I like Amazon. Half the receipts on my typical credit card statement are from Amazon. I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. But, I don’t want Amazon Prime.
Now, if I am being honest, I have to admit that I don’t really know what Amazon Prime is; don’t know what benefits membership confers. All I know is that I don’t want it. And I will tell you why.
It is because Amazon want me to have it.
Every time I make a purchase on Amazon, there, somewhere, is a mention of Amazon Prime, whether it be a relatively innocuous line indicating that I could get cheaper postage if I was a Prime member, or a full-screen advertisement blocking my seamless passage to the checkout. In the past, I have always prided myself on being able to circumvent this kind of advertising, and thus passively indicate my contempt for Amazon Prime, but I had not bargained with Amazon stepping up their hard-sell.
The specifics of how I succumbed are still slightly vague to me; it all happened so fast; everything a blur. I was completing a purchase when I was redirected to a screen that invited me to join Amazon Prime. There were two options offered to me: one button saying JOIN; one marked CONTINUE. What would you do?
I pressed CONTINUE. To me, CONTINUE meant continue to my purchase without joining Amazon Prime. Not so. A new screen appeared congratulating me for joining Amazon Prime. As easily as that. No ifs, no buts, no opportunities to back-track. I was a member. All of a sudden, my life had changed. At the click of one button I was one of them. An Amazon Prime member. I felt defiled. Conned. My Amazon innocence had been stripped from me.
Instantly, I looked for a means to reverse the process. It wasn’t obvious to find. I Googled my predicament; discovered others who had been through the same experience; eventually found a set of instructions, which allowed me to revoke my membership, albeit after a 30-day cooling-off period and a barrage of appeals to reconsider my decision.
What is that definition of a cult? Easy to join; not so easy to leave.
Since being pressganged into membership, I have read a lot more about the benefits of Amazon Prime. It all sounds rather good; given the frequency of my purchases, I am sure that membership would save me money every month. However, I rail against their aggressive sales’ tactics and, while it might be spiting my nose to save my face, I will continue with the Groucho Marx philosophy of rejecting any club that wants me as a member.
© Fergus Longfellow
Fergus Longfellow remains a steadfast non-joiner.