Is Amazon Tricking Shoppers out of Free 1-Day Shipping?

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Amazon packages turned upside down with frowny faces

Amazon Prime customers pay $139 per year for a host of perks, but the main and original benefit is the fast free shipping with no minimum purchase requirement. A two-day option generally is available, with a one-day option often available, too.

But what could be an automatic process is instead set up to allow Amazon to sidestep that commitment of fast shipping, the nonprofit Truth In Advertising argues — unless consumers watch every screen with laser attention to detail.

For instance, the “Buy Now” button lets you quickly purchase an item from its product page without detouring through your shopping cart and the normal checkout process. “Doing so, however, may change the delivery date to a later date without warning, like it did for some consumers who reported this issue,” Truth In Advertising says.

Even in the normal checkout process, Amazon may try to delay the arrival of your package by offering multiple shipment dates and defaulting to the slower one. It calls this “Amazon Day Delivery,” with the tagline “fewer boxes, fewer trips.”

If you are ordering multiple items with different arrival dates available, Amazon Day Delivery can be helpful to consolidate shipments. And, at least in some cases, Amazon will offer users free credit toward certain future purchases if they select no-rush shipping.

Bottom line: Always check the delivery options available before you pay to make sure you get the most out of your Prime membership.

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