Amazon is one of the largest retailers in the world. To put it into context, the company’s market capitalization is larger than Sears, JC Penney, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart combined.
However, despite its size — and admittedly impressive passion for pushing the boundaries of retail — it still occasionally gets things wrong. The company is still afflicted by all the same issues that its competitors face; damaged goods, incorrect items being sent out, and occasionally, orders never arriving.
If you bought something on Amazon but the item never arrived at your front door, what can you do? Which dispute channels are available to you? Keep reading to find out.
Different Amazon Retailers
Remember, the Amazon website features items sold by both Amazon itself and by third-party retailers.
When using a third-party retailer, you might notice a Fulfilled by Amazon message on the product you’re buying.
The message implies that even though the product is being sold by a third-party retailer, it is being sent to your house from an Amazon Fulfilment Centre. As a buyer, it means you’ll be able to track a package’s progress through your Amazon account portal, and Amazon is responsible for customer service and product returns.
If you buy from a third-party seller whose items are not fulfilled by Amazon, you are protected by the company’s A-to-Z Guarantee Protection. More on that later.
All this information is important to keep in mind as we talk about your dispute options.
You Ordered an Item, But It Still Hasn’t Been Shipped
A Google search for Amazon delivery problems will reveal a lot of people complaining about this.
What happens if you placed an order, but several days, weeks, or even months have passed, and the seller still hasn’t shipped it?
Well, don’t panic. Amazon will not charge your credit card until the order has been confirmed. Until that point, you can still cancel the order by going to Accounts and Lists > Your Account > Your Orders and selecting Cancel Order.
An Item Shows as Delivered, But It Never Arrived
Next, let’s take a look at what you should do if an item is shown as delivered on your Amazon account, but there’s no sign of it at your house.
Amazon issues guidelines for precisely this type of situation. Some of them might seem obvious, but they’re still essential to tick off:
- Check the shipping address was correct on your order
- Look for a notice of attempted delivery
- Check the vicinity of the delivery location
- Check with your neighbors
- Do you have Amazon Locker?
- Look in your letterbox; some deliveries use multiple carriers, including the regular postal service
- Wait 36 hours. Sometimes packages may show as delivered while still in transit
If 36 hours have passed and there is still no sign of your delivery, you need to contact Amazon directly. Log in to Amazon and go to Help > Browse Help Topics > Need More Help > Contact Us.
You should see all your recent orders on the screen. Click on the order you’re having problems with, and scroll down the page. In the dropdown menu next to Select an issue, choose Where’s My Stuff. Then, in the menu next to Select issue details, choose Tracking shows delivered but item not received.
The site will give you the choice of reaching out via email, phone, or live chat. Amazon will investigate the case and ultimately issue a refund.
A-to-Z Guarantee Protection
Okay, let’s assume you’ve bought an item from a third-party seller who doesn’t have the Fulfilled by Amazon protection.
It means you won’t be able to use your Amazon account portal to track the parcel. A rogue seller could charge your card and tell you they have shipped the item without actually putting anything in the post.
Luckily, you still have some methods of recourse open to you. It comes in the shape of Amazon’s
A-to-Z Guarantee Protection.
The A-to-Z Guarantee mandates that any item purchased from an Amazon seller via the Amazon website is eligible for compensation of up to $2,500.
To make an A-to-Z claim, you first need to contact the seller through your Amazon account, then give the seller 48 hours to respond. If the seller doesn’t give you a satisfactory response, you can file a claim. You just need to meet one of the following five conditions:
- You did not receive the item within either 30 days or three days past the estimated delivery date
- Your article was damaged, defective, or materially different from the one you ordered
- You returned an item to Amazon but did not receive a refund
- You need to return an item internationally, but the seller does not provide either a U.S. address or an international shipping label
- The seller miscalculated customs and/or shipping charges, and you had to pay those fees upon delivery
You must make A-to-Z claims within 90 days of the estimated delivery date. To make a claim, go to Accounts and Lists > Your Account > Your Orders. Find the order you want to make a claim against and click on File/View Claim. In the first box, explain why you’re making a claim. In the second box, choose Request refund through A-to-Z Guarantee.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member and an item you’ve ordered doesn’t turn up at all, the processes we’ve already discussed still apply. You should work through them.
However, Prime members also get some additional sweeteners to ease the pain of a non-delivery. If the item either arrives outside of the timeframe Amazon gives you at the time of purchase or never turns up at your door, you are automatically eligible for a free one-month subscription to Amazon Prime. Amazon adds the free month to the end of your existing Prime subscription’s expiry date.
Copped my onesie and onesie is too big now i gotta return my onesie and order a new one . Thank god for amazon prime …
— SIREN (@_olgatatiana) November 19, 2017
Some users have reported Amazon has even given them discount vouchers, Prime discounts, and other perks. Amazon appears to issue these benefits on an ad-hoc basis.
And, Amazon Prime Pantry purchasers may have different experiences; check here for more details on that program:
How to Avoid Fake Sellers
As mentioned in the article, the problem of fake sellers on Amazon is becoming more widespread.
The fraud is worryingly easy to pull off. A criminal opens a new Amazon seller account and selects popular items to sell. If they use Amazon’s seller’s platform, it only takes a few seconds. Typically, they’ll list items for less money than other retailers are selling them for.
When they receive orders, the person immediately says the item is en route to the courier. Doing so releases the funds to their account. By giving an estimated delivery date of four weeks, the merchant can beat Amazon’s two-week payment cycle and disappear before buyers start complaining and Amazon closes the account.
Luckily, it’s quite easy to avoid fake sellers: just check the feedback score. To do so, click on the seller’s name in the upper right-hand corner of a listing page. You will see their profile page.
On the profile page, you can see the person’s lifetime feedback rating, as well as their score over the last three, six, and 12 months.
As you can see from the image below, this cheese seller seems very trustworthy. Only four percent of their reviews are negative from a total of more than 18,500.
Have You Ever Had Amazon Orders Fail to Arrive?
We’ve shown you the three primary methods for resolving delivery issues for items you bought off Amazon and explained how spotting fake sellers is straightforward if you know where to look.
And if you’re fed up with Amazon, it might be time to use eBay instead.
Have you ever had a problem with Amazon deliveries? Have you had to make an A-to-Z claim? As always, you can leave all your thoughts and input in the comments section below.
Image Credit: vladvitek/Depositphotos