Well this is a serious blow for Amazon. After years of declaring that thousands of products have "guaranteed next delivery" for Amazon Prime members, the Advertising Standards Authority has decided it's had enough. It's expected to vote that these claims are misleading, which would effectively ban the retailer from saying Prime members get "unlimited one day delivery".
According to the Times this is the result of a six month investigation that kicked off after more than 200 complaints Amazon wasn't delivering orders on time. Apparently some had "routinely" been made to wait up to several days for their deliveries, while others complained of having to wait four days for packages in the run-up to Christmas. The ASA's ruling said:
“[A] Significant proportion of Prime-labelled items were not available for delivery the next day. Because consumers were likely to understand that, so long as they did not order too late, all Prime items would be available for delivery the next day . . . we concluded that the ad was misleading.”
An Amazon spokesperson told the paper:
“The expected delivery date is shown before an order is placed and throughout the shopping journey and we work relentlessly to meet this date. A small proportion of orders missed the delivery promise last year during a period of extreme weather that impacted all carriers across the UK.”
They added that Prime members still receive a number of "fantastic benefits" as part of the subscription, including unlimited streaming of films, TV programmes, and music. Regardless it's going to have to change the way it markets Prime, lest it incur further action from the ASA. Again, seeing as how this is the second time Amazon has been reprimanded by the ASA in the past five months, following a ruling that determined items were being listed in such a way that customers were misled about the savings that could be made compared to a product's RRP. [The Times]