Floridians say online retailers let them down ahead of Irma

MIAMI (AP) — Maya Kogul was in California when Hurricane Irma began twirling toward Florida. She knew stores would run out of key supplies before she got back to her downtown Miami home earlier this week, so she placed an order for three cases of water through a Nestle water delivery company. She waited and waited, but the order didn’t come.

More than 50 Floridians told The Associated Press that they did not receive flashlights, battery-operated radios, boxed milk, water bottles and first-aid kits after placing orders on Amazon.com and Nestle’s ReadyRefresh.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. ReadyRefresh posted an apology Friday on Twitter for service disruptions and delivery delays.

“It was frustrating having to run around last minute,” said Kogul, a 31-year-old mother of a 2-year-old girl. “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.”

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Several customers said that online retailers let them down at the worst possible moment and even before weather deteriorated. They said on Saturday that they received cancellation notifications only after evacuations had begun in their neighborhoods and markets’ shelves had emptied. Some had placed orders as early as Monday.

Other said their packages had arrived in Miami but were either stuck at a sorting facility for a few days or delayed because of problems with couriers.

Mar Enriquez, 41, placed an order on Amazon for what seemed to him like an innovative bag that expands when it comes in contact with water to use as a barrier, like a sandbag. He had heard it worked for friends who braved Hurricane Harvey in Houston, so he bought it on Monday using his Prime membership that offers speedier deliveries. Enriquez was set to leave for New York City on Friday after his suburb was evacuated because of the risk of storm surge.

“On Thursday, they told me everything was fine,” he said. But his package got stuck at a sorting facility in the Miami suburb of Doral, probably because couriers were swamped with orders and not able to deliver them all. “You put your confidence on this. You pay for the extra Prime membership, but they failed us in the worst and most-needed moment.”

The office of Florida’s attorney general was not able to identify…

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