I know that this isn’t directly travel-related but I wanted to pass along a hot tip that saved me 75% off my Amazon Prime Membership for the year. The way I see it, you can buy a lot of travel-related items on Amazon and most of my readers are likely Amazon Prime customers anyways, so this will probably come in handy.
Cost of Amazon Prime and Its Value
For Canadians, Amazon Prime costs $7.99 a month or $79 for the year. I have always opted for a full-year subscription to save a bit of money.
For me, the biggest value in Amazon Prime is the free two-day (sometimes next day) shipping. In the first couple of years, Amazon Prime wasn’t really worth it to me based on my buying habits but as the years go on, more and more of my online shopping purchases go through Amazon.
In addition to the free two-day shipping, you also get access to Amazon Prime TV, which features some great original series such as Hunters (highly recommended).
Amazon has also introduced Prime Reading, a way to read a selection of eBooks for free on your Kindle devices.
How To Save Money
Amazon, to its credit, is a very customer-focused company and always try to make things right for their members.
With COVID-19 wreaking havoc around the world, one of the victims of this virus is the expedited shipping on many items that Amazon sells. Items that used to take 2 days to arrive, now take 2-4 weeks to arrive.
I have personally canceled about 3 orders recently due to the delayed shipping times and I was growing frustrated with the value that Amazon Prime was providing. So I decided to do something about it … I contacted Amazon Customer Service and managed to negotiate a 75% discount on my Amazon Prime Annual Membership.
Here’s the chat I had with Amazon Customer Service (I’ve changed the Amazon Customer Service representative’s name to “Amazon” for privacy):
|10:02 AM PDT Amazon: Hello, my name is Amazon Payments Support. I’m here to help you today|
10:03 AM PDT Jayce Loh: Hello. I am inquiring about getting a refund for my Amazon Prime Membership fee. I’ve paid $79 and I buy a lot on Amazon but I am finding it very frustrating to purchase anything on Prime nowadays. Shipping times are way too long
10:03 AM PDT Amazon: Jayce, do you want to cancel the prime?
10:03 AM PDT Jayce Loh: Not necessarily.
10:05 AM PDT Jayce Loh: I’m just very frustrated with having to source other places to purchase items because shipping is takings so long. I understand that this is largely related to COVID but when I order something and it takes a month to show up … that seems very extreme.
Is there something you can do about providing compensation for this drastically reduced level of service?
10:05 AM PDT Amazon: Jayce, I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.
10:07 AM PDT Amazon: I’ll issue 50% refund for the prime membership but you can enjoy the rest of the period. Instead of cancelling it for the full refund.
10:07 AM PDT Jayce Loh: Thank you Amazon. Is there any chance you could bump that up to say 80%?
10:07 AM PDT Amazon: Will this be a best option for you?
10:09 AM PDT Amazon: Jayce, I’ll make an one time exception and issue 75% refund for the prime membership. I’m making this as you’re our valuable customer.
10:09 AM PDT Jayce Loh: That would be fantastic! Thank you very much. Will the amount be refunded to my credit card or will it show up as a credit for my next purchase?
10:10 AM PDT Amazon: I’ve done my best option to you. It will issued to your credit card.
10:10 AM PDT Jayce Loh: Fantastic.
How long before the refund is issued?
10:11 AM PDT Amazon: You’ll receive a refund of 62.21 to your MasterCard.
This will be credited in 3-5 business days.
10:12 AM PDT Jayce Loh: Perfect. Thank you so much for your help Amazon. Have a great day and stay safe
10:12 AM PDT Amazon: You’re welcome, Jayce.
Thank you for contacting Amazon Payments Support!! We look forward to see you again soon. Have a great day!
Keys To Success
There are a few key things to keep in mind when attempting to negotiate anything:
- It’s going to be much easier for you to negotiate if you are actually a good customer that spends money with the brand. If you don’t spend a lot of money, expect your results to be a little more muted. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try because you are likely to get a least some sort of concession.
- Know what you are asking for and don’t beat around the bush. I used to work for ENMAX, and one of the things that we used to do was to respond to complaints from customers. We would often make concessions but only if the customer gave specific directions on how the issue could be resolved. Be direct but don’t be a jerk.
- Anchor high – when you ask for something, shoot for the moon. If you start high, the representative is forced to use your high number as a starting point for negotiation. Notice how I asked for 80% off my Prime membership and we agreed to 75%? In truth, I would have been satisfied with 30%.
Amazon Prime is something that I love and a reason that I shop a lot with Amazon but given the challenges with fulfilling orders, now is the perfect time to ask Amazon for a discount on your Prime Membership.
Like with anything in life, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Make sure you hit up Amazon right away as there are clear signs that the delivery standard is returning back to normal.