Amazon at UTexas experiences backups

Meraal Hakeem

As Amazon at UTexas grows in popularity, students increasingly utilize the close package pick-up location to speed up the delivery of their Amazon orders and other Amazon Prime Student benefits. 

The Amazon Prime Student service provides students free next-day shipping on many items ordered through the online marketplace, making delivery a bit faster than with regular shipping options. If students are not in a hurry to receive their orders, they can even opt for the no rush credit standard delivery, which will provide them a $5.99 credit on online Amazon orders. 

Although the quick delivery makes Amazon a viable option for students, package pickup at Gregory Gym has seen recent backups. 

“It’s really convenient how packages are delivered in a day with no additional price attached for shipping,” health and society freshman Gabrielle Samaripa said. “Prime Student doesn’t keep me waiting but recent delays have been interfering with package pickup.”

When a student orders a package from Amazon, the U.S. Postal Services fulfills the order and sends it to UT Campus Mail and Delivery Services, who then send it to Amazon at UTexas. Since UT Mail Services does not operate on the weekends, packages delivered during this time are postponed until Monday, causing backups.  

“Campus Mail and Delivery Services are closed on Saturdays and Sundays while Amazon continues to deliver,” said Alex Villatoro, Amazon at UTexas manager. “The packages that are sent to the Mail and Delivery Services make it look as if the Amazon packages have already been delivered to us when in fact we haven’t actually received anything from them.”

Villatoro said nothing can be done currently to improve the situation due to the contract between the two institutions, and students will need to wait a couple of extra days for their packages. 

“People know you can’t control everything with new startups like this,” Villatoro said. “Sometimes you have to just wait things out.” 

Amazon at UTexas allows students to pick up their packages anytime from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 9 p.m. on weekends from Gregory Gymnasium. Since packages are kept under lock and key at the delivery site, there are lower chances of the package being stolen. 

“It’s more secure since we won’t have to drop packages at someone’s porch or doorstep,” said Ash Brown, Amazon at UTexas site manager. “Packages are actually kept secure in a locker.”

Although the current package delivery delays have lead to several complaints, there has been a lot of understanding within the student body as well, Villatoro said.

Besides quick delivery, Amazon Prime Student allows members access to a six-month free trial where they are allowed to explore Amazon Music and stream thousands of TV shows and movies through Amazon Fire. Students can continue to use Amazon’s media streaming services past the trial period should they choose to continue with their discounted Amazon Prime Student subscription.

“It’s cool that Amazon combines these two factors along with online shopping,” public relations freshman Tiffany Su said. “It just makes everything more convenient and is cheaper than having to pay for a whole bunch of services like Netflix, Hulu and Spotify.”