PLEASE say it ain't so Amazon!!!!
Several weeks ago I blogged about my experience with Amazon's 'grocery delivery service', Amazon Fresh. It was a fairly positive review with the persuasion for others to try the convenient service as well as my intent to use it again.
Fast forward this holiday season, I'm speaking with a best girlfriend of mine out of Cincinnati and we begin to profess our love for Amazon's 'grocery delivery service'. Shortly into this convo we get on the subject of fees:
Me: ‘…yeah, I’m really digging Amazon Fresh. And the customer rep even said that you really won’t feel the impact of the $15 monthly fee because of all the coupons and discounts they provide…'
Friend: ‘…girl, what monthly fee?? Aren’t you Prime??’
Me: ‘…Uh, yeah. I’ve been Prime for 5 years, what does that have to do with Amazon Fresh?’
Friend: ‘…and why do you keep calling it ‘Fresh’?? It’s ‘Prime Now’ and it’s included with your annual Amazon Prime membership….’
Me: *GOOGLED EYES* of WTH?!?
After a few more exchanges for clarification with my girlfriend, there was definitely an issue. Since trying the Amazon Fresh service a few months ago, I noticed that I never really received a clear and concise determination on the exact difference between ‘Amazon Fresh’ vs. ‘Prime Now'.
PRIME NOW vs. AMAZON FRESH
If you Google, ‘what’s the difference between Amazon Fresh and Prime Now’, you mainly get that Prime Now is a product delivery services available for all Prime members, while Amazon Fresh is a fee associated add-on grocery service for both members and non-members. Where I was initially under the impression that Prime did not include the grocery option, my Cincinnati bestie swiftly disputed that. Based on her Ohio zip code, her Prime Now landing page had the option to shop solely at the recently Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market. With my investigative mind spinning, I begin to enter other zip codes to see what options different areas have. My findings were disturbing to say the least. The areas I entered were coincidentally more seemingly affluent areas, including the residence of my mid-west friend. The additional areas were here in Atlanta’s Cobb county and North Fulton county areas within Sandy Springs. Not only did these northern Atlanta zip codes have the option to shop directly from Whole Foods, but included was also finer dining options, organic, and more exquisite product food selections, such as caviar and Chilean sea bass.
(Included in Prime Membership)
IN NORTH FULTON COUNTY/NORTH ATLANTA AREA
What’s listed in the South Fulton zip code you ask? Little to nothing considering, and not as nearly appetizing. No options of shopping directly from Whole Foods, no organic options, no fresh seafood, no restaurant finds or a ‘Meatless Meal’ guide. In fact, the finest items available in my area include canned seafood and frozen fish filets.
(Included in Prime Membership)
IN SOUTH FULTON COUNTY/SOUTH ATLANTA AREA
Now, to be clear, I get it. The nearest Whole Foods Market in my area is approximately 20 miles away. Of course, the closer you live to a Whole Foods Market the more options there are and opportunities available to receive these specific grocery deliveries. However, I AM indeed privied to these very options and opportunities similar to my northern primarily Caucasian neighbors….for an additional fee, that is. See, when I initially subscribed to Amazon Fresh, I was able to order fresh salmon, shrimp, and other such foodie luxuries. But once I complained and decided to solely utilize the no-additional-fee Prime Now like my fellow counterparts, these options were promptly omitted.
(Additional $14.99 for Prime and Non-Prime Members)
IN SOUTH FULTON COUNTY/SOUTH ATLANTA AREA
The above info brings me to the following conclusions:
This is a direct form of discrimination. TO BE CLEAR, the South Fulton area is full of highly influential business movers and shakers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, mansion builders and dwellers, and millionaires. And we also have our share of hard working middle, and lower class not unlike our primarily Caucasian northern shared county neighbors. However, there is no secret that the southern portion of the county is primarily African-American. When I spoke with a member of Amazon’s leadership team, they were surprised, yet very engaged and concerned with my feedback. Kimberly (the leadership rep) made it very clear that this was the first she had heard of this and was very disappointed in what her company was seemingly condoning. Quiet as Amazon is trying to keep it, discrimination, disproportionate service, and to borrow from the insurance world, 'redlining’ seems to be their protocol and basic processes. Shame on you Amazon.
It is truly hard for me to believe that as the world’s third most valuable company, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon did not perform better R&D in introducing and running this facet of the company. As a passionate foodie and seeker of better healthier options, products, and services for healthy food consumers, I am now at a crossroads regarding my loyalty to this brand.
How can I remain loyal to a brand that:
How can you?
What are your thoughts after finding out this information regarding amazon?
The Question: Just How 'Fresh' is Amazon's Grocery Delivery Service...Really?
Unlike most of you out there, I adore grocery shopping! I mean seriously, the whole preparation of seeking out weekly deals, coupons, planning the meals for the week to produce the list, and the art of deciding from which of the 3-4 stores I will arrive at first on Saturdays to retrieve the best deals for my selections sends tingles down my spine! Hell, I even started my own grocery concierge- ‘A Cart Of Food’ (see the play on the name, lol!), where I would grocery shop for clients. I had a few clients that were extremely happy, however, time became an issue, and well, let’s face it- when the big box Instacart, Clicklist, and AmazonFresh businesses came on the scene, it was laughable for just me to compete on the larger scale. And in this case the old saying rings true, if you can’t beat them, have them do your shopping too!
This past Monday I found myself stranded without a vehicle since my hubby took one to work and my oldest used the other to get to school. I had just gotten back in town and had not yet had the opportunity to grocery shop for the family before the week got started. This is when I decided I would try the Amazon Fresh service. Already a proud and loyal Prime member, on top of having several close friends to positively speak of their personal experiences, I decided to give it a go! I was thoroughly impressed by the easy online process from beginning to end along with the selection of fresh, organic, and familiar trusted brands. Unfortunately after selecting my items, I realized that they did not deliver same day, and decided to cancel my cart. Customer service with Amazon Fresh is no different from that of Prime where courteous and pleasant reps are always speaking with a smile and ready to accommodate however they can.
Although unable to receive the service on Monday, I thought it a great idea to still utilize the service along with my regular Saturday shopping excursion just for the experience and to see if and how I could maybe incorporate this convenience going forward. So just like earlier in the week, on Friday before I walked out the office, I made my selection of approximately 20 items to be delivered between the hours of 7-9am for the following day, approved the tip amount for the driver, and pondered if this grocery shopping method was cost-friendlier than my normal Saturday pavement-pounding only ritual.
Later that evening around 11pm, my family tells me things they would like added to the list….really….at 11pm!?! No worries, I pull up the app and the banner let’s me know that I am STILL able to add items to my list for the same delivery window time! So I add my son’s bananas and my hubby’s cereal, and turn in for the evening.
Bright and early around 7am, my phone rings and it’s the Amazon Fresh delivery guy letting me know he’s at my door with my groceries. Super excited, I jump out of bed, throw on the robe (y’all it’s cold out now!) and completely ignore the fact that my hair is standing up on its own on top of my head. It doesn’t even matter because I am literally feeling like a kid on Christmas morning! The driver is SUPER nice and friendly for it to be that early in the morning. He insists on handing me each bag and for me not to have to bend and reach to grab them on my own. He does not enter the house, but stands where he can safely hand each bag to me to where I can securely bring them in. Once all the bags are in he wishes me a great day and thanks me for my business. Awesome experience! I hurriedly transport each bag to my kitchen island and immediately break into each literally like it’s the morning of December 25th! My eyes are all starried as I reach in checking off each item on my list I pull it out of the bag. However, my eyes become a little less excited as I see that I am almost done opening my packages, but there are way more items on my list still to be checked off. Dang it! I realize they have forgotten at least 8 items from my list. And the missing items aren’t even the last minute ones I added just several hours prior. My heart sank as I contacted Amazon to tell them what happened. The rep, as usual, was very nice in listening to my ordeal, but simply offered the choice of a refund or delivery of the missing items. Unfortunately, the earliest my incognito items could be delivered was 9pm. I expressed that a refund would be fine and I would just have to make a trip out to get the forgotten items since it would be so late for them to re-deliver to me. And that was it. She did apologize for the inconvenience, which is great, but that doesn’t help the fact that now I have to leave my home to pick up grocery items, COMPLETELY defeating the purpose of the service. Unsettled by this resolution, I reached back out to Amazon Fresh and spoke with Jinell, who after hearing what happened did not hesitate to extend a credit for the mishap.
Now, will I use this service again? Absolutely! I completely understand that things happen and have every bit of confidence that they will get it right, and that when issues arise they will handle it promptly and accordingly to my satisfaction- as they have always through Amazon Prime.
So for more information about this service head over to www.amazon.com/fresh
to get started!
HAVE ANY OF YOU EVER UTILIZED AMAZON FRESH OR ANY OTHER GROCERY SHOPPING/DELIVERY SERVICE?
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