Hey Amazon, Where Is Our Amazon Prime Bailout?

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Amazon Prime Membership Extensions During Covid-19 Pandemic

I am not going to lie, Amazon has been a lifeline during this pandemic.  I personally have been under a stay at home order in Michigan for several weeks and have at least another week left. During that time I have been trying to get as much food and necessities from Amazon as I can.  I have paired that up with Walmart Grocery orders (tips on how to get a slot every time) and the very occasional store run. Having laid all of that out I am left wondering if we should be getting Amazon Prime membership extensions during this pandemic. An Amazon Prime bailout so to speak.

Amazon Has Adjusted Their System

In the early days during the pandemic Amazon announced that it would be making some changes.  They would limit new shipments of items and focus on only the essentials.  This made sense because most people were focused on purchasing these items. Amazon was also trying to work closely with the healthcare companies to get them what they need.  That eliminated sellers from restocking many of the normal items you find on Amazon.

With the influx of people shopping on Amazon, as well as other retail sites, they started offering higher no-rush shipping credits.  First it was $1.50 towards digital content instead of the normal $1.  Then they raised it to $3 to encourage more people to use it.  This was an attempt to lower the stress on an overloaded system.  Then those no-rush shipping offers simply vanished. As did two day shipping for all items.

How My Thoughts On This Have Changed

In the beginning I totally understood.  Amazon could simply no longer meet the demands of their customers.  Shipping is limited right now with their workforce depleted or ill and there are new procedures in place for Covid-19 that undoubtedly slow the process. Delays and less selection was expected.

Let me be clear here this is not about Amazon workers or their delivery people.  They are doing the best they can during these trying times, putting themselves at risk while providing much needed services.

Fast forward a few weeks and I am still waiting weeks for many items to ship. No matter what I purchase the quickest I can get it is 3-4 days later.  And the option for no rush shipments are almost non existent.

Amazon Prime and two day shipping is a service I paid good money for, a cost that continues to rise almost every year, and I am simply not getting what I paid for.  Sure the streaming content is still available but that is only half of what I bargained for.

Where Is Our Amazon Prime Bailout?

We have seen companies in various industries come to the realization that they need extend certain things.  Airlines and hotels have extended status, rewards points, certificates etc. Gym memberships and other places have put their auto billing on hold. It is happening all over the place, except for one of the largest companies in the world.

And here is the real kicker, all of those industries are struggling.  Not Amazon! They are still printing money and at a rate this is higher than ever.  It is estimated they are actually up 35% year over year right now.

What I see is companies that are struggling offering their customers a bailout of sorts or a lifeline even though they are in dire straights. They are doing it because they know their customers are not getting what they paid for, or rightfully earned over the previous 12 months.  But we have this massive company, with sales higher than ever, keeping our subscription money while not providing the service we paid for.

Don’t get me wrong I understand two day shipping may not be possible even if they wanted to.  But why hasn’t Amazon come out and acknowledged it and waived customer’s monthly fees? Or extended Amazon Prime subscriptions for a few months? It is something that is really starting to eat at me.

Final Thoughts

So Amazon there you have it. I think there should be a mass Amazon Prime membership extension.  An Amazon Prime bailout so to speak.  Quit charging your customers for a service they can’t use.  Especially when you are not struggling financially like so many other companies that have done way more for their customers.

Share your thoughts below, should there be an Amazon Prime membership extension or a pause on monthly subscription fees?

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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47 COMMENTS

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47 COMMENTS

  1. Mark…
    Can’t customers of Amazon Prime do some sort of a class action with consumer affairs in someway ???
    This is a special importance to those of us that are disabled…
    That’s as clear as I can make my point…
    class action/petition ‼️
    Thank you Tony Allegretti

  2. I think Amazon is morally obligated to accommodate loyal Prime members in some way, whether by extending the membership renewal, Amazon store credit, or a partial refund of the annual fee.

  3. First, thanks to all the workers that make, pack, ship and deliver the stuff I buy.

    Regarding Amazon Prime, I have been buying more from ebay sellers, target.com and walmart.com because of long estimated delivery time from Amazon.

  4. I was thinking of this also. It’s not about the cost of the service or the fact that shipping delays are inevitable. It’s the fact that you paid with the assumption that items under Prime are 4-5 days or longer now. I think many people can understand and live with that. They could come out and say Prime is now two weeks shipping vs whatever they deem the non-prime to be.

    The point is you paid under the pretense of two days and while the constant delay may be the new normal you should have the right to consider whether to keep your membership, get a refund (of some sort) or concession in the form of extending Prime past your end date relative to however many months they are delaying shipping.

    This should be no different than any other service you paid for that fails to provide the agreed to service. There has to be some discussion. “We all have to tighten our belts” right? Doesn’t Amazon agree with “We stand with you”?

  5. I do think this is one of those times I’d give Amazon a break. I know most people following this blog try to get things for as cheap as possible and then maximize the value….I do it too. But asking for the $12 for a free month just seems tacky. If I was going to complain, I’d probably keep track and wait a few months. See how it all plays out….maybe Amazon will extend everyone’s membership a few months. But if not it might be better to go at them at once versus complaining each month.

    • I agree with you – I think waiting and seeing how it plays out has its merits. My point was more that we shouldn’t have to reach out they should just simply extend it a few months. This could go on for 4-5 months but I think giving people 2-3 months would make them feel appreciated and they could say this will be the new normal going forward if you want to cancel we understand etc. Could end up costing them less in the long run since a lot of people would be understanding and feel like they were valued. My thoughts on it at least.

  6. It just so happened that my Prime ended recently so I didn’t renew yet until they could deliver within 2 days again (I actually bought 5 years worth at $99/year right before the price change and can activate the next year whenever I want).

    Since I didn’t have Prime, I bought some hooks I needed off ebay that included free shipping. Imagine my surprise when I received a Prime envelope AKA the ebay seller simply relisted a Prime listing for a $1 profit and sent it to me from Amazon as a gift.

    • I have noticed eBay has been a lot more active these past few weeks. I think a lot of people (buyers and sellers) will start to make their way over there.

  7. I agree completely with you. I have been thinking the same thing myself. If the travel companies that are getting destroyed financially by the pandemic can do the right thing and extend status and expiration dates the least Amazon can do is add on a few months of my prime membership. I have notice even before March there were many things marked as Prime and would still be several days (4-7) before it would arrive. This is also after they announced last year they were going to try and do next day delivery when possible. I have also noticed their prices have not been very good lately compared to the last several years. I DO NOT expect them to be able to fulfill the 2 day prime obligation during the pandemic because it is not feasibly possible with the number of orders. However, they should definitely be giving us extensions on the prime membership.

    • I have noticed higher prices as well (even shipped and sold by Amazon) which is somewhat expected but still stings a bit.

  8. I haven been trying to order with my Prime Account. I do tie to receive messages that they are not able to fill and ship my orders. I want a refund, I gave up and I go to the store to shop.

  9. I called them with some specific examples about how “Prime” shipments were taking 4-21 days rather than what was promised. Rep was very nice and gave me a $30 refund on my Prime membership.

  10. I have already called in to complain. I want to be clear here I understand we shouldn’t be expecting two day shipping and they are doing the best they can. I called more to ask what is going to be done about it (extending prime memberships) and that it’s absurd I have to call in asking about it.

    The rep said all she could do was cancel my membership but offer me a full refund. My fee renews in oct so it was getting 6 mths for free. I agreed as I can sign back up whenever.

    Unlike some others on here, my deliveries were like 4 weeks with prime. Since canceling I have order other items and feel like they are getting here just as quickly.

    • I don’t blame you for taking them up on it Shawn. Would have been easier just to extend everyone a few months and not lost anyone. I think them not doing anything will have people looking for alternatives and will cost them more business in the long run.

  11. Just beware that if you don’t have prime, shipments are taking one month for anything. That’s the situation I am in; still waiting on shipments for orders placed in early April, for example. Not complaining because I refuse to pay for prime, and I don’t need the things I ordered urgently but just figured I would let you know what sort of timetable you are looking at if you cancel prime.

  12. Although their expected delivery dates have pushed out, I’m actually still getting my stuff in about two days and often well ahead of the expected delivery date. Ordered one item in the afternoon last week and it arrived the next morning. Not one order has gotten bogged down. They’ve been rock solid for us. Costco on the other hand, cancels out about a third of the items I order and then ships some things on time and other things weeks later. Still like both companies but particularly satisfied with the value I get from my Prime membership.

    • I think a lot depends on how close you are to an Amazon fulfillment center. I am glad to hear that most of your stuff is still coming in 2 days Gus – that is awesome.

  13. God quit whining! So $129 a year is too much for you? WOW! Amazon is still very valuable and delivery is just one of their features.

    How about quit looking for something for nothing and deliver something of value to us.

    • Amusingly you’re telling us not to whine about the Amazon value proposition, yet you’re doing that very thing about this website.

      No one is saying Amazon has no value. Their main driver to the consumer is 1-2 day shipping. We aren’t getting that. We’re adjusting to the new normal and it’s not asking too much for Amazon – who’s profiting immensely from this – to do the same.

    • AC so we are supposed to pay for a service we are not getting.

      And then you go on to complain that you are not getting enough value out of a service you pay nothing for.

      You gotta step up your troll game there bud because that was a pretty sad effort.

      • I definitely agree that if they are not giving what was paid for, it definitely makes sense to get some refund.
        THINK, but am not sure, Prime gives you free returns, and that’s one of the big reasons I use them, as I often order products that I then compare, and send a lot back.
        I’ll also give a suggestion, not at all relative to the fees charged, but I often shop for the same product on competing sites like walmart.com, or other stores that i can actually return the products to directly to nearby stores with no return shipping. Stores like walmart, target, home depot, homegoods,,etc.
        And finally, i still find amazon a good value with their free shipping and return on many products, so I still think that Amazon is a good place to shop. (Not to say that we shouldn’t get a refund when warranted). One place I shop is overstock.com, and have had nothing but BAD experiences with them. I’d pay Amazon’s 12.99 month just the way they are than deal with overstock.com (again this is not to say amazon is not overcharging for prime and this is merely saying some good things about Amazon) Amazon has a chat link on their site, and its EASY to get through, and easy to talk to them, and they have very relaxed policies. On the other hand, overstock ALWAYS takes forever to ship, and then, if you’re not satisfied, it takes forever to get back to them, you only get a credit instead of a refund, and if you try to chat with them, well, good luck, often times you wait 6 hours for a reply, sometimes they even reply with, sorry, were closed for the day. Talk about frustrating! No more overstock for me!
        Sorry to be long winded and go slightly off topic!

        • In my town, Amazon now allows free returns via Kohls stores and some other places. Chances are, it’s the same where you live.

        • No free returns around here, unless items are defective. Still waiting 2-3 weeks for items that are ‘essential’ to me.

  14. Agree completely. As you said we all understand why shipping is delayed and it’s not the fault of anyone nor Amazon for that matter. I’ve had several email notices (Paribus) to contact Amazon for a credit for not meeting the (delayed) shipping timeframe. I haven’t acted on them in good faith because again, these aren’t normal times. But in the same breath Amazon is getting an insane amount of business (stock at ATH) and if they cannot provide value as a Prime member then I think they need to essentially pause membership fees until they’re in a position to once again do so.

  15. My apartment management finally realized that Amazon delivery service is a joke. The staff is in Covid-19 lockdown and no tenant is allowed in the office. So packages are left against apartment doors and you’re lucky if they knock on your door. Also packages are left next to the office door. Unlike UPS and Fedex, don’t expect a phone call or email notice.

    Since I got a discount on Prime some months back, I’m stuck with Amazon delivery service.

  16. Maybe you could lead a “class action” movement of like-minded readers of BoardingArea; that might get Amazon’s attention.

  17. Totally agree. If they don’t extend prime, I plan to cancel. I’ve tried to order more of eBay and other websites. Amazon is the last place I shop now.

  18. HA! Are you kidding me? I wish!! I’m an Amazon Seller and have been completely screwed over by Amazon. My sales have come to a complete stop and what little sales I have, are severely delayed to buyers. Jeff Bozo hasn’t reduced any Amazon seller fees either and he continues to rake in the $$$. It’s sickening. He might be the richest person in the world, but he’s an arse in my eyes. I’m also an Amazon Prime member so I get the hit both ways…. I’m starting to do my shopping on Walmart and Target dot com.

    • Exactly!!! Third party sellers get screwed and no way to contact Amazon. They just returned a buyer’s money ($110.00) from my account and let them keep the item. I have know way to contact Amazon or the buyer (maybe send the buyer a letter) to get the item returned to me. Bezos has no right to do this. The arrogant prick!

    • I am sure usage is up. I find their catalog to be way behind the competition and only watch a few specific shows on there.

  19. My thoughts exactly! I’m paying for a benefit that they are not currently providing. Not to mention the fact that their 2 day shipping fees are usually tacked on the price of the items. I rarely use any of their other Prime benefits including Prime Video or Music. My subscription renews in 3 days and I am canceling it!

  20. Don’t forget about using eBay. My eBay orders are arriving even more quickly than usual. I guess 1. the post office has a lot of capacity right now and 2. sellers don’t have much else on their plate, so things get sent out faster.

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