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Amazon Prime UK could face probe over late deliveries

UK’s Advertising Standards Authority is mulling an investigation into Amazon Prime after shoppers complain they’re not receiving shipments as quickly as advertised.

An Amazon Fulfilment Centre Prepares For Black Friday

UK's advertising watchdog is considering a probe into Amazon Prime over complaints of delays in delivery.

Leon Neal / Getty Images

Merry Christmas? Perhaps not for Amazon UK.

The online shopping giant could be the subject of an investigation by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Guardian reported Sunday. The ASA said it received five complaints pertaining to late deliveries by Amazon Prime as Christmas approaches.

Prime is a membership service by Amazon that, in the UK, promises subscribers "unlimited one-day delivery" and access to discounts and deals. The service is available as a complimentary 30-day trial and costs £7.99 (which converts to $10.66) every month after.

On its page, which lists the last order dates for Christmas, shoppers are advised that orders for one-day delivery should be submitted by 23 December so items can be delivered the following day, although Amazon adds that dates and times are "subject to availability."

The company also advises shoppers to reach out to customer service if they do not receive their parcel by the estimated delivery date. UK consumer rights group, Which?, says a late delivery is a contract breach if a customer has already paid for delivery to arrive by a set date or time, which means the customer will have the right to terminate the purchase and obtain a full refund.

Still, with just a week left to Christmas, this situation may be enough to send holiday shoppers relying on Amazon Prime into a panic.

And as it turns out, delays are not restricted to the UK. Customers are taking to Twitter to voice their displeasure with late deliveries from Amazon Prime in the US, too.

An Amazon spokesperson said to CNET that the ASA told the retail giant there's no investigation at this time. Meanwhile, the ASA told CNET it's at the initial assessment stage and haven't decided if the complaints warrant an investigation. 

First published Dec 18, 1:19 a.m. PT.
Update, 4:57 p.m. PT: Adds comments from ASA and Amazon.  

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