Those people who use AmazonUK regularly are most likely familiar with their new courier service “Amazon Logistics”. They have been around since 2013 but due to my lack of spending, I only really became aware of them over the Easter holidays.
Amazon Logistics, as you might guess, are Amazon’s own delivery service who offer next day delivery 7 days a week (including some holidays.) What they actually seem to offer is mediocrity, failure and annoyance.
Amazon’s website states the following:
If you place your order with One-Day Delivery, depending on the time of day that you place your order, if in stock it’ll be dispatched that same day and delivered the next day.
If you’re not an Amazon Prime member you’ll be charged GBP 5.99 per delivery for Media items, GBP 3.95 for Clothing, Shoes and Bags items and GBP 7.99 per delivery for all other eligible items. In the case of mixed orders the higher per delivery rate will apply.
Although I have previously been a Trial Prime member, I have never paid for the service because it simply isn’t worth the cost for me. I don’t often buy from Amazon within a year to make it worthwhile any more. So it was a surprise me to me to find Amazon Logistics was delivering my Easter parcel, I was even more surprised to find it would be next day delivery. At this point I was completely unaware of who Amazon Logistics were, but was pleasantly surprised to find they were willing to deliver Easter weekend, particularly since my parcel was just a few DVDs and using the free Super Saver Delivery.
The first thing I did the morning of the the expected delivery was to search Amazon Logistics via Google. What I found was a topic on AmazonUK’s very own forum (a place most people don’t realise even exists.) The posts I read there were worrying to say the least.
Although originally started a year earlier, the topic was still going strong with around 64 pages of replies (76 at the time of writing) filled with mostly complaints.
The complaints ranged from the delivery window (8am-9pm) to fake attempted deliveries, deliveries on completely different streets/or to neighbours, deliveries made and handed to/signed for by the resident (even though no one was home) to being left in random places.
For me personally, I don’t care about delivery windows, I know that if something is coming via Royal Mail I will receive it between 10-11am, though sometimes as late as 2pm if it’s a large item the foot post won’t bring. I also know that if it comes with Yodel, that it will come sometime between 9am-noon 2 days after dispatch. Yodel is generally a 48hr courier, I know this and I’m fine with that. When I order online it is because it is a: cheaper and b: more convenient. I really don’t mind waiting 48hrs for a delivery, so a delivery window of 13hrs doesn’t bother me.
I understand that for some people having to order online sometimes means they have to take time off work so a 13hr window is a big deal, though lets be honest, taking time off work for a parcel delivery is fucking idiotic, just use the click & collect/Amazon locker options that allow you to pick it up once you finished work. Seems the smarter option if you ask me.
But then we come to the fake attempted deliveries. One of the most annoying things I could imagine is waiting in all day for a parcel, only to check your status in the evening to find it says “Delivery attempted at x-time, no one home.” This seems to be quite the popular one, many of the posts were about this type of fake delivery attempt. Some were able to quash this due to being in their front garden or having some type of home CCTV set-up.
Another popular one for Amazon Logistics seem to be “Parcel handed to resident” when no attempt had been made to deliver to the house. This ranged from drivers delivering to the wrong address, or ditching it behind random walls on the street and signing for it themselves. One person rang customer services who told them they would contact the driver. The next day he saw an unmarked white van pull up outside a neighbours house and route through the bushes, while he can’t say for sure, he believes the delivery driver returned to look for the parcel he had apparently ‘handed to resident’.
So there are was, reading these horror stories wondering whether my parcel would show up and if so whether it would show up at MY house.
By 3pm I had started to refresh the tracking page regularly expecting the delivery status to have changed. Now I generally stay in the bedroom upstairs, it takes less than 5 seconds to get to the stairs and I can see right down to the front door and thanks to the top half being frosted glass, can clearly see any one outside. It was around 5:12pm that the doorbell finally rung. By the time I reached the top of the stairs he was gone, fearing this was going to be one of those bad deliveries I ran down the stairs and out of the door. In this case, it was my delivery, the driver was stood at the top of the driveway.
I have no way to know why he ran from the door, only to stand at the top of the drive. Maybe his van was still running, maybe he was in a rush and just wanted to be closer to the van in case no one was home. I guess I will never know. What I did do was check the motion activated camera footage, although he clearly ran from the door after ringing the bell he the camera showed he just stood at the top of the drive, he was not making any attempt to actually leave. Maybe he’s just really, really shy. The issue there is that, although our driveway is fairly short and the front door is frosted glass, you can’t tell if someone is there on the driveway because the garage wall blocks the view somewhat, so you’d have to step out just to know. Had I not read the Amazon forums, I would likely have assumed someone had got the wrong address and left, or some brat was playing games. The only reason I went down the stairs was because of the horror stories on the Amazon forum topic. I could very easily have missed a parcel delivery because the driver legged it away from the door.
When I came back up stairs I checked the tracking which now said 5:07 – handed to resident. This just raises more questions, was his time wrong on his hand set or had he actually singed for it in the van himself before even ringing the door bell? If it was the latter, what would he have done with my parcel had I not checked outside?
All in all I would rate that specific experience a 6/10. It came the day I expected and to the right house. But there were too many questions in my mind to give it higher than that.
Our second meeting with Amazon Logistics was an order for my father, in this case it was correct day around 3pm. I can’t really rate them beyond that as my father actually met the delivery drive on the drive as he was leaving as they arrived. So I will just give them the benefit of doubt for this one and say it was a good delivery.
Our third and last dealing with Amazon Logistics came two weeks later, again this was a parcel for my father and this one wasn’t up to expected standards.
The parcel came very late in the day (after 7pm) but the driver made no attempt to hand it to us. Instead he ditched it in our bin, wrote out a note and put it through the letter box. The funny part is; we could see him. Stood in the back room between the dining table and kitchen area, we can see straight through the hallway and through the door. So we saw him arrive, make no attempt to ring the bell or knock and put the missed you card through the letter box. The bin he chose to put it in is the glass/tin recycling box which is opposite our front door and can’t be seen from the road as it is obscured by a raised wall. I can only assume that he was in a rush to finish due to the time of day, but in this case it would have been quicker for him to knock.
This specific dealing would have to be rated 4/10. Although it came the correct day, making no attempt to see if we were home before leaving it on the property does not please me. If no one was home I really wouldn’t mind it being left where it was, it was a smallish item and no one passing by would have seen it, so it is relatively safe there. You’d only see it if you came to our door, but I simply can’t forgive not knocking/ringing first.
I suppose I should be glad that my experiences with them were at least acceptable to a point and no items went missing. But even so, we have had pretty much every major delivery services come to our house at some time in the past 15yrs and right now, Amazon Logistics are at the bottom of the pile for us.
What worries me more is that Amazon are looking to use this service more and more in the future, possibly to the point of making it their only UK option. Combined with my experiences with them, and the stories on the Amazon forum (which you can read here) this makes me question whether Amazon as a shop will have much of a future with me. My local Amazon Logistics crew are Leeds based (as are most of the other delivery services around here bar Royal Mail which is closer) I have a few orders I would like to make in the near future, whether I continue using Amazon for my shopping needs will come down to how these next couple of deliveries play out if they are delivered by Amazon Logistics.