Amazon’s Prime has an awful lot of great benefits, but now one of the lesser-known ones is going away. Before, if your guaranteed shipment arrived late and you contacted Amazon, you could get a free month of Prime. But now that policy has quietly gone missing.
Amazon’s “Guaranteed Delivery” policy originally stated that if there was a guaranteed delivery date on the checkout page, that it would refund your shipping fees, and give you a free month of prime. You could request a free Prime extension up to 12 times a year, so if Amazon constantly had problems shipping to your address, you could essentially have a free year of Prime.
We’ve used this extensively here at HTG HQ because we’d pay for same day or next day delivery, and then when the package missed delivery and showed up a few days later, we realized Amazon had actually shipped them UPS Ground in the first place, so they would never have been here on time. For a while, this was happening regularly, and so you’d simply complain, and Amazon would give you a free month.
According to DealNews, who originally pointed out the policy change, a lot of shoppers must have been using this policy extensively, as some were complaining that Amazon was accusing them of abusing the program, despite the original policy stating in clear language that you could get up to 12 free months a year.
The new policy is a lot more specific, and only says that you can get your shipping fees refunded if Amazon misses their promised delivery date—which only really applies when you pay extra for faster shipping instead of choosing the free shipping option. The policy has further restrictions as well, like your credit card being successfully charged, and things outside of Amazon’s control:
The guarantee does not apply if we miss our promised delivery date because of an unforeseen circumstance outside of our control, such as a strike, natural disaster, or severe winter storm. Also, delivery scans might be inaccurate.
This doesn’t change our opinion of Prime, of course—it’s still a great program that offers a ton of benefits, but the free month of Prime trick appears to be over.