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Amazon Delays: Package Delivery May Take 'Longer Than Normal'

NEW YORK (AP/CBS) — It's just a week into the holiday shopping season, and Amazon is already having trouble getting packages to shoppers' doorsteps on time.

The company said the delays are due to bad weather in parts of the country and the large amount of orders it received during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when it offered steep discounts.

"Delivery promises vary and may be longer than normal based on order volume and the fulfillment and delivery capacity available in a given area," the Seattle-based company said in a statement. "We will work directly with customers who are experiencing an issue with their delivery."

On Friday, Amazon Prime customer Brenda Hansen was hitting the stores for Christmas presents rather than shopping online. She's no longer trusting her Amazon Prime orders will make it on time. "If I want something I want it when I order it," Hansen told WBZ. "I can easily come here and pick up presents, online prices aren't that much cheaper."

She's paying about $15 a month for speedier two day delivery with free shipping and other perks through Prime. Just like Lyndsey Lawton who is also shopping offline and headed into a Milford Kohl's. "It's been frustrating, always around a holiday or a birthday if I need something I think it's going to come and it doesn't come on time," said Lawton.

It's an embarrassing setback for Amazon, whose reputation with shoppers depends on delivering orders on time. The online shopping giant has been working to cut its delivery time in half to one day from two for its Prime members, who pay $119 for speedier delivery and other perks. Other retailers like Walmart and Best Buy have tried to keep up by cutting their own delivery time.

"As far as holidays, they have plenty of time to prepare," Hansen said. "This isn't something new, it's always been."

Mendy Tarkowski, whose Amazon orders have been delayed five or six days, is a little more forgiving. "I think it's amazing to be able to get as much as we do with two-day shipping," Tarkowski said. "We're all spoiled by it at this point."

Customers say it's a time of year that can be time sensitive, especially when you're talking holiday presents, and they're opting to pay more for a quicker guarantee. "I used to say don't worry it'll come this day with Prime. Now I don't think that and order a week beforehand or not get it," said Lawton.

News of Amazon's delays were first reported by website Vox.

Amazon expects to spend about $1.5 billion during the holiday shopping season on the initiative, partly to move items closer to customers and pay for more worker shifts. Last week, the company said it was hiring 200,000 holiday workers this year to pack and ship orders, double the amount it hired last year.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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