Special from: Michael Bonebright, consumer analyst with DealNews.com

What to do if part of your order was not included, but the shipment claims its complete

Amazon orders are typically shipped from different fulfillment centers, which is why you’ll often receive multiple packages from the same order. What’s more, delivery services may mark your packages as “delivered” up to 48 hours prior to their actual arrival. If you still haven’t received your entire order after that 48-hour window has passed, you should contact Amazon customer service to request a replacement item or a refund.

What to do if your packages arrive late for Christmas – or year-round

To qualify for guaranteed delivery before Christmas, your order must be eligible and fulfilled by Amazon. These items are easy to find, because they will say “Arrives before Christmas” in green text on the product page, below the “In Stock” text. All of Amazon’s shipping guarantees – including the Christmas guarantee – depend on whether the item is in stock in the quantity you’re buying, as well as the address you’re shipping to. So if you live in Hawaii and you’re ordering 100 LEGO sets, you probably won’t get them in time for Christmas.

Note that the countdown for an order doesn’t begin until the item ships. So with Prime orders, for example, Amazon states that qualifying items are guaranteed to arrive two business days after they ship. So the guarantee doesn’t kick in until the orders leave the warehouse or fulfillment center.

If your order is eligible for Christmas delivery, and it’s late, you should contact Amazon customer service. It’s unlikely that you’ll receive a full refund, but you may receive a small $5 to $10 credit, roughly equivalent to the order’s shipping costs.

Who to contact about a lost, stolen or late package

Amazon’s online customer service chat is the quickest way to handle shipping mixups. Just log into your account, scroll down until you see the “Let us help” section. Click “Help,” and then click “Need More Help?” on the next page to get access to the customer service chat. You can also choose to handle your issue via a phone call, but in this case, you’re likely to get the same outcome from either option.

Everything you should understand about Amazon package tracking

To track most packages, you should sign in to your account, click on “Orders,” then select the “Track Package” option. You’ll be able to see the purchase date, shipping date, when it was sent out for delivery, and arrival info. You can also see specifics on where the package was left: for example, “near the front door.”

Amazon also offers detailed tracking data when your package is out for delivery – you can even see the number of stops a driver has to make before they get to you. You can also opt to have the delivery person take a photo to confirm the time and location of your package’s arrival on your doorstep. Both of these options are only available for select orders, though.