The COVID-19 pandemic has upended almost every aspect of our normal way of life: socializing, traveling, and even working in the office are mostly off-limits. But now the pandemic has put an end to another thing we’ve always taken for granted: quick Amazon deliveries.
Over the weekend Amazon customers took to social media to complain that items they recently ordered were now showing delivery dates stretching all the way out to April 21—despite being listed as being in stock and available via Amazon Prime delivery, which normally sees most customers getting their items in two to three days. But those days-long ship times are nowhere to be seen on many items now. As Recode reports, the shortest delivery timescale many items are seeing is five days, with some having delivery times as long as four weeks.
Wow! @amazon is quoting prime deliveries “Prime delivery by April 21” for in stock items. My quarantine is gonna suck! A month for a book? I’ve gotten stuff from the other side of the country in a day. This virus thing is crazy! #COVID19 #CoronavirusPandemic #AmazonPrime
— JustAGuy (@RazorRookie) March 23, 2020
Amazon confirmed that its customers weren’t seeing incorrect shipping estimates. The longer delivery times are the new normal for many products on Amazon. As a spokesperson confirmed:
To serve our customers in need while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers. This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.
The good news is that “essential” items such as food and medical supplies ordered on the platform are being prioritized and shipped relatively quickly. The bad news: nonessential items such as Blu-rays, books, cables, coffee makers, and even clothing are going to take a long time to arrive.
It’s unclear at this time if Amazon will offer refunds for people who have subscribed to its Amazon Prime service in order to get quick deliveries. Last week Amazon announced it would hire 100,000 new warehouse workers “to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service during this stressful time, particularly those most vulnerable to being out in public.” But for now don’t expect to get nonessential items anytime soon.