For some customers, the delays and difficulties of getting answers from Amazon about what is going on have raised questions about a company whose focus on pleasing the consumer and hard-to-beat shipping guarantees have became a major part of its success. Amazon could not predict a natural disaster, of course, but some analysts say getting the Baltimore facility back to full-speed is proving a test of Amazon's broader resilience at a time when it is expanding furiously and imagining futuristic ways to deliver products - including by drone.
Subscribers receive free two-day shipping, and in April, Amazon announced Prime memberships had exceed million worldwide. Fast and cheap shipping has also become a major competition point between Target, Walmart, Amazon and other major retailers, particularly as each unveils its own shipping perks during the holiday season. Amazon's issues in the Washington-Baltimore area stem from a Nov. The storm crumbled a by foot concrete wall and ripped off part of facility's roof, Commander Roman Clark, chief public information officer of the Baltimore City Fire Department, said in an interview.
Clark said many of the tractor-trailers on the facility were overturned, with some looking "twisted like a pretzel. On Amazon's complex, the building that was most directly hit was a sortation center, where packages are sorted by ZIP code before they go out for delivery. Amazon spokeswoman Rachael Lighty said more than full time and part-time employees work at the Baltimore center, are still being paid their regular shifts and are being offered other jobs at nearby facilities.
Another facility located on the same complex - the Amazon Fulfillment Center, where products are stored - was not affected by the storm. The entire complex serves customers across Maryland, the District, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Lighty said the sortation center hasn't reopened since the Nov. Asked about how a slowdown like this tests Amazon's resiliency, and how the company has communicated with frustrated customers, Lighty said the company apologizes for any inconvenience and is working to resolve the issues.
Amazon's networks are designed to minimize impacts to orders during severe weather, she said. Basic logistics - like communication and transportation - are crucial to Prime's two-day shipping promise.
Darren Prokop, an expert on logistics and emergency preparedness at the University of Alaska Anchorage, said Amazon risks letting its customer service slip if any links in the chain come undone, including in the event of a natural disaster. Threats to Amazon's facilities worldwide go well beyond tornadoes. In the Baltimore area alone, Prokop guessed a warehouse could be vulnerable to fires, a localized earthquake, power outages, extreme cold or a cyber attack. Lighty said that during severe weather, Amazon works to ensure the safety of employees and contractors, and to minimize customer delays.
Amazon responded to some customer complaints on Twitter by clarifying that Prime's two-day guarantee kicks in only after an item has shipped, and doesn't account for the time it takes Amazon to obtain an item or prepare it for shipment. But that didn't sway everyone. When given that explanation by Amazon's customer service on Twitter, one Prime customer responded in a tweet by saying, "Funny how I never waited longer than days on "prime eligible" items before this past month.
Now is not a good time to clarify that for me. Lighty said that customers facing delays should contact customer service and that Amazon has been communicating with those facing delays. At first, Richard Morrison thought his Prime order on Nov. But that wouldn't explain why when Morrison tried to complete an order on Nov. Morrison, who lives in the District, ended up paying for one-day shipping.
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But he worries that persistent delays will make it harder for him to get the items he needs without much lead time. For the past 10 years, Kam Quarles, who lives in Washington, said he'd gotten used to having his orders arrive within two days. Quarles said he started wondering this week if Prime had undergone a major policy change.
And he doesn't understand why when he went to complete his order, a delivery window of 10 to 14 days came up beside the two-day shipping option. Amazon could have easily explained the damage caused by the tornado, Quarles said. But if the company "provides a certain level of service for 10 years, and then to just have it go completely on its head and argue that nothing's changed, it's not great for their customers.
Amazon's logistical issues and customer service missteps hit Prime customer Steve Waldman at once, he said. When he tried to place his order on Nov. If he chose Prime's free two-day shipping option, the adapter wouldn't arrive until Nov. When Waldman took to Twitter to complain, Amazon Customer Service responded in a tweet saying that customers near the wildfires raging in California "may see extended delivery dates at checkout. That's when Amazon responded again on Twitter, saying that deliveries in the DC area would be delayed because of "recent severe weather.
And he told The Post he doesn't doubt that Amazon is struggling to rebound both from California wildfires and Baltimore's tornado. But he's still taken issue with Amazon's communication about what is causing the delays, and the company's difficulty keeping orders flowing to a major metropolitan area.
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Fun, too, to get glimpses of your handcrafted furniture! I think the bike closet is awesome, if the bikes are important they deserve it! You have created some lovely airy spaces in your home.
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So much fun to see the development of the renovation…and for people who bike as kuch as you and Anne, the bike closet is a brilliant solution ro free up your hallway. I really enjoy reading your blog posts David.
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The Squish Me is my favorite hat pattern—yours look terrific! And speaking of terrific, the renovation is stunning! Your knitting skills have greatly improved. Can wait to see your next renovation project completed. There is no yarn in his story, but I think you would find him a kindred soul. Keep the remodeling stories coming!
Very thoughtful of you to destroy the piano with the cracked soundboard — not everyone would have done that highly moral thing, which is why many young families find themselves with affordable but unplayable pianos — good work! Look at you go, David!!! And are you kidding?? You know how small anne says her head is. It might just fit!! David — did you find anything interesting as you took down all those walls and ceilings?
Love everything you did! Actually, I thought the bike closet was a brilliant way to keep them securely at hand but out of view. But then I live in a community where some people spend more on their bike than their car.
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You would be the envy of the neighborhood for sure. Skip to content. Share this with friends: Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Reddit Opens in new window Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to share on Pinterest Opens in new window Click to share on Pocket Opens in new window. Your hats look great. Thank you for taking the time to write. That hat for Anne looks great too…. David, Love the hats! The bike closet is a brilliant idea.