TOKYO -- Amazon Japan admitted Wednesday that some products bought online are arriving late to customers and in some cases not at all.
The problem involves only a tiny fraction of the total volume, but Amazon's delivery services, famed for reliability, are being tarnished on Twitter and elsewhere, where customers have complained of goods not arriving on the promised date and of not getting contacted for redelivery.
An Amazon Japan representative said the company has a handle on the problem and is working with its delivery partners to maintain the level of service. But some of its partners have trouble delivering parcels on the promised days, so if the delays continue and dissatisfaction spreads, Amazon Japan will need to take added measures.
Besides logistics giants like Yamato Transport, Amazon Japan also works with smaller companies called delivery providers in certain zones, and it appears these contractors are having the trouble with late deliveries.
Yamato Transport, the Yamato Holdings unit that handles the bulk of Amazon deliveries, is no longer willing to offer same-day delivery, and in some regions it has also narrowed the hours when it will make home deliveries.
Amazon Japan has responded by partnering with other companies so it can maintain its level of service. The delivery sector acknowledges, however, that there is a huge difference in quality between Yamato and these alternatives.
In Japan, parcels must be delivered to a person at home and cannot be dropped at the door.
"It does not matter how fast you deliver the parcel if no one is there to receive it," noted an executive of one online retailer. The company has accepted Yamato's decision to narrow the delivery window, believing it more important to make certain that packages arrive to its customers than partner with some other agent with a larger time window.