In July, Amazon officially debuted its Dash button: an Internet-connected, branded, physical button that orders refills of various products with a single press. As of Wednesday, the e-commerce giant is making the Dash button program available to all Prime subscribers–and giving you a rebate that essentially refunds the price of the button.
Each Dash button costs $5; now, when you make your first purchase, Amazon will add a $5 credit to your account. The company has also lined up an additional 11 brands–including Ziploc, Dixie, and Hefty–bringing the total number of brands offered to 29. A Prime member who opted to buy all the Dash buttons would have access to more than 500 products (though we hope nobody does this).
Fast Company senior writer Mark Wilson took seven Dash buttons for a spin last month, and denounced them as “the latest symptom of Amazon’s slowly spreading disease.” He continued:
The company is no longer designing their products and services with a customer experience that will woo us to be loyal, but for profit maximization now that we’re here. The Dash button is an unabashed attempt to disconnect customers from the amount of money we’re spending. And frankly, even that would be fine, if only Dash buttons provided the instant product gratification they promise.
And the Dash buttons didn’t necessarily offer the products he was already ordering from Amazon:
The Dash button narrows your options to what, at best, will be the stock Amazon price on what you wanted, and at worst, lack applicable discounts, optimally priced configurations, or even the option to buy the product that you loyally purchase through Amazon already. Why doesn’t Dash just offer the option to program a button with any product you want, or at least any product you want under a certain brand? The Dash button makes you pay for its supposed convenience by removing potential discounts. It’s not enough that you’re hanging advertisements in the nooks and crannies of your home. You need to cough up extra cash to use the Dash, too.
Rewarding customers for using the Dash button should, at the very least, serve to make it a bit more worthwhile–especially given the limitations on both brands and product selection. Though if you’re a Hefty loyalist, Amazon’s latest brand additions mean you no longer have to order Glad garbage bags.