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How to Get One Extra Month of Amazon Prime for Free

If your Prime package is late, telling Amazon about it can net you a free month of Prime, up to 12 times.
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Did you know that if you're an Amazon Prime member and your package isn't delivered by the "guaranteed delivery date," you can request a free one-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 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?!"

DealNews Tested and Confirmed — Twice

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

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 Amazon 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 Amazon 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!

And to prove it was no fluke, mere days after the above incident, another package of ours arrived late and we decided to push our luck by requesting the extension again. And again, it was granted! Two delayed packages, two one-month Prime extensions!

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

(Mostly) Success for DealNews Readers

The last time we published this information, several DealNews readers commented to tell us they have received an extension of Prime because of a delivery delay, and some used the exact wording suggested here when contacting Amazon. In fact, user stvmtchll got an apology and one-month extension just four minutes after emailing customer service.

A few readers did not get a free extension. In those cases, however, they were still compensated. User runchadrun received a refund of the delivery fee, and reader vrsick was offered a $15 promotional certificate or 20% off the Prime membership price; vrsick opted for the $15 certificate.

What about when the delivery goes through the U.S. Postal Service and gets to the post office by the delivery date, but not to your home? User sas300zx talked about often getting later deliveries when the post office is involved. Though Amazon usually grants the extra month, "On the rare occasion when the customer service rep doesn't offer the extension, I point out that delivering to the PO is not delivering to me, and that does the trick," sas300zx noted.

What about now, 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 Marketing Communications Manager. 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.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Unless marked as a "Sponsored Deal," the opinions expressed here are those of the author and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the companies mentioned. 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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16 comments
gwengerber@yahoo.com
Im glad this is a recycled article because I never read the first one. Infact half my orders got to my house late in Dec, sure wish I read this then. .
Recycle Recycle Recycle. . . Thank you Del News
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@zymaze Ah, very good tips. Thanks!
zymaze
BE SURE to ask for an EMAIL CONFIRMATION. I've been told that it has been extended when it was not. I've also been offered between $5 and $15 dollars compensation. I insisted on the extra month when offered the $5 but took the $15 (do the math). I also noticed that the delivery company will sometimes put down "attempted delivery" when clearly they did not. I even talked to the delivery company and they admitted the drivers sometimes do that. I live in a house and none of Amazon's packages have to be signed for so there is no such thing as "attempting delivery".
mitsured
12 months last year moving my renewal date from Sept 15 to Sept 16. We ordered a lot of Christmas gifts from Amazon and it looks like everyone else did as well because 3/4 of these free months came from orders made in Nov and Dec 15. A few time I was told UPS was having trouble keeping up with the demand. Also two of my free month came from 1 day prime deliveries being delayed by a day.
johnstrong1947
This does work, three free months so far. But even without this Amazon is the most reliable if you have prime.
hutuka
This works, I got 3 months free already. This explains the need for Amazon to test out their own delivery fleet now.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@gizmovision Hey there, yes, this is something we've discussed before, but there are still many people who don't know about it yet. Super Users like you will naturally sometimes already know the advice we give (because you're super)
gizmovision
heard this before, recycling 'news' article for 2016 already...
norkaman
We have a got TWO extra months because of late deliveries. Both time they offered a $5 coupon but insisted on the extra month instead. They gave it with out any problems.
weinerd
It will show you a "guaranteed" delivery date if you do 1 or 2 day Prime shipping when you go to place the order. All other shipping options have estimated dates and are not guaranteed (as dalylink learned). So long as you choose an option which gives a "guaranteed" date, you're entitled to the membership extension if they miss that date (based on carrier tracking info).

Note that the guaranteed date may not be 1-2 days from the day you place the order, it's 1-2 days shipping when they get the item if it's not ready at a warehouse. It may say the item takes a couple of days to process so the guaranteed date may be 4 days from the day you place the order, so you need to actually look at the date Amazon quotes you.

It's all common sense, and we got a total of 7 extensions last year (May to December).

Increase your odds buy ordering a whole bunch of cheap Prime items (that you still need, of course) as separate shipments and hope the delivery is late!
dalylink
Lesson learned for me: if you want this to apply you must make sure you don't waive the Prime shipping for that $1 carrot they dangle. I went for the $1 credit since the forecasted shipping was a week before I needed it. The date adjusted to the same day I needed it and then no delivery. I IMed with an Amazon rep and I had no recourse. It was pulling teeth during the conversation to get the rep to admit that. They finally had to resend the item (who knows where it got lost) and I received it a week after the updated, delayed delivery date.
tiner73
Yes, If it is late I always get a month free! However you must ask for it, they just don't offer it up.
patriciae
Works every time but you must ask for it they will not offer it. I have gotten up to 6 free months.
Familycircus
I didn't know and they gave me a month right before Christmas because I ordered something with 2 day shipping and then it came up it would be a week late. Thought it was a nice apology and then package still arrived before Christmas.
cyclism6486
I knew about this for a couple years. I usually go to chat with a rep and give them the facts and dates and that "I'm disappointed that I paid for Prime and did not get the package on the date promised". I've had maybe 5 orders in the last 12 months be late. I've gotten 3 one-month extensions and 2 $5 credits - haven't been shot down yet.
premnarayandas
I have had a mixed bag . Till now I have got 4 extensions via chat. I have never asked for an extension directly but showed that I was disappointed with delays. I have had 2 instances where they didn't offer an extension.