Amazon Warns Customers to Expect Delays Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Amazon is warning customers to expect delays for deliveries during the coronaviurs outbreak. More customers are ordering online as social distancing continues and more are self-quarantining to help slow the spread of the virus. The company also said it is working to stop price gouging of products people need during the crisis.

"As COVID-19 has spread, we've recently seen an increase in people shopping online," Amazon said in a statement published Friday. "In the short term, this is having an impact on how we serve our customers. In particular, you will notice that we are currently out of stock on some popular brands and items, especially in household staples categories. You will also notice that some of our delivery promises are longer than usual. We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders."

The company said it is also "working to ensure that no one artificially raises prices on basic need products during this pandemic and have blocked or removed tens of thousands of items, in line with our long-standing policy. We actively monitor our store and remove offers that violate our policy."

Over the weekend, Amazon users were taking to social media to complain about its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service not allowing customers to complete purchases. Although the site was operational, customers could not chose a delivery window, which made it impossible to complete orders.

Amazon said back on March 2 customers could experience delays as the Amazon Fresh service became overwhelmed with orders.

"Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market delivery customers always have the option to select 'unattended delivery' during checkout if they prefer not to come into contact with others," Amazon's website reads. "Orders not containing alcohol are eligible for unattended delivery, and will be left in a location specified by the customer."

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon would hire an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers during the coronavirus shutdown. Workers will also receive a $2 an hour raise.

During another press conference on Monday, President Donald Trump warned that the coronavirus crisis could continue into July or August and released a new set of guideline, reports CBS News. The White House suggested people should avoid eating out and instead use "drive-thru, pickup or delivery options." Americans should also avoid groups of more than 10 people and asked all Americans to work at home if possible.

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"The guidelines are a 15-day trial guideline to be reconsidering. It isn't that these guidelines are going to be in effect until July," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease official, said. "What the president was saying was that the trajectory of the outbreak may go until then. Make sure that we don't think that these are solid in stone until July."

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