Amazon Dodges Class Action Over Delivery Promises

Amazon delivery boxes stacked in Manhattan, New York City, January 29, 2016. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

In a recent legal skirmish, Inc. managed to convince a federal judge in Seattle to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit that accused the retail giant of failing to honor its “guaranteed” delivery windows for certain purchases.

U.S. District Judge Kymberly Evanson ruled on Friday to drop the case, though she left the door open for the plaintiff to amend and refile the complaint by July 8. Judge Evanson noted that the customer had not adequately demonstrated how Amazon’s delivery practices breached Washington’s consumer protection laws.

“It is not unfair or deceptive for Amazon to fail to abide by promises it did not make,” wrote Evanson in her decision.

The lawsuit originated from an Indiana resident who claimed he paid $2.99 for rush shipping, choosing a four-hour delivery window. However, the package arrived several hours outside this window, and he did not receive a reimbursement for the additional shipping fee. The plaintiff’s attorney suggested that millions of Amazon customers could potentially be affected.

Amazon’s defense, represented by Perkins Coie, argued that there was no explicit “guarantee” for the delivery of the plaintiff’s specific purchase—a variety pack of herbal tea. They highlighted that any delivery “guarantee” mentioned in Amazon’s terms pertains solely to the delivery date, not the time window.

This isn’t Amazon’s first brush with legal challenges. In September, the company was sued by consumers claiming charges for timely returned purchases and was also targeted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in an antitrust lawsuit for allegedly misusing its market dominance. Amazon has denied any wrongdoing in both instances.

The case in question is Storey v. Services LLC, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, No. 2:23-cv-01529-KKE.

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