be ok. Not a big deal, but this is seriously annoying.