Sunday, January 20, 2013

Amazon Prime Has A Few Bumps In The Road

I think it would behoove folks to know that Amazon Prime, though cool, and has some great perks, also has a few surprises in store for users, if you don't pay attention.

When you sign up for an Amazon Prime account, the first thing I didn't like was that in order to check out the free trial, you had to buy something to start your Prime account.  If it weren't Amazon, I would have given any other media provider the emotional middle finger.  But in Amazon, I trust.  So I "forced" myself to buy something and got on with it.

Being a Prime member, you don't pay shipping and get 2-day delivery as your default option.  That's pretty cool and for me, that alone pays for itself.  But there are a few issues I'm not fond of with the account.

First up, not everything is Prime
The other day I was looking to buy some batteries and found an incredible price.  But there was a huge shipping charge associated with the purchase.  Good thing I was paying attention.  Turns out, you have to keep your eye on the products page and make sure that items you are looking for are eligible to participate in the Prime program!  Most Amazon products are, but you should be wary when carousing the digital pathways of the Prime accounts.

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Second, There's Recently Viewed Queue

One of the quirks that I do not like is that when you finally find something to watch, unlike Netflix, Amazon Video Prime does not have a "recently watched" queue window.  So for example, you want to watch Black Beauty, and you start it up... but can't finish it, when you return to Amazon, you have to go through the entire search process again.

I find that to be a huge pain in the ass, period!

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Third, Things Don't Stay Prime!

This is the biggest surprise of them all...  that videos that were once Prime qualifiers, do not stay such.

For example, about a month ago, while I was cruising the movie titles of the world of Prime, I was snagging some titles and stashing them in my "Watchlist" so I can find them more easily next time by.  Then recently I came back to my watch list to check on it and saw that one film had a fee associated with it.  I figured I goofed when selecting movie titles.  But tonight, I was going back to finish watching the animated feature, Batman vs. Dracula, but the title didn't have the "continue watching" option.  Then I noticed that it was no longer a Prime category viewing option.  And as I looked around, of my 13 Watchlist titles, 6 of them are no longer Prime titles.

That really gets my goat.  For some odd reason, I thought things that were Prime, stayed such.  Apparently I was wrong.

And then I went to check on new additions to Prime movies, but there are no new ones since the last time I was here about a three days ago.  Boo.

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Overall, Not Bad, But...

The gist of the issue is that my Amazon Prime account pays for itself with the free, 2-day shipping.  And what I have to assume, mentally, is that the videos available to Prime members, are temporary free bonuses.  If you see something on the menu, don't get comfortable, thinking you can finish it later or that it will be there later when you come back.  You have to jump on it as soon as is convenient.

That, and with no recently watched queue like Netflix, you need to manually stick a movie in your watchlist so it's easy enough to get back to it.  You can always remove it from your list later.

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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce