If you’ve placed an order on Amazon while self-isolating at home – you could be waiting for your item much longer than expected. That’s because the Seattle-based retail firm has introduced a number of new measures to help deal with the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve ordered a non-essential item – maybe you’ve decided that being locked inside for the next three weeks is the perfect opportunity to start learning the guitar or redecorate the spare bedroom, for example – you could be waiting weeks for the order to arrive.
That applies to Prime customers too. One of the primary perks of the annual Amazon membership scheme is free next-day delivery on thousands of items fulfilled by Amazon. However, those who have paid for the £79 a year membership could still face a wait of weeks.
According to technology blog Recode, those in the United States – which has also introduced a number of lockdown measures across a number of states – could face a wait of up to a month. Thankfully, it seems like customers in the UK won’t have to endure quite the same wait at the moment.
Some non-essential items will take a few days longer to arrive – even though they’re Prime eligible – so you might want to change your plans if you need the item to arrive in the next day or so. Amazon is prioritising warehouse space for essential items, like household goods and medical supplies. Other items might not be restocked at the same pace as usual to save shelf space.
Some sellers have warned they could have to layoff staff due to the revamped strategy during the pandemic, which could last for months to come.
On a newly-launched webpage about the impact the coronavirus could have on its delivery service, Amazon states: “Our teams are working to ensure we can continue to deliver to the most affected customers, many of whom have no other way to get essential items. We are prioritising the intake and dispatch of items most needed by our customers right now.
“These are items such as food, health and personal care products, books and items needed to work from home. As a result, please note that delivery times for some items may be longer than usual at the moment.”
Amazon has introduced a number of changes to its typical procedures to try to reduce the chance of customers and staff contracting the potentially fatal COVID-19 virus. It confirms: “Drivers have been advised to reduce contact with customers by placing packages at the customer’s doorstep and stepping back. If an ID check is required, these are now performed at a distance.”
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The US online retail giant is following the latest advice from the World Health Organisation and reassures customers that it’s highly unlikely to pick-up anything from the packages shipped to customers’ homes. It states: “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”
As the Government guidelines become increasingly strict to stop the virus spreading, more changes could be in the pipeline for services like Amazon.
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