/ Technology

Amazon Prime price hike – sweetened by film streaming?

Amazon logo

Amazon has announced that its Prime service, which gives you one-day deliveries, will be increasing in price by 62%. It’s being sugar-coated with the inclusion of film streaming, but what if you have no interest in this?

Amazon Prime will be increasing in price from £49.99 a year to £79.99. Amazon defends the £30 hike by pointing out the extra benefits: Amazon Instant Video (previously LoveFilm) to stream films and TV, Kindle book rentals and discounts on Kindle devices.

Read more about the changes to LoveFilm and Amazon Prime on Which? Tech Daily.

What if you don’t want film streaming?

Existing Amazon Prime customers will be protected from the price rise until the end of their current year-long contract, but after that they will be renewed at the new price of £79.99.

Of course, Amazon points out that existing customers will benefit from all of the new features at their current price point until then. It even says you’ll be saving 35% on what you would’ve paid for both services separately.

But what if you only want speedier deliveries and have no interest in film streaming? What if you already have Netflix? Well, £80 is still the new price point for you.

Rolling over to £80 a year

It’s also worth pointing out that your contract will be rolled over automatically to the new price when your contract is up for renewal. If you don’t want to pay the new price of £80 you’ll need to turn off auto-renewal in your Amazon prime settings or let Amazon know directly.

Are you an Amazon Prime customer who will be affected by the price rise? Or were you considering signing up but are now put off by the change?

Faye says:
25 April 2015

I am really annoyed with Amazons service. I took out the 30 day trial as they have exclusivity on a series i wanted to watch. When our vacuum cleaner needed replacing I saw the one I wanted had free next day delivery with prime so I decided to buy thereby giving both movie & delivery services a good run through. However I will be cancelling this trial for the following reasons – 1. as mentioned by many above buffering and download speeds are very poor. 2. next day delivery will not happen we have just received email to say will not be delivered today (Saturday) but on Monday! I have just come off phone to customer services and was told a) they have logistics hold up! and B) because we are only on the 30 day trial we don’t qualify for next day delivery!!!!!!
So result – when I have finished this entry I will be cancelling their 30 day trial and reporting them to trading standards. £79 is far too expensive and service is shocking.

This morning I accidentally spotted that Amazon had enrolled me into a “free trial” of Amazon Prime despite my never requesting it. I have always studiously avoided getting involved. That was bad enough but the shock was that at the end if the “trial” my debit card would automatically be charged!
Trying to contact Amazon was a nightmare. They carefully sideline any attempt to contact them directly. Their alleged Contact links simply lead you around in circles. Eventually, after over half an hour of careful searching and clicking relevant and irrelevant links I managed to cancel but not trusting them an inch I linked my account to a defunct debit card.

Yesterday I was very annoyed to discover Amazon had charged £79 to my credit card for Amazon Prime after the free trial (which I was unaware of) expired towards the end of April. Fortunately for me, I have not used Amazon since then. I have cancelled Amazon Prime online via my Amazon account settings and am being refunded the full amount. I am copying the guidance on the Amazon UK website in the hope it will be helpful to others:

You can cancel a paid or free Amazon Prime membership in the Settings section of Your Account.
To cancel your Amazon Prime membership:

Go to Manage Your Prime Membership.
Do one of the following:
To cancel a paid membership, click End membership, which is the second option on the left-hand side of the page.

Note: Paid members who haven’t used their Amazon Prime benefits, including One Day Delivery, Prime Instant Video, Prime Music and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library will be eligible for a full refund.

To cancel a free trial, click Do not continue, which is the second option on the left-hand side of the page.

Note: If you have a free trial you’ll receive benefits until your free trial period ends. Then your membership will cancel, and your payment card won’t be charged. If you decide later in the free trial to continue your membership, you can change this setting back by clicking Continue membership. You can opt out at any time during the free trial period.

You can also choose to set a renewal reminder by selecting Remind me Later in “Do not continue”, which is accessible in Your Account, under “Manage Prime membership”. (This reminder option won’t be available if your renewal date is within the next three days.)

R Boulton says:
4 October 2015

Just thought I’d add my poor experience with Amazon Prime. I signed up for the free 30-day then £7.99 (or whatever it was) per month trial via the Amazon Video app on my PS3.

As far as I was concerned, this meant that I would not be charged anything if I cancelled within 30 days but if I didn’t they would charge me £7.99 for the next month and so on… However, I discovered that they had actually charged me £79 on the day that I signed up for the service! This wasn’t something I had agreed to and could have caused financial problems if I didn’t have the spare money.

When I went to cancel the subscription online Amazon asked if I was sure and offered to reduce the charge to the monthly subscription rate! I was annoyed so I called Prime customer services and (after they tried to dissuade me from getting through to a human by advising me to visit their website and then pretending the phone line and gone dead) was told that I had signed up for a free trial in 2008 and therefore they had signed me up for the full package! Needless to say I don’t recall and there was no warning about what they were going to do. They said they had sent an email but I can’t find it. Equally, none of this explains why they thought it was OK to charge for the full year!

To be fair, they did refund the full £79 without argument but this suggests that they know they are on dodgy ground.

Price hike again with thier Lovefilm subscription in Feb 16

Karen says:
24 December 2015

Interesting reading all these now. I was startled today to discover a £79 charge on my credit card to Amazon Prime; first I knew of it. If there was some small print about when I agreed to the free trial, it was not made clear. Although I have decided to go with for the year already paid for, I will cancel it when it finishes, no question. Any company which engages in such sneaky, not to say dodgy practice really should be exposed and shamed more than Amazon Prime seems to have been.

It is apparent that Amazon are attempting to corner all their customers into taking out Prime.

The latest Amazon trick is to introduce the Amazon Logistics service. So if you make your order up to the £20 threshold for free 3-5 day delivery, you still get the “steerage” delivery service.

I waited in all day having received early the same morning an email notification from Amazon that my tracked order was imminent for delivery. It turned up at 6pm. It could have been worse, it could have been 9pm!

The van was unmarked. The driver was miserable, surly and unapologetic.

No ball park indication is given for delivery windows, morning or afternoon or even evening. This service is worse than Yodel, which is saying something. It is certainly nowhere near as good as Royal Mail, who Amazon seemed to have dropped for this substandard delivery service.

You don’t need Prime. It gives nothing extra – even the perk of streaming with a Fire TV Stick can be overcome by other methods. You don’t need Prime!

I had a very heated argument with an Amazon agent about the courier service. He was adamant that because I had signed up for the order, I had accepted the terms of delivery. It is not clear that they stretch their delivery times out in such a manner, nor is it obvious that it is so poor. I guess you just hope for the best, but you really shouldn’t have to.

He mentioned a safe place for delivery. I told him I had tried this before. I had clearly stated I wanted it left in the greenhouse, but I found a package in the recycling bin. This could have been thrown out for crying out loud!

The fact is I had very little choice other than to pay extra for delivery, but whose to say it would be any better if I did? I just don’t trust Amazon.

I shall widen my search next time I purchase on-line, especially for items that don’t have to be signed for and fit through the letterbox.

Amazon will be my last resort.