Experience Design Up In Flames

I was feeling cool, special, a little bit VIPish (if thats a word).

A few months ago, I finally forked over my seventy bucks and signed up for Amazon Prime.  I’ve been a big fan of Amazon for a long time.  And I’ve spent a fair share of my disposable income with them, a good bit of which has been on shipping charges.

But, I admit, it wasn’t until the third or fourth time I saw Mitch Joel talk about it at the SOCAP Annual conference last Fall that I took the plunge.

Then along came the Kindle Fire.  I felt hosed, ordinary, a little bit outcast-ish.

Maybe I’m being a bit over the top, a bit sensitive.  But, what I viewed originally as a well designed experience in my Amazon Prime membership, a membership for which I paid, was now being given away for free to those Kindle Fire buyers.  I’m not one.

I’m an Apple loyalist.  iPhone, iPad, Macbook Air, Airport, Apple T.V.

And because of that, I have to admit I felt a little sting.  I chose my platform.  I’m not buying a Fire.  So, why should that fact determine my value to Amazon.  I’m not the biggest spender.  But, I’m guessing I’ve funneled more of my income to Amazon over time than many of those Christmas Day Kindle recipients.

A core principle of good customer experience design is the demonstration of respect for and consideration of the customer, first and foremost.

I’ll bounce back.  But, Amazon extinguished a bit of my enthusiasm with this move.


  1. Kudos for another well written post :)

  2. The annoying thing about prime for me is I am from NZ and they do not say that it is not available outside of the USA

  3. @tom Actually I did not know that. Curious as to why? Tax issues? copyright laws with content? Interesting. But yes they certainly should a)declare that and b) fix that.

  4. Ok, so my friend James Sorensen (@expertinservice) set me straight. Apparently amazon offers a free 1 month trial without the purchase of a Fire http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_navbox_trial_signup?nodeId=200444170#signup

    The overarching point I guess I'm attempting here (albeit perhaps through a poor example) is that companies really need to be aware of experience design and think through the customer implications of promotions or other such activities prior to launch. You never know who is going to react how to your latest launch.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think they probably offered the service to Kindle Fire purchasers because e-books require no shipping, so this encourages them to shop for other stuff on amazon.

  6. I don't understand your complaint. The Kindle Fire comes with one month free Amazon Prime. After a month, you have to pay your $79 or do without. Even without a Kindle Fire you can get a one month free trial of Amazon Prime.

  7. This would irk me, too. Tom Peters said it best, "It never ceases to amaze me that companies spend millions to attract new customers (people they don’t know) and spend next to nothing to keep the ones they’ve got! Seems to me the budgets should be reversed!" My like pet peeve are the low prices on new smartphones for first timers. I don't understand why businesses don't offer "The Deal" to loyal customers at the same time as first timers. It certainly would make it more difficult for us to defect. Even worse are the businesses who offer unbelievable discounts via companies like GroupOn without any thought of those who are already loyal customers. Do they think we won't find out about it? We're right behind the "Group-ies" when they're at the register. As a long time Amazon customer myself, I would think customers like you and me would be more vocal brand advocates than first timers or Groupies.

  8. And you think you've been shafted? Prime on Amazon UK is £49pa (near enough $79) and all we get is free delivery. No streaming and no Kindle!! I would say, think yourself lucky to get what you do!

  9. Got it. Thanks. See my comment admission. thx

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