Author Topic: I'm in subscription hell  (Read 3822 times)

Arbitrage

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2018, 02:04:22 PM »
I try to avoid subscriptions.  However, there are a few that we have and currently value at or above their price.

Amazon Prime - now $119.99/year after another price increase? - perhaps we rely too heavily on them, but it is what it is.  We rarely shop in-person nowadays, aside from groceries, Target, and kids' shoes.  We do use the TV, online storage, free e-books, music, and some other features as well.  Also buy some food items from Amazon. 
Amazon Music Unlimited - Echo - $3.99/month.  Kids love it, and we make ample use of it.  A luxury item, perhaps, but 4 bucks, and it's not wasted.
Netflix - $10.99/month - helped us cut the cord. 
Xbox Live - $35-45/year.  List price is $60, but you can always find cheaper subscription cards.  I play plenty, but spend very little on games thanks to patience for sales and the many free games offered through XBL.  Also use this to socialize regularly with long-distance friends. 

A couple of mistakes that I wasn't pleased with:
DW subscribed to "Starfall" for the kids based upon what was being used in school.  Cost us something like $30 for a year, and they used it for a month or so.  She then forgot about it, and we were charged for a second year.
DW has subscriptions to some kids' Fire tablet service.  The tablets were gifts to us, but the service has a fee after one year.  Don't want to pay this, but I don't think I have her convinced.

cats

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2018, 02:40:57 PM »


Those are all excellent points and I agree that if someone felt strongly about skipping Prime that that would be a good way to do it! I have to admit that I really do enjoy the convenience of not having to track when I need to reorder something (particularly sunscreen and vitamins).


For the tracking aspect--we were already keeping a spreadsheet of nonrecurring "stuff we need at some point", both as a means of curbing impulse purchases and also as a means of more efficiently combining online orders.  So adding a few lines for our recurring items wasn't really a big deal.  Anytime I add something to the list, I can check if we're coming due on items.  Or I usually notice that some item is running low and then can refer to the list to see if there are other items that need attention also.  I'm sure it would be more convenient not to have to think about it, but I don't feel it adds a huge burden to my life either. 

We have enough family living internationally that we have mostly stopped with presents unless they are small enough to fit in with a card :)  We expect the same treatment in return, results have been mixed...

At any rate, it sounds like you're pretty set on keeping Prime for now.  Just make sure you reconsider your decision periodically and make sure it's still the best decision for your family!

Livingthedream55

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2018, 08:37:22 AM »
Thrive Market is notorious for making it difficult to cancel. A while back it took me three emails, a complaint to BBB and the Attorney General's Office to get it fixed. Document your efforts.

jodelino

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #53 on: July 27, 2018, 09:30:41 AM »
I'm all for cutting subscriptions and services you don't really need, don't use, or can't afford. But I am proud to subscribe to certain newspapers, and consider supporting good journalism an important piece of citizenship, if you can afford to do it. For me, it's a priority, and if my subscriptions payments help subsidize free access for those who can't pay, that's great. I subscribe to:

NYT (online)
Washington Post (online)
two local papers (online & print)
The Nation (online & print)
The New Yorker (online & print)

I also have automated monthly contributions to several news sources:

Truthout
Reader Supported News
Democracy Now!
Intercepted (podcast from The Intercept)
local public radio station

And I occasionally contribute to Mother Jones and The Guardian.


« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 11:03:33 AM by jodelino »

Sibley

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #54 on: July 27, 2018, 09:49:34 AM »
Reoccuring:

Washington Post (online, annual)
Reader's Digest (paid 2 years at a time)
3 professional memberships (at least one is paid by employer, annual). I keep them for resume, and free/reduced price CPE purposes but otherwise they're honestly kinda annoying.

I don't really like reoccuring services. I feel like it messes up my budget, which is silly because most of my bills are autopay.

Mrs. Fire Lane

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #55 on: July 27, 2018, 10:35:16 AM »
As of July first I'm part time at work so I cancelled some subscriptions -

Hulu
HBO Now
Pandora
 (We have Amazon Prime and Netfilx and cable.)

MeUndies socks - I needed more socks and they are good quality but I have enough now.

I also reduced my monthly donations to podcasts and web series that I enjoy. I didn't delete all of them because while yes there is free content I think it's a good idea to compensate people making art and creating educational shows I enjoy and learn from.

Rimu05

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #56 on: July 29, 2018, 10:17:12 AM »
I have Hulu and Netflix and just bought a month of HBO but probably won't use after month is over so binging on all the shows now. HBO is just too expensive for me at $15.

I will probably cancel hulu since Rick and Morty is what I subscribed for. I use my mom's amazon prime account and it has brought me great joy. Amazon prime is just so easy. Also, I watch a lot of shows on it. From old HBO shoes to new content.

Roadrunner53

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #57 on: July 29, 2018, 11:55:09 AM »
What have you found interesting on Netflix lately? I just scrolled thru 1,000 movies and shows and nothing appealed to me! Recently I watched 1922 and The Road and also a while back I watched Hell on Wheels mini series and LOVED it. Watched Godless too. Meeks cutoff...BLEH! Currently watching Arrested Development.

Seems every time I hear about a movie I might like to watch, Netflix doesn't have it but HULU does. I don't want to subscribe to both!


katsiki

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #58 on: July 29, 2018, 01:21:12 PM »
Just cancelled Netflix myself.  I will probably bring it back occasionally for a month or two.

P.S. Didn't they used to have an option to "freeze" your NF sub?  I was looking for that option initially.

Toad

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #59 on: July 29, 2018, 01:32:57 PM »
As of July first I'm part time at work so I cancelled some subscriptions -

Hulu
HBO Now
Pandora
 (We have Amazon Prime and Netfilx and cable.)


I never understood why people subscribed to Pandora.  You can get it for free without the ads by just installing the ad-block plus extension on your browser.  I've been listening to Pandora ad free daily for years now.  You still do have your skips limited, but you can just change your "station" if you don't like the song and run out of skips (very rare for me).

kei te pai

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #60 on: July 29, 2018, 02:35:12 PM »
Just out of interest, how many people listen to radio programmes rather than watching screens (tv, netfix etc)? I enjoy listening while I work around the house. Mainly the local public broadcaster on the actual radio, but have been exploring an amazing variety via the internet as well.

Rubic

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #61 on: July 29, 2018, 04:08:09 PM »
Just out of interest, how many people listen to radio programmes rather than watching screens (tv, netfix etc)? I enjoy listening while I work around the house. Mainly the local public broadcaster on the actual radio, but have been exploring an amazing variety via the internet as well.

+1

I like to listen to podcasts or NPR when I'm cooking.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #62 on: July 30, 2018, 08:01:13 AM »
I listen to podcasts all the time too. At this point, I almost think I would give up video before I would give up podcasts, if I had to choose. I am strongly considering cutting off Amazon Prime before they raise my rate next time. I'll probably hook Hulu back up for a month or two so I can binge Handmaid's Tale after the weather gets dark and cold this fall. I know there's a lot of great TV out there, but I'm feeling sort of bored with it all lately. I'm trying to read more and spend time outside instead.

I don't have a lot of other subscriptions. I get the educator rate for the New Yorker. At a buck a week, it's worth it. My mom gives me a gift subscription to Consumer Reports, which is kind of funny since I don't buy a lot of stuff.

Does anybody do PBS Passport? Is that worth it?

ketchup

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2018, 01:38:17 PM »
Recurring bills:
Rent ($975/mo)
Car insurance (just added a second car a couple months ago, don't remember where our rate landed exactly, but about $400/6mo I think?)
Electricity ($60-140 depending on usage, electric stove/dryer, no gas except propane for furnace, no water/sewer since we're on a well)
Trash/recycling ($77/3mo)
Molasses DSL from AT&T ($50/mo)
Motherflippin' DirecTV satellite TV ($23/mo if they don't botch our bill this time... cheaper than buying the episodes of non-Netflix/non-Amazon shows we care about)
Two unlimited lines on T-mobile ($93/mo)
Amazon Prime ($119/yr)
Netflix ($0, included with T-mobile)
HBO Now ($15/mo) when Game of Thrones is on (not now)

Business services for GF's photography business:
Google Drive ($10/mo)
MS Office 365 ($100/yr I think)
Shootproof ($30/mo)
Web hosting/email ($12/mo)

Since Amazon Prime seems to be the main controversial one in this thread:
  • Yes, we spend more on Amazon since we have Prime... because we get less stuff elsewhere.  That comes out in the wash and I'm not sure why it's such a talking point against Prime.
  • It's many fewer trips to "the store" and no scouring stores for random nonsense.  Every "shopping trip" these days is either groceries, Home Depot, or Costco.  Truly no reason to go anywhere else when Amazon (and elsewhere online) have pretty much everything you could ever need.  Last few orders on Amazon were a mousepad, a flat weight bench, 100ft network cable, ice cube trays, 10x10x6 outdoor dog kennel, hand soap, feeler gauges, oil filters, and fish oil for dogs.  Where the hell am I going to find all that under one brick and mortar roof?
  • The Expanse
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Punch me in the face for our goddamn DirecTV (still hurts to even admit we have it), but keep your claws off my Amazon Prime.

haypug16

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #64 on: July 30, 2018, 03:38:18 PM »
So this thread just got me thinking about my subscriptions;

NetFlix -$119 /year (renews in Jan and I have a calendar reminder set for Jan 1st to cancel thanks to this thread)
Hulu - $7.99 /month
Netflix - $10.99 / month
ZGym $9.99 / month (reimbursed fully by my work)

That should be all so once Prime is all done it'll just be $18.98 per month.

rachellynn99

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #65 on: July 30, 2018, 05:53:04 PM »
About 18 months ago I also took inventory of sorts of my subscriptions and it was insane! INSANE! I had Birchbox, Ipsy, several other monthly subscriptions, Gwynnie Bee, husband had Sirius, some sort of ad free Pandora, Audible etc. We basically have it down to Amazon Prime ( yearly) , and Roku. It has saved us a lot and I've honestly not missed any of the items.

MKinVA

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #66 on: August 02, 2018, 01:22:36 PM »
I have the usual ones, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and XM Radio. We also get the Wall Street Journal once a week for about $250 per year, and I have Avast security on my laptop for I think $30 bucks a year.

I want to know if anyone has BritBox and what do you think of it? Is that hijacking the thread? Sorry, if so

Sailor Sam

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #67 on: August 02, 2018, 02:08:06 PM »
No one's disclosed their porn site subscription yet. I'm amused, and thinking this thread suffers from a few strategic omissions.

haypug16

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #68 on: August 02, 2018, 02:12:06 PM »
People pay for Porn??? I get all mine for free.

marcela

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #69 on: August 02, 2018, 02:16:07 PM »
No one's disclosed their porn site subscription yet. I'm amused, and thinking this thread suffers from a few strategic omissions.
Real mustachians don't pay for porn.

ketchup

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #70 on: August 02, 2018, 02:28:56 PM »
No one's disclosed their porn site subscription yet. I'm amused, and thinking this thread suffers from a few strategic omissions.
Real mustachians don't pay for porn.
Why pay a pro when you can DIY?

Rubic

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #71 on: August 02, 2018, 03:58:37 PM »
People pay for Porn??? I get all mine for free.

Reminds me of the joke:

"Back in my day, you paid for porn and got your water for free."

Mrs. Fire Lane

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #72 on: August 03, 2018, 09:58:50 AM »
As of July first I'm part time at work so I cancelled some subscriptions -

Hulu
HBO Now
Pandora
 (We have Amazon Prime and Netfilx and cable.)


I never understood why people subscribed to Pandora.  You can get it for free without the ads by just installing the ad-block plus extension on your browser.  I've been listening to Pandora ad free daily for years now.  You still do have your skips limited, but you can just change your "station" if you don't like the song and run out of skips (very rare for me).

TBH for the past few years I have been subscribing for one month a year. My family enjoys Christmas carols and Pandora has over 30 different Christmas stations, it's amazing. We listen to the jazz, instrumental, chorale, celtic, and traditional and oldies sometimes too. I help my mom and dad decorate their trees (divorced and living apart) do our own tree, write cards, put up lights, wrap presents etc. And my mom usually has one or two parties at her house, so there's a lot of occasions where I'm streaming one of the stations and then playing it through my speaker. (I won a Bose soundlink color speaker in an office Holiday Party raffle a few years ago, it was the first year they were on the market and they were more than 2x what they cost now. It sounds great but I'm not really an audiophile and wouldn't spend that much on a speaker.) So it's worth the $5 to get my Christmas music ad free for a whole month of listening.

In January I was going to cancel but I had started meditating and was listening to the spa and yoga channels, and you don't really want a commercial in the middle of your meditation. So I decided to keep it because for a few weeks I was meditating every night.

Then I got out of the habit and forgot to cancel it.

Paul der Krake

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #73 on: August 03, 2018, 10:28:54 AM »
I don't really understand the free 2-day shipping either. My purchases fall into two categories:

1) need RIGHT BLOODY NOW, or
2) would be nice to have at some point in the next two-three weeks

Category 1 is basically just fresh food, the odd household item that I just ran out of (TP, dish soap, etc.), and medical attention. Everything else is in category 2 and can be planned for, which means it can be consolidated in a larger order that gets free shipping anyway.

cats

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #74 on: August 03, 2018, 01:11:41 PM »

Since Amazon Prime seems to be the main controversial one in this thread:
  • Yes, we spend more on Amazon since we have Prime... because we get less stuff elsewhere.  That comes out in the wash and I'm not sure why it's such a talking point against Prime.
  • It's many fewer trips to "the store" and no scouring stores for random nonsense.  Every "shopping trip" these days is either groceries, Home Depot, or Costco.  Truly no reason to go anywhere else when Amazon (and elsewhere online) have pretty much everything you could ever need.  Last few orders on Amazon were a mousepad, a flat weight bench, 100ft network cable, ice cube trays, 10x10x6 outdoor dog kennel, hand soap, feeler gauges, oil filters, and fish oil for dogs.  Where the hell am I going to find all that under one brick and mortar roof?
  • The Expanse
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Punch me in the face for our goddamn DirecTV (still hurts to even admit we have it), but keep your claws off my Amazon Prime.

I'll bite on this one, since I seem to be the resident Prime curmudgeon :)

You say you spend more on Amazon b/c you buy less elsewhere.  I say that having Prime lulls you into buying more stuff overall because it's just so convenient.  Most of the stuff on your recent purchases list I either don't own or would purchase so infrequently that they're hardly worth a subscription service.

As far as fewer trips to other places, I'd take the angle that having to get off your ass and walk/bike/drive somewhere will at least sometimes cause you not to purchase an item.  So for most people I don't think not buying an item via Amazon automatically means buying the item elsewhere.  Sometimes it means not buying the item at all.  You say it's no more scouring stores for "random nonsense".  Why are you interested in buying random nonsense in the first place?

ketchup

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #75 on: August 03, 2018, 02:00:04 PM »

Since Amazon Prime seems to be the main controversial one in this thread:
  • Yes, we spend more on Amazon since we have Prime... because we get less stuff elsewhere.  That comes out in the wash and I'm not sure why it's such a talking point against Prime.
  • It's many fewer trips to "the store" and no scouring stores for random nonsense.  Every "shopping trip" these days is either groceries, Home Depot, or Costco.  Truly no reason to go anywhere else when Amazon (and elsewhere online) have pretty much everything you could ever need.  Last few orders on Amazon were a mousepad, a flat weight bench, 100ft network cable, ice cube trays, 10x10x6 outdoor dog kennel, hand soap, feeler gauges, oil filters, and fish oil for dogs.  Where the hell am I going to find all that under one brick and mortar roof?
  • The Expanse
  • The Expanse
Punch me in the face for our goddamn DirecTV (still hurts to even admit we have it), but keep your claws off my Amazon Prime.

I'll bite on this one, since I seem to be the resident Prime curmudgeon :)

You say you spend more on Amazon b/c you buy less elsewhere.  I say that having Prime lulls you into buying more stuff overall because it's just so convenient.  Most of the stuff on your recent purchases list I either don't own or would purchase so infrequently that they're hardly worth a subscription service.

As far as fewer trips to other places, I'd take the angle that having to get off your ass and walk/bike/drive somewhere will at least sometimes cause you not to purchase an item.  So for most people I don't think not buying an item via Amazon automatically means buying the item elsewhere.  Sometimes it means not buying the item at all.  You say it's no more scouring stores for "random nonsense".  Why are you interested in buying random nonsense in the first place?
By "random nonsense" I suppose I mean odd one-off things that I need for something.  If it read as "stupid bullshit" instead that's my bad.  From my list, we'll go with the oil filters.  More than once I've walked into Walmart or wherever, poked at the little display to tell me which oil filter I need for my, only to find they don't have one.  Maybe I'll be at Meijer and go hunting through the "tools" section just to find that they don't have feeler gauges that I need to fix the AC in my car for $7 instead of $1000 (true story).  I'd rather order the new igniter for my stove on Amazon than go trudging around looking for appliance part stores.  It's just a waste.

And that stuff was just examples.  I moved recently, so there are more one-off things there than typical. 
My GF refinished her wooden desk during the move, and now needs a mousepad since it's too shiny to use a mouse without one. 
I replaced our weight bench since the old one is too big for where it was going in the new house, and was also falling apart.  Ordering online I was able to compare a bunch of different models to compare the exact dimensions. 
I bought a 100ft network cable since in the new setup GF's work desktop is in a different room than the router and modem, and wired is always better than wireless, which was tolerable but not worth the hassle.  These are either impossible to find in stores or hilariously overpriced.
Our fridge in the new house didn't have ice cube trays, and I left the old ones with the fridge at the old house.  I prefer mini-ice-cubes, and I could only find those on Amazon.
The outdoor dog kennel makes life way easier here, as the property is not fenced in.
I hope I don't need to explain hand soap.
We give our dogs fish oil since their diet biases omega-6 heavy.  Prices for that stuff are outrageous in brick-and-mortar stores since people love overpaying for pet supplies.

None of this shit is frivolous or impulse-bought if that's where you're going.  Closest thing to impulse would be the hand soap, which I ordered minutes after noticing we were getting low, and I ordered around a year's supply.

cats

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #76 on: August 03, 2018, 02:55:08 PM »
Fine, but none of these seem like things you HAVE to have within two days, so what's wrong with standard shipping (which often seems to arrive within 2 days anyway these days).  And if these are all purchases associated with moving, could you not make a list as you are moving/unpacking, and then order all the stuff in one go so you qualify for free shipping?

Amazon may be the best source for the stuff you are buying but I'm still not seeing a convincing case for a Prime membership.

Serendip

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #77 on: August 03, 2018, 03:31:30 PM »
Saw this thread and was reminded that BrainHQ was about to renew my subscription--just cancelled and saved $120 :)

Malkynn

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #78 on: August 03, 2018, 04:45:02 PM »
Fine, but none of these seem like things you HAVE to have within two days, so what's wrong with standard shipping (which often seems to arrive within 2 days anyway these days).  And if these are all purchases associated with moving, could you not make a list as you are moving/unpacking, and then order all the stuff in one go so you qualify for free shipping?

Amazon may be the best source for the stuff you are buying but I'm still not seeing a convincing case for a Prime membership.

Thatís what I was wondering.

I order from Amazon now and then, but Iíve never even looked into a Prime membership or even know what it provides because I donít order from Amazon often and always get free shipping and items always arrive quickly. I just ordered a weight rack for DH that arrived the next day. 

What is the point of Prime even? I genuinely donít understand. Am I missing something?

englishteacheralex

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #79 on: August 03, 2018, 05:31:12 PM »
^ There are shows.

MKinVA

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #80 on: August 03, 2018, 06:52:07 PM »
And the free Kindle books and magazines, and music. All in all, it's a pretty good value if you are watching programs and reading books. The free shipping probably is not cost effective.

Malkynn

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #81 on: August 03, 2018, 07:19:35 PM »
And the free Kindle books and magazines, and music. All in all, it's a pretty good value if you are watching programs and reading books. The free shipping probably is not cost effective.

Ahh...Iím in Canada.
Thatís why I donít see the value. We donít have anywhere near the content the US does.

StarBright

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #82 on: August 03, 2018, 08:22:14 PM »
And the free Kindle books and magazines, and music. All in all, it's a pretty good value if you are watching programs and reading books. The free shipping probably is not cost effective.

^this - it is our TV, reading and music listening.

And I also like the shipping. I will admit the two day is actually handy for getting b-day and holiday gifts for our families for whom gifts are very important. I'd love to forgo gift giving, but if I want to be in good with the family (and it is important to me) then gift giving it is. But because I'm not a big present person I never think of it until I see their Bday pop up on the calendar that week. Voila! Amazon prime gets the present there in time.

But also for the reasons Ketchup stated, amazon is a pretty key component to our personal mustachian way. We try to make all of our free time family time. Not having to spend time shopping for random one offs (of which there are more than you'd think between DIYing and small children) is VERY valuable to us and gives us our weekends.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 08:18:42 PM by StarBright »

lhamo

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #83 on: August 04, 2018, 07:16:27 PM »
I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but a few times when I made non-Prime purchases on Amazon recently (DS has the Prime subscription in our house to get the student rate, I don't always feel like bothering him with the order) the shipping windows given have been quite long and the items were not shipped until the last possible day.  I suspect this is deliberate, in order to encourage people to spring for Prime.

Roadrunner53

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #84 on: August 05, 2018, 07:52:06 AM »
I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but a few times when I made non-Prime purchases on Amazon recently (DS has the Prime subscription in our house to get the student rate, I don't always feel like bothering him with the order) the shipping windows given have been quite long and the items were not shipped until the last possible day.  I suspect this is deliberate, in order to encourage people to spring for Prime.



Yes, I have also experienced slow shipping too. Plus, all these companies are using partner shippers and that delays delivery too. Some stuff I order takes at least a week or more. I get deliveries in the very late evening too, like 9 pm. I have had deliveries by oddball companies with unmarked vans. I really hate what these companies are doing. I try not to use Amazon at all. Some of their prices are way too high compared to other websites.

cats

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Re: I'm in subscription hell
« Reply #85 on: August 06, 2018, 09:53:22 AM »
I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but a few times when I made non-Prime purchases on Amazon recently (DS has the Prime subscription in our house to get the student rate, I don't always feel like bothering him with the order) the shipping windows given have been quite long and the items were not shipped until the last possible day.  I suspect this is deliberate, in order to encourage people to spring for Prime.

I would expect this to happen but in the few purchases I've made in the past year or so, it generally hasn't been the case.  I actually typically have things arrive within 2-3 days (I think...as mentioned above, I also don't use Amazon for time sensitive purchases so...I may have lost track).