A tight-knit Connecticut community is up in arms about Amazon after online shoppers spotted what they say is a sluggish transit trend in town.
“If you’re paying for a service, you should be getting that service,” said Marie Schlehofer, an Amazon Prime member who lives in the Mansfield village of Storrs.
Lots of folks rely on online shopping during the holiday season and during this hectic time, she and other Mansfield Prime members tell us they have discovered Amazon packages would arrive sooner if they were shipped to other towns, rather than their own homes.
“Everything I noticed was taking way longer,” said Faith Emond of Storrs.
“It didn’t matter what I looked at, everything was at least a week to two weeks for delivery times,” said Heather Tamsin, of Mansfield. “The delivery would be December 15th. If I get it shipped to my mother-in-law’s house in Windham, which is not that far away, it would come on December 3rd, said Schlehofer.
Scroll through Mansfield’s community Facebook page and it’s become a forum for Amazon Prime delivery dismay.
“I was like, ‘Oh it’s not just me. There’s a bigger issue here,’” said Tamsin.
When Mansfield residents reached out to NBC CT Responds, we learned shoppers started ordering items way in advance or just shipping their purchases elsewhere just to get them sooner.
We heard examples of people shipping packages to their places of work or loved ones in different towns.
And a UConn parent says her child ships packages to her home for swifter arrival.
Others have had similar experiences.
“I’m from Niantic area, so I did check that address and it was, it would have been quicker to send it there and take the drive down there and get it from my friend’s house,” said Emond.
Tamsin says she reached out to customer service about the situation.
“I was trying to get them to understand. I am paying for a service that other people are getting nearby and I’m not getting anymore,” she said.
Tamsin says she received a $5 credit for the inconvenience, but she still has questions.
Rep. Gregg Haddad, of Mansfield, has questions too after hearing from frustrated folks in his hometown, like an avid buyer who told him before September 1 she always got packages in two days, but things have changed.
“Of them, 27 of them, were delivered 5 to 12 days after she ordered the item, so definitely a shift in the service that is being provided to Mansfield at a really critical time of the year,” Haddad said.
Haddad sent a letter to Amazon this week asking the company to look at their logistics after confirming his constituents’ complaints by getting delivery estimates for a few items.
“For example, I typed in ‘fruitcake,’ a holiday item, tested how long it would take to deliver here — it was 12 days. But in a neighboring community it was only 5 days.”
We did the same.
On Monday, December 5, NBC CT Responds Consumer Reporter Caitlin Burchill checked the delivery estimates of couple of random products on Amazon.
First for a pair of gloves.
If you were to ship them to a Mansfield/Storrs address, delivery was slated for 11 days later, December 16.
When we changed the delivery address to down the road in Coventry, you’d get them three days sooner, December 13.
In nearby Ashford, a resident would have received them in just 4 days on, December 9.
A teddy bear NBC CT Responds found would arrive in Mansfield December 13. That’s 8 days.
But it would get there sooner to Coventry and Ashford, December 12 and December 8, respectively.
The situation was similar for some whitening strips.
A Dec 13 expected arrival for a Mansfield/Storrs address. December 7 was the delivery date for Ashford. Coventry had a December 13 arrival date too, though.
We expanded our search.
Want to whiten in West Hartford, Niantic, Wallingford or Danbury? You’ll have cleaner teeth much sooner. West Hartford, Niantic, and Wallingford all had delivery dates of December 7. Danbury was December 8.
Amazon did not respond to our request for comment.
Haddad doesn’t think Amazon would want consumers around Connecticut paying the same price to have different experiences.
He has faith the company will fix the frustrations.
“It seems to me it’s a breach of contract to be able to deliver that service to folks who live in Ashford, Tolland, and Willimantic, but not Mansfield. “
In the meantime, Haddad has heard from other shoppers around the state who say this isn’t an issue isolated to Mansfield.
The Mansfield Prime members NBC CT Responds spoke to are questioning whether to keep their memberships.
Some are browsing other online retailers and brick and mortar stores too.
Haddad hopes people will think to shop local this holiday season, as he too waits for a response from Amazon.