/ Technology

Amazon Prime price hike – sweetened by film streaming?

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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?

Comments

I’ve been a Lovefilms customer for about 4 years and very happy with the service, I have also purchased from Amazon.
I do not wish, as many others don’t, to have Prime.
Since the poorly planned changeover, it is impossible to use Lovefilms as before and also impossible to cancel (it just sends you round in loops). So I have just cancelled my payments.
I don’t expect to hear from Amazon as they have failed to communicate (or appologise!) at all so far.
Let alone issue a public appology as they should.
This is a first class lesson in how to “kill” a sucessful company as Hoover did many years ago.
I assume that Amazon has done away with it’s Customer Service department to save money!

Maggie says:
5 March 2014

I am quite concerned that Amazon will start charging me for Prime……or whatever it is…….as I had never heard of it until I logged onto my Lovefilm account and was informed of changes. I do not want streaming as my internet speed is not enough at the moment to allow me to view movies on line, Apart from that I have always been more than happy with my monthly subscription of £7.99 a month which gives me unlimited DVD’s per month. despite ringing Lovefilm number I am not getting answers.

Grumpy Man says:
5 March 2014

I won’t be renewing when my Prime membership expires from what I’ve seen so far. Initially I thought I might carry on my Prime membership but the following issues have put paid to that: (1) TV shows which were initially free to stream are now no longer free. After watching 4 episodes of a series for free and having ‘got into’ the series I now find I am being asked to pay to watch the rest of the series! (2) Other TV series, such as Boardwalk Empire were also shown as free (and I was looking forward to watching!) are now, a week later,NOT free (3) To pay for the series (to see the remaining episodes) is £20. I can buy the season DVD from Amazon at less than £9 ! What is the point of streaming when it costs significantly more? (4) Even watching some films/shows encounters buffering issues despite having BT Infinity with 33MB download speeds (and I never have ANY ssues with Netflix) (5) The new and improved (ha!) interface is simply atrocious – the Lovefilm interface was far superior – a backward step in my view. All in all I am extremely disappointed with Prime Instant Video. It was much better when you had two separate services Prime and Instant Video. having to pay for both when you may only want one is a con in my book!

Vince says:
5 March 2014

@Grumpy Man

Your experience is very similar to mine – in that:

(1) I noticed that although the headline figure is 15,000 titles, there are fewer than 4,000 titles actually available on Prime, and it seems many series are only “part” included (NOT FREE – it’s not free if you’re paying – same as “free” minutes on your mobile).

(2) I’ve also noticed this – and I’ve not actually watched more than 2-3 programmes on the service just to see if it is any good (it isn’t).

(3) I also noticed the costs – ridiculous and completely mindless – I’m assuming Amazon are hoping we’ll all keep spending more and more on substandard video content to subsidise the delivery.

(4) Yes – quite. I’ve got 80 meg fibre (download) and 20 meg (upload) – and I can easily achieve those speeds and regularly do (the line is full tilt), Netflix is a dream, but the Amazon service buffered several times in every 30 minutes. Pathetic. This from the company that actually supplies service to companies like Netflix!

(5) I never saw the old interface, but I was led to believe it was poor – this one is absolutely terrible and I’ll forgive Netflix for its shortcomings.

My correspondence with Amazon is so far fruitless in them actually acknowledging the issue – but I’m tracking my expenditure that’s no longer going via Amazon as I’ve started being more picky now (despite having several months still go to on the old deal), and Amazon are definitely losing out ALREADY. I spend a fortune with them. Sorry, spent, past tense.

Jacks says:
5 March 2014

I was a Lovefilm customer – until the switch to Prime happened.

From one day to the next titles that I had been watching which were covered by my monthly subscription could only be watched if I paid an extra £1.89 per episode. This included series that I was part way through. It would therefore have cost me a considerable amount to continue.

Many titles will now no longer stream to my Kindle (Amazon’s own tablet) and so not only am I expected to pay a lot more, I can view fewer titles.

I emailed Amazon twice to complain and received no response.

I have therefore cancelled Lovefilm/Amazon Instant and switched to Netflix which turns out to have a huge variety of titles to choose from and is trouble free. It also seems to stream much better than Lovefilm – and to a lot more devices.

Bob Eager says:
5 March 2014

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.

Mack says:
6 March 2014

When I was notified of the increase I immediately sent of an email to Amazon CEO (Christopher North) and the customer service. They tried to tell me how good a deal it was, but like many people here I have no interest is streaming video.

I immediately cancelled my renewal, but they did extend my prime service by three months.

His email address is: cnorth@amazon.com

I would suggest that all complaints go directly to him. He will get a minion to reply but it will give him and idea of the extent that people are unhappy with this.

Tiggerinlondon says:
7 March 2014

Absolutely appalling Amazon. I cannot believe they have taken Love Film, which was splendid and had a great many good movies to watch for your £5.99 a month and have created something utterly useless, like a re-runs channel!

It is a total debacle, you have to pay for all the “good” or new movies and it’s not even consistent. One minute you have to pay for certain episodes in a series and the next you don’t. You never know whether you can watch your favourite show or if you will have to choose, between paying through the nose, or waiting for a service you pay for to “let” you watch your episode for free; at some random point.

Eddy says:
10 March 2014

Am a internet competent professional 35yr old and cant work round the amazon site, my 1 yr old could do better!

On top of this they have blocked a new DVD coming by post due to a yr old video, and not responding to feedback this is missing after 14mth. Lovefilm used to have great customer service, reason i stuck with them, even if the actual dispatch selection wasn’t always perfect. Wasnt really using the unlimited a month i had, so cancelling the post, lost a 7yr customer overnight, nice on Amazon.

No reason to stay now, giving the prime instant trial a go, if not off to netflicks

Thank you for all of your comments – we’ve rounded them up in this post if you’d like to join in: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/amazon-prime-lovefilm-price-rise-customers-react/

Jill says:
23 March 2014

Very unhappy that Amazon are trying to foist a streaming service on me. If I wanted this service, i would have signed up for one by now. I’m Furious that the list of compatible devices is so limited that I would not only have to pay the increased fees, but would need to spend in the region of £160 to buy a device for the ‘privelidge’. I’ll be emailing c north and shopping around more in the future, avoiding amazon where possible.

Aine says:
14 March 2014

I have a few months left on my Prime account & currently have Netflix so am not interested in the new set up will be sorry to lose the fast delivery option but the new cost is just too much..

Peter says:
17 March 2014

I too am completely unhappy about the price hike. I only want the delivery service, not interested in anything else, so I have cancelled the automatic Prime renewal, due in October.

Paul Roberts says:
21 March 2014

Since I’m not an apple nut or in possession of a kindle fire I’m not able to access any of the newly available benefits. Subscription to Amazon cancelled immediately all my business will go elsewhere. Yet another organisation, just like Sky, that doesn’t include users of android tablets.

Joe says:
28 March 2014

Sorry but Amazon must be living in the early days when they only sold books and videos. Myself and my partner spend thousands each year with Amazon and hardly a book or movie is purchased. Yes we buy electronics, vacuums etc and we spend a lot. We loved Prime but with a 60% hike the can take a run and jump. I’ll happily wait a few extra days delivery from elsewhere and not bother feeding them another extra £30 a year. Actually they should look at Appliances Online, they will even deliver an American fridge freezer next day free of charge and with a lower price than Amazon, so they better watch out. We won’t be renewing our subscription with Prime at the new price but would have if they didn’t seem so greedy! Don’t want your lousy Lovefilm, thank you very much!

Penny says:
18 October 2014

I am an American who lives in the UK and I have tried Amazon Prime in both the US and the UK. Despite its cost, it is superior in the UK. Most products/services are cheaper in the US and I will generally argue that purchasing abroad is better (except for British chocolate and china). The UK video streaming offers far more, presumably due to LoveFilm (acquired by Amazon) being a British service that was well established. The American video streaming via Amazon is poor. Very little is offered as a part of the subscription beyond the first season of box sets. I believe there is an option to pay to rent what isn’t offered in the subscription. Additionally, the delivery service is fantastic in the UK. Granted, America is so big that it is impossible to deliver anything overnight without it costing an absolute premium: the two day service offered by Prime in the US is very good compared to general delivery times from most companies in the US. What we get in the UK from Amazon is far superior. You cannot compare them as like for like and assume we pay more here. What you can compare is UK Prime video streaming and Netflix. When I travel to the US, my UK Netflix switches to the US version and I can watch what is available there. UK Amazon Prime does not allow video streaming in the US. I have to pay for US Amazon Prime and, to me, it’s not worth the money.

I object to the way prime is being sold. I have always been careful to avoid accidentally clicking on the free trial option, but today they caught me: the checkout had a large orange button to take up the free prime trial and underneath it a grey button that said continue to 1-day delivery checkout, with no obvious alternative to go to normal delivery. Needless to say I clicked the grey and found I’d signed up to the prime trial with no obvious way to cancel it immediately.
I feel Amazon conned me – they have gone down in my estimation.

I was very annoyed today to discover Amazon had deducted £79 from my credit card although I had cancelled prime membership as soon as I taken out a month’s free trial! It appears the Amazon system had failed to process the cancellation and had deducted a full year’s prime membership from my credit card regardless, and without me even being aware of this! How many other people has this happened to, and how many of these people are oblivious to the fact £79/£79.99 has been taken from their bank account?

I have complained about this to Amazon and I have been told the £79 will be reimbursed to my account. Thank Goodness I realised this had happened!

Dormouse says:
1 December 2014

I occasionally buy from Amazon.com as I get prezzies for American relatives but not often enough to contemplate prime.

Beware!!! Weeks after a purchase they can sign you up to prime without your knowledge or request or even telling you they have done it. My last purchase from them was weeks earlier, so it wasn’t as a direct result of any mistake I made. I just got my bank statement showing the transaction. $99! It is barefaced thievery, they rely on people not noticing or noticing so much later they can’t remember if they did it by accident.

Lucky I look at my statements.They did at least easily unsubscribe me and say they will refund it and later I saw they had.

I’m Out.
I enjoyed the benefits of Prime for a year when I signed up to it to get next day delivery and forgot to cancel it. I would happily have renewed at the old rate because I could see the benefits, but to pay an extra £30 to access a range of 2nd rate movies doesn’t make sense.
I have cancelled my membership and I am fairly sure that I will be buying less from Amazon in future, but only time will tell.

Bob Eager says:
28 December 2014

I stopped using Amazon in February, when this was all announced (my Prime subscription didn’t run out for months after that but I was so disgusted I stopped using them).

I have found I have saved money, even when having to pay delivery sometimes. Amazon is not as cheap as it used to be. I bought e-books from Google Play and Smashwords, using the free program Calibre to convert them. I am now ditching the Kindle as it has developed faults, and have a Kobo Aura HD instead.

That’s without Amazon’s dubious tax policy, and the allegations about how they treat employees. I found this interesting:

http://www.amazonanonymous.org/about/

Milly says:
5 April 2015

I was furious today when I found out that Amazon don’t charge postage for items over £10.00 to non members. I’ve been a member of Prime for years and the reason was to save on postage. I don’t want videos etc. I just want free next day delivery but it’s not worth £79.00 a year. Incidentally, a question for Lee Beaumont, do you work for Amazon by any chance? I can’t see any other reason why anyone would support fees going up by 60% and you certainly seem to be over promoting the service.