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Amazon's Prime Challenge


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February 12, 2005

Amazon's Prime Challenge

Rob Hof

Amazon.com's new shipping club, in which customers pay $79 a year for unlimited free two-day delivery and discounted next-day delivery on in-stock items, has gotten mixed reviews. Some say the Amazon Prime program is too expensive for customers--and others say it's too expensive for Amazon. But at a Friday night meeting of Silicon Valley's Churchill Club, CEO Jeff Bezos explained what he's really trying to do. ...

Instead of some kind of windfall, he's hoping the faster free shipping will persuade shoppers to consider buying more different kinds of products from Amazon--stuff they might have only bought in physical stores before. "If you pay $79 for a membership, then you'll say, well, if I want to buy a digital camera, maybe I'll look at Amazon," says Bezos. "It gets people to start checking across categories."

That points up one of Amazon's biggest challenges: extending its brand beyond media. In focus groups, Amazon has asked heavy book, music, and video buyers why they don't buy other things. "They say, 'You don't have an electronics store.' We tell them we've had one for five years, and they'll argue with us."

Of course, he adds, "If only people who buy a thousand things a year sign up, then we're in trouble."

04:59 PM

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I had no idea that it would cost me 79 dollars to join the shipping club and would not have joined if I did. I don't order that much and don't care if it took longer.

I would like to cancel my membership and get a refund for that amount. The one purchase I made took longer then two day's anyway. It was not even paid for or shipped till 8 o2. I have not even receive any imformation about the club yet.

Than You

Donald TenEyck

Posted by: Donald P TenEyck at August 25, 2006 03:40 PM

The big button on the Amazon order site that said $79 for a year gave me a really good clue that I would have to pay for Amazon Prime. Considering how much I buy there and my lack of patience for delivery, this service has worked very well for me. I also have to say that I have now started to buy things other than books and music off the website. Good idea Amazon!

Posted by: Carol at September 26, 2006 04:20 PM

I returned last night from vacation and my Amex Acct was charged $79.00 for Prime Shipping Club without my authorization

Posted by: Alvan Siegel at October 25, 2006 03:17 PM

Hello dumb people who sign up not reading small print. You sign up, you pay for service. Is okay dumb dumbs. Amazon forgive you. Other online scammers who no care about you not so nice about forgiveness. They take money and run! Bye bye.

Posted by: Hello Dumb People at October 25, 2006 06:48 PM

I've been a long-time fan of Amazon Prime, but I've always hated that their search engine returned so many results for items that don't qualify for Prime shipping. Fortunately, Amazon Web Services lets me take the problem into my own hands, and I recently created iSearchBetter.com, which allows anyone to search Amazon for Prime and SuperSaver shipping eligible items only. Now I'm a Prime subscriber for life!

Posted by: Jacob at October 28, 2006 03:28 PM

I had no idea that it would cost me 79 dollars to join the shipping club and would not have joined if I did. I don't order that much and don't care if it took longer.

I would like to cancel my membership and get a refund for that amount.

Moshe Walles

Posted by: Moshe Walles at November 8, 2006 12:02 PM

I have just received a charge on my Visa bill

for $79.00. I did not authorize this and will not

pay it. Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP" and I will expect confirmation from you immediately. I notice that I am not the only one that has unknowingly been charged. What a rip off. Please credit my account now. And then lose my email

address

Bonnie Smuffer

Posted by: Bonnie Snuffer at November 9, 2006 07:22 PM

Yes, hello? BusinessWeek?

I am quite angry with you that I selected to sign up to a pay service with a big "$79!!" notice on it that I neglected to notice was for money. I can't believe you made me do this, Businessweek.

Also, because you did this to me, Businessweek, I will imperiously ask that you refund my money now. That's right, not the money I pay for a Businessweek subscription but the money that Amazon has somewhere for Amazon purposes. Fix it, Businessweek. Fix it before I strike at myself again.

I also did not intend for President Bush to ruin the war in Iraq when I voted for him again. I did not understand this vote was a vote for Bush when I voted for Bush. Fix this now too, Businessweek, for your reporting about external events is the root of all evil and is why people complain here.

Gillian Richardson

Posted by: Rich Stoopid Person at November 13, 2006 02:16 AM

Is this some kind of a joke? I woke up this morning and found out that I have just received a charge on my Visa bill for $79.00.from Amazon Prime Shipping Club. I did not authorize this and will not pay it. I did not sign up for the Amazon Primeshipping Club membership. Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP"(!!!) and I will expect confirmation from you immediately. Please credit my account now. And then lose my email

address

Poulose V Nadamkuzhy

Posted by: Poulose V. Nadamkuzhy at December 5, 2006 11:34 AM

So far Amazon Prime is pretty cool. They had a free month trial of Prime, which I promptly signed up for. I ordered a lot of stuff for Christmas, (including some large heavy items) and all the shipping was free!!

Posted by: Tom at December 5, 2006 05:27 PM

I have just received a charge on my American Express bill for $79.00. I did not authorize this and will not pay it. Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP" and I will expect confirmation from you immediately. I notice that I am not the only one that has unknowingly been charged. What a rip off. Please credit my account now. And then lose my email address

David Mednick

Posted by: David Mednick at December 8, 2006 08:47 AM

I don't understand how people can complain that they have an unauthorized authorized charge for the Prime Shipping Club. Obviously they dont bother to read all the details as they go through clicking "accept" buttons. You wouldn't sign a paper contract with out reading the details, so why would you click "accept" without reading the details. It is a contract!

Posted by: Annie at December 8, 2006 03:16 PM

maybe i didn't read the fine print. i place a lot of internet orders and sometimes there are so many pages to click through just to place the order. i just clicked through them. i didn't realize i was accepting membership for amazon prime. i don't recall seeing $79 in big numbers anywhere. i place about one order a year on amazon so it just isn't worth it for me. i was surprised to see the charge but i called customer service and they gave me a full refund because i didn't use any of the club benefits.

Posted by: malisa at December 9, 2006 02:10 PM

I am very pissed off that i got charges 79$ for an item that cost 17$ I need to get a refund now and It would be nice if they could take my mermbership off of that stupid amazon prime thnga mabobber! Thank You!

Posted by: Mateo Aguirre at December 10, 2006 04:49 PM

I am utterly disgusted. I have been charged 79.00 for this prime shipping club! I did not get the memo on this one.....My item only cost 13.97 and was late..now I'm being charged 79.00 which is an absurd fee and I have disputed this with my credit card company. I order things online all the time and have never experienced a problem like this before.

Posted by: Kamara forte at December 11, 2006 11:51 AM

I Just seen a $79 charge to my account from Amazon Shipping Club and immediately thought fraud. So I contacted my bank and cancelled my debit card and told them I'm going to fill out a claim form in the morning. Now I find this website where lots of people have been cheated out of the same $79. I've ordered a few things off the internet but paid for the shipping at the time I ordered. This can't be legal.

Ernest L. Sproles

Posted by: Ernest L. Sproles at December 12, 2006 05:50 PM

I agree that Amazon is intentionally deceitful in tricking people into signing up for a service that very often would be of no use to them. I use Amazon for Christmas orders. That is all I ever intend to use them for. The fact that they tricked me into signing up for something I didn't want has turned me off so badly, I will never purchase anything from this disreputable company again. I don't see where their logic comes from, if I trick people out of $80, maybe they will use my company more. Well for me, it worked in reverse. Maybe I was never one of their best customers, but now I am a customer and judging from the feedback above, I am not the only customer they have lost due to this underhanded gimmick.

Posted by: Suzanne Lempka at December 16, 2006 07:24 AM

I do NOT consider myself a DUMB online shopper and just noticed my card was charged 79.00 that I did not knowingly authorize. I am really disappointed in a great company like AMAZON pulling such a scam!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TAR at December 16, 2006 11:01 AM

I too made a purchase and was billed $79.00 through very deceptive means. Having used Amazon a lot, I never suspected they would use scam tactics to extract money. It had every appearance of a special free shipping rate to entice more purchases.

I will no longer risk buying from them, and will sell stock Monday before it tanks.

Posted by: PFG at December 17, 2006 10:09 AM

I just received a bill for your service and I did NOT join your prime shipping Club. Please credit my account immediately.

Kathleen Barnosky

Posted by: Kathy Barnosky at December 17, 2006 12:57 PM

I have just seen a $79 charge to my account from Amazon Shipping Club which I did not authorize and will not pay for. Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP" and I will expect confirmation from you immediately. I will contact my bank and I'm going to fill out a claim form in the morning too. I'm surprised to see so many people have been cheated out of the same $79. How Amazon can pull this scam is beyond me.

Posted by: Christina Phan at December 18, 2006 01:12 AM

I had the same thing happen to me and I just hurried up and canceled this Prime Membership and it said it would refund my credit card of the 79 dollars.

Posted by: Carl at December 18, 2006 06:03 PM

I was surprised when I saw a $79 charge to my credit card account from Amazon Prime Club which I DID NOT AUTHORIZE.

Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP" and refund my credit card of 79 dollars.

How can Amazon do this for your loyal customer ???

Posted by: wicahyoko at December 19, 2006 10:55 AM

THIS AMAZON MEMBERSHIP IS A RIP OFF. I PUT AN ITEM IN MY SHOPPING CART. THE MESSAGE OF THE CLUB CAME UP AND I CLICKED TO GET INFO. ON THE MEMBERSHIP. IT AUTOMATICALLY ADDED THE MEMBERSHIP TO MY ACCOUNT. I DID NOT EVEN COMPLETE THE PURCHASE FOR THE ITEM IN MY SHOPPING CART, I CLEARED MY SHOPPING CART AND COOKIES/TEMP WEBPAGES FROM MY INTERNET EXPLORER AND THE NEXT DAY, I DISCOVERED A MEMBERSHIP FEE ON MY CREDIT CARD FOR $79 FROM AMAZON.COM. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO PLACE A LAWSUIT AGAINST AMAZON.

Posted by: teddy p. at December 20, 2006 12:50 AM

I just noticed the $79 charge on my VISA bill as well. However, it SHOULD be there. A few weeks ago there was a thing on amazon talking about a free trial of prime membership. I clicked it and started the trial, and it very clearly states that if you don't cancel the membership before the trial period is up, you will be charged for the next year. While it's easy to forget about this, or to not read through membership agreements for agreeing to them, the fact remains that Amazon is not at fault and shouldn't have to reimburse people for not seeing these things when signing up.

Posted by: Wolcott at December 22, 2006 12:28 AM

have just received a charge on my AMEX bill

for $79.00. I did not authorize this and will not

pay it. Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP" and I will expect confirmation from you immediately. I notice that I am not the only one that has unknowingly been charged. What a rip off. Please credit my account now. And then lose my email

address

Edna Engel

Posted by: Edna Engel at December 25, 2006 04:05 AM

I have just seen a $79 charge to my account from Amazon Shipping Club too which I did not authorize and will not pay for. Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP" and I will expect confirmation from you immediately

Posted by: rachana at December 26, 2006 05:15 PM

People... please learn to read before you sign up for a free trial. Clicking randomly and not paying attention to what's on the page makes YOU solely responsible for the $79 charge. Don't blame Amazon for your negligence.

Posted by: Siri Johnson at December 26, 2006 11:06 PM

I did not order Amazon Prime Club. I looked at my bill this morning and saw the charge. Cancel immdiately and send me an e-mail showing me that it has been cancelled.

Thank you

Posted by: Barbara A Murray at December 27, 2006 08:55 AM

I have had many a problem with Amazon.com. I cancelled my Amazon Prime Membership in October and now in December they still managed to charge me the $79. Is there a number where I could reach customer service to get my money back?

Posted by: Yvonne J. Yon at December 30, 2006 10:56 PM

Amazon says that once you have done a month trial of prime membership, you will have time to opt out of subscription renewal. THIS IS NOT TRUE. There is no warning beforehand, no e-mail to alert you that they are going to withdraw money from your account. NO MATTER WHAT THE SMALL PRINT SAYS, THIS IS STEALING FROM CUSTOMERS!!!! Why?? because this is an ethically wrong way to do business!! If a customer is unable to cancel subscription in time e.g. after hospitalization og maybe just being on holiday and not with in arms length of a computer every day, it?s ok to take his money just because the customer is "silent".

SHAME ON YOU AMAZON PEOPLE. THE COMPANY MAKES ENOUGH MONEY AS IT IS.

THERE IS NOT NEED STEELING FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS TOO.

DO RIGHT AND REFUND THOSE WHO REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO JOIN THIS EXPENSIVE "CLUB" OF YOURS!!!

AT LEAST, IF YOU DON?T, I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH YOU AGAIN. AND I WILL MAKE SURE ALL MY FRIENDS DO NOT, AND THEY WILL TELL THEIR FRIENDS and etc. Do not belittle the domino effect.

Posted by: Frodi at December 31, 2006 09:17 PM

Oh boy.....Add me to the list of people who wish to disclaim any intention to belong to this "Club". What a rip-off! I order 2 or 3 times a year, and couldn't possibly benefit from the high charge of $79.00. A refund is due. It is unlikely that I will ever do business with Amazon again.

Posted by: M. Sullivan at January 2, 2007 09:41 PM

Do you people not notice that almost all of the complaints here take the same exact form, in many cases using identical text or slight variations thereon? Either someone's having a laugh here at your expense, or someone's doing a bad job of trying to make Amazon look bad. (Well, maybe not doing such a bad job, considering how many of the rest of you are falling for it.) Open your eyes.

And if someone seriously can't tell the difference between this site and Amazon.com, to the point of demanding refunds here, do you really have a hard time believing they looked right at all the obvious indications of the cost and signed themselves up anyway?

Posted by: Seriously at January 3, 2007 02:54 AM

Hi AMAZON.COM

I have just received a charge on my Amex bill for $79.00.

>PRIME SHIPPING CLUB.

>Free Standard Shipping for eligible items shipped to P.O. boxes in the continental United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. >territories, possessions and protectorates) and APO/FPO addresses with U.S. zip codes.

Note that I do not live in the continental USA.

I did not authorize this and will not pay it. AMEX will be notified.

Please cancel my so-called membership and refund me.

I don't want to spoil my relation with Amazon, but until total refund, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED to bill directly my credit cards.

Take notice please that I currently have no payment methods in your system.

Best regards.

Jacques Laporte.

Posted by: Jacques Laporte at January 3, 2007 06:56 AM

Thank you all for the good laugh. What idiot did not see the really big fine print and reminders from Amazon that this was a shipping club. Hello each and every order told you that it was Amazon Prime and when the offer expired.

Idiots! The country is full of them. And why would anyone posting on here think that Amazon is reading this blog and going to refund your money? I think Paris Hilton has more brain cells!

Posted by: Smart Shopper at January 3, 2007 03:58 PM

AMAZON is charging me 79 $US !!!!!!!!!!

I never asked to be a member of this club !!!!!

Now, how do I get my money back ???

Posted by: Alvaro Abrao at January 4, 2007 07:35 AM

I must confess that the refund was fast (2 days).

All's well that ends well.

Posted by: J. Laporte at January 5, 2007 12:38 PM

I got hit with the $79 fee too, UNAUTHORIZED. I am steaming... I won't ever buy from Amazon again and will suggest all friends and family not purchase either.

Posted by: kks at January 6, 2007 10:33 AM

Just click on cancel and Amazon will refund your money. Jeez, and next time, read everything twice before giving out your credit card number.

Posted by: Tom at January 9, 2007 03:03 AM

I just received a bill for your service and I did NOT join your prime shipping Club. Please credit my account immediately. maria milano

Posted by: maria milano at January 9, 2007 10:39 AM

Is this some kind of a joke? I woke up this morning and found out that I have just received a charge on my Visa bill for $79.00.from Amazon Prime Shipping Club. I did not authorize this and will not pay it. I did not sign up for the Amazon Primeshipping Club membership. Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP"(!!!) and I will expect confirmation from you immediately. Please credit my account now. And then lose my email

address maria milano

Posted by: yngrid guevara at January 9, 2007 10:50 AM

recently my twelve year old son signed up for amazon prime. how do i go about cancelling this order and getting a refund to my visa account

Posted by: kellie mason at January 12, 2007 04:08 PM

I just got a bill on my visa card for $79.00 for a year subcription on Prime shipping club. I would like to discontinue this unwanted club, and I would like to know how to cancel and get my money back. Please credit my account.

Posted by: Adalberto Burgos at January 13, 2007 08:26 AM

I accepted the one month (or 3 months or whatever it was) free offer for prime - had no intention of paying the fee for continuing on with it - was shocked to see it on my company credit card bill - this can't be a good thing for a formerly reputable company like Amazon that I always trusted - I intend to make sure they never record my credit card numbers again - remember, if something seems too easy and convenient (like Amazon) there must be a catch.

Posted by: jeff at January 14, 2007 10:46 AM

I was just charged the same $79 that everyone is complaining about here. I can't speak for all cases, but in our case we only bought a couple of things from them, so we declined the 'Free' shipping and paid shipping on our items.

Now, this mystery charge appears on our bill long after our order was placed. I called amazon and they gladly offered to refund our money, but I couldn't get an explanation from them as to why I was charged in the first place since we had obviously paid for shipping on our items.

Amazon needs to rethink what they are doing to their customer base. I'll find somewhere else to do my shopping that doesn't extort money from us without notice.

Posted by: labman at January 15, 2007 08:55 AM

Guess what everyone... I live in Saudi Arabia and like everybody here i found the big $79 in my visa bill.

Now, shipments takes about a week to reach Saudi Arabia yet Amazon claims that with their new "Prime" service they will give u your packages in 2 days..

C'mon... what a ripoff.

I refuse to bay $79 for something I didn't authorized.

Posted by: Yasser at January 16, 2007 06:20 PM

you have your rules , but you were not fair neither honest with your customers.

When I applied for amazon prime club, you did not give any information about any membersip of $79 annually.

I am waiting for my returned money in my master card. Thank you

Posted by: MARVELIN ROMERO at January 16, 2007 10:29 PM

In order to make a purchase on Amazon, there is a process that ensures you truly want to order the item and accept the charge to your credit card.

With Amazon Prime, none of the policies are clear and they intentionally bury any notice (if there was/is any) that $79.00 will be charged if you do not affirmatively ask then NOT to charge your credit card.

If they wanted to make the policy clear, they could have.

This is intentional on Amazon's part and it is fraud.

Posted by: bill at January 17, 2007 09:14 PM

Me too!!! Just charged 79USD without my authorisation. Why does Amazon go to such lengths to squeeze money out of me? Whether I get a refund for it or not I am never using Amazon again. Buying off the Internet is all about trust. They have broken that bond.

Posted by: Martyn at January 18, 2007 04:00 AM

I have used Amazon.com since 2001, mainly for purchasing text books for college, probably about 5 times a year. In December I made my purchase the same way I always do, but this time I was charged the $79. I have read the small print in the past so I felt no need to read again, considering I checked out as I normally do. Even if it is in small print some where, they made some sort of change when placing an order and I will never use Amazon.com again. I promoted Amazon.com to any one talking about shopping online over Ebay or any similar site, but not any more. They sunk low to do this kind of thing to their customers. They are going to lose many customers over this and I will warn every one I know about this robbery.

Posted by: Chad at January 18, 2007 01:45 PM

Only reading these comments I found out the reason I was charged $79 from Amazon. I have never had problems with them until now. I can't speak for all cases, but in my case I only bought one thing with "free shipping" in the whole year! All the other items I paid for shipping. If they want to charge me for that one shipping it's ok, but $79? I want my money back!

Posted by: Ana Campideli at January 21, 2007 01:25 PM

It's true that if you want to do business in the modern world, you are ultimately responsible for reading the small print and need to get used to it. That being said, how "Prime" is currently presented, it can only be concluded that the intent of Amazon.com is to deceive people and scam them for $79.

It is never presented in the ordering process that you will be charged $79 - you need to click the more-info link and read the terms. I am the Corporate Secretary for my company, so it is my job to read small print so I caught this, but it is easy to see how most people would not be on guard for this. This tactic is an old one but previously reserved for underworld fly-by-night sorts of "businesses". You currently have NO choice but to sign up if you place your order. The burden is yours to contact a CSR to cancel.

I placed an order at TowerHobbies this week and they have a similar program but a FULL screen comes up with the prices in BIG print and you are given a CHOICE to sign up. That's how it needs to be.

Posted by: Tim at January 23, 2007 12:35 PM

Good grief people! Are you incapable of reading? I've known that the Amazon Prime service charges $79.00 per year for quite a while. I didn't sign up for it until this week because I wasn't sure if it would actually save me money in the long run. I was never under the impression it was a "free" club because I am NOT A MORON who clicks and accepts website buttons without reading the details first.

This isn't Amazon's problem....unless you consider the fact that they apparently have some exceptionally stupid customers their fault.

Posted by: Sarah van at January 28, 2007 02:27 AM

I'm yet another victim of Amazon's PRIME STING. On Feb. 9th Amazon made a completely UNAUTHORIZED $79 charge on my Visa card. I discovered it only today when I reviewed my Visa account activity.

It's absolutely OUTRAGEOUS that Amazon should perpetuate such a SCAM. Not only am I going to try to get the charge off my account, but I wonder if Amazon's action could be considered FRAUD, with potential for substantial claims damages.

Looks to me like we may have a basis here for a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT. Any attorneys out there who would like to take a crack at this case, with a LARGE CONTINGENCY in the offing?

Let's pile on Amazon. Sting 'em good and hard.

Are you listening Steve Bozos? Beans in your ears? Time for a woodshed discipline here that will take air out of your golden parachute.

Posted by: Alex Martin at February 19, 2007 07:44 PM

I was charged 79.00 without my authorization and have disputed it with my card company. I have no doubt the money will be returned to my account. I am a college professor and order many books a year. Amazon just lost my business for good.

Posted by: Christopher at March 5, 2007 10:21 AM

I LOVED Amazon Prime. I think I've been a member for 2, maybe 3 (?) years now.

It worked - I've bought electronics and pocket knives that I never would have considered purchasing from Amazon without it.

Ever since they've added DHL & USPS to their delivery providers, 3 of my last 4 orders have been late.

One was my husband's birthday gift... very disappointing.

With a 75% failure rate on their most recent deliveries, there's no reason to renew my Prime membership.

Posted by: Leah at March 9, 2007 04:12 PM

I am a blind person and use a screen reader to navigate web pages and was absolutely clear concerning the $79 annual fee following the 30-day trial period, and I didn't have to read the small print to understand the concept. Sometimes you have to be blind in order to clearly see. The prime shipping service is worth the money in my opinion and extremely useful. Regards, Emmanuel.

Posted by: Emmanuel at March 15, 2007 03:37 AM

I never intended to sign up for Prime Shipping and never completed a purchase with it. Nonetheless, it seems to be a "stealth" type of program that signs you up without any warning confirmation. It was easy enough to get out of immediately by making a request to "quit" on an address in the acknowledgement message I got. THE TRICK AMAZON HAS PLAYED ON US IS TO CANCEL THE ABILITY TO GET THE "SUPER SAVER" FREE SHIPPING FOR ORDERS OVER $25 ON QUALIFYING PURCHASES. ONCE YOUR A "MEMBER", THAT OPTION DISAPPEARS. Unless it is replaced, I'll have to shop at Barnes & Nobel for my books.

Posted by: Herb Ross at March 28, 2007 03:12 PM

TO AMAZON.COM

I have received a charge on my Amex for $79.00.

For a PRIME SHIPPING CLUB. I live in Argentina.

I have not accept this payment and will not pay it. AMEX will be notified.

Please cancel my so-called membership and refund me.

I don't want to spoil my relation with Amazon, but until total refund, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED to bill directly my credit cards.

I have removed my Amex of amazon.

Best regards.

Agustin R. Vidal Valls

Posted by: Agustin Vidal Valls at March 29, 2007 04:57 PM

Although I cancelled Primeshipping immediately, while I was still in the "free Primeshipping trial period," it still blocked Super Saver Shipping on certain orders over $25. To its credit, Amazon immediately got me out of the Primeshipping trial period, too, on my request, and the Super Saver shipping option immediately reappeared on Amazon's website for me.

Super Saver is a better deal for me: only a slight shipping delay, no shipping charges on selected items, and no $79 annual fee.

Posted by: Herb Ross at March 30, 2007 02:54 PM

Is pressing "CANCEL" button going to work? I was charged on Easter Sunday, which is sooooo ANNOYING, and I haven't bought anything from Amazon since January.

Is Amazon returning your money, people? Do they refund your cards when you click "CANCEL"?

Please, let me know asap, as I'm so pissed off. I'm steaming!!!!

Thanks.

Posted by: Magdalena at April 11, 2007 11:17 AM

I have just received a charge on my American Express bill for $79.00. I did not authorize this and will not pay it. Please cancel "MY MEMBERSHIP" and I will expect confirmation from you immediately. I notice that I am not the only one that has unknowingly been charged. What a rip off. Please credit my account now. And then lose my email address.

Yadvinder.

Posted by: Yadvinder Singh Ahi at April 12, 2007 02:47 PM

I have just recieved a charge on a Bank of America credit card that I shredded months ago. I did not authorize it and will not pay for it. Please cancel my membership and I expect a confirmation on my e-mail inmediately. This is a rip off and takes some of my valuable time. How could I have used a card that has been shredded.

Edwin

Posted by: Edwin Vega at April 16, 2007 09:10 PM

First, this site cannot refund your money. You must log into your amazon account and cancel the prime service before you place an order and use the service, or speak to someone in a call center and cancel your service. 1 (866) 577 5820.

Second, the practice of using opt-in marketing with terms and charges hidden as well as they possibly can sickens me. There is nothing free about Amazon Prime. $79.00 <> Free. Lying on one page, and putting a link to another page where the truth is told is still a lie. I design e-commerce sites for a living and every time a marketing person wants to put something like this on one of the websites I'm working on, I point out the negative impact that it will have on users that are not aware of it. What has happened is a corruption of what is known as opt-in or "permission marketing." Permission marketing is marketing centered around obtaining customer consent to receive information from a company. The problem is that to obtain consent, the person giving consent needs to see and comprehend fully what they are consenting to. When the details that would make that consent less likely to occur are hidden or misrepresented, this is where a problem occurs. Amazon has designed a system in such a way that you don't know that you are buying prime service unless you are very very careful and read multiple pages of material. In addition, they make every attempt to discourage you from cancelling the service and also make it as difficult as they can to cancel the service once it is used for the first time.

Third, I encourage you to remove all of your billing details from sites, like Amazon, that store you credit card information. If you remove your credit cards, they cannot sign you up automatically since you did not give them permission to save your credit card details. That would actually be fraud.

Fourth, I encourage everyone to dispute the charge on their credit card so that Amazon.com's charge back ratio is pushed to a percentage where their merchant account fees become higher. This is the only message that will get through to their executives that this type of marketing scheme is nefarious at best and just plain ethically wrong.

Posted by: anonymous at April 17, 2007 02:15 PM

I don't understand how it would be possible to withdraw $79 from my account without even asking my confirmation. I am a guest here for about 3 months and I intend to leave US soon. Do you accept overseas delivery without any payment also?

Please answer me soon and give me back the money.

That's not fair at all.

Yalda

Posted by: Yalda at April 25, 2007 12:06 AM

They should take any mention of "Free" off their offers. Charged me a $1 originally, complained, got it back, but the $80 was a big surprise to me too, I seen no mention of it in the fine print on the offer, if so it was sneaky. In process of getting it refunded too as I found the service useless and havn't used it even once to save me any money.

Posted by: Zam at April 27, 2007 07:53 PM

Wow you complainers are hopeless. There's nothing sneaky about it. Just read the damn contract... You can set the PRIME membership to stop after the trial ends and they even email you a week before so you have time to cancel. Some people say they didn't get the alert by email so just call Amazon and they'll refund you the money. Amazon is pretty good on refunds so there's no need to worry.

Posted by: Shawn at May 2, 2007 09:02 AM

I discovered the $79.00 Amazon charge on my account this week.

I neither knowingly nor accidently signed up for Amazom Prime. My last order with Amazon was 01/19/07.

So no 30 day free trail turning into a charge would be the case here.

This is a fraudulent charge. I called there Customer service and the rep told me that they get a large number of calls in regards to this.

Posted by: anon at May 10, 2007 09:06 PM


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