Amazon Fresh Not So Fresh

  • Amazon offers perishable goods delivery service.
  • The items arrived were not safe to consume.
  • Amazon suggests donating the unsafe to consume items.

According to the the Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the third quarter of 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation, but not for price changes, was $209.5 billion, a decrease of 1.0 percent (±0.7%) from the second quarter of 2020.

Amazon Fresh is a subsidiary of the American e-commerce company Amazon.com in Seattle, Washington. It is a grocery delivery service currently available in most major U.S. cities, Berlin (including Potsdam), Hamburg, London, Munich, Tokyo, Singapore and India.

Total retail sales for the third quarter of 2020 were estimated at $1.5 trillion, an increase of 12.0 percent (±0.4%) from the second quarter of 2020. The third quarter 2020 e-commerce estimate increased 36.7 percent (±2.1%) from the third quarter of 2019, while total retail sales increased 7.0 percent (±0.4%) in the same period.

E-commerce sales in the third quarter of 2020 accounted for 14.3 percent of total sales. Amazon is one of the largest marketplaces in the world. The online sales in 2020 have significantly increased.

It is expected that the online sales market will see an even larger increase in sales. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits. Amazon marketplace has been expanding as well. Amazon purchased the Whole Foods grocery chain and has Amazon Fresh delivery options as well.

Due to the lockdowns in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have decided to order groceries through Amazon. The delivery is free for Prime members, if the order is over $35.

The online ordering seemed easy, and there is even an option to choose your substitutions if the item ordered is unavailable. I received confirmation that my order has been received and the subsequent notification that the order is being processed. The prompt appeared on the screen that the order is going to be delayed for about an hour. I did not see an issue with it.

The Amazon driver contact me stating that he can’t get into the building I reside in and the buzzer code is not working. I decided to make my way down to let the driver in. Upon my arrival downstairs, no one was at the door, period.

I wondered if the driver decided to wait in the car, as it is winter weather. I finally see the car arriving, I could see the driver was from Amazon as he was wearing the vest with the Amazon logo.

Amazon Prime is a paid subscription program from Amazon which is available in various countries and gives users access to additional services otherwise unavailable or available at a premium to regular Amazon customers. Services include same, one or two-day delivery of goods and streaming music, video, e-books, gaming and grocery shopping services.

When I opened the Amazon order, the perishable items were rotten, items I have not ordered were in the order, and the items were poorly packaged. The order was unacceptable in the condition it arrived.

I contacted Amazon to discuss my dissatisfaction with the order I have received. The customer service representative had to escalate the issue to the customer service supervisor. When I finished explaining what happened, the individual  hung up on me.

I had to call back again and wait to speak to the representative again in order to be transferred to the manager. My whole order was refunded, but interestingly enough, the manager stated that I could donate the food. I questioned the ethics of donating the food that is not safe for consumption. It made me wonder if the manger was reading from a script.

My overall experience was that the order arrived late, the driver lied, and the order was not satisfactory. The time spent ordering and contacting the customer service was not worth the time or the effort.

Hence, ordering perishable food from Amazon Fresh is buyer beware.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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