So far in 2015 I've made no less than 26 orders from Amazon UK. It doesn't take Isaac Newton to work out that this is about 2 orders each week. For customers like me there are convenient options like Amazon Prime which provide a "free next day delivery" option.
Except they don't. It's often not next day at all and, on top of that, it isn't free.
Examine the image above which shows the two current cheapest price options for the Samsung Galaxy S5 handset. You will certainly see that with the Prime option you get delivery inclusive, but look at the price.
You would currently pay £79 for the Prime service, providing the privilege of "free" Prime delivery. Yet, in this case, the Prime eligible stock costs around £20 more than the non-Prime alternative. On this order I can save around 5% on the price by not ordering a Prime item.
But isn't this entirely obvious to Prime customers? Can they not see that the non-Prime options are cheaper? Well, no, not that easily.
Prior to becoming a Prime member, you'll be used to Amazon taking you to the cheapest price for your desired item. After joining, however, Amazon carefully insert the cheapest Prime option, ignoring all the others. As you'll see from the screenshot above, the cheaper prices are carefully tucked away below, under the colour options. In this case, the Prime price option comes up at a cost that is 24% more than the alternative.
All this extra for "free" delivery. Needless to say that the £65 saving on the non-Prime alternative will pay for its £4.18 delivery charge many times over.
This Easter, my wife and I decided to have a new mobile phone each, instead of an Easter egg - ok, we had both, please don't tell Weight Watchers. I shopped around for pricing and Amazon came up the best option, as a Prime member why wouldn't they? In this instance, my two Samsung Galaxy S5 handsets, ordered on Monday, would have a "guaranteed" delivery date 31st March 2015 - Tuesday...aka next day. That's why we pay for Prime.
On Tuesday lunchtime, all excited, I got a notification that my order had been delivered to the pick-up point. However, on the way home, I discovered that my order had been split. All they had shipped was the phone cases I'd added to the order. Cases for phones that hadn't arrived.
Meanwhile we'd arranged 4G tariffs from our phone providers and new nano SIM cards to put into the handsets. Except the handsets didn't arrive as guaranteed on Tuesday. They didn't arrive on Wednesday, or Thursday too. It's now Good Friday and @AmazonHelp (a total misnomer) has stopped responding to my messages. My "eggs" haven't arrived and all I've got to wrap up for my wife is a case for a phone she doesn't own.
Thanks for nothing Amazon. Needless to say that the 26 orders I have made so far this year will hopefully be my last.
Update - 11:43
Christine from the "Amazon Social Media team" tells me that my package was "lost in transit" and, despite all suppliers concerned currently having the items in stock, they are "unable to process a replacement". She ends the note with a customer friendly:
"We won't be able to provide further assistance for your request"
That's what you pay £79 per year for folks.