Amazon: Lies About Delivery Attempts?

Here’s everything about Amazon lying about delivery attempts:

It’s very likely that Amazon sometimes marks packages as attempted delivery mistakenly or even dishonestly.

Amazon does not appear to have a widespread policy that would support such an action.

But with so many deliveries and so many employees, it seems likely that dishonesty would sometimes be the outcome.

So if you want to learn all about the different ways and reasons why Amazon might lie about an attempted delivery, then this article is for you.

Let’s get right into it!

Amazon: Lies About Delivery Attempts? (Everything to Know)

What Is an Amazon Delivery Attempt?

Delivery man ringing the house bell

There’s no way to address accusations of lying without getting into some contentious territory.

If Amazon customers think that the company is lying about delivery attempts, then someone has to be wrong about something.

I’m going to get into all of it, but this conversation has a logical starting place, and that place is talking about delivery attempts.

When you order from Amazon, there is a formal message that you will sometimes receive: “Delivery Attempted.”

You might see this message when you check the shipping or tracking for a package you order from Amazon.

This isn’t just that Amazon tried to deliver a package and failed.

It has a specific meaning, and it lines up with Amazon’s description of how delivery services work.

According to the company, when a package is ready for final delivery, a person will try to leave the package with someone at the home or other delivery location.

If no one is there, then the Amazon representative will try to leave the package in a secure location.

If no such location exists, they’ll take the package back to the Amazon facility and try again.

When that third possibility happens, Amazon will update the tracking information with the “attempted delivery” message.

Amazon will try to deliver a package three separate times.

If all attempts fail, then the package is returned to Amazon facilities and the customer is refunded.

This is the intended back and forth behind delivery attempts, and it’s worth noting that things aren’t always the same.

Some packages are worth considerably more money than others, and Amazon deals with those deliveries accordingly.

Also, customers can make special delivery requests.

If something prevents the delivery person from following instructions (whether those instructions come from Amazon or a customer), then you might see an “attempted delivery” message.

Why Is There a Disagreement? (4 Scenarios)

Irate woman arguing with someone over the phone at home

Hopefully, that lends some clarity to the specific discussion of the day.

Now, we can get into the discussion in depth.

It’s easy to imagine a disagreement about an attempted delivery message.

You’re home all day.

You are expecting your package to arrive, but by the end of the day, nothing is there.

You check the status, and it says “delivery attempted.”

You never saw any delivery person the whole day.

No one rang the doorbell or knocked on the door.

Is Amazon just plain lying?

Is something else going on?

What’s the deal?

Before I go straight into lying vs not lying, I first want to get into the various possibilities.

What are all of the likely scenarios where you will see the attempted delivery method, and can any of those apply to your situation?

#1 Misunderstanding

The delivery man is pressing the doorbell to attempt delivery

This is an easy situation to understand.

Even though you were home all day, it’s still possible that you didn’t hear the doorbell or any knocking.

It’s possible that the person genuinely tried to complete the delivery, but there was no one to sign for the package, so they gave up.

Even if you have a front door camera and you never saw anyone come to deliver your package, there are still legitimate misunderstandings that can occur.

Maybe the person tried to deliver to a work address or a P.O. box rather than your front door.

Maybe there were extenuating circumstances and a locked gate, road construction, or other problem prevented them from even getting to your home.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

There is plenty of potential for a real misunderstanding, so before we assume anyone is lying, it helps to consider these possibilities and maybe have a conversation with Amazon.

#2 System Error

Middle aged woman using digital tablet frowning

System errors provide additional reasons why you might get this message, and there are a lot of ways it can play out.

One simple scenario is that the address on the package is wrong.

It’s possible that you typed the address wrong or accidentally sent the package to your mother instead of your own home.

It’s just as possible that the Amazon system suffered a random error and the wrong shipping label is on your package.

So, even though it’s attached to your order, the address was wrong.

You were home, but the delivery person went to the wrong home, and no one answered.

As a matter of speaking, this is also a misunderstanding, but it’s built on a genuine system error rather than a lie.

It’s also possible that the delivery person punched the wrong code.

Maybe you were one of the last stops on the delivery and they ran out of time.

Instead of marking your package as out for delivery, it was unintentionally marked as attempted delivery instead.

It’s even possible that they left the package on your doorstep without ringing a bell or knocking because it was marked for contactless delivery.

But, instead of marking the package as delivered, they accidentally put attempted delivery.

Your package might be sitting outside right now.

It’s probably worth checking to make sure that isn’t the case.

#3 Working As Intended

Courier taking boxes out from delivery van

There’s also a scenario where no one lied and no one is misinformed.

Technically, this doesn’t apply to a disagreement, but I want to cover the scenario because it’s the very most common when an attempted delivery message is involved.

Sometimes, a package requires a signature.

The delivery person rang the bell, but no one answered, and they took the package back to the Amazon center.

Everything is working as intended.

You can wait for Amazon to try again, or you can reach out to Amazon to try to come up with a delivery solution so that you get your package.

Again, this isn’t a misunderstanding or disagreement, but it’s worth realizing that there are methods of recourse when the attempted delivery message is used correctly.

#4 Lying Amazon

woman looking at laptop lifting her glasses off

It’s also possible that Amazon is lying.

Maybe the company has a policy of dishonesty in certain scenarios.

They want to mark some packages as attempted delivery so that they don’t have to admit to late deliveries or other problems.

It’s feasible, and it would certainly be frustrating.

It’s also possible that the delivery person lied on an individual basis.

They aren’t under any marching orders from the company.

Instead, something happened where they didn’t deliver a package, and to avoid scrutiny or reprimand, they just marked the package as an attempted delivery.

It’s easy to imagine these scenarios, and it’s certainly possible that either can or does happen.

With all of that covered, we can get into the final component of this discussion.

So, Does Amazon Lie? (3 Things)

female warehouse worker holding laptop checking inventory

Here’s the crux of everything.

Does Amazon actually lie about deliveries and attempted deliveries?

If we’re being very careful about the language and only considering it a lie when Amazon knowingly claims that there was a delivery attempt, even when there wasn’t, then the answer isn’t perfectly black and white.

The simplest thing to say is, yes.

Sometimes, Amazon does lie, and it happens in a number of different ways and for a number of different reasons.

Make no mistake.

Amazon has the capacity to lie and statistically speaking, it’s a virtual certainty that Amazon has been deliberately dishonest in some way at some point.

We’re talking about billions of deliveries here.

That said, when it comes to the attempted delivery message specifically, it’s less clear that Amazon is out and out lying with these messages.

Once again, the truth is a bit of a mixed bag, and it’s probably best to split the answer into two categories.

Is the Amazon organization deliberately lying about your package, or does the lie come from an individual acting outside of the organization’s instructions?

#1 As an Organization?

modern warehouse with AGV forklifts and high shelves

Let’s start with the big fish.

Does Amazon lie as an organization?

Again, considering the sheer scale of Amazon and its operations, some company-level dishonesty seems inevitable.

It might not be broad company policy to be dishonest about deliveries, but it’s hard to imagine that the attempted delivery message has never been abused, and that could reasonably constitute lying.

Despite that, I’m going to be a little bit charitable here and say that for the most part, the Amazon organization does not lie about delivery attempts.

There can certainly be exceptions to this rule, but on average, the delivery attempt message is intended to be earnest and honest.

This is not because I have a warm spot for Amazon or because I’m on their payroll.

It’s because of money.

Amazon is a for-profit company, and it’s pretty clear that the company tries to maximize profits.

That suggests that the business model is oriented around making money, and when you think about how Amazon makes money, then lying about delivery attempts is bad for business.

Amazon is making the most money when it’s easy for you to order stuff (and pay for it), and when you’re incentivized to order stuff in the future.

That’s the whole business model, and there’s an important thing to remember.

Amazon is going to lose a lot of money if deliveries aren’t reliable.

If the company makes it a policy to lie about delivery attempts any time there is a delay, then people will lose confidence in Amazon deliveries, and at least some of those people will order less as a result.

It’s a money loser.

On top of that, delivery attempts themselves cost money.

Amazon ships the item all the way to your house, then back to a facility, and then back to your house, and on for three full cycles.

They’re paying for gas and labor at each stage. It’s not cost-effective.

Even if they’re lying about the attempts, any inefficiency in the delivery process loses money for the company.

So, if Amazon is trying to make as much money as possible, lying about delivery attempts goes against that goal.

As I researched this question, I never saw any evidence of an Amazon lying policy, and I believe that result is simply because of the bottom line.

#2 As an Individual?

warehouse worker and manager checks stock and inventory using a tablet device

But, that doesn’t mean that Amazon is always honest.

Ultimately, delivery services are carried out by people, and an individual has a lot more motivation to lie about a delivery attempt than the Amazon organization does as a whole.

I already mentioned one possibility.

There might have been a problem along a delivery route, and to avoid getting in trouble at work, the delivery person dishonestly marked the package as an attempted delivery.

It’s easy to understand the motivation.

It’s also possible that Amazon sometimes hires dishonest people.

It doesn’t have to be part of an agenda.

There are some people who are more likely to lie about things than others.

When you consider that Amazon employs over 1 million people in the U.S. alone, it’s not hard to imagine that some of them might lie, and they might do it for countless different reasons.

On top of that, Amazon delivers more than 1.6 million packages every day. 

With so many deliveries, it seems inevitable that the attempted delivery button will be abused by someone at some point.

With all of this in mind, I’m comfortable saying that Amazon does sometimes lie with this message.

I can’t formally prove it, but the statistics make it likely.

When you combine that with the fact that there are tons of claims of this being a lie on the internet, I feel safe assuming that at least some of these people’s claims are correct.

#3 What About Carriers?

Uniformed male courier opens trunk of minivan filled with cardboard boxes

So far, all of the focus has been on Amazon, but there’s a third element here.

Amazon regularly employs third-party carriers for part or all of a delivery.

You can get Amazon packages from FedEx, UPS, and USPS (among others if you are outside of the United States).

These delivery partners are responsible for the final step of delivery, and in many cases, they are responsible for marking a package as an attempted delivery.

Do they lie?

Well, they are subject to the same forces as Amazon.

So, even if those carriers are not lying as a matter of policy, it’s inevitable that at least some of their employees are willing to lie.

So, there are a lot of ways that you might be lied to about the delivery attempt.

It’s also possible that the attempt really was made.

Regardless, you’ll want to contact Amazon to try to resolve the situation.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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