Get the trial right, again

Last year, I wrote that you need to get the free trial right. Recently, I did a free trial for Amazon Prime, and their mistakes actually reduced my loyalty for Amazon. Amazon Prime is a clever marketing idea: customers in the continental USA receive most products within 2 days for free or overnight for $3.99 per product. You get your products quickly, and Amazon gets loyal customers to pay a $79 annual membership fee.

But first, the fine print. Prime members are not eligible for the money-back guarantee on late deliveries. So you pay $79 and you lose the guarantee that your package will be on-time. Second, in the last four orders in my Prime membership, half were late! In each case, the Amazon website said that I could order in the next X hours and it would arrive tomorrow! But the products were late.

Each time, I emailed Amazon to complain, and I got an apologetic response. But if they really wanted to win my loyalty, they should have sent me something like the following:


Dear valued customer: We are very sorry for the delays you experienced during your free trial of Amazon Prime. We value your loyalty and we hope you will reconsider the Amazon Prime program. As a result, we are extending your free trial for another two months. If you are still not satisfied, please contact us immediately. Many thanks and happy shopping!


Instead, they got a disgruntled customer who will be shopping around more often via PriceGrabber.

(P.S. My dear wife now tells me that she’s having another problem with her latest order — since we dropped our Prime membership. Sounds like Amazon is having some major problems with their supply chain. Why aren’t others blogging this?)

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3 Comments on “Get the trial right, again”

  1. Greg-s dear wife Says:

    Amazon better fix their problems soon. The end of year is quickly approaching, and if they can’t send out items in time for Christmas, everyone will be looking elsewhere.

  2. greg Says:

    Foolish me, I decided to join Amazon prime anyway. However, I noticed that Amazon is getting better at labeling which products may be delayed. Also, I now see that overnight shipping for some products on Amazon prime is just $1.99. Kewl.

  3. Kathy Says:

    I use Amazon Prime a lot. I haven’t had a single problem with it. I always ship with the two day option, but sometime get it in one day. Now Amazon is the first place I look and compare before shopping other places. It is so convenient not having to go to the store!!! Now if I could just get UPS to deliver earlier than 6 pm at my house, it would be perfect.


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