Amazon Prime

For those who don’t know, Amazon Prime is amazon.com’s new service that eliminates the minimum purchase requirements (for free shipping) and expands free shipping to include two-day shipping. It also extends this benefit to members of your household, as well (which is useless to me, as dust bunnies lack the opposable thumbs to order stuff online). Overnight shipping is also reduced to a flat rate of $3.99 per item.

The subscription fee is, I believe, 70 bucks a year. I saw this when they first introduced it several months ago, but figured out that I don’t spend 70 bucks a year on shipping there now, so it wouldn’t be worth it. This is because, while I order a lot of stuff from them, I almost always do it with free shipping (which takes 5-7 business days for delivery — I figure it’s good to practice delaying gratification).

I gotta say, after only 3 weeks have elapsed, that this is a fantastic service. Holy crap. I order something on Wednesday, it’s at my doorstep when I get home on Friday. Doesn’t matter if it’s a Oliver Wendell Holmes bobblehead doll, or a digital camera, or a crappy romantic comedy featuring people who’ve fallen so far off the radar that can’t get cast in Lifetime movies of the week anymore.

It’s not just awesome for me, but it’s pure genius on amazon’s part. I’m guessing that my orders have doubled since I first signed up for Prime. Not only that, but I may have to buy the year subscription to it when the trial runs out. Either that, or create a new amazon login to get another freebie. The service is that good.

Amazon, by the way, is one of the few remaining bastions of customer service, in my opinion. Now, don’t try to go through the site if you have a problem, but anyone who’s an intermediate googler will have no trouble locating their 800 number. Which, last time I called (a few months ago) had no hold music, no automated menu, but an actual human being answering the phone. One for whom English was their primary language, no less! I had a shipment from them stolen off of the front step of my apartment about a year ago, and when I told amazon they immediately shipped out a second order, complete with a free shipping upgrade, no questions asked. That’s customer service right there.

The few, the proud, the English-speaking customer service rep. At amazon.com.
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