16 Feb 2015

Why are Amazon Prime customers angry?

Amazon defends a free trial of extra benefits, which ends in an automatic upgrade to paid membership costing £79 a year.

Thousands signed up, whether they realised it or not, to Amazon Prime. But it’s only free for 30 days. Now people are complaining about being automatically charged after the 30 days are up.

What is Amazon Prime?

Signing up to Amazon Prime gives you unlimited, free one day delivery on goods. You can stream free films and TV shows and borrow ebooks. There’s also free digital photo storage. When you buy something on Amazon, there are invitations to try Amazon Prime with a free, 30 day trial.

Why are people angry?

After the 30 day trial is up, unless you cancel it, you’re charged £79 for annual membership of Amazon Prime. On a page about Prime on its website, Amazon says: “While you won’t be charged for your free trial, you’ll be automatically upgraded to a paid membership plan at the end of the trial period.”

But many customers say they didn’t realise they had to opt out of the trial to avoid being charged. Others don’t believe they signed up for the Amazon Prime trial at all.

What’s Amazon saying about it?

Amazon says everyone who signs up to Prime gets an email telling them the duration of the free trial, how to avoid continuing to paid membership and how to cancel membership.

Can people get their money back?

Amazon says full refunds are available, but only if people haven’t used any of the benefits that come with Amazon Prime.

How can people cancel Amazon Prime?

Go to “Your Account”. Under “Account Settings”, select “Manage Prime Membership” and click “Do Not Continue” or “End Membership”.