How I Got Amazon to Pay for My Amazon Prime Membership

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It’s not an exaggeration to say that I order something from Amazon every single day via Amazon Prime. Yesterday, I ordered three separate times. Before you jump in and judge my wasteful ways (I’m aware, environment, and I’m sorry!), please take into account that I have a new baby. Running to the store isn’t all that easy these days and Amazon has literally everything my wife and I need to keep this baby chugging along. I’ve written about my favorite Amazon hacks before, but this new Amazon Prime hack is kind of amazing and only requires a small amount of time.

So what’s the Amazon Prime trick?

With all the ordering I’ve been doing, I noticed that Amazon was regularly missing their guaranteed delivery dates. When I called in to check on my packages, I was given a credit. Every time! By holding Amazon accountable for missing their delivery dates, I’ve been able to amass a huge amount of credits. Over the past few months, I’ve been able to get Amazon to essentially pay for my Amazon Prime Membership. It’s not even really a hack! It’s just spending a little time to follow up when Amazon breaks their delivery promises — which happens all the time.

Why is this happening?

Less than a year ago, Amazon made Amazon Prime even more efficient. Instead of free two-day shipping on all items shipped and sold by Amazon, they changed it to free one-day shipping. Order today and your item gets to you tomorrow. That’s scary fast (perhaps too scary). In their efforts to achieve this one-day delivery, they expanded their delivery fleet but with scaling comes inefficiency and I found that packages started to regularly exceed their one-day delivery date. When I called in to inquire, I got a credit. Usually $5, but sometimes $10 or more. They used to offer a free month of Amazon Prime when they missed their delivery date, but my guess is that got too expensive for them — especially with the cost of Amazon Prime going up.

How does this all work?

Let’s assume your package was due on Monday, but it never arrived. Call in to Amazon’s customer service line:

1 (888) 280-4331

When you speak to the Customer Service Representative, let them know you love being an Amazon Prime member, but you’re disappointed that they’ve missed their delivery date. Then ask them what kind of compensation they can offer to make it up to you. Usually they’ll offer $5. If you really want to push it, you can ask if they’d be willing to offer any more than that. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t. It usually depends on the cost of the order that’s missing. In any case, $5 for waiting an extra day seems like a very nice gesture to me. Good work, Amazon!

Keep in mind, those credits are only valid on items shipped and sold by Amazon, so make sure to check and see that the next item you’re purchasing is shipped and sold by Amazon. It’s easy to find on the product listing. Check out the example, circled in red:

a product box with a baby in it

Can you hack the Amazon Prime hack?

Indeed you can. Some orders are just late. Others get lost completely. Here’s where you can really compound your compensation. When an item isn’t delivered on the promised date, check to see the tracking information. If it says “Shipped” with a city listed, it’s just delayed. If there isn’t concrete information beyond “Package Delayed in Transit,” there’s a good chance that your package is lost. When that happens, call in and talk to a Customer Service Representative. Get your $5. Then ask to speak to the Logistics Department to see if they have any information on your items whereabouts. When they confirm that your package is missing, go through the routine again. Ask if there’s anything they can do to make it up to you. When I recently called in about a missing order of diaper rash cream (for the baby, not me), I received my $5 credit from the initial call, plus a $10 gift card from logistics. The cream only cost $7 and they sent a new one out that arrived the next day. By calling in and waiting a few days, I turned a $7 order into $15 worth of credit!

Is it worth it?

In my opinion, yes. I almost never have to wait for an Amazon Customer Service Representative to get on the phone and then they do, my matter is resolved within minutes. As long as it’s not taking away from something more important, I’m happy to spend the time calling in.

What do you think? Have you tried calling in to Amazon when your order is late or missing? What’s your experience been like? Maybe all this talk of Amazon makes you hungry for a little purchasing. Go ahead and treat yourself to something you see below…




  1. Compounding the “I order something from Amazon every single day via Amazon Prime. Yesterday, I ordered three separate times.” admission like a badge of honor, the author tells us about his lil’ carbon footprint. “please take into account that I have a new baby. ”

    How charming. Fuck everybody else, I have a baby.

    • Amen. At first I was reserving judgment, thinking this single parent was adjusting to the new, and extreme, responsibilities of parenthood. Then they went on, “…. my wife and I need…”. Holy crap! You expect sympathy for not masking up and running to the store, all while having the luxury of leaving mom and baby home? He’s not even admitting packing a diaper bag and child seat and stroller is too much work, simply running an errand as a solo adult is apparently asking too much of him.

  2. They used to pro actively give credit if something was late. Not anymore.

    I stopped using amazon as much. The deals aren’t that great. You can never be sure what you will get from a third party.

    Amazon is not exceptional anymore.

  3. If I had that many late or lost deliveries, and had to bother with that many calls, my Amazon Prime wouldn’t cost anything either. I would drop it and them.

  4. Amazon invisibly activated Prime on my account while I was making a purchase. I had Prime for two weeks without even knowing it. Customer service agents apparently were prepared with a well orchestrated script for just such concern. Agent after agent would repeat one of the many lines. It was “free” they would say. When the free trial was over, you would be charge. Since you used Prime services (unknowingly), you weren’t eligible for a refund. I removed my payment option from my account and refuse to do business with the until they take responsibility for illegally activating a paid service without my agreeing to Prime terms or conditions and a payment option. Forget about customer service. They will endlessly go around in circles.

  5. MIke – You lost me. If you were still in the trial period you could just cancel membership on the site, and you would not be charged at the end of the trial period (even if you had used Prime services). What “refund” if still in the trial period.

  6. Currently chatting with someone (pretty sure Phillipines). So far
    Can I put you on a 10 minute hold
    Kept asking me the same questions over and over.

    LOL I’ll see how this goes. Of course it was for an anniversary present and it’s 9 days after the order so it’s rather unlikely to show up. (anniversary present, time for backup plan)

  7. Oh and when I mentioned compensation for my trouble it was like I was chatting with myself. So… so far the getting money out of level 1 support for an Amazon screwed up order does not seem to be “happening”.

    First world problem LOL to say the least. I should have gone to Barnes & Nobel

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