Dear Amazon,

How have you been doing? Pretty well, it looks like. I’ve noticed you’ve been buying up lots of other stores, rolling them into your own business, trying to take over the world. Heck, you’ve even got our local postal workers delivering your packages on Sundays! I’d love to know how you finagled that one.

Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about our prime membership.

We only signed up for your prime service because of Netflix. We loved Netflix, you see, but like a lot of other people, we were upset when they split their DVD and streaming services, increasing the expense while decreasing the service, and so we opted to go with Amazon for our movie watching needs. The two-day shipping was a bonus that we’ve enjoyed, but it was not our primary reason, and it’s always important to remember your initial motivations for doing a thing.

It’s important, because we almost never use that streaming service we signed up for. The selection of films seldom suits our tastes, but we aren’t browsers anyway. Our television time is pretty limited and we are fairly intentional about our watching. Sadly, you almost never offer any of the films we are wanting to see, and so we are more likely to borrow from the library than stream from Amazon.

That’s why we canceled our membership.

You’ve tried, over the years, to add so much value to that membership that nobody would ever want to leave. I get that, and you’ve done a pretty good job, but we aren’t the sort of people to put all of our eggs in one basket. We don’t own any of your “smart” devices, like Alexa or Echo. (Why do I need you listening in on my conversations all the time? Google is bad enough.) We don’t have a fire tv. We don’t use your music service. We don’t have a kindle unlimited subscription. Basically, we’re just not that invested in the Amazon lifestyle. We like to live life on our own terms, not yours.

That’s why we cancelled our membership.

We figured that we were only really using the shipping option, and that we did fine before prime with the free super-saver shipping, and it would be no big deal to go back to that. But here’s what we’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks:

You reserve certain items just for prime members. Stupid items. A Star Wars film available at the local grocery store. A pair of scissors. Sewing needles. I mean, come on. Really? I wouldn’t mind if it was some kind of exclusive merchandise, but these are fairly common items. I picked them up today while I was in town. Paid less, too.

You haven’t been shipping my orders. At all. I ordered some CDs for my daughter’s birthday. I ordered them on November 28, and I selected 5-8 day shipping. Today is day eight, and they haven’t shipped yet, and according to your schedule, they might not even make it in time. I canceled that order – and every other open order I had, too – and bought the stuff from Walmart. The cost was the same, and guess what? They offer free two-day shipping or same-day pickup.

The thing is, Amazon, you’ve forgotten that I’m still a paying customer. Or, I was. You owed me the same level of service that you owe any of your customers. I just don’t happen to need my stuff the day after tomorrow. But you aren’t giving me that service, and I don’t pay for the privilege of shopping at a particular store. And if I’m going to be treated like a second-class citizen, I’ll take my business elsewhere. Wouldn’t you? I’ve been checking prices, and you’re just not that good of a deal, anyway. You were convenient, yes, but if you don’t ship? Not so much.

We’ve spent a lot of money with you, Amazon, sometimes because we were too lazy to go out and get the things we wanted, sometimes because we didn’t plan as well as we should have, and sometimes because you just make it so darned easy. But it’s time for us to go our separate ways. We don’t need you as much as you need us. This is your loss, not mine.

3 Comment

  1. Amazon has annoyed me this Christmas season, too. So much of their merchandise comes from China, and it takes a long time to get here. Sometimes months, only we don’t always notice that little bit because we got used to two-day shipping. And two-day shipping only means two-day shipping, not two-day arrival. Sometimes it takes several days to pack it up, even when it’s coming from one state away.
    My guess is Amazon knows we got hooked – Amazon and all the other stores that have online divisions, which is almost everyone. Which means we can’t just run to the store and get it, because more often than not the store doesn’t have it – I have to order it online. I guess the only alternative is to cut back on buying. I bought quite a few gifts from Etsy. And we decided, as a family, not to exchange at Christmas. We are exchanging for St. Nick’s Day with a fun family meal on Friday, and on Christmas we will just enjoy each other’s presence. The adult children buy what they want, and Faith is getting a few extra stocking stuffers. As the hostess of all the extended family Christmas gatherings, it will make Christmas much easier for me. And baby Max will get all his gifts on Christmas.

  2. Yes! My two day shipping was more like three to four day shipping, and we have a distribution center an hour away. And it isn’t always clear when something is coming from China. I just noticed they own fabric.com, too, which was a favorite of mine until a year or two ago, when the prices went up for smaller quantities. Why should I pay so much more for a yard of fabric than for four? Not cool, but I bet it’s an amazon initiative. 🙁

  3. Amazon has me hook, line and sinker. It is just so much easier for me and if I pay a little more for an item, I feel I am still ahead because of the price I put on my time and I just hate to shop. We do use the music streaming but the videos not so much. I agree with you guys on the shipping part…it is frustrating that you don’t get most things in two days. I do use Walmart shipping too. I love it for dog food. We have 3 golden retrievers so that means a huge bag of dog food that always took up too much room in my cart when shopping. Happy Shopping ladies!!

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