Tracking screen for a same-day order from that ultimately arrived the next day.

When Next Day Shipping Takes a Week

I previously wrote about how Amazon is Taking Over the WorldAmazon‘s Prime Day (which actually ran 30 hours this year) only underscores that impression. The marketing and sales bonanza “surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making it the biggest day ever in Amazon history.”

Can You Have Too Many Choices?

Amazon Prime members can chose from a variety of shipping options that may include same-day, one-day, next-day, "Standard" and "No-Rush"
Amazon Prime members can chose from a variety of free shipping options

Amazon’s Prime members can chose from a variety of shipping options that may include:

  • Same-day
  • Next day (“One-Day”)
  • Second day (“Two-Day”)
  • “Standard”
  • “No-Rush”

I’ve only tried the “same-day” shipping once, and it didn’t arrive until the next day. That was in the name of research, so it didn’t hurt anything that the order arrived a day later than expected. It was, however, a reminder about setting expectations.

Recently I was about to order something for same-day delivery, but I didn’t complete the order quickly enough. The window for same-day delivery of that product to my address had closed, so I didn’t complete the order. No instant gratification, no purchase.

Free Shipping Isn’t Free

Of course the fact that they don’t usually charge Prime members for shipping doesn’t mean it’s actually “free”. No-charge shipping costs companies a substantial amount of money.

One day I was feeling benevolent and decided the “No-Rush” option would be fine. That turned-out to be a poor choice. Not only did the shipment take longer to arrive than the Guaranteed Delivery Date, but the disc’s case was cracked. I had to wonder if that was the result of being bounced-around between carriers as it was shipped from a distant warehouse.

My “No-Rush” selection wasn’t entirely altruistic. Amazon was offering a digital media credit, as they are now offering Prime Pantry credits. The incentive may help the angel on your shoulder speak-up as you decide whether you really need to receive that frying pan the next day.

The gotcha about those “rewards” is that they expire. My media credits all expired before I used them. The Prime Pantry credits apparently expire in less than two months. If you take the credits into consideration when selecting your shipping, make sure you’ll actually be able to use them.

Tracking Shipments Can Be Fun

Cortana, part of Microsoft's Windows 10, tracks the progress of multiple Amazon package shipments.
Cortana tracks the progress of multiple Amazon package shipments

The way Amazon’s deals come and go during Prime Day resulting in my placing multiple orders in one day. I received the usual order acknowledgment emails yesterday as I placed the orders. The shipping acknowledgments came yesterday and today. Little did I know, Microsoft was watching. Specifically, Windows 10‘s Cortana was watching.

The notifications box at the bottom right corner of the screen told me there was something Windows wanted me to know about. I was surprised to find that Cortana was tracking my packages for me.

I’d previously recognized how Cortana scans my email for things it believes are relevant, like air itineraries. A recent Windows 10 iteration seems to have added package tracking to Cortana’s repertoire. She was tripped-up by an order that was split into two parts arriving on two different dates, apparently not noticing the second order number in the email. Still, a good trick.

How Do You Track Your Packages?



5 thoughts on “When Next Day Shipping Takes a Week”

  1. Given that Amazon is looking to start up in Australia I wonder what the delivery service will be like. The current situation is certainly a disincentive for us to purchase – some products cost much more to ship than their sticker price and returns are a nightmare.

    1. Michelle, I’ll be interested to hear how the roll-out goes from your perspective. One would expect that a company would be on their best behavior when they enter a new market. Then again, Amazon is always trying new things, and some work-out better than others. (My experience with the same-day delivery that wasn’t happened when they were first rolling-out that option.)

      I can’t speak to how they handle returns. The CD with the broken case is still on the shelf. (I didn’t bother to return it because I wasn’t sure it would be worth the hassle.)

      Comparison shopping should be the rule, whether it’s Amazon or any other company. I would be surprised if they didn’t offer some promotions, at least initially.

  2. Even if the shipping really isn’t free, you do get a lot of value from an Amazon Prime membership. There are so many other benefits – video, ebooks, music, etc.

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