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?)