Misleading “FREE” Amazon Prime Trial – Automatic £49 charge

Click here if this is your business
★★★★☆
3.8 / 5
75% of users recommend this
Click here if this is your business
  • Customer Service

  • Quality of website

  • Value For Money

h0nest's review of Amazon - www.amazon.co.uk

“Misleading “FREE” Amazon Prime Trial – Automatic...”

Written on: 18/01/2013 by h0nest (1 review written)

Unethical Misleading “FREE” Amazon Prime Trial – Automatic £49 Charge

Amazon are one of my favorite companies for innovation and customer insight. They have been pioneers and are considered one of the more reputable online businesses.

This makes it even more difficult to discover unethical or immoral practices.

The Amazon Prime FREE trial is offered at checkout for Free next day delivery.

GREAT a free trial – are there any catches – none I can see. There are no terms and conditions on the page, no star to suggest any and no link to give you further information. The more ethical businesses would use a tick box to ensure you have read and agree to terms and conditions at the point of signing up.

Not Amazon. Amazon use an automatic email welcoming you to Amazon Prime with all the selling points and marketing information clearly indicated. Then tucked right at the bottom is a disclaimer saying if you want to continue do nothing, if you want to opt out do so on your account before the end of the trial. Again at this point Amazon have the option to do the right thing and use an “opt in” NOT an “opt out” of the trial. We do not opt out at the end of our car insurance or any other financial service and certainly not without express understanding of the terms and conditions – if you are required to “opt out” you should ensure the customer has read and agreed to the terms and conditions.

I am very disappointed in Amazon Prime Free Trial for four basic failings:

1/ Not referencing the terms and conditions at the time of signing up (using an email hidden among 4 others the same day to highlight a disclaimer)

2/ Not ensuring customers have read and agreed to the terms and conditions of the FREE Amazon Prime trial. It is a simple link to a page with terms and conditions or a pop up box with a tick box to say you agree.

3/ Using the unethical practice of customers opting out rather than opting in at the end of the trial.

4/ Failing to refund the £49 as dishonest / unauthorized charge

I am sure if you use Amazon a lot then it is worthwhile. I am sure that many people are happy with the service. But when the majority of my orders come with FREE delivery anyway it is not for me. I just want people to be aware that there are terms and conditions to this FREE trial and not wait until they see an unauthorized charge on their statement.
Like I say I like Amazon, I know many blame it for the death of the high street but I use both. I do however blame it for the death of my customer confidence in their reputation.

  • Goods purchased & cost

  • Customer Service

  • Quality of website

  • Value For Money

Visit amazon.co.uk
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Oppagagnamstyle's Response to h0nest's Review

Written on: 28/01/2013

However, If you want to cancel the Amazon Prime membership ,You can contact Amazon and they will cancel it for you if it is eligible....

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Mercurian's Response to h0nest's Review

Written on: 21/02/2013

Carrying on a trial automatically is pretty much standard practice across the board, whether it's with a retailer or a separate subscription service. Maybe it could've been made clearer, but you should ALWAYS assume something like this is going to carry on unless you cancel it.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Donna4Ronan's Response to h0nest's Review

Written on: 28/01/2013

When I forgot to opt out in time £49 was taken from my account. I called Amazon and they couldn't have been any nicer. The money was credited and after 3 days I had my money back. The small print on Amazon Prime clearly states that it is a trial and after I think it's 28 days if not cancelled then £49 will be debited from your account.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

H0Nest's reply to Donna4Ronan's Comment

Written on: 29/01/2013

The small print in the email they send AFTER opting in to the trial stated that you need to cancel or have the money debited. BUT this should be disclosed BEFORE you click to opt in.

This is why companies have a link to terms and conditions and a tick box to say you have read and understood them.

Amazon will ONLY refund the money if you have not used the prime service outside the trial period. So if you accidently order something the day after not knowing that the trial is over or that you have even had the charge then they will not make a refund.

My issue is the failure to disclose the terms and conditions prior to acceptance and relying on a follow up email with these hidden at the bottom - on friend who has thanked me for raising recieved 6 emails from Amazon on the day this was sent and again it does not request that you tick to say you have read and understood....

I just think it is extremely unethical and pretty sure it breaches any financial agreement for a debited amount given that there is no check made that you have read and understood the terms of contract.

I am glad you have your money back but I am sure there are many that have not been so lucky!!!

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Em_H's reply to H0Nest's Comment

Written on: 21/02/2013

It's clearly stated on the website under Prime---> 'Help and FAQs'. It's not in small print, it's written in something you should have read before agreeing to the Prime account. Sure, Amazon should prompt you to do so, but in order to avoid problems like this you should have just read the help section.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
amazon.co.uk