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“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.

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