Amazon Prime - now it'll cost you £79 and how to get rid of it

17 February 2015

amazoninstantThere's a lot of angry Amazon customers knocking about at the moment as they've been hit with a £79 charge for using Amazon Prime, without realising it.

Basically, when their 30-day free trial ended, they were faced with the regular £79-per-year subscription. Naturally, in the small print of the T&Cs, it says that, once your free trial period ends, you'll be switched to the yearly rate.

Problematic TV personality Giles Coren found out about all this and wasn't happy, taking to Twitter to vent some spleen. He said: "You bastards Amazon! I can't believe you've been screwing me for £79 a year for Prime! I had no idea."

"I mean, Amazon offer a free trial in 2012, then quietly start charging £79 and never tell me. That's what sicko porn sites do! I've heard..." He added: "I apologise for all these retweets re @amazon scam, I know it's losing me followers. But this cynical corporate rape is too scummy to ignore"

The problem is, the service was £49 per year, but then it was increased to £79 last year, which no-one seemed to know about.

If you think you've signed up for an Amazon Prime content and are in your free period and don't want to end up paying for the service, here's what you should do.

Go to Amazon and hit 'My Account' at the top right corner of the page and, in there, go to 'Settings' and then hit 'Account Settings'. There'll be a column called 'Manage Prime Membership'. You want to be hitting that, obviously.

Once you've done that, a new page will pop-up, which will tell you whether or not you've signed up to Amazon Prime, how long you've been a member for and who is paying for it.

Here, you'll see a button to stop your Amazon Prime membership. Importantly, if you think you've been incorrectly charged for the service, you can apply for a refund on the customer services page.

It is official too. An Amazon spokesperson said: "Customers who sign up to a free trial of Prime receive an email informing them of the duration of the free trial and how to avoid continuing to paid Prime Membership."

"Customers who become full Prime members can cancel their membership at any time and we will refund the full membership if the customer has not made any eligible purchases or used any Prime benefits. So as long as you haven’t used the free delivery, downloaded or streamed any videos through the service, or borrowed a Kindle book, you can simply cancel the membership and reclaim the subscription."

TOPICS:   Complaints


  • Thickos
    So basically, people who don't read small print (and it's not even hidden on the free trial sign up, which clearly informs you that you will be charged once it's up) are moaning that a company has charged them for a service that they signed up for. What next? People complaining when their house is repossessed because someone didn't realise they had to pay their mortgage? Jesus christ on a fucking bike.
  • bugger y.
    But it's freeeee. Why are they charging me?
  • LD
    Caveat emptor Giles. Not## I knew that - and I haven't even started the trial. Caveat emptor Giles. (Eh? TV personality???)
  • bob
    If he can be screwed for £79 each year without noticing, then perhaps he can afford to be. Or maybe he should read the terms before he signed up for things. (they were clearly stated on the page where you sign up for the trial rather than being hidden away in the very small print.)
  • John
    I genuinely can't tell whether this is a serious story or not? I disagree with how pushy Amazon have been getting in trying to sign you up for prime but I didn't think it was that difficult to understand that when a free trial ends you have to pay for it and I thought their price increase was well known. They're hardly the only one to try and keep you on after a trial but unlike others I found it was very easy to end prime, I have mine set to automatically finish at the end of my year as £49 was a bit pricey but acceptable but £79 is a bit much.
  • Bob H.
    Maybe amazon should vet people who are too dumb to read the straight forward "This is a trial. We'll charge you after a month" text and then remove their accounts completely if they fail to understand it. In other news... "Man complains that Argos never said his new kettle would make the water hot and burns himself whilst washing his hands in it".
  • Jack
    If you are that much of a retard to not understand how these things work, turn off your computer and go sit in a dark room on your own.
  • Fat H.
    I'm sorry but this guy sounds like a chronic twat! This is just another case of people not paying attention. Do these fuckwits need nurse-maiding all the time?
  • Frank
    I took out a trial and cancelled straight away. Ordered a few bits and bobs and then I had an order delayed for a week. I complained and they offered me an extra free month without telling me that my cancellation won't stand any more and basically auto renewed.
  • Albi
    I think the point is that it's easy to click on by mistake because it is marketed as FREE (asterisk) I've clicked on it by accident before which immediately meant a trip to Google to find out how to cancel it. So they did steal 5 minutes of my life through their trickery.
  • Shaun
    A non-story to end all non-stories. I did the free trial which very clearly stated £79 would be charged at end of the trial period. The cost wasn't tucked away in the small print and cancelling was so simple even the simpletons would manage to do it.
  • James E.
    I've got amazon Prime and I love it! The Amazon TV programmes are great (and they're in 1080p instead of Sky's 1080i) and their one day free delivery is a Godsend (Yes, I know I'm paying for it)I ordered something at 4.00 on Saturday and it was delivered at 9.30 on Sunday! You don't need to do much on-line shopping for it to pay for itself (Yes, I always check to make sure I can't get something cheaper from a seller other than Amazon - sometimes I can but, more often than not, I can't). We've been paying more to use the post Office for years, through our taxes, for a service that is piss poor and inconvenient. Now that they've got some serious competition all they can do is whine about it, instead of doing something about it. So, if you don't shop on-line, it's not a problem, if you do, do the math!
  • PC S.
    Please point those moaning morons at my listings on eBay for pictures of Mac Books and Xbones.
  • PC S.
    @Bob Holness - that's called scalding...
  • FooFan73
    Giles Coren is a cunt anyway, his sister, Victoria got the good, charisma genes and he got the twat genes
  • Squirty B.
    @PC Stamp - and you're scolding...
  • Coran
    The £79 thing is plastered all over the images and text. Free trial to subscription is how just about every subscription service on the planet works. Just a case of a moron who forget to cancel wants to pressure Amazon into getting a refund. Not like he's not getting anything for it. Streaming TV and unlimited next day deliveries for a year is hardly a rip off.
  • Father J.
    I've used the trial of Prime in the past, though I wouldn't bother again because the service is so shit as not to be worth the offer price of free. I always cancelled it before the month was up, and there have never been any problems. I really, seriously despair of the sort of mouth-breathing retards who can't manage to read the T&Cs and comply with them, then take to the Internet wailing about how they've been ripped off. We should have a cull of these fuckwits and save some of the Earth's precious resources.
  • bill
    Posted by Frank • February 18, 2015 at 9:01 am I took out a trial and cancelled straight away. Ordered a few bits and bobs and then I had an order delayed for a week. I complained and they offered me an extra free month without telling me that my cancellation won’t stand any more and basically auto renewed. ^^^This +1 Also, I've never known them to send a reminder, receipt or confirmation of the £79 charge so it's easy to forget your trial is up and it's time to pay. The only time you see the bill is when you log into the settings and realise it's been charged without your knowledge. The fact that Amazon are happy to refund customers the £79 cost of prime with no questions asked tells you a lot about the misleading way in which it's sold in the first place.
  • Rhi
    Now see, Frank has a genuine complaint. That's really bad to cancel the cancel. The rest though, good god. It's really not unclear at all, they're just dense. And possibly have more money than sense if they've been charged for years without noticing. Blaming Amazon for refunding without quibble is totally below the belt too. Screw them for having good customer service amiright?
  • KH
    I have forgotten how to breathe oxygen; would claims direct allow me to sue God? Can somebody reply quickly, my lips are turning blue now.........
  • Mark o.
    What a load of shit. It's absolutely clear as day what the terms are, and not only that amazon are pretty awesome in that they let you cancel the renewal immediately after taking the trial, and still let you complete the trial. Idiots.
  • flipperni
    Sign up and cancel straight away so you don't forget, you still get your months free trial.
  • digibanger
    Every fucking "Free" thing has a catch. I got a free book once and they charged me quid. Didn't pay it but took loads of time to tell em to fuck off. Your free Credit Check has a recurring £14.99 monthly catch. I use amazon all the time - the most annoying thing is not seeing the costs of the delivery until you get 2 or 3 steps in. I ordered something quickly on my mobile one day - and in big letters its said FREE DELIVERY and in small letters (if you do prime trial). As I say in a hurry and who doesn't want free delivery - only at final stage I realised the fuckers and done the free trial. Later on PC easily enough cancelled the trial - but ffs. They rely on customers intransigence just to sign up move on and get fucked later - then further I cant be arsed chasing this to get a few payments in.... Its the same reason if you claim/complain about something you need to write 3 times and get 2 responses before you can escalate.
  • bill
    I never 'blamed' them, I was just pointing out that it says a lot about the fact they have a lot of issues with their prime selling. In fact, if you go to contact them and select the option for an unknown charge a little highlighted box comes up saying " Do you see a £49/£79 charge called "Amazon Prime" on your card statement? If so, you've signed up for an Amazon Prime membership." and goes on to advise how to cancel. Clearly there is a significant enough volume of customers being unknowingly charged that it was necessary to add this little tibit into the 'contact us' part, which customers see even before typing out the problem. Also, as I said before, theres no contact from amazon to ask if you want to continue with prime, it simply re-news itself after the trial and charges you without notice. For people who actually have more on their mind than their online subscriptions, it can be easy to forget that you signed up to something a whole month prior. We should not presume to know the goings on in other peoples lives, or assume that everyone should always be able to keep a close eye on matters like these type of subscriptions. I don't know about people being charged 'for years without noticing'. I would think most people would query the first £79 charge and sort it out pretty fast. Having said that, not everyone goes over their statements with a fine tooth comb every month so its very possible to miss those sorts of things. We're only human after all. And even if you DO miss it first time doesnt necessarily mean you're, 'like, totally rich and therefore deserve to be ripped off, since you wont miss the money anyway.' The fact remains that if so many people are being unknowingly charged, then prime needs to be more clear. Personally I would like to see Amazon start sending email notifications a few days before the charge is due to come out, reminding customers that if they want to continue after this date they will be charged and otherwise providing a link for cancellation. That's what most companies do regarding trials and subscriptions. Now THAT would basic customer service in my opinion, and would make things more transparent. I can see no excuse for amazon having not yet implemented such a basic notification/warning.
  • SB
    Any idiots who dont know it charges you after the free month should have thier internet access removed for the sake of humanity. Its pretty F'ing clear. Its also clear thats its 79 quid.. in fact it was never 49 as far as I know..
  • Kevin
    It was £49 for a very short period of time (1 week? 2?) when they first merged the video and the delivery and for anyone that signed up then you got a whole year for £49. As I did. But not until I'd also signed up for the free months trial, so I will have had 13 months for £49. You can find this information in the Manage your Prime membership section of your account, in the receipt section, which is below the payment type information, which is below the date your contract will automatically renew which is under the bit telling you what sort of membership you have and from which date.
  • Father J.
    Just think of it as Retard Tax, they could then reduce them for the rest of us!
  • callan
    Complained to Amazon UK and received a full £79.00 refund.
  • big b.
    il tell you what you previous posters and fucking fucktards! i was charged,the 79 quid without consent,and anybody who wants to meet me and tell me otherwise il fucking rip your fucking heads off and piss down your pipes,fucking no life do gooders,guess what.........fuck off!!
  • Sharon H.
    THANK YOU! Despite some of the caustic comments posted here I am not an idiot and had clicked on this offer by mistake, I was simply trying to claim free postage for my purchase. I use Amazon UK rarely, just to send gifts easily to young relatives as I am overseas in Australia. The Prime offer popped up during my checkout at the option for free postage and I simply thought it was some new thing for that. So thank you so much for posting this information, even the best of us make mistakes. The £79 charge actually cost me $178.51 AUD. I am therefore very grateful to have followed the advice in your post and claimed my refund. I might add to others posting negative comments, that if you have nothing worthwhile to contribute to other people's posts except idiotic comments, think better of it in future. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Thank you sincerely for my treasure.
  • Simon R.
    I accidentally signed up for PRIME. No, I did NOT press any fucking buttons with the word "PRIME" on. There were PRIME buttons everywhere, they were proliferating like measles, and I was doing my best to avoid them. Then, on the final screen when I was about to press the "Buy books now" button, there were some postal options and one of them said "FREE 1-day delivery." It clearly did NOT say "PRIME" because I was totally aware of Amazon PRIME and was specifically trying to avoid it. Anyway, I pressed the "FREE 1-day delivery" button, the one which did NOT say "PRIME", so imagine my surprise when the web site immediately said "You have signed up for Amazon PRIME". Several "What the FUCK?"s and a couple of "You can not be serious"s later, I got google to tell me how to cancel immediately. C'mon guys, there's something very wrong when I can be specifically trying to avoid PRIME and _STILL_ manage to get tricked into starting a trial of PRIME. As a further refinement, they say "free one-month trial" repeatedly, but it isn't even remotely obvious that you have to actively choose NOT to be with PRIME for more than one month.
  • Mitch
    i would suggest that many of the people defending Amazon over this scam are possibly employees! Fuck u Amazon you have scored a home goal
  • Migs A.
    I just got stung by this blatant theft by Amazon. Let me give you the picture of how this occurred and then tell me if this is not blatantly theft and misleading. Just before Xmas 2015 (yes they are STILL getting away with this) I purchased a monitor stand for my PC monitors which was recommended by a friend. He sent me the link and I purchased said item. Now during the ordering page I was asked to pay f£45 and odd change for the item and then to pick my delivery method. One of them was next day FREE delivery as a valued Amazon customer. Well thank you very much Amazon I take that one even though I could also have free 3-5 working day delivery. My next page is to complete my billing info and payment details showing my total balance for said purchase. £45 GB NOT £122 because I had just added any other item or service like Amazon Prime. So time goes by and I fin d a mouse for my son that is perfect as he is ambidextrous and have the luck of having a discount voucher for it for 50% off. I make the order like so many I have done before and am awaiting delivery. This morning my wife comes at me like a freight train asking WTF is this £79 for amazon I thought the mouse was only a tenner. I am swearing blind that I know nothing about it and even take screenshots of my paypal and amazon statements which show any payments/orders I have made. Both statements clearly show there is NO charges for an amazon prime service and even worse I don't even have an email confirming ANY renewal charge. Now ofc I am pissed and not in a clear frame of mind so I call my bank and truly I was amazed at the ladies casual response to this isue. She explained to me exactly what this payment was and how it happened and then informs me that it is extremely common. She then tells me not to worry and to call Amazon (she provides me with their number) to get the refund fully reimbursed. The scary thing is THIS IS AS COMMON AS A COLD and no governing body has kicked their ass for this crap. Anyways... I call up give the poor guy on the other end of the phone an ear ache and get my refund and specifically tell him I revoke the use of my private data to them and to NEVER contact me again bar the email to confirm my refund. He kindly asks if it wouyld be okay for him to send me another email asking about the service he gave. Which in all honesty I completed because he was good at his job and deserved the recognition for putting up with the crap I gave him through no fault of his own. Now my question is this: Upon reading up on this and seeing how long this blatant scam has been going on and STILL is to the point where your bank talks of it like it's having a chat about the weather and no one in authority has stamped down on amazon's faces and MADE them strop this blatant theft of the publics money just so they can get interest payments for those 5 working days it gets our money back is beyond me. NO where in our statement of account or payment screen does it mention paying for a Amazon Prime Subscription so when you are clicking the COMFIRM PAYMENT buttion we are confirming buying the mouse, TV bracket or what ever. NOTHING ELSE. So how the hell can the LEGALLY be taking money from our accounts. We gave our billing info for the item purchase NOT their crap TV service. COME ON Mr or Mrs MP, Trading Standards, EU rep. Do ya job and look into this because when it starts to affect people not making their Rent, car food payment because they had no idea of this charge and didn't budget for it, what will happen. More unexpected charges, more debt more stress.

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