I love Amazon Prime, I really do. It's the one service that I've kept running month on month, year on year – even after cancelling Netflix intermittently to save money – as it provides free delivery in addition to excellent Amazon Prime Video streaming services.
But I was rather surprised when an official Amazon email landed in my inbox this morning, with the shock announcement that Prime customers will suddenly have to pay for deliveries again – specific ones that don't hit a certain value threshold for same-day delivery anyway.
But before everyone, myself included, has a total meltdown and cancels Amazon Prime for good, let me summarise what the email and Amazon Prime's new delivery policy is: first and foremost, Amazon Prime delivery is still free (on eligible orders); if you select Same-Day or Overnight (Tomorrow by 1pm) for eligible deliveries then a £1.99 charge will apply to orders under £20 (those over this threshold will not incur the additional charge).
I must admit, despite living outside of the big city in a rural town in the South of England, I've been super-impressed by Amazon's rapid delivery on certain eligible products. Indeed, I've often spent a little extra in knowing I can receive specific essentials – usually printer ink, or DIY essentials when missing a specific – and now won't be able to benefit from this service.
That's going to do a couple of things, which aren't necessarily bad things. In the age of convenience, super-fast delivery on-demand puts a strain on expectations, a strain on the supply system, the staff, and the environment too. Rather than top up my basket with additional tat to reach that £20 threshold I can do a few other things: shop elsewhere in-person if really in desperate need; or just be a little more patient and wait a whole 24 hours maximum extra.
Amazon does stress in this email that "the majority of Prime members currently receive most of their Prime orders with One-Day delivery", as One-Day delivery simply isn't available for all products – and certainly not where I live. Therefore, for most Prime subscribers, this change will actually make little to no difference at all. Unless you're always buying tidbits using Same-Day delivery anyway (and you still can do this, it'll just cost you a tad more).
So what might be a shock to the system for a small minority of Amazon Prime members isn't likely to adversely affect everyone. I'm still going to remain subscribed, that's for sure, even if just because Prime is often better than Netflix when it comes to original programming, and easily up there as one of the best streaming services – not just an on-demand delivery giant.