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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Prime Aggravation....

Prime Aggravation

Amazon, world's largest online retailer, has this thing called Prime, which is some sort of video club like Netflix. I'm not sure what it is as I'm not really interested in paying $79 per year for it.

That being said, why is that this week I became a Prime member?

When you buy from Amazon, this Prime membership thing jumps out in front of you. It turns cartwheels across your computer and twerks in your face attempting to seduce you with promises of good things to come. The hook is Free Shipping. Sign up for Prime and get FREE shipping on your order and a FREE Prime membership for a month.

However, they also offering free shipping for orders over $35. That is more my type of incentive.

All I really wanted was a pair of leather gloves before another polar vortex comes along. Unfortunately, when trying to check out, I must have clicked the wrong button to claim my free shipping. Before I knew what happened, I was rushing into Prime membership like a sled in the luge.

How can I quit this free club before they zap my credit card for a $79? "There is a problem with your membership," said Amazon. At least we agree on something. "Your default payment method is not valid." Yes, I know. I cancelled that credit card. "If you don't change your default payment method within 30 days we will cancel your Prime membership," it threatened.

"Oh, goody! Cancel it! I didn't want it in the first place."

So, I forgot about it and went on my merry way until my gloves arrived. When I opened the package, however, there was a problem. Who would think I could mess up ordering gloves, but one of the thumbs had a big hole in the seam. Drat, they would have to be returned.

I signed in to Amazon to find out how to return them only to find myself in the customer doghouse. I could not access services, specifically the return merchandise function. In raging frustration, I found the customer service link. I was going to give them a piece of my mind. "Send me an inferior item and then lock me out so I can't return it?" But I couldn't get either the phone or chat buttons to work.

After stewing a while, and shooting off an angry email, I began to wonder if my locked out status had anything to do with the rock on my account over the Prime membership thing. Much as I hated to, I changed my credit card number. Instantly my email dinged and I found myself a Prime member in good standing.

"Great, now how do I un-join?"

Like the road to hell, the road to Prime is wide and easy while the road to resignation is a steep and narrow path. I thought I would never find the tiny link, but after getting out my magnifying glass and praying for forgiveness, I finally found the tiny "do not continue" link, and escaped the evil clutches of Prime.

I still was locked out, though. It finally dawned on me, "They have put a cookie on my computer." So, I cleared my computer's cookies. Sure enough, I was able to sign in and proceed through the return process just like a normal customer, except for my clenched teeth and popping veins.

"We can't exchange the item, but we can refund your money." Swell, that is even better. With my luck, they will probably try to refund my money to the canceled card and shut down my account again.

I think I will just go to the mall and buy a pair of gloves. It seems a whole lot simpler.

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss

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