* The increase in "fake" reviews, or even bad reviews (seriously, 1 word responses like "great") turned me off. Was I getting something good? or something that was boosted?
* The price of convenience was too high and it made my spending habits worse. Being able to quickly jump on an impulse and buy something was something at times I didn't control.
* The other services aren't as good as their competitors. The video library isn't great and I have cable already anyway. Amazon Music isn't great.
* The value isn't as good anymore. Their prices aren't cheaper than their competitors (e.g. Walmart). I can get free shipping anywhere now. The speed isn't as valuable as it once was to me. Certainly not at a price increase. What value has Prime added to me to justify the price increase?
Why? Does Prime really have no competitors? Are people "locked in" the Amazon ecosystem (akin to Facebook/Instagram)? Even though I could never work for Amazon as a "worker bee" (engineering or otherwise), I think Jeff Bezos and the people he surrounds himself with are absolute business geniuses.
Apple Music costs $120 per year.
Shipping costs $5-$7 per package.
They are offering less value, but also a lower annual cost.
Amazon doesn't inform users when the year is up and your card is being charged again (unless the card has expired or some other issue).
They've become pretty good, however, at tracking/surveilling their users to "improve services" and spam your inbox with product offerings but they can't manage to let you know when charging you for Prime.
In contrast, I use a prepaid cell service that I set up to charge monthly. The day before a CC charge, I get a SMS message informing me that my card will be charged. The next day, I get a confirmation SMS about the results.
Also strange... it also states on the left-hand panel (as of 27apr18, 1pm PDT):
> Next Payment: On September 25, 2018, you will be charged $99.00 for a year of Prime.
From all the articles I've read regarding this, the cut-off date for existing prime customers is June 16th. If I'm to be charged $119 on Sept2018, it should already be noted on the Prime Pages. Seems like a user-hostile action on Amazon's part.
This is a 50% increase in price since Prime got started and if you’re not getting something delivered every fortnight probably costing you more. Let alone the fact that amazon has been shown to use their reputation as a cost leader (in electronics, books, etc.) to increase the price of everyday items so the same basket can cost you less in Walmart.
I think people will eventually figure out the predatory nature of Amazon's practices. The question is if it will be before or after online competitors are out of business.
* They both have a very large corpus of garbage shows and films.
* They each have a small handful of quality shows and movies that shifts as their licensing deals evolve and expire.
* Both of them are increasingly bolstering their content with self-produced content that is mostly of dubious quality.
At least in my household we seem to use each service roughly equally (I'd say 40/40 with the other 20% going to HBO now and no other cable, tv, or video consumption).
You're also not giving Amazon a fair shake if all you see of value is The Man in the High Castle and The Grand Tour, I clearly get a lot of value out of my subscription and I have yet to watch either of those. Right now I see they have all of House, Sons of Anarchy, Star Trek (most/all versions?), The Americans, and many more; dozens of episodes of I Love Lucy, Mr. Rogers, and Sesame Street; and some great movies like 1984, Spaceballs, Charlotte's Web, the Indiana Jones movies, (all the?) Star Treks, etc.
They don't have nearly the selection for odds and ends, but I don't use Prime, and buy where I can order the cheapest and get free shipping.
Of course, there's the media content to consider, but at this point I've found myself scrolling through their content for several minutes before finding something I can bear to watch. It's more common for me to give up than to find something I'm excited about.
For most of the stuff I buy, Amazon prices are at par or worse than retail, plus you need to be aware of counterfeit goods.
As my son has gotten older I go to the mall more to see movies and actually find shopping there pretty good. Discounters like walmart and Target have upped their game as well in recent years. Looking at my Amazon credit card, my spend has dropped about 30% a year without any conscious effort on my part. I guess I am a weirdo. :)
The true value of Amazon Prime is shipping and as others have mentioned, the near instant-gratification aspect of same/next day delivery has been bad for our spending habits. Waiting a day or two extra isn't a bad thing and plenty of vendors offer expedited and/or free shipping without a yearly membership.
My most common time frame for delivery is that I order something over the weekend, and would like to have it by the next weekend. This is counted as being ordered by COB Monday, so with Amazon 2-day shipping it will get here by Wednesday, but with the old 5-day shipping, more often than not I wouldn't get it until the next Monday, which is too late. Then Amazon pushed this out to 5-8 days. In Amazon's case you could argue it is an intentional decision to boost prime subscriptions, but most other online retailers have similar delivery options.
I feel bad making people bust their asses to get a package to me ASAP, only to have it sit around for days without me using it, and wish a middle ground was available.
1) I can usually find nearly all of 'big ticket' items (TVs, laptops etc) on a competitors site for the same price or less, with fast shipping and extended warranty.
2) For random low value stuff eBay is often cheaper usually and doesn't have any shipping limits.
3) Amazon is absolutely horrible to browse with the amount of junk and fakes now, the signal to noise is way too low to try and compare products in a category.
The only thing I find them consistently good for and buy from ironically is books, what they started with.
Prime Now in London would be good but the UI is atrocious. It is basically unusable, there are so many glaring errors and features missing I don't know where to start. Different stores have different 'baskets', but it shows you products from all stores. So you end up with £12 in your amazon basket and £28 in your morrisons basket which means you can't order either as there is a £40 minimum order per 'store'. If they cancel your order for whatever reason (maybe one item was out of stock) you have to add everything by hand one by one, there's no readd to cart button. It's totally crazy for an ecommerce company to be SO BAD at UI.
Cloth napkins (more convenient than trying to find them at crowded Walmart).
Replacement aquarium lights (cheaper than Petco).
Good no-spill sippy cups (could only find this kind on Amazon).
Art paper (nothing special).
Instant pot (used; only available in that condition on Amazon/Ebay).
Cloth diaper covers (hard to find these nowadays).
New ballast matching my aquarium lights (hard to find), when I found out that's why the earlier lights went out.
1" yoga mat because of my post-ACL-repair knee (hard to find).
Left the most boring and respectful review you can imagine, just stating the facts, how it was used, and that it broke after using it as instructed in the manual.
The review was removed within a couple of hours for breaking some non-specific policy, while similar reviews that end on a positive note are shown prominently.
I don't want to use Amazon after that. They're clearly just cultivating a review echo chamber optimized for conversion.
... ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company’
... 'There are two kinds of retailers: those folks who work to figure how to charge more, and companies that work to figure how to charge less, and we are going to be the second.'
Amazon used to be this way, but it seems like they are drifting quite a bit!
Netflix alone costs about $130 per year.
Amazon offers free shipping for orders over $50, already. While it's not the 2 day benefit. It really comes down to if you want to order X amount of small items that can't wait for you to order multiple cheap items together. So it'll depend upon your value of patience and how you evaluate the value of your time waiting.
Over a year ago because of issues with a bad Amazon customer service experience, I canceled prime. I now just wait a little longer for shipment and to order (when I have several items) and so I 100% have saved money being patient.
After overcoming the fake urgency, I think it's all mostly a scam.
Unless, you use the other services enough.
You can still pay for fast shipping and rent a prime movie a few times a year and still be better off.
Instead, you get to pay for the type of shipping you want, or pay for expedited shipping up front.