Amazon is facing a potential investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority over complaints that its premium service is failing to deliver on time in the run-up to Christmas.
Amazon Prime claims to offer âunlimited one-day deliveryâ but customers have contacted the advertising regulator to say it is falling short of what is promised.
A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Authority said: âWe have received a handful of complaints. We are considering whether to launch an investigation.â
Customers of the online retailer can choose free delivery above a minimum spend but at the checkout are offered a free 30-day trial of its express delivery service, which costs Â£7.99 a month thereafter.
Amazon says the last order date for standard delivery is Wednesday but for Prime, which it says offers âamazing delivery benefits on your Christmas shoppingâ, the last order date is Saturday, according to its website.
Information elsewhere on the site says: âYour order will be dispatched with the intention that itâs delivered one day after dispatch.â It advises customers to contact customer services if they do not receive a parcel by the estimated delivery date.
The consumer rights group Which? says: âIf you paid for delivery by a certain date or time (eg by Christmas or next-day delivery) and the delivery arrives late, this is a breach of contract.
âIf it was essential that your goods were delivered on time, you have the right to terminate the purchase and get a full refund.â
In 2015, the ASA investigated Amazon, which reported revenues in Europe of Â£19.5bn last year, after six people claimed the advertising for Prime was misleading.
It upheld complaints that the advert in question, a direct mailing sent to existing Amazon customers, did not make sufficiently clear that a paid subscription would automatically start if not cancelled during the free trial and did not state what the cost of the subscription would be. The regulator concluded âthat the ad was likely to misleadâ.
The Amazon UK press office could not be contacted for a comment. The Sunday Telegraph quoted Tom Parker from Amazon as saying: âWeâd ask any customers with questions about their deliveries to contact us.â