The gift giving season may have come and gone, but package delivery troubles continue in Mansfield.
Amazon Prime members there say their packages are arriving days later than if they were sent to neighboring towns.
NBC CT Responds has seen it, too. Delivery estimates can be much longer for Mansfield than to another town just miles down the road.
After our first report aired last month, customers here saw faster delivery, but not for long.
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Unfortunately, a state representative says a shipping solution may be months away.
Like NBC CT Responds, State Representative Gregg Haddad (D-Mansfield) has been working to get answers for consumers from Amazon.
Haddad says an Amazon representative tells him a fix is 12 to 18 months down the road.
Amazon would not confirm that timeframe to NBC CT Responds.
“What the company has told me is that the problem lies with their last mile delivery partners,” said Haddad.
Those partners include third party contractors who wear Amazon gear and drive Amazon trucks.
“I’m not sympathetic frankly to that entirely because we don’t pay UPS or the United States Postal Service Amazon Prime membership fees. We pay that to Amazon and expect the service delivery that they promise is something that they can deliver,” he continued.
So, what’s the problem?
A company spokesperson said delivery times can vary for a number of reasons, including customer location.
Haddad says the company told him there is a capacity problem and their shipping partners can’t keep up, which is leading to these specific delays in a town that Haddad doesn’t just represent but lives in, too.
Is the capacity problem because Mansfield is a seasonal community? Its population more than doubles when UConn is in session.
Or is it delivery driver staffing?
Either way, “They’re making these promises nationwide. Seems to me that they should be working on finding these bottlenecks and fixing them as quickly as possible with their existing resources,” said Haddad, who has heard from many frustrated constituents.
NBC CT has, too, like Marie Schlehofer.
“We’re trying to get things that are required for foster parenting,” she said, emphasizing that the problem isn’t just occurring for folks buying holiday gifts.
Schlehofer relies on her Amazon Prime packages as she prepares to get approved to be a foster parent.
She explains that to be approved, you need to have certain items in your home.
“Like a lock box for medicine, so if you want one with the fingerprint lock you can’t get that at Walmart. Amazon has them at a really good price,” Schlehofer said.
She says if she ships an item to her home in Mansfield’s Storrs section, she plans on about a three-week wait for delivery.
We checked back in with her and others we spoke to last month still frustrated that shipping to Mansfield seems to take a lot longer than sending items to other nearby towns.
“I work hard for my money, so I expect to get what I pay for,” said Faith Emond, also of Storrs.
“Right now, to have an 8- or 9-day delivery timeframe is not what I am paying a yearly service for. They need to figure out why the delivery time frame is different for different locations,” said Heather Tamsin of Mansfield.
Amazon told us customers can see the estimated delivery times at checkout and they may be able to get their items sooner by choosing a pickup location instead of having it delivered to their home.
The company also said Prime members get a number of benefits in addition to free shipping.
Until the issue is resolved, locals tell us they are finding ways to get some leverage by pushing customer representatives hard for refunds and shopping local, too.
Haddad says he’s heard of constituents receiving three-to-six-month refunds and the ability to keep Amazon Prime status.