Here’s another rambling blog post, where I don’t have much of an agenda before I start banging away on the keyboard. If you would like to write to me, my email address is michael at fkbt dot com (I type it out that way in a small attempt to thwart spammers).
I’ve read several articles over the past week talking about how Amazon Prime just reached its tenth birthday. Many of you have asked me over the years if I am a Prime member and if I think it is worth it or not, especially after Amazon raised the price to $100 per year a couple of months ago. Yes, I’m a member, and it used to work out well for me and my family as I make most of my purchases from Amazon – books, electronics, fishing and camping gear, toiletries, pet food and supplies, and even bulk food items from time-to-time. In trying to cut their own costs, Amazon is not keeping their promises.
The pricing is competitive to my local discount stores, and if you know what you want you can’t beat not having to make a trip to the store and having your stuff delivered to your home or office. If you order as much from Amazon as I do, the waiver of shipping fees on ordered items more than makes up for the annual membership fee. You can also borrow one Kindle book per month, watch thousands of movies / TV shows, as well as listen to thousands of songs streaming over your device(s). You can check it out for yourself if you click here or type in http://smarturl.it/prime into your web browser.
I read one article where Amazon is estimated to have 50 million members in the Prime program (it’s estimated as Amazon does not publicize the number of member). That’s an impressive annual run rate: 50 million multiplied by $100 per year is a nice piece of annual revenue.
If you trying to rely on Amazon’s two-day shipping guarantee I will tell you it has become very disappointing over the last six months as things rarely, if ever, make it to my home or office in two days. Things for work, presents for friends and family, or trying to get something to you before the weekend hits – you order on a Wednesday morning, expecting it to arrive to the office on Friday before you leave – don’t expect it to be there as promised. Every time.
Each time I have called Amazon’s customer service department to complain about a late delivery, I get a different excuse: I quit calling to complain as I’m tired of wasting my time as they don’t seem to care. That’s very surprising as Amazon used to be paranoid about customer service, but now they appear to be too big.
Being a data kind of guy, I’ve narrowed it down:
- If Amazon ships via UPS, it will arrive in two days.
- If Amazon ships via the US Post Office, it will arrive in three to five days.
Lately, Amazon has shipped the majority of packages to me via the US Post Office. Ironically, the US Post Office will always show an item as delivered within two days when you try to track your package. Talking to whatever carrier happens to show up at our office tells a different story: the post office will show it as “delivered” when it hits their local office, not when it is delivered. I assume they are doing this so Amazon won’t take the business away from them.
This seems to be a big problem not just with me in the Houston area, but with others I know. What about you – is it just a Houston thing, or are you seeing the same type of issue where you live? Feel free to comment in the text box below; if you’re reading this on the app or the email subscription, you can click here to go to the blog’s website. Feel free to comment away!
Ok, I’ll get off of my soapbox for a while….
I’ve purchased every e-ink Kindle Amazon has made as I love new gadgets and for purposes of reviewing them for the blog, but in answer to a lot of your emails I didn’t order this one.
At $289 for the base model, I think it’s too pricey for what you get: it has the same screen resolution as the Paperwhite, but today the Paperwhite is just $99. The Oasis is a bit thinner, comes with a cover, and has more LED’s to make the background brighter, but the accountant in me says I could go through three Paperwhites for the same price as one Oasis.
Maybe I’m wrong, and the Oasis is the best thing since sliced bread. I think I will wait, as I’m pretty partial to my Paperwhite….
A lot of people have been asking me what apps I use on my Fire, or if I can recommend any new or neat apps for their entertainment….
I go up and down with using my Fire: sometime I read for a few weeks at a time on the Fire as well as play a few games or watch videos, and other times I don’t use it for a week at a time. For reading, I seem to have been using my Paperwhite quite a bit lately as the battery lasts longer and I like the feel and size of the leather cover as it is very similar to holding a paperback book.
With all of the rain we’ve been receiving this year due to El Nino, I have been hitting the AccuWeather app frequently!
Anyway, I hope you have a great rest of the day and week next week!