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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 12/20/2010

No-charge news: Free one-day shipping from Amazon, another year of free calls from Google

By Rob Pegoraro

Is Amazon getting a little desperate to liberate us of our surplus funds? Only days after extending its deadline to get free ground shipping in time for Christmas (the clock finally ran out on Sunday night), the Web retailer today announced a free one-day shipping promotion.

Spokesman Damien Ragsdale e-mailed that this option covers "over 15,000 items" at the Seattle firm's site. It expires at 2:59 a.m. Eastern on the 23rd (please tell me you're not going to be lunging for the mouse button at 2:58 that morning). To claim it, buy a qualifying product, select one-day shipping, and you should get the usual delivery free taken off your total at checkout.

In today's other getting-stuff-for-free news, Google announced to nobody's particular surprise that it will provide free domestic long-distance calling to Gmail users through 2011. (This applies to Google Voice users as well, but only for calls placed from a computer to a phone. Phone-to-phone calling continues to use your mobile plan's minutes.) Google had promised no-cost U.S. calling only through this year when it added phone service to Gmail in August. But if Skype or other competitors were hoping Google would start the meter in January, it's time to rewrite some business plans.

This is good news for me in particular, as I've gotten used to employing Gmail anytime I'm dialing into a conference call or an interview. It turns out that my computer makes a much better speakerphone than my phone, as long as I don't need to go anywhere.

If you've taken advantage of Amazon's free delivery or Google's free calling, how would you grade your experience so far?

(5:10 p.m. Clarified under what circumstances Google Voice calls are or aren't free.)

By Rob Pegoraro  | December 20, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Shopping, Telecom  
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Desperate or not, they've got my business! Between the combination of free shipping and web tools like guaranteeing you savings on every Amazon item's list price, I don't see why anyone would deal with the hassle of retail.

Posted by: DawnRiley | December 20, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse


Free shipping or not, I do all my shopping online, and not just during the holidays.

DISCLAIMER: I am female. And I even buy all those 'girly' things online, like shoes and those 250 bottles, tubes and pots of creams, lotions and potions that men don't know what to do with, yet still rummage through whenever they've got an owey or a rash or something.
WHY do men rummage through our lotions and potions ?!

Posted by: lquarton | December 21, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

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