Even with all its logistics might, Amazon.com apparently also needs help making all its shipping promises.
Earlier this year, the internet-giant quietly launched a program exclusively for Prime members called “FREE No-Rush Shipping.” The program basically provides credits for Prime members willing to wait a few more days beyond its guaranteed two-day delivery.
To participate, Prime members are asked choose “FREE No-Rush Shipping” at checkout to get their order within five business days. A promotional credit towards a future purchase is then automatically applied to their account once the order ships.
“You can use your FREE No-Rush credits towards purchasing a variety of things,” Amazon writes on the program’s landing page. “Credits can be used for buying eBooks on your wishlist, favorite movies on Amazon Instant Video, groceries and daily essentials on Prime Pantry and just about anything else we indicate in the offer at checkout.”
The promotional credit “applies only to the type of items indicated in the offer at checkout.” In addition to those mentioned above, it can include Digital Music, Amazon Appstore apps, Digital Video Games and Digital Software titles. Amazon writes, “This is just another perk of being a Prime member!”
Consumerist, however, panned the program, complaining of only being able to earn credit to purchase items supplied by Amazon (and not third-party Amazon Marketplace sellers) as well as the expiration date on the credits.
In particular, the article called out the vagueness and the lack of transparency around the types of credits being handed out. The site ordered three different items and received a credit $5.99 Prime Pantry credit each time. Consumerist’s Chris Morran wrote, “Amazon’s execution of the concept appears to be more of an attempt to upsell Amazon services than actually provide compensation to patient Prime subscribers.”