/ Technology

Your view: Amazon Prime’s price changes

Angry cartoon monster

Amazon Prime’s price hike was the controversial talking point of the week, with customers complaining about paying £30 extra to access film streaming they don’t necessarily want…

Jim’s waving goodbye to Prime:

‘I have had Amazon Prime for years but will now be cancelling when my renewal comes up. The content of subscription video services is always 18-24 months out-of-date. If I want the latest releases I use Blinkbox. I am very annoyed by this change.’

Lisa’s also taking her loyalty elsewhere:

‘I would just like to point out that I have been an Amazon Prime customer now for about three years. I was delighted with the service I had been provided with for an annual subscription of £49, and as a result of free next day delivery I purchased many items from Amazon on a very regular, sometimes even weekly basis. As a result of the price hike of 62%, I will not be renewing this subscription.’

In defence of Amazon

Lee Beaumont comes out in defence of Amazon:

‘You still get free shipping if you spend £10 and if you paid £49 for Prime you would already know that it is very cheap for heavy Amazon users like myself. I get three to four orders from Amazon a week, everything from DVDs, to food, to dog food for Bella.

‘They could use Yodel, but nope, they give us better companies like DPD and a one hour slot, so I think it’s amazing. This costs money.’

Amazon Prime – stick or split?

Jon’s splitting up with Amazon Prime:

‘The Prime membership has been of benefit to us and we have enjoyed Amazon’s excellent service. We will not be renewing however, as we are not great film watchers and tend to have better things to do with our time. Sorry Amazon, our affair is over!!’

Doc Savage comments on our sister site Which? Tech Daily:

‘I just wanted a delivery service. I have stopped my auto-renewal and like 99% on here won’t carry on my Prime account. Amazon though, have probably done their maths and probably don’t give a monkeys whatnot about the customers who will bail on them. I will make every effort to buy elsewhere from here on.’

Bob Eager, who’s our Commenter of the Week, has some tough words for Amazon:

‘I think it’s generally understood that Amazon were losing money on Prime. What the bean counters failed to take into account was that people shopped on Amazon, if they had Prime, because it was simple and cheap. Cancelling Prime will save Amazon money, so they don’t care. Going elsewhere will make them care.’

‘Since the announcement last week, I have spent £400 that would have gone to Amazon – elsewhere. I have even saved money. I spend over £4000 p.a. with Amazon – or did, because of Prime. They’ll be lucky if I buy e-books now.’

Are you an Amazon Prime customer? Will you be sticking or splitting with the service?

Comments
Guest
Em says:
9 March 2014

I’ve been an Amazon customer for years and bought everything from a £2 par of shoelaces (when there was no minimum shipping charge) to an £850 computer.

I can’t think of a single occasion when I needed anything so urgently I had to pay for next day delivery. To me, it is more important to shop around, choose wisely and possibly wait for an Amazon price “blip”.

Prime is just a further spur to those who like to decide in haste and repent at leisure. That “£850” computer (RRP £999) cost me £730, when Amazon went out of stock for a few days. If I’d been a Prime customer, the thought of a shiny new computer on my doorstep the next morning might have got the better of me when the price was higher.

Guest
Sandie says:
9 March 2014

Couldn’t agree more Em. I’ve been an Amazon customer for years too, and find their delivery is nearly always really quick anyway. The last item I ordered was received before they’d even sent the e mail saying it had been despatched ! I was more upset at Amazon stopping Nectar points, which has caused me to buy some things elsewhere. I’m not interested in the ‘extras’ that come with Prime, so as far as I’m concerned, nothing has really changed. I have only once needed something in such a hurry that I felt obliged to pay for speedy delivery. Hardly a justification for a year’s subscription to Prime.

Guest
Dobs says:
11 March 2014

Having never really wanted love film, I was upset when it was announced. However until my renewal date I don’t have to pay anything extra and so am seeing if I actually watch anything.
On the plus, I have four relatives signed up to also receive my prime benefits and this appears to include the love film.
I do appear to be able to download so need internet access but I think that is the same with them all.
Will wait until June when I have to renew my subscription

Guest

Companies often change the products and services they offer, and Amazon is no different. What they have done wrong is to fail to notify users of Prime well in advance. Had they done that, they might have reconsidered changing the service.

A small company in financial difficulties might be forced to make changes with little notification, but that certainly does not apply with Amazon.

Guest

Utter disgrace Amazon. I have been a Prime member for years but not when it expires. An arbitrary price hike is inflicted on us. I have been given three months free Prime membership as a sweetener. I have not and never will stream so Amazon makes over £20 profit from me. They have become just like other institutions that have been in the news recently.

Guest

It is madness of Amazon to force the combination of these two disparate services into one bundled charge.

In the above article, why is “defence” spelt the French way “defense”? Does which not use a spelling checker?

Guest

Amazon seem to have upset both the old lovefilm subscribers and the old prime subscribers. I am (won’t be at next renewal) a prime customer and the extra money in some ways is small beer, on the other the whole principle is messed up. The lovefilm offering seems substandard (i) I searched a few times for stuff I might want to watch, across UK Prime, US Prime and netflix. UK Prime came out the worst I don’t think giving me a single hit. (ii) Amazon Prime seem to be shutting there eyes to the most popular tablet and mobile phone platform (Android) – stats for 2013 are well over 50% of new sales for both.

I disagree with “Bob Eager” “I think it’s generally understood that Amazon were losing money on Prime.” – essentially for the reasons he then goes on to enumerate about what they might have missed – I’ve no doubt that Amazon were aware that prime drives sales and customer loyalty – that’s the whole point in the service. I also would disagree with the assumption that bundling streaming somehow solves whatever cost issues there might have been, it’s not as if the streaming service is somehow free for amazon to run – in fact if you want just that they’ll charge you £72 a year, so by that reckoning the delivery aspect is only worth about £7.

But by far the biggest issues is the apparent contempt Amazon (as a self described customer service focussed company) are dealing with their customers in this matter. I contacted Amazon with my issues with the new service, and frankly the response was patronising and an insult to my intelligence, failing to address the issues raised and effectively saying “maybe it’ll be better in the future, but no promises and no timeline”.

Guest

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING AMAZON! I have again contacted Amazon regarding this arbitrary price increase and apart from what I describe as a standard reply nothing has been forthcoming from them. I have checked around a few websites and find that their prices are not always good value. I buy books and have found that Waterstones have the same prices and FREE p&p.
COME ON AMAZON SAY SOMETHING PUBLICLY THIS WILL NOT GO AWAY AND SUBSCRIBERS ARE USING THEIR FEET TO MAKE A POINT (CANCELLING THEIR SUBSCRIPTIONS-INCLUDING ME).

Guest

I stopped using Amazon when I learned they weren’t paying UK tax, but even before that I’d never bothered with Prime, and I’m a bit surprised to see that anyone did.

As far as I can see it’s a loyalty system in which the customer pays the company, which is ridiculous. They pull a figure that’s just low enough not to be upsetting out of the hat, people subscribe, and then feel compelled to buy everything from Amazon to justify it, and then, surprise! Amazon stops always being the cheapest option.

I’m sure others will disagree, but I think Prime was the best con since Sky persuaded people to subscribe to watch adverts.

Guest

Well, the silence from Amazon continues, what a way to treat its customers. I have reported this matter to Which magazine and the BBC Money Box and await their replies.
I for one if nothing is done is cancelling his membership with amazon and using itunes as they at least listen to their customers and i have never had any issues with them. For other goods i will definitely shop around as i have always done. Books….hello waterstones.

Guest

I stopped using amazon when it was revealed that they pay very little UK tax and I am very surprised that Which? is offering their vouchers if you recommend trusted traders!!

Guest
Keith Tanner says:
12 June 2015

A week ago I was infuriated to discover that without my request or authority I was enrolled in Amazon Prime. It took me over half an hour to track down a means of accessing their email contact. I made it clear I did not want this and as a precaution changed my payment card to an outdated card.
This morning I received an unwelcome “welcome” letter from Prime and I was horrified to see that they were quoting my current debit card number.
I have managed to find the Cancellation link on their website despite it being cunningly hidden behind several links. This should up front.
I am now seriously considering severing my involvement with this devious organisation.

Guest
john Smith says:
20 June 2016

I was a regular amazon buyer until they conned me with amazon prime and charged me without asking.
Amazon is just Spam from now on as the can’t be trusted.