Retailers statewide have been disappointing Floridians in the run up and cool down from Hurricane Irma.
More than 50 Floridians told The Associated Press that they did not receive necessary hurricane preparedness items, such as flashlights, battery-operated radios, boxed milk, water bottles and first-aid kits, after placing orders on Amazon.com and Nestle’s ReadyRefresh.
Amazon has responded to complaints with an explanation that weather conditions caused delays, and Nestle has apologized to consumers for service disruptions.
“It was frustrating having to run around last minute,” noted one Florida consumer talking to an AP reporter. “By delivery date it was already evacuation time. By the time I realized I wasn’t getting the delivery, it was almost Thursday evening. I didn’t know they were not going to come.”
More than failing to deliver on time, consumers complained that retailers did not keep them abreast of the situation as it was unfolding. Many Florida residents noted they only got cancellation notices on retail orders within hours of evacuations beginning in their area — despite having ordered the previous Monday when Hurricane Irma was still thousands of miles away in the Atlantic Ocean.
Without the Amazon and ReadyRefresh goods delivered, customers had to face grocery stores, where shelves had already been emptied.
Consumers also said that their complaints were rerouted rather than being addressed. Amazon, for example, continually redirected irate customers to UPS. UPS responded that their facilities suspended operations when evacuations were ordered, which, in turn, delayed Thursday and Friday deliveries.
UPS spokeswoman Jennifer Cook said the company is offering to waive any fees to send their packages to another address that is not under evacuation order.
“You put your confidence on this. You pay for the extra [Amazon] Prime membership, but they failed us in the worst and most-needed moment,” a consumer noted.