Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Amazon Prime Free Trial?

Posted in Amazon by Elliott Back on October 26th, 2007.

It seems like Amazon.com is offering a free three month trial of their Prime program, for which I’ll eagerly sign up:

As the 3-month free trial period ends, if you want to join Amazon Prime, do nothing. At that point we will enroll you in a 12-month membership and charge a $79 annual fee to the credit card listed below. If you are not interested in joining Amazon Prime after the free trial, that’s okay, too. We make it easy to cancel online any time before the trial ends, and we’ll even send you a reminder e-mail along the way. We’re hoping you’ll like the membership and will want to continue.

They promise to remind me to cancel it! That’s great of them:

Elliott joins Amazon Prime

This makes 2-day shipping free, and 1-day shipping cost about $3.99. Great deal:

Amazon Prime Ship

Now I’ll leave it up to you to decide what I bought that will get here before Friday, eh? You can read more about the Amazon Prime Program (which costs $79 per year), and if you’re signed in, it may offer you a free trial.

Update: Since people seem confused about what Amazon actually offered and delivered, here are the emails I received from them, verbatim:

Subject: [commerce] Amazon Prime Free Trial Membership Confirmation
From: prime@amazon.com
Date: 2/8/2006 9:10 PM

Hello from Amazon.com.

Congratulations, you successfully enrolled in the Amazon Prime Free Trial! You can now take advantage of free Two-Day Shipping and upgraded Overnight Shipping for only $3.99 on millions of eligible items through May 8, 2006. You also will receive free Standard Shipping on items not eligible for expedited shipping.

When your trial membership ends, it will be automatically upgraded to a 12-month membership for $79. You will have the opportunity to opt out of the automatic upgrade before the trial ends. You can opt out of the upgrade, change your payment method for the upgrade, and perform other administrative tasks for your Amazon Prime membership in Your Account: www.amazon.com/your-account

As an Amazon Prime Free Trial member, you’re welcome to invite up to four household members to share your subscription. Please note, members you invite will need to know your birthday and enter their own birthday. You can manage your account settings and invite or remove members in Your Account: www.amazon.com/your-account

You can read more about Amazon Prime on our online Help pages: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/13819211/

Thank you for subscribing to Amazon Prime and shopping at Amazon.com.

Best regards,
Amazon.com Customer Service
www.amazon.com

Subject: [commerce] Your free trial of Amazon Prime will expire on May 08, 2006 and will automatically upgrade
From: primeclub@amazon.com
Date: 5/6/2006 2:00 AM

Dear Elliott C. Back:

*** Your free trial of Amazon Prime will expire on May 08, 2006 and will automatically upgrade to a full membership for $79. ***

If you have enjoyed your Amazon Prime benefits and wish to remain a member, you don’t need to take any extra action. That is why we asked for a credit card when you signed up for the free trial: to make the conversion truly automatic and ensure you have uninterrupted access to your Amazon Prime benefits. We will charge your credit card $79 and your trial membership will upgrade to a full, 12-month membership (that is 12 months in addition to the period of free membership you received).

We are notifying you now, before the upgrade takes place, so that you may update your payment information (if necessary) or cancel the automatic upgrade. To make these changes, start by following these three steps:

– Visit Your Account at www.amazon.com/your-account/
– Click on “Manage Your Amazon Prime Membership”
– Log in using the Amazon.com account that you used to sign up for your trial membership

*** How do I cancel the automatic upgrade? ***

If you do not wish to automatically upgrade to a full, 12-month membership at a cost of $79 when your free trial membership expires, then click the “Do not upgrade” button. On the membership status screen, you will see a message that reads “Your trial membership will not upgrade to a full membership automatically.” Note that you will also be able to change your
mind and switch back to an automatic upgrade before the trial period ends.

If you choose to cancel your membership during the trial period, you will stop receiving Amazon Prime benefits when the trial period ends and will not be charged $79. Also, you will not be charged for any Prime benefits you enjoyed during the trial period. However, you will not be able to sign up for additional free trials of Amazon Prime.

*** How do I change my payment information? ***

At the end of the line that begins “Payment method for upgrade,” you will see an “Edit” button. Click that button to change the payment method that we will use to upgrade your membership.

We hope that you have seen how easy and convenient shopping on Amazon.com is when you’re a member of Amazon Prime, and that you’ll want to continue when the trial period ends.

Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com.

*** Details of your free trial membership ***
sign-up date: February 08, 2006
expiration date: May 08, 2006

If anyone would like more detail, please contact me.

Update: Techdirt is again mentioning the customer service issue that this is becoming. I have prime and love it, but some others thought they were on a free trial, got billed, and now hate Amazon. And, they’re starting to yell.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 26th, 2007 at 5:09 am and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

42 Responses to “Amazon Prime Free Trial?”

  1. Bray says:

    How tow fix a kindle fire hd

  2. Bray says:

    Amazon prime mite be good I have never tried it I
    hope it is good ok

  3. Bray says:

    This risk yhay!!

  4. Lucia says:

    I haven’t tried this Free Trial Period, but I’m really interested in it. However, I think I read that in order NOT to be charged the $79 after trial period ends, you MUST NOT make any purchases? It doesn’t make any sense, what would I be trying, then? BTW, hotel addresses are eligible for Prime Accounts? Thanks to who may help me!

  5. siu li says:

    hi I just cancelled my membership as my younger sister who set it up for just informed my that there was a year subscription (last time I let her use my bank card)
    because I haven’t used the services they said on screen after I clicked cancel they would refund the money back in 2 to 3 working days

    I also got an email of them saying the same thing

    as long as you don’t use it, and cancel as soon as possible the same should apply to you

    hope this helps xx

  6. jezz says:

    yes well im on the free tial and ther is no such thing as a do not upgrade button or cancel button anywher! help!! need to cancel as cannot afford this!

    • Bobby says:

      For anyone trying to stop the trial go to
      1. Amazon.com
      2. “Your Account” (top right)
      3. Third block down under “settings” you will find “manage prime membership”
      4. In the first block you will see a button to “not automatically upgrade” – click that and your good to go.

  7. Juley says:

    They are not hard to work with, they usually credit if they do charge. If the credit does not show up after 3 business days, contact your credit card company & file a dispute. All you need to do is explain what happened, when you cancelled, and the fact that you called *or emailed) customer service & were told it would be credited within 3 days. The credit card co will tell you they have 30 days to credit your account, but the dispute will freeze the charge so that you don’t have to pay it before it is reversed.

    Amazon Prime will refund you, as long as you haven’t used it! Just don’t let it go for too long!

    • ALICIA says:

      I did use the service during Christmas, but want to be sure it is canceled and I am not charged. It’s not free if they charge you $79 for the trial period. I did not read that anywhere? Would appreciate any help you can provide.

  8. Iz says:

    This is how a lot of companies (not just Amazon) make their money. They bank on you forgetting to cancel your membership, and if you forget, you honestly have no one to blame but yourself. Get a calendar and mark the date, or opt out of the auto upgrade.

  9. Armando P Diaz says:

    Please, cancell my trial free shipping immediatelly. I do not plan to buy anything for the next year.

    Thank you,

    AD

  10. mike fields says:

    i hate auto renew,a free trail should be just that, and if i want to sign up at the end i could , not automatic if i forget to sign off, i also hate how amazon keeps your card number on file,it doesn’t hurt to put your number in every time, i have had my card compromised two times, amazon seems to have everything you need, just don’t need to be forced fed there free trial deals

  11. Lou says:

    Um, why didn’t you just click ‘do not upgrade me automatically’ when you first registered??
    It’s really obvious! They make it incredibly clear that you can opt-out of the automatic upgrade at any time!! Why didn’t you do it when you signed up for Prime? Sorry guys but you have got to read things properly.

  12. jrkl says:

    just making it clear….if i buy something using the free trial i still wont be charged $79 as long as i am able to opt out before the trial period expires? i like the service but am really concerned since ill probably doing it just once hence $79 will be too much of a fee.

  13. Danielle says:

    I signed up for the Amazon Prime free trial and what I did was place my order with the trial, immediately go to my account settings and TURN OFF automatic upgrade. I still get the benefits of Amazon Prime until my trial date is up, even though I’ve opted not to be charged $79 dollars.

    save yourself and turn it off right away, you still get the benefits! people are saying it’s harder to opt out or remember to opt out towards the end of the trial, so don’t wait.

  14. Maria Radford says:

    I have had the same experience. I took the ‘free’ option even though I live in Canada (I was in the US at the time) and thought I could get out of it. No email, therefore I’ve got a visa payment on my bill!

  15. Angus says:

    Same story here. They billed me without a reminder (and I definitely get all my Amazon emails in my inbox) . I called up and the guy on the phone promised it would be refunded in 3 days.

    Good job I check my bank statements regularly! I’m not normally stupid with these sort of things but it wasn’t obvious to me that they would take the charge automatically after 3 months.

  16. great says:

    Check your bills when you accept the trial, I got charged within the first week of getting it.

    Cancelling this trial will refund your money, I’ve heard it’s a ***** to if you try but it didn’t take much of an effort to me.

  17. Someone says:

    how about marking your calender and just canceling before it charges. All this over them not sending a stupid email?

    all i want to know is that is it easy to cancel ?

  18. charmed says:

    Heyy they charged me 2 no email nothing i want to know if i cancel it will i get ma money back
    does any 1 know

  19. Sunshine says:

    I cannot believe this, I signed up for Prime.. thank god it is only a trial version, the Hard drive that i wanted to buy was only $60.39 before I signed up, after I signed up to get the free shipping, which otherwise would be $6.98, the price of the product is $101.43!! I cannot believe this!! So where exactly is the advantage?? when I am logged in with my prime membership the products are more expensive than if I am on their website as a guest!!
    What a way to create customer loyalty!!

  20. James says:

    @Karl Quist: Ditto, I hate not being able to search for Prime items – I use http://www.primesearcher.co.uk, it’s the same sort of thing but for Amazon UK customers. Pretty basic, but it gets the job done.

  21. shell says:

    What I’d like to know is, has anyone used the trial to get free upgraded shipping, then successfully cancelled before the trail ends? There’s on line in the terms that I don’t like: ‘You are eligible for a complete refund as long as you have not made any purchases.’ Now, they’re not charging you during the trial, but they do have your card on file… anyone have experience with this?

  22. Karl Quist says:

    I love Amazon Prime. However, I’m often frustrated that it is difficult to find items that are eligible for amazon prime free shipping. I use an Amazon Prime search engine like http://www.iprimr.com to search ONLY Amazon Prime eligible items.

  23. [...] Elliott Back placed an interesting blog post on Amazon Prime Free Trial?.Here’s a brief overview:At that point we will enroll you in a 12-month membership and charge a $79 annual fee to the credit card listed below. If you are not interested in joining Amazon Prime after the free trial, that’s okay, too. … [...]

  24. William Mon says:

    Any number of things could have happened to those notifications, right? Spam filters, etc. Do they even have to come via email? Anyhow, I would recommend cancelling regardless of how the trial goes. Just sign up again the next time you need overnight shipping.

  25. Fraggle Rock says:

    Haha thats hilarious that someone left a comment here thinking it was Amazon?!? Must be some crazy middle-aged housewife who doesn’t know how to use the interwebz.

  26. Elliott Back says:

    You know, this website is a blog. It has nothing–yes nothing–to do with Amazon. If you’ve signed up for Amazon Prime and want to cancel it, you should contact Amazon directly.

  27. Martha McDurmont says:

    I do not want to be a member of Amazon Prime Free Trial!!!!
    You better not charge me a $79 Membership to my charge card
    Martha McDurmont

  28. ranron says:

    I’ve never heard about this trial…

    In any case I’ve had Amazon Prime since it came out a year and half ago and its been a great experience. I just now wished they offered me the trial when they FIRST offered the program rather than a year afterwards.

    I’d say this is one of best deals I’ve had so far as it’s saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars in shipping costs as I almost always choose either next-day or 2nd-day shipping if they are offered.

    I think the epitome of online shopping should be this: Find out what you like, read reviews, go to Amazon, check stock, click next-day, and get it the next day. Saves gas and time from having to run to the store only to find out what you want isn’t in stock or is more expensive.

    Right now even if Amazon didn’t offer incredible discounts, I’d still buy from them.

    Call it propaganda? I call it luxury.

  29. Loona says:

    No, they did not warn me either as they had promised, and they charged me $79… It has been a royal pain in the neck to get the money back. After weeks of wasted time I have not seen a penny of my money yet.

    Once again, Amazon is using shady practices and tricking costumers.

  30. bob says:

    i love this game it is the best in the world

  31. Bob Emmerich says:

    I also signed up for the “free offer” feeling safe that I would be contacted before the trial was up. I wasn’t. 7 days later I try to cancel but they won’t let me, having already charged my Amazon Visa card the $79. I really really can’t believe after not contacting me as they said they would they now won’t refund the $79. I smell a lawsuit. PS – Avinash P you suck.

  32. Mary says:

    I did not sign up for Prime but last month my UK credit card was charged $79 for it – no e-mails either confirmations or reminders. I live in the UK and only use amazon.com rarely. I complained to Customer Service and they have promised an immediate refund. Hopefully I will get it – how can they do this?

  33. duh says:

    All you have to do is set your account to not automatically upgraid at the end of the trial period. DUH! then you dont have to worry about it at all….

  34. Leanne says:

    They sent me two notices as well, and it is very clearly documented on my accout that I have declined to upgrade and will not be upgraded automatically. I suppose I will see in three days if they still charge my account. If they do I will scream at them. If they don’t I will probably actually pay to have it for the year, in the run up to Christmas!

  35. saul says:

    I did the 3 month trial and they did not send me a reminder.

    Worse – I cancelled it but they charged my card anyway saying they never got the cancellation.

  36. matt d says:

    I had a different experience.

    Amazon did send an email reminder. In fact, they warned me twice. It was easy to cancel the automatic ‘upgrade’ in the account settings page on Amazon.

  37. Don Gorney says:

    Amazon is flat out lying when they say they will notify you before the end of the trial. They did not notify me and it is a royal pain to cancel the account. I say go ahead and sign up but start trying to cancel at least a week before the trial period ends. Mark it on your calendar. Amazon WILL NOT contact you.

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