Test drive of Amazon Prime Now

imageAmazon has been running the Prime Now service in some cvities for a while now, and this week rollled it out in several additional cities including Houston. I didn’t wait long to test it and I am duly impressed.

Prime Now is the local service for Amazon that offers 1-hour delivery of select goods. It has thousands of products available for fast delivery, including many items normally restricted to grocery stores.

The 1-hour delivery has a $7.99 price tag, but more patient customers can get 2-hour free delivery. Yes, you can order milk and eggs and get it delivered in two hours for nothing.

Prime Now works through an app of the same name (iPhone only, no iPad). I used it on my iPhone for my test run. The app divides goods into several categories, e.g. Basic Pantry and Frozen Foods, and there’s the typical Amazon search to find exatly what you want.

I orderd 20 grocery items such as bread, deli meat, and cheese. At checkout time I was allowed to modify the suggested tip for the driver or accept the $6.00 which I did.

Once the transaction was completed a map popped up allowing real-time tracking of the delivery driver’s progress. Since I had selected the free delivery option I was given a 2-hour delivery window.

There is an option to contact the driver during the delivery, which I did when the tracking showed the driver got close and then reversed her route to circle around the area  I was concerned that she’d gotten lost but when I spoke with her on the phone she told me a street festival had some streets blocked and she was circling around that

Tracking the delivery is very helpful and when I saw she was a few blocks away I went downstairs and met her in front of the building. The goods arrived on time and the driver was very couteous. The groceries were packed nicely and the frozon items had not melted. The experience was a rousing success and I’ll be using Prime Now regularly.

Amazon told me that delivery drivers are given the option of working solely for tips or for a salary. In the latter case Amazon keeps the tips fronm transcations.

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