It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Rather than wait in long lines to buy dwindling hurricane supplies, some South Floridians tried to order their water, batteries, flashlights, chargers and Oreos through Amazon Prime.
It hasn’t been so easy. First, customers discovered water was being sold for absurd amounts of money, including a 24-pack of Ice Mountain bottled water going for $99.99. Amazon took a social media lashing, with some customers accusing the company of unlawful price-gouging.
In response, an Amazon representative told NBC News that the company does not engage in surge pricing and product prices do not fluctuate by region or delivery location. The representative said the examples shared on Twitter were from third-party vendors and that better deals were not available at the time.
Now customers are complaining about messages from Amazon that their hurricane deliveries are being delayed, sometimes with no time frame given for the new delivery — even on orders placed as early as Monday. (Prime normally promises two-day delivery.) That, while Amazon was promoting two-hour delivery in a “storm readiness” section on its Prime Now site.
Eric Kobrin is among those who will have evacuated before his order — in his case, a battery charger — is now scheduled to arrive. Valeria Perez was told to expect her generator delivery Friday or Saturday — cutting it close to Hurricane Irma’s expected arrival time.
By Thursday, the quickest estimated delivery date for an order of water and D-batteries was Sept. 13, the website said.
“Due to severe weather conditions as a result of Hurricane Irma, deliveries are experiencing delays. We apologize for the inconvenience. For the latest shipping information, check the tracking details at www.amazon.com/yourorders,” Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish said in a statement on Friday.