I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

A-1 Courier Service has ruined Amazon Prime

If you order something from Amazon in New York City with two-day, overnight, or same-day shipping, there’s a good chance that it will be delivered by A-1 Courier Service instead of FedEx or UPS.

But they have a major problem with losing packages. I’ve now had 2 lost packages out of 8 total A-1 shipments in only a few months, a 25% loss rate.1 The first one was supposedly delivered and signed for by “PENDING” (yeah), then was returned to Amazon as “undeliverable” a month later. The second one has been “out for delivery” for three days and is nowhere to be found.2 Both, of course, were sent via the free 2-day shipping option that’s the main selling point of Amazon Prime.

It’s not just me. A-1 has a pretty high error rate. Others have noticed. Quite a lot of them, actually. Even the Amazon chat rep during the May loss mentioned that they had been having problems with this carrier recently.

There’s no way for customers to know which shipper will be used before ordering, and we have no choice in the matter, so Amazon needs to ensure that these couriers maintain the same quality of service as the shippers that we normally expect. (And since our bar here is UPS and FedEx, that really shouldn’t be too difficult.)

Given A-1’s incredibly poor service as reported by many customers for more than six months, and with Amazon’s staff clearly aware of the issues for most of this time, it’s appalling that Amazon continues to use them. This is a serious failure on Amazon’s part.

I’m going to have a hard time ordering anything from Amazon as long as there’s any chance it will be delivered by A-1 Courier Service. If this is not resolved soon, I see no reason to keep paying for Amazon Prime.

  1. Others have had issues with home delivery, but these are always to my office. It’s open every weekday and we never miss deliveries. We get a delivery from FedEx, UPS, or both almost daily, and they have never had any issues or any lost packages. ↩︎

  2. Sorry. I haven’t written a ranty shipping-drama blog post in years, and I know they’re about as exciting as listening to a long-winded description of someone’s hazy dream. But I’m hoping that maybe this might somehow get to someone important enough at Amazon to kick A-1 off their courier list and give me my favorite retailer back. ↩︎