Could Amazon offer a choice of couriers in the future?

5 January 2011

amazon logoRegular buyers from Amazon know their parcels not only come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but they can be delivered by one of several courier services. Depending on what the item is and the speed of delivery you choose will determine who turns up at your door/stashes your parcel in a wheelie bin/loses it in the depot; it's Amazon who chooses the courier service, not the customer.

This is a source of irritation to many customers, especially those that'd like to see some couriers strung up by thumbs and beaten with boots. There may be hope yet, however.

Avid Bitterwallet reader Jared has been slowly losing the will to live with regards to his Amazon order. Citylink have had Jared's parcel for over a week but they still haven't managed to deliver it. Amazon has taken full responsibility for their negligence in the email ping-pong with Jared as he continues to ask what the bleeding hell is going on, but they've also made another interesting admission:

In relation to getting your parcels by City Link, please let me explain that we do not currently have the ability to assign certain carriers to a specific customer or address but will continue working with all of our carriers to drive improvements for our customers.

We are at the moment looking into providing those options to our customers in the future.

To Jared, and to us, that reads as if Amazon are considering providing customers with a choice of courier for the various services they provide. As our recent Worst Company of 2010 poll showed, some of these companies are truly despised by customers, so providing such a choice could make a big difference.


  • Dick
    I have rarely had a problem with an amazon courier. On the odd occasion the item doesn't show up, I contact them and get a refund. Can Jared not just cancel the item, get a refund and order again? At least that way the item is in transit again, and not stuck in some pile.
  • The B.
    Bizarrely I had a little bit of a whinge at Amazon last night, not about Amazon, about Citylink who sat on a next day delivery for 2 weeks before Christmas and then tried to deliver it 4 times after Christmas when I'd told them not to as it wasn't wanted as the intended recipient (my dad) was now dead. Amazon agreed to send Shittylink to pick it up but frankly what are the chances of them turning up during office hours?
  • Jared
    @Dick, It's not just the delay, I was kind of expecting that anyway, it's the misinformation and total failure in communication from City Link. As long as City Link are making (and breaking) delivery promises Amazon won't do anything.
  • The B.
    Oh, forgot to mention, I was at work at the time so Citylink got my builder to sign for it.
  • Steve R.
    About bloody time. Each time I burst another blood vessel trying to arrange a convenient delivery time with couriers who offer depot collection from a location that is some 23 miles distant I drop to my knees and pray to the God of all parcels that I can decide who deserves my parcel patronage. (I might as well do something while I'm down there fitting with rage) Good on you Amazon.
  • Tim
    Despite having Prime, I tend to pick RM First Class for delivery for items I don't mind being left on the doorstep (as they usually do), but more valuable stuff I'll go for the next option which usually will be City Link as the depot is not far from me and the depot is open until 8pm (unlike RM where I have no chance of getting to during the week in work hours). Though I do find Amazon does use City Link for First Class on occasions, and vice versa. Both are awful couriers though, but of all couriers, City Link is the least worst in my opinion. Parcel Farce are the worst for service and their customs handling charges for imports are outrageous. DHL is an annoyance to me because it's miles away. UPS is even worse with a 2 hour round trip to collect a parcel! It's a real pain for anyone like me who can't get stuff delivered to work and can't trust their neighbours (or have elderly neighbours who won't answer the door). What's needed is a system where all couriers can deliver to special drop off points we can collect from. That or deliver in the damn evening! I mean what's the point of a 9 to 5 delivery service when the majority of people are not in 9 to 5, and then worse to only open your collection depot 9 to 5?
  • Alexis
    I wouldn't mind if they kept to COURIER or ROYAL MAIL. I ordered something before Christmas and was under the impression I'd get Royal Mail 1st Class since that's WHAT THE ORDER SAID. Instead I got City Link who haven't got a key fob into my building. So I had to wait a day and travel to their depot.
  • Brad
    Yeah lets be honest the first delivery company that starts delivering after 5 when people are actually home they will make a mint! Dont know why they haven't done it already!?
  • Mark C.
    "We are at the moment looking into providing those options to our customers in the future." Nah, sorry to disappoint you, but all that means in the real world is, "We know you despise Citylink, but we have no plans whatsoever to change our delivery service, so we're hoping that this vague suggestion that we're taking the matter seriously will mollify you enough to stop hassling us about it". FWIW, I have no problem whatsoever with Amazon as I've always had excellent service from them, but having worked in customer services for other online companies, that's part of the standard script you get to tell people who are dissatisfied with their delivery service.
  • delrio
    it would be less of an issue if you could track your order, but despite what i've bought from them (or for how much) that has never been an option. i've literally just this minute had to send them an e-mail because i'm awaiting an order from them and have no clue where it is despite it being dispatched over a week ago
  • Twatman
    Country grinds to a halt, and you hen pecked twats start bubbling fuck off
  • Kevin
    Country ground to a halt? When? Had no problems here. Too many companies are using what happened weeks ago as an excuse, even if they are delivering to a place not affected by bad weather. Food lorries got through, deliveries were made all over but it's still an excuse? I agree about a deciated evening postal service. There have been times when HDL deliveries have come really early or after 7pm so why not pay more and get it guarenteed to get there when you are at home!
  • foundation s.
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  • Diezel
    My courier left my expensive items at some random neighbor I have never seen before without leaving me a note saying who! I had to phone them up, then phone the driver to ask. Luckily the neighbor was nice, what was to stop them stealing it!?
  • Paul
    Just a note to those of you who are unaware, Amazon have been offering a same day evening delivery service for B,Dy ,Wv ,Ws ,Sg ,Lu ,Mk and London postcodes for a while now. They plan to offer this service across more areas soon:
  • Ellen
    I have been ordering various items from for several years. Rarely, has there been a problem with delivery. When I order items, Amazon usually ships them via UPS, or USPS, and sometimes, FedEx. I find both of them to be pretty reliable because if I am not home, USPS is able to leave the package at my door without a problem because I live in a secured entrance apartment. The postal carrier is able to enter because the mailboxes are on the inside, so he can leave the package at my door. As for UPS, there have been a couple of times where they said they said they made a delivery attempt, but I was home at the time they clocked the attempt. It could be because they rang/buzzed the wrong apartment and got no response. Other than that I have had no problems with UPS. If they make an attempt the first time and I am not home, I know that there are two more tries. I can notify UPS to hold the package for pickup if I feel that I won't be home on the next two. I live ten to fifteen minutes from UPS that I have no problem pickup up the package. This time when I placed an order with Amazon, they had the package to be delivered by Prestige Delivery Systems. I do not know this courier outfit or what kind of reputation they have for delivering packages, but since I missed the first delivery attempt on Friday, I feel uneasy because of the carrier. They will try again on Monday, but I need to call on Monday to make arrangements if I am not home again. Also, the location that this carrier is at is not that convenient for me to drive to pick up the package. Hopefully, when I call on Monday, maybe I can have them come at a specific time frame after I get off work. I would like to be able to have the option to choose who I have deliver my packages from Amazon. I always choose the Free Shipping when I have items that are eligible for free shipping, so there is no rush on delivering packages. It would be senseless for me to request express shipping when I probably won't be home if they come when I am at work. So, I don't know why Amazon thought that this courier outfit would be better this time than UPS or USPS. If they use a courier such at A-1 or Prestige, or DHL, they should let the consumer choose the time slot in which to deliver. I am under the impression that the delivery volumes for these guys is different from FedEx, UPS or USPS, so I would think that Prestige would not have a problem coming at a requested time. I am probably being somewhat unreasonable on being able to choose a time slot.
  • Stuart
    Maybe Amazon could partner up with a carrier software provider such as Metapack in the future, or even buy them out?

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