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How to Get 1 Month of Amazon Prime for Free

If Amazon is late with a delivery, you could either get a free Prime extension or have your delivery fees reimbursed.
Updated

Did you know that if you're an Amazon Prime subscriber and your package isn't delivered by the "guaranteed delivery date," you can request a free 1-month extension to your membership? Sounds too good to be true, but that's what one Redditor discovered simply by reading the fine print that most of us just overlook.

In fact, you can request a Prime extension up to 12 times a year. So, if you order a lot and your deliveries are frequently late, then you could end up receiving a full year of Amazon Prime for free, simply by asking! There are restrictions, of course, but most of them simply require that the order meet some obvious stipulations, and almost all regular orders are be eligible for this courtesy.

We know what you're thinking. "Yeah, but will Amazon really honor it?" or "How hard is it to actually get?!" Well, it just so happens that right after we heard about this policy, our order of Spider-Man Printed Duct Tape didn't arrive on time. (What? Why are you chortling?)

Spider-Man Duct Tape
Amazon

We decided to do some hands-on investigating! We sent this email to customer service:

"Hello! My order, #XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX, was scheduled for delivery on the 18th, however, it has not arrived. I saw that Amazon will extend a Prime membership by a month, if a package misses its delivery date. Am I eligible for that extension for this order not arriving on time?"

You can probably tell by our phrasing that we felt a little bit guilty about asking for this extension. Why would they give us a free month over something as silly as Spider-Man Duct Tape?! And furthermore, when we sent that email, the delivery was only late by an hour and a half. (We wanted to see how closely they stuck to that "promised delivery date.") But lo and behold, the very next morning, this email was waiting for us in our inbox:

"Hello, I'm sorry to hear your "Duck Brand 280905 Spider-Man Printed Duct Tape" didn't arrive by the estimated delivery date of December 18, 2013. This usually doesn't happen. To help make up for the inconvenience, I've extended your Amazon Prime membership by one month. The membership will now renew on September 2, 2014.

"In my experience, late packages arrive not long after the date listed. Please wait a little longer, until December 20, 2013, before requesting a refund or replacement. Otherwise, you might have to return a package. We hope to see you again soon.

Well, Amazon, you will see us again ... and again and again — for an extra month!

If you're not an Amazon Prime subscriber, you're not completely out of luck. Using the same policy, you can have your shipping fees reimbursed for the tardy item. It's not a month of free shipping, but it's not a bad apology for a late item, either.

Readers, have any of you tried to request an extra month of Prime for free? Did you have a different experience? Do you feel guilty asking for the extension even though it's well within your rights — and Amazon's policy — to ask for it? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Marketing Communications Manager

Jeff Somogyi is the DealNews Media Editor. Since working here he's written deals, features, promotional and newsletter copy, blog posts, as well as scripts for our videos. Follow him on Google+, Twitter at @sommerjam or his blog.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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20 comments
VERMINATOR
Hi again,
Well I have a couple of interesting things to report since my last post. I received an email that an Amazon purchase I was expecting to receive today (29 January 2014) would not ship until next week (03 February 2014). So I sent a quick email saying I heard a rumour that Amazon would extend a prime membership by a month if a purchase had a confirmed delivery date & did not arrive on that day.
A few hours later I received a reply saying a month of prime had been added & that my prime membership had been extended until June. ("JUNE?" I thought?!) A one month extension of Prime would be May!
Then I thought back to the email I sent in December asking for a free month when I paid $11.99 overnight shipping & I did not receive my package overnight. I thought I did not get the extension because it was not mentioned in the reply from Amazon, but I must have because my original expiration was April 2014 & now it is June 2014. Thanks DealNews for your help! Much appreciated!!
CrystalD64
It works! I used the exact same format in my email. Received an email the next day with an apology and an extension. I have quite a few more to request, so hopefully I will keep getting the same response.

The policy says there is a limit of 12, so I hope to end up with a years worth.

Thank you so much for the information!
kittensb
I received 3 items late. I've written regarding one of the items to see if they will give me the prime extension. However, while I was researching my orders, I found that Amazon charged me the $79 for an annual membership, when I was only applying for the 30 day free trial. I was in the process of cancelling it today so as not to pay the annual fee, when I saw that they had immediately charged me back in December. They are crediting the fee to my charge card, but state that my trial membership was from 9/12-12/13. It doesn't make sense how they responded, but I did get the refund. Also, be aware that several of my early december purchases were charged shipping despite being prime eligible. Amazon refunded the shipping amount as well when I alerted them to it, but it seems that Amazon is really having organizational trouble right now.
EyeWillStickU
I have also confirmed that this works. Amazon was a day late, and I referenced this article in a recent email. They apologized for the package being late, and extended a month of Amazon Prime to my account.

http://www.amazon.com/...horId|5716558504134073306
VERMINATOR
Hi
I gave it a try tonight, specifically asking for the one month extension & I do not know if I just got the wrong person (to ask) or what but I got $11.99 back which was what I paid for the overnight shipping.
I was bummed for about three seconds until I realized that $79.99 year / 12 months = $6.67
$11.99 ship - $6.67 month of prime = $5.52 lost by getting month of prime vs. $11.99 refund.
So I cheered up. I will try again next time (not that i want to cheer on getting late package shipments after paying for it & needing an item ASAP) when the overnight shipping cost is closer to the cost of a month of prime.
I am glad prime exists. For what you get in benefits it is cheap.
A year of prime costs less than a year of Netflix by more than $22!
Happy holidays & thanks again for sharing!
Vermin
dmessmore
I have received 3 free months of Prime. I love Fedex smartpost, whenever Amazon ships my Prime item through that slow azz service it's almost always a day late but ch-ching another free month...thanks Amazon AND Fedex!
runonchad2
They did it for me! Thanks for the tip dealnews!
ayanchandra
Yayy.. Got mine extended..
married2lori
My Prime was to expire in 2 days. I remembered that a product arrived late last month. I called and received the extension.

Thanks Dealnews.
stkewa
Remember when you could ask for a refund if you find out that the product you ordered from Amazon had dropped in price AFTER it was delivered? Ah the good old days.
BadTMan
I took your advice and sent 2 emails last night regarding a package that was recently delivered late and a package that was supposed to get here Dec. 24th but is now rescheduled to the 26th. This morning I had 2 email responses from Amazon apologizing and extending my Prime membership for a total of 2 months. I had copied and pasted the wording in this article, then edited it to fit my circumstance. Thank you DealNews.
Bargainman04
No such luck... I literally used most of the wording from your email:
"Hello! My order above, was scheduled for delivery today, the 24th by 8pm, however, it has not arrived. Unfortunately, they are Christmas gifts that I needed for tomorrow. I saw that Amazon will extend a Prime membership by a month, if a package misses its delivery date. Am I eligible for that extension for this order not arriving on time? "

In the morning I had an email offering a $5 credit. Still something but not a free month of prime despite asking for it directly.
TV-Tastic
I don't know why anyone should feel bad about asking them to live up to the terms in their contract. I didn't even know about this but I'm going to take advantage of it whenever I can and I am going to back and make them pay up for the two orders they've screwed me on in the last two weeks. Not for nothing, but the 2-day shipping is the big benefit of the Prime membership and they need to put up or shut up.

Another thing, whoever thinks that $79.99 per year isn't worth it isn't looking at the big picture For the Prime Video service alone it'e worth it, even if you don't regualrly buy from Amazon. Do the math. It's $96 per year for Netflix, for $18 less you get Amazon Prime Video AND 2-day shipping on all your orders? How can you beat it?
maxcool
Just happen to me today, chatted with customer service, he offered either extension for 1 month or 10$ gift card took the gift card as my order was for 9$ video game
96sarge
I'm guessing they won't extend your "1-month FREE Trial" Membership will they??? I joined for the holidays (Thanksgiving Day actually) and one of the items I ordered was late. I like the Prime service, but $79.99/yr is a little steep.

BTW, I'm not going to complain...just wondering what would happen.

My favorite delivery problem over these holidays has been UPS. I live a mere 15 minutes from the local Dallas delivery center and my package has been there since LAST Thursday. I called today (12/24) and they told me that USPS would be delivering it this afternoon. GUESS WHAT?!!! No such luck! And it was 2 gifts for my mother and mother-in-law that was supposed to be delivered 9 days ago.
ytfcbadger
My experience in the UK is that if you send a really polite neutral email telling them that Prime has failed, they will tend to "overlook" the one month extension. Where I have specifically told them that they'd offered a one day delivery service, they'd failed on it, and I'd like to know what they plan to do about that failure, then I tend to automatically get the extension.

I did initially feel guilty about quibbling regarding what was merely a one-day failure, but it happens so often, that I feel Amazon and their couriers are just chancing it that enough people won't complain. My experience is that under 50% of my orders actually make it under the Prime guarantee.
Pandp
Newegg 2nd day shipping should take notice. UPS making a ground delivery for 5 days and still not here:( Wheres the plane?
dealnews-Somogyi
And to prove it's no fluke, mere days after the above incident, another package of mine arrived late and I decided to push my luck by requesting the extension again. And again, it was granted! Two delayed packages, two 1-month Prime extensions!
minjae
This was a rather interesting read. I love ordering from Amazon, but recently they've been delivering some packages well past the "guaranteed delivery date". Would it be too much if I sent them an email asking about multiple orders? I do feel a little bad though. Maybe I'll just ask about one or two recent ones.
Thank you for the heads up!
rjprux
I have had even more success and I will tell you why. I work for UPS. In an effort to cut cost, Amazon sometimes ships via FedEx SmartPost. This service is where FedEx brings the parcel to the destination US Post Office location; the local post office makes the final delivery.

When I receive a package via Smartpost and it is a day late (it always is, every time). I make a stink about it in the live customer support. My reasoning is, I paid for my prime membership which guarantees day definite delivery. Amazon KNOWINGLY ships via SmartPost and KNOWS you will receive it one day late.

In these situations, every time (100%) I have gotten my entire order credited. I have received over $100 in free merchandise because Amazon knowingly chooses a slower service than I paid for an am guaranteed.

They will try to extend your Prime membership first, I declined and asked them to escalate my complaint. Usually after 15-20 mins, the process is complete. Happy Holidays! -RJ
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