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:
This makes 2-day shipping free, and 1-day shipping cost about $3.99. Great deal:
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
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.
Subject: [commerce] Your free trial of Amazon Prime will expire on May 08, 2006 and will automatically upgrade
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:
*** 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.
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