Skip to main content

Amazon offers gift cards to customers hit by Christmas delivery delays

amazon launches same day deliveries in canada amazonsmile

You can bet Amazon wishes it already had its proposed drone-based delivery service up and flying instead of having to rely solely on the likes of UPS and FedEx to get items to customers.

The two shipping giants have reportedly fallen behind with deliveries in the US after being taken by surprise by the huge number of packages entering their respective networks last week. Of course, many of these items were bought online as gifts for friends and family, with shoppers taking extra care to order before the Christmas deadline.

Amazon hasn’t said how many of its customers have been hit by the delays this week, though it’s promising to hand out $20 gift cards and offer shipping-charge refunds to those left waiting.

The e-commerce giant said in a message to affected customers that while its own fulfillment centers had processed the orders in time for delivery before Christmas Day, the shipping companies had experienced issues with their respective transportation networks and delivery systems. Amazon added that it was “reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers.”

UPS admitted it had been experiencing problems with its service, telling the Wall Street Journal, “The volume of air packages in the UPS system did exceed capacity as demand was much greater than our forecast.”

While FedEx said on its website Thursday that its employees had “delivered outstanding service during this holiday season, and we experienced no major service disruptions,” an unnamed customer support agent working for the company told NBC News Wednesday that a spike in orders close to Christmas, plus bad weather in parts of the country, had resulted in “extraordinary” delays.

The fact that some retailers this year pushed back order deadline’s for guaranteed delivery put even more pressure on companies like UPS and FedEx.

Expecting a surge in online orders, Amazon this year hired 70,000 seasonal workers for its US fulfillment centers, marking a 40 percent increase on the year before. Without a decent delivery service, Amazon would of course have no hope of operating a successful business, and while we don’t know how many of its customers were affected by this week’s delays, you can be sure the Seattle-based company will be looking very carefully at different ways to guarantee on-time delivery and improve its service. You never know, we might see its Prime Air drones taking to the skies sooner than you think.

Editors' Recommendations

Delivery by drone: Amazon plans to deliver goods in 30 minutes using octocopters
amazon planning drone delivery system really prime air

If Amazon gets its way, the skies could one day be filled with an army of buzzing drones delivering books, tablets, and a host of other items to customers around the U.S.

During an interview in December 2013 with 60 Minutes’ Charlie Rose, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos took the wraps off a prototype of the company’s ‘Prime Air’ delivery drone, capable of flying purchased items to your doorstep within 30 minutes of ordering – so long as it doesn’t weigh more than five pounds and you live within 10 miles of one of its fulfillment centers, that is.

Read more
Amazon debuts group gift cards for Facebook
amazon debuts group gift cards for facebook

If you love sending gifts online instead of doing it the old-fashioned way – you know, leaving the house, driving to a mall, walking to a store, handling items, carrying them to the checkout, looking at the cashier, getting your wallet out, counting money, handing it over, waiting for change, putting your wallet back, leaving the store, going home – then you might want to check out Amazon’s new Birthday Gift feature, which launched on Tuesday.
Described by the e-commerce giant as “a new way to make gift giving simple, social and fun”, the new Facebook-connected feature allows you to “grow” a gift card with friends prior to sending it to the lucky birthday boy or girl.
While Amazon already operates a gift card service through Facebook, it’s the fact that you can team up with others to deliver what Amazon calls “a big social gift” that makes the new feature a little different.
To get the ball rolling, or should we say gift growing, hit Amazon’s dedicated webpage and log into your Amazon and Facebook accounts to connect the two.
Next, click on a friend whose birthday is fast approaching, select “start a gift”, enter a birthday message, choose an amount from $1, $5, $10, $25, and check out.
After that, simply send invites to your Facebook friends, each of whom can pitch in with anything from a buck to 25 big ones. Or, if they never really liked the person that much, nothing at all.
The gift card, which will hopefully be worth more than a dollar, will arrive on your friend’s timeline on their birthday, at which point they can hop across to Amazon to browse the online store and purchase an item that takes their fancy.
Though the social network giant already operates its own present-giving services – Facebook Gifts and Facebook Gift Cards – Amazon will be hoping to score a hit with its group-oriented offering.

Read more
Internet guerrillas: Inside the DIY broadband revolution with NYC Mesh
nyc mesh guerrilla internet network screen shot 2022 02 20 at 5 53 39 am

Toby Bloch doesn’t look like your average internet installation technician. Instead of a uniform with a corporate logo embroidered on it, he wears worn-in jeans and a thick canvas jacket. Instead of a van, he drives a Subaru -- the back of which is stuffed to the gills with a disorganized pile of hand tools, cables, and odd electronic devices with antennas sticking out of them. And unlike most technicians, he isn’t going to earn a dime for the appointment he’s headed to in Brooklyn.

But oddly enough, that’s precisely the point. Bloch doesn’t operate like a normal internet install tech because he isn’t one. He doesn’t work for Comcast or Spectrum or Verizon or any other large internet service provider (ISP). He’s a volunteer at NYC Mesh: A guerrilla internet provider that helps residents get online without paying a monthly fee to the aforementioned telecom companies.

Read more