I have gotten “got” more times in my life than I care to admit or remember. And no, I don’t mean Pauly Shore and Chuck Liddell pulled an elaborate prank on me that involved parking spots, UFC, and Girl Scouts. Nor is it the incredibly low prices of things I would never (ever) use that gets me going; Black Friday has no power over me.
No, I am a sucker of a different breed. The thing that gets me just about every time is the “free trial”. You may wonder why people are always trying to get you to sign up for free trials of HBO, or free 6 month subscriptions of Men’s Fitness, and that is because of people like me. I don’t know if it comes from growing up the house I did, where the words “good value” were engrained into the fibers of our being, or if it comes from the fact that every time I hear the word “free” the rest of my body “clears the mechanism” like I am Billy Chapel in the bottom of the first.
The beauty (or pitfall) of the “free trial” is that at any point during your trial period you can cancel the subscription and avoid the charge. But that’s the point, you never do make that call to cancel the subscription, and before you know it you have a year’s worth of “The Cleveland Plain Dealer” stacked up in your garage.
However, on very rare occasions, you can find yourself getting “suckered” into something that turns out being incredibly beneficial. This happened to me when I signed up for a “free” month trial of Amazon Prime.
I originally ordered a Blu Ray copy of “The Social Network” last February, and at the time of my checkout Amazon prompted me to sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime and receive free two day shipping. Naturally, I accepted. So I entered my credit card information and then put it out of mind. A month later I looked at my credit card statement and realized that my “free trial” had cost me 80 dollars.
At that point I made it my mission to get every penny out of that $80 that I could. Amazon Prime offers two major services. The primary service they offer is free 2-day shipping on the majority of products, and in addition to speedy shipping, they also have an entertainment streaming service similar to that of Netflix (but with way less titles).
In the next 10 months from March to December, I watched 7 instant stream movies, and I ordered 51 items (I went back and counted) from Amazon – probably 95% with free two day shipping. Anything I purchased, I did it through Amazon. DVD/Blu Ray? Amazon. Soccer boots, shorts, sliders? Amazon. Air mattress and stand up closet? Amazon. Granola Bars? Amazon. Gift cards? Amazon. Video Games? Amazon.
Sure, I now own 4 books I have not yet read, and I may or may not own a pair of shoes that look like they could go back up on the wall at any Finish Line, but at least I received those things within 48 hours of placing my order. (It’s the small victories I have to fall back on)
It costs about $5.99 to have amazon ship something with 2-day speed for non-Prime members, and each instant stream movie is around $2.99. Do the math and that’s a grand total of about $306.42. All in all, I am happy camper.
Boom, suck one Amazon.