Amazon Tries To Build Loyalty Through Shipping Club

from the interesting-ideas... dept

Amazon certainly isn’t afraid to try out new ideas to build long term sales. Jeff Bezos has famously stuck by its “free shipping for over $25” plan, despite criticism from Wall Street. Analysts are afraid it cuts into margins too much. Bezos responds that it increases sales. However, free shipping apparently isn’t enough, so Bezos is testing out a new idea that is designed to make buyers more loyal to Amazon. Called Amazon Prime, customers can pay a $79 annual fee and getting shipping perks. While they obviously could still just get the regular free shipping — that often takes a while. The new program gives free two-day shipping, and much cheaper overnight shipping. Of course, it hasn’t taken long for some people to start calculating how many items you’d need to order in a year for this to make sense. Of course, it’s even more complicated, because it’s really how many items you’d need to order that you really want there very quickly against how many you’d order that you’ll be just fine if they show up in a week. While it’s an interesting idea, it seems that $80 is a pretty high price to pay — and only those who order an awful lot and need it quickly are going to be interested. Still, how long will it take for others (or maybe Amazon itself) to modify this sort of loyalty program to make customers feel compelled to shop only in one place? Update: Ah yes, the company also announced this just hours before missing earnings. Think Bezos is trying to send a message to Wall Street?


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Comments on “Amazon Tries To Build Loyalty Through Shipping Club”

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588 Comments
Bob says:

Re: money taken out of my bank acct without my o.k

I just checked my bank account and found this $79 charge as well.

My wife has used Amazon quiet often in the past, and now that WILL come to an end.

I’m suprised a business like Amazon has allowed a shady practice like this to exist in their service. I would think that return business would be worth more to them than a one time (and final) payment of 79 bucks!

Another one bites the dust!!

Joy Gooden says:

we also see an unauthorized charge of $79

We got stung also. We did not purposely authorize this charge. Maybe Amazon has some sneaky button that you accept this service charge when you think you’re just looking at your shipping or other orders.

We also checked our our Amazon account activity and did not see this charge. Also, we always get an email saying that we’ve ordered something that shows the cost and shipping charges. We didn’t get any email indicating this charge. This makes me very upset. It seems Amazon is trying to pull a fast one and sneak buy a charge. They must not want you to see it. We just happened to see it by looking at our online bank statement. This may cause us to use Amazon a whole lot less.

Nanne Olds says:

I have also been charged $79 with no request on my part and absolutely no notice from Amazon. I didn’t even know about this “prime shipping club” until I found the $79 on my credit card statement! This is clearly VERY questionnable activity on the part of Amazon and, at best, shows Amazon is operating, at least with respect to this shipping club, in a very shoddy manner.

david rose says:

Amazon prime shipping charge $79 without knowing!

Me too !! I ordered on line but it was not made clear that their was a charge for being part of the club! This is sneakily saying delivery is free by joining a club but not clearly in BOLD PRINT stating that there is a charge for the service! A company like Amazon should not be trying to cheat there customers like this!

negative bank acount says:

why did they do this to us?

I got up this morning, checked my bank acount and found a negative balance!!! I have no idea what this amazon loyalty club even is!!! Has anyone been able to get there money credited back to there acout if so please let me know!!! If there is a nuber to call PLEASE I beg someone to let me know!!!!!

Thanks!

patrick says:

prime time to cancel

same thing happened to my fiance an me. if you go to the help page on the left there is a link under “shipping and delivery” labeled “amazon prime.” once you go to that link one of the options is cancelling your account. we just did it and it said that it could take 24-48 hours to cancel if “there are no qualifiying purchases.” so as we try very hard to remember what the hell buttons we pushed over the last few weeks, we are hoping that this will actually cancel the membership. if that is not good enough you can click on the link for “phone contact” and then amazon calls you. its weird, and it already feels like a terminal hold situation but we will let you know what happens.

p

patrick says:

mission accomplished

i was on the phone with customer support and she was obviously refrencing some email during our conversation. so i said “well, if you are getting emails about this from corporate there must be some system in place to refund the money.” i know, i am tough as hell. ha ha ha. she said that it was one of those three months free and then charge you deals and because we cancelled (read above post) without “using” the membership the refund has been initiated. i have to say she was very nice and i think that any force applied to someone answering the phone will yield you the results you want. i would get in on this early before they have a big meeting on how they are going to stop being easy and start trying to sell you on the idea. good luck!!!

Cindy says:

Thank you Patrick/Get a REFUND

WOW, thanks Patrick. I followed your instructions to the letter and you are absolutely right, it was painless and I am getting a refund. I, like everyone else was shocked at the $79.00 charge but the young lady that I spoke with was really nice as well. Again thanks for your help. All others seeking to get their money back…see Patrick’s post, maybe it can help you as it as helped me. Thanks
Cindy

Jerry says:

Phone Number

I saw the $79 charge as well and went to the web site after reading other entries. I then found the phone link which I put in my phone number and then a representive called me w/in 60 seconds.

The phone number is under the help section of the prime link.

It is kind of a wierd phone procedure, but did work.

good luck

I then receive the following e-mail.

Subscriptions Cancelled Notification

Hello from Amazon.com.

We’re writing to confirm that your Amazon Prime subscription has been cancelled at your request. Your membership benefits have now ended.

As an Amazon Prime subscriber, you have enjoyed free Two-Day Shipping and upgraded Overnight Shipping for only $3.99 on millions of eligible items. If you wish to subscribe in the future, please visit our online subscription pages:

http://www.amazon.com/prime

Thank you for trying Amazon Prime and shopping at Amazon.com.

Best regards,

Amazon.com Customer Service
http://www.amazon.com

debi says:

Amazon charged my card for Prime Shipping subscrip

I spent one hour today trying to find out what I might have bought from Amazon for $79.00 after receiving my Amazon card invoice. I usually do not spend that much at Amazon so I thought perhaps I used the card for another online purchase for my company…even though I couldn’t remember any. Finally, after not finding any charge for that amount ~ I called my card company and ask what the bill was for. The representative told me that he knew what it was for ~ because another lady had called earlier with the same charge. It was a charge for Amazon’s Prime Shipping subscription. I told him that I didn’t order it and that I know for sure because I would never order anything like that. He said that I could dispute the charge. I told him that I would contact Amazon. But after looking online for a phone number to call Amazon and not finding one ( imagine that!) So, I called back my card company to dispute the charge. Once I had the dispute rep on the phone and explained what happened he said that he could dispute the charge. I ask if my card would be credited immediately so that I would not get any late fees or charges for being late on the payment as it was due on November 5th. He told me that he would call an Amazon representative while I was on the phone ( I guess they get that special phone number) and the next thing I know a very nice female representative from “Amazon” who in a very round about way told me that somehow I must have signed up for the Prime Shipping subscription. I told her that I doupt that happened unless Amazon tagged it on to an order somehow via very, very small print. I told her that it looks like I was just charged for something that I did not order, need or want. So she told me that she would credit my card and cancel my subscription. Then I decided to do a search online and see if anyone else had this happen especially after remembering what the first rep told me that another customer had the the same unathorized charge earlier in the same day. I run two businesses and this is wrong and it seems from all the comments here that these are intentional unauthorized charges.

Willo says:

Doesn't look like much loyalty is being engendered

Count me among the victims of the Amazon Prime Shipping fraud. I haven’t paid the $79 that my card was charged, and won’t. But I anticpate a hassle.
I suggest that folks never allow their credit card to be retained by the system for “one click” ordering. Of course if you give your credit card number at all you may be targeted for this scam. Always check your bills!

Dale says:

Amazon Prime Membership

I had on my calendar that I needed to cancel this by December 28th…x days after I signed up….to avoid being charged. Evidently their records said the 19th and by the 21st it was on my card billing transaction list. I went online to “manage my account” and “manage my Amazon prime” where they have a button to “cancel membership”. I wasn’t betting that this action alone would get me a refund of the charge. So it took a while to find a customer service phone number…in fact I never did, but if you look under “customer returns” they have a java script button where you click on it and then enter your own phone number and when you want to be called, like “right now” and your phone immediately rings and they tell you to wait for the next representative. I explained my situation and she was pleasant, said their records were different than mine but did say she would process a credit of the charge. OK, so I’m paranoid, so I also clicked on the “dispute the charge” on my credit card that this was charged to just in case the credit doesn’t show up quickly.

Henning says:

Cancellation/refund without a problem

I have always considered Amazon a guiding light when it came to Internet shopping. The way Amazon has handled the so-called “Prime Club” has been a serious ethical slip of the foot. However, they cancelled my membership and has promised to refund the money (which, of course, I believe they will). Incidentally — in spite of what customer service writes — I have used the prime service for shipments, I just wasn’t aware that I was being charged.

This was the answer I got:

“Thanks for writing to us at Amazon.com.

I’ve looked into your account and verified that you have signed up for a free-trial membership to Amazon Prime, and your credit card was not charged $79 when you signed up.

At the end of the free trial period, we will automatically convert your trial membership to a full 12-month membership at a cost of $79 (that is 12 months in addition to the period of free membership you received).

I have verified that your Amazon Prime membership renewed
automatically on January 01, 2007 and your renewal payment method was charged $79 for continued membership.

As you did not intend to renew your membership, I have cancelled your Amazon Prime membership. Our records indicate that you have not used your Amazon Prime membership benefits, so I have requested a refund of $79 for the membership fee.

The refund should be processed within the next 2-3 business days and will appear as a credit on your next credit card billing statement.

Please know that we value your business, and we hope to see you again soon at Amazon.com.”

anonymous says:

Bad marketing practices will harm customer retenti

First, this site cannot refund your money. You must log into your amazon account and cancel the prime service before you place an order and use the service, or speak to someone in a call center and cancel your service. 1 (866) 577 5820.

Second, the practice of using opt-in marketing with terms and charges hidden as well as they possibly can sickens me. There is nothing free about Amazon Prime. $79.00 Free. Lying on one page, and putting a link to another page where the truth is told is still a lie. I design e-commerce sites for a living and every time a marketing person wants to put something like this on one of the websites I’m working on, I point out the negitive impact that it will have on users that are not aware of it. What has happened is a corruption of what is known as opt-in or “permission marketing.” Permission marketing is marketing centered around obtaining customer consent to receive information from a company. The problem is that to obtain consent, the person giving consent needs to see and comprehend fully what they are consenting to. When the details that would make that consent less likely to occur are hidden or misrepresented, this is where a problem occurs. Amazon has designed a system in such a way that you don’t know that you are buying prime service unless you are very very careful and read multiple pages of material. In addition, they make every attempt to discourage you from cancelling the service and also make it as difficult as they can to cancel the service once it is used for the first time.

Third, I encourage you to remove all of your billing details from sites, like Amazon, that store you credit card information. If you remove your credit cards, they cannot sign you up automatically since you did not give them permission to save your credit card details. That would actually be fraud.

Fourth, I encourage everyone to dispute the charge on their credit card so that Amazon.com’s charge back ratio is pushed to a percentage where their merchant account fees become higher. This is the only message that will get through to their executives that this type of marketing scheme is nefarious at best and just plain ethically wrong.

Jackie says:

Amazon still tricking people into Prime Club Membe

I have to say that whenever I make online purchases the bulk of them come from Amazon. I usually opt for the Free Shipping over $25 and don’t mind waiting for my order. However I was “window” shopping the other day with Amazon and noticed a link at the top of my screen asking if I wanted to try the Amazon Prime Club Membership, which would included free 2-day shipping. I clicked on the link at didn’t really notice anything stating that I would be paying $79 once my 30 day trial was up. It has been a month and I just noticed the charge on my account. Needless to say I called my bank and was informed that this was a Direct Marketing Subscription which basically means I didn’t enter my Credit Card informatmion, it was automagically entered for me. Thanks for the heads up Amazon!!

I did get a number to call (1-866-557-2820) and the guy on the other end was more than cooperative with assisting me on getting my FULL refund. I have learned a lesson and will be more cautious when clicking away. Happy Shopping!

Dan says:

Same here... tell me again what button did I press

I hardly ever look over my credit card bill… but I did today since it was higher than expected… and I found the AMZ*Prime Club 866-557-2820 NV Charge of $79.00 as well…

That was a surprise if I had ever seen one from a major corporation… I don’t see how in the world did I ever sign up for this _ _ _ _…. and I’m not exactly technologically incompetent neither.

At least they gave me my money back. I don’t know if I can do business with them anymore though…

Boyd Rahier says:

AMZ crooks

Today is May 1st, 2007, and they are still trying to rip people off. I just received my Visa statement, and there was an unauthorized charge for $79. I do not know how they got hold of my charge card number. Then, if you want to take on a real chorse, try to find these f—–s in order to send them an e-mail complaint. It’s like they do not exist. Boyd Rahier

Khaled Nasseredin (user link) says:

Same 79$ charge, Amazon have cancelled the number

I am also one of the Amazon victims of the 79 $ charge. All I did is that I searched for that charge on the Internet till I found this site. I called the number mentioned in the replies above, but I found that the number has been cancelled by owner and no longer valid. I searched on the Internet to find any number of Amazon support till I found that number 1-800-201-7575 . I used it and after a 10 minute call the operator notified me that my order has been cancelled. I am really surprised they made that charge and wanted to have me in their shipping club although I would not be able at any time to make use of it as I am living in Egypt and never had in my life an address in the US. This prime club is only valid within the US

jennifer says:

It IS fraud and we should all STOP using AMAZON.CO

This also happened to me and the $79 was debited directly from my bank account on 4-25-07. I called customer service immediately and the employee tried to convince me that I had placed an order at a time when there was a ‘little’ box on the page that indicated I was also signing up for thus thing. NOT. I hadn’t used Amazon.com since last christmas. At the same time, she acknowledged she was refunding my money. When I told her she should be concerned about participating in a fraud and that there were very likely old people with nominal fixed incomes who are being robbed in this manner, she said I was being abusive (I was not abusive at all – very matter of fact actually). Anyway, she disconnected me. I phone again tonight and it has been verified that I will get my money back. The latter is hardly the issue for me though – the issue is doing business in a way that is patently criminal and which uses technology to trick the unwitting who do not check their bank records or who, when they review them, assume it must have been a valid charge. Amazon does not even list its brand name with the banks when it takes these charges! I would encourage anyone reading this to take it very seriously and to contact their state consumer protection agency with details in addition to seeking their money back as this would (if anything will) potentially promote an end to the fraud. You could also contact television or radio producers if they might be interested. Finally, I contacted a law firm in Chicago that focuses on class action lawsuits. You can search for Edelman & Combs. I completed their on-line email ‘contact’ us with my info but I live out of the U.S. at present. It would be better to have U.S. residents as class action representatives. Anyway, enough said. I will no longer use Amazon.com and I hope you all will do the same, at a minimum!

Felisha says:

I spoke with customer service!

I just spoke with customer service, and they gave me no problems and told me that my money would be back in my account within 2 days.
We’ll see if it’s true, but I found them very helpful. She didn’t ask any questions, I just told her I discovered the charge and didn’t agree with it and wanted to be taken off the “prime club” and have the money returned.
I used the 866-577-2820 number. (I just had to be a little patient until speaking with someone).
Good luck!

Joe Customer says:

Re: AMZ Club

Ragab,

Please post your bank account number, credit card number, social security number (if you have one) phone number, home and business address, passport number, PIN number, and any other number that may help us here.

Until you do that, and even after you do that, this website cannot refund to you as it is NOT AMAZON.COM.

Thank you, looking forward to your bank account.

susan kipping says:

I am so angry

I have spent all week trying to figure out what the $79.00 charge on my bank account was. I am sooooooo angry that Amazon did this without even warning me. This is theft. I have called the numbers that are listed above, but they do not work. I will keep trying. Thank you all for posting your comments. This was very helpful. I will never use free shipping again, because it isn’t free.

susan kipping says:

I called and got my money back

I did get through on 866-577-5820 and the woman that answered the phone is giving me my money back. I told her I did not authorize anyone at Amazon to sign me up for anything and it was never brought to my attention. I feel sorry for the people that will not be looking closely to their bank statements and will lose this money. Thank you again, everyone, for posting your comments.

Dee Villarrubia says:

Amazon Prime is crooked. I feel cheated and angry!

Amazon Prime is crooked. I feel cheated and angry!!!! Amazon just lost a good customer. this is a scam.I spent one hour today trying to find out what I might have bought from Amazon for $79.00 after receiving my Amazon card invoice. I usually do not spend that much at Amazon so I thought perhaps I used the card for another online purchase for my company…even though I couldn’t remember any. Finally, after not finding any charge for that amount ~ I called my card company and ask what the bill was for. The representative told me that he knew what it was for ~ because another lady had called earlier with the same charge. It was a charge for Amazon’s Prime Shipping subscription. I told him that I didn’t order it and that I know for sure because I would never order anything like that. He said that I could dispute the charge. I told him that I would contact Amazon. But after looking online for a phone number to call Amazon and not finding one ( imagine that!) So, I called back my card company to dispute the charge. Once I had the dispute rep on the phone and explained what happened he said that he could dispute the charge. I ask if my card would be credited immediately so that I would not get any late fees or charges for being late on the payment as it was due on November 5th. He told me that he would call an Amazon representative while I was on the phone ( I guess they get that special phone number) and the next thing I know a very nice female representative from “Amazon” who in a very round about way told me that somehow I must have signed up for the Prime Shipping subscription. I told her that I doupt that happened unless Amazon tagged it on to an order somehow via very, very small print. I told her that it looks like I was just charged for something that I did not order, need or want. So she told me that she would credit my card and cancel my subscription. Then I decided to do a search online and see if anyone else had this happen especially after remembering what the first rep told me that another customer had the the same unathorized charge earlier in the same day. I run two businesses and this is wrong and it seems from all the comments here that these are intentional unauthorized charges.
I just saw the same charge on my card.. I am amazed and now I am really NOT going to shop in Amazon anymore obviously they are getting desperate to stoop to such a low dirty tactic to generate more revenue.. Bye bye amazon after being a customer for nearly 5 years!
I ordered a few things as gifts. When I checked my account, I found I also had been charged this amount and I did not authorize it. Did this occur when I clicked the ORDER button? I’m contacting Amazon and my bank on Monday to get this resolved. If I can’t, you can add my name to any class action suit.
Second, the practice of using opt-in marketing with terms and charges hidden as well as they possibly can sickens me. There is nothing free about Amazon Prime. $79.00 Free. Lying on one page, and putting a link to another page where the truth is told is still a lie. I design e-commerce sites for a living and every time a marketing person wants to put something like this on one of the websites I’m working on, I point out the negitive impact that it will have on users that are not aware of it. What has happened is a corruption of what is known as opt-in or “permission marketing.” Permission marketing is marketing centered around obtaining customer consent to receive information from a company. The problem is that to obtain consent, the person giving consent needs to see and comprehend fully what they are consenting to. When the details that would make that consent less likely to occur are hidden or misrepresented, this is where a problem occurs. Amazon has designed a system in such a way that you don’t know that you are buying prime service unless you are very very careful and read multiple pages of material.
I was “window” shopping the other day with Amazon and noticed a link at the top of my screen asking if I wanted to try the Amazon Prime Club Membership, which would included free 2-day shipping. I clicked on the link at didn’t really notice anything stating that I would be paying $79 once my 30 day trial was up. It has been a month and I just noticed the charge on my account. Needless to say I called my bank and was informed that this was a Direct Marketing Subscription which basically means I didn’t enter my Credit Card informatmion, it was automatically entered for me.
It IS fraud and we should all STOP using AMAZON. The employee tried to convince me that I had placed an order at a time when there was a ‘little’ box on the page that indicated I was also signing up for thus thing. NOT. He acknowledged he was refunding my money. I told him she should be concerned about participating in a fraud and that there were very likely old people with nominal fixed incomes who are being robbed in this manner!
DEE VILLARRUBIA 210-400-9750 cell
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20050202/1324236.shtml

Mrs Valle says:

Please find attached a URL where you may have all numbers and information to access AMAZON, we just called to fix the prime club mistake but we were told to call back in two hours since they are upgrading their system.

http://clicheideas.com/amazon.htm

we used the toll free for US and Canada: 800 201 7575 and then pressed 7.

You must have with you your account information:
name,
email address,
last digit of credit card and expiring date,
and billing address.

Good luck!, We will try again later.

Mrs Valle says:

Amazon Prime Club $79.00 dollar charge

We have finally fixed the mistake (check comments 43 and 48) They are very efficient and understandable. It took only 10 minutes to get the cancellation and the refund.
We advise you to call and find out personally for your case.
Use the (800) 201 7575 number, then 7.
Thanks for letting us share our experience with you.
Bye.

D. Addison says:

Amazon Prime Club

Awful practice by Amazon.com. I just happened to check my credit card statement and as others found saw that it was higher than usual. This was odd because I’ve been paying off. Anyway, I found the $79 charge with AMZ* next to it. I called that 1800 201 7575 number. The guy was asking when was the last time I ordered from Amazon… (last October!!). I told him that doesn’t matter, end result is that I wanted the charge reversed immediately. He did and said the credit will appear on my next credit card statement. Does anyone know if there is a way to check if this is done before next months statement? I am considering emailing the media outlets about this. Even though we know we should, many credit card customers don’t look at their bills, especially if they are utilizing one of those automatic payment systems.

Incredibly entertaining says:

wait, I have to pay for stuff that costs money??!?

I love the people who are surprised that getting unlimited two day shipping actually costs money. If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true. Simple concept, but incredibly difficult to grasp apparently…

p.s. I love how people are playing around and still saying this is amazon.com, haha. brilliant comedy… it’s a joke right?

Bazemore says:

Unauthorized Charge

I did not order this Amazon Prime feature, I just took a look at it but did not sign up for it. I am a regular Amazon user and this makes me second think about continuing business with them for this $79.00 charge. Thank God I look at my bank statement often for I would not have been aware of this charge. We all should be credited for this and give us a year free charge for shipping. I am shocked at Amazon, I have used them for years.

eliran says:

haw to get your money bak

http://www.amazon.com/help/
Write an email to Amazon.com Customer Service
I got an answer within 1 day.

This is the replay:

“I am sorry for any misunderstanding regarding the charge of $79.00
from your account. This amount was charged for Amazon Prime
Membership.

I’ve looked into your account and verified that you have signed up
for a free-trial membership to Amazon Prime, and your credit card
was not charged $79 when you signed up for this membership

Please note that at the end of the free trial period, we will
automatically upgrade your trial membership to a full 12-month
membership at a cost of $79 (that is 12 months in addition to the
period of free membership you received).

However, your Amazon Prime membership has been cancelled.

Our records indicate that you have not used your Amazon Prime
membership benefits, so I have requested a refund of $79 for the
membership fee. The refund should be processed within the next 2-3
business days and will appear as a credit on your next credit card
billing statement.

Please know that we value your business, and we hope to see you
again soon at Amazon.com.”

Thanks to Amazon Customer Service you can get a full refund

Eliran

eliran (user link) says:

Haw to get your money back

Go to Amazon Help section and write an email to Customer Service.

I got an answer within 1 day, this is the replay:

“Greetings from Amazon.com.
I am sorry for any misunderstanding regarding the charge of $79.00
from your account. This amount was charged for Amazon Prime
Membership.

I’ve looked into your account and verified that you have signed up
for a free-trial membership to Amazon Prime, and your credit card
was not charged $79 when you signed up for this membership.

Please note that at the end of the free trial period, we will
automatically upgrade your trial membership to a full 12-month
membership at a cost of $79 (that is 12 months in addition to the
period of free membership you received).

However, your Amazon Prime membership has been cancelled.

Our records indicate that you have not used your Amazon Prime
membership benefits, so I have requested a refund of $79 for the
membership fee. The refund should be processed within the next 2-3
business days and will appear as a credit on your next credit card
billing statement.

Please know that we value your business, and we hope to see you
again soon at Amazon.com.”

Thanks to Amazon Customer Service you can get your money back.
I have not signed up for a free-trial membership at Amazon Prime by knowledge, but to avoid this situation in the future I think they have to stop charge automatically.

ELIRAN

Pete says:

this happened twice

I have no clear memory of this Amazon Prime business, but apparently it’s been going on awhile. After seeing the $79 charge on today’s bill I checked my past statements, and sure enough, a year ago, I was billed another $79 that I hadn’t noticed. Very odd that a reputable company like Amazon would operate this way, giving no warnings, no receipts, nothing. They kept me on hold for quite awhile, but then told me they’d refund the entire $158. I think they know they’ve been naughty.

Irene says:

Prime Shipping Club

I too wac charged $79.00 and was completely mystified as to what the charge was for….until I Googled “Prime Shipping Club” and found out that the charge was from Amazon. Then I remembered that I did sign up with Amazon a year ago for free shipping on purchases…and that this service was called “Prime”. I buy so many books from Amazon that I’m sure that last years membership more than paid for itself. I don’t know if the same will be true this year. If it doesn’t work for me this year….I’ll just cancel when they send me the e-mail next year. Yes, they did send me notice of renewal about two weeks ago.

Judy Woo says:

BOGUS Prime Shipping

I just fired off an email to their customer service and they had better credit my card or they have seen the last of my purchases. They really have some nerve doing this to people. Enclosed is a copy of my email to them:

“You have charged my Capital One credit card for $79.00 and I DO NOT WANT your Amazon Prime. When ordering something a few weeks ago, I did LOOK at your offer (how could I miss it when you make it impossible to place an order without your unwanted propaganda popping up everywhere) but I did NOT sign up for your yearly membership. You made it sound like it was a FREE-TRIAL OFFER TO SEE IF I WOULD LIKE IT. Well, I don’t like it one bit. I am a regular customer of Amazon.com (books, DVDs, housewares, etc.) but this makes me wonder if I will continue ordering merchandize from you. I would greatly appreciate it if you would please credit my credit card for the $79.00 you have stolen from my account. You really have a lot of nerve taking this type of transaction on yourself and from what I’m reading online, there are a LOT of people ticked off about this.”

Donna says:

Customer service refunded my account

I, too, was shocked and confused to see the $79 charge for AMZ Prime– a service which I’m sure I never assented to. I called the 800 number and had the charge credited without a problem. Amazon is also reimbursing me for the overdraft fee that I received because of the unauthorized charge.

Barbara J. Collins says:

Surprise charge

I just checked my bank account and also found the $79.00 taken out of my account 2 days ago. Didn’t know who it was and put AMZPrime in my search and it came up with Amazon. went to their site mad and found how to reach them and clicked on their call me right now and sat with the phone in my hand!! The call was immediate, the lady was nice , took my information and cancelled the $79.00 which she said was being put back in my account with interest> She also said that I was being sent an e-mail with the cancelation. Too bad I didn’t get the e-mail with the charges. Have been a member of Amazon for a long time. They say this is to build up a loyal member base. Well they just lost my loyalty! Won’t be ordering any thing more from them.

Sunil Govinnage says:

Amazon dot charges for Prime Club

Hello,

I had a similar charge about which I reported using Amazon.com Customer Service website under other services!

I got a reply confirming that they wold refund $79.00 within 2-3 business days to my credit card.

I’ll wait and see and report back about the outcome.

Sunil Govinnage
AUSTRALIA

Steve says:

I called the 800 number listed in the credit card charge. I casually mentioned all the unhappy people I found on google and the possibility of a class action suit. They canceled the account and supposedly the refund will shop up in a few days.

The most frustrating part was repeating my email address over and over for alomst 10 minutes until the operator finally got it right.

Brian says:

YOU PEOPLE ARE RETARDED

If you morons would read the terms and conditions of the Amazon Prime Club, you would see that you get one month free and it reverts to autobilling you for an annual fee. Did you people HONESTLY think that you would get free 2-day and $3.99 overnight shipping for nothing. You people make me ashamed to be an american. Quit bitching.

Chris (user link) says:

Ladies and Gentlemen

We at TECHDIRT understand your frustration, however, we ask that you stop SPAMMING our website and tell it to someone who can do something about it (maybe amazon?)

We are not amazon.com nor are we affiliated with them. We did not charge $79.00 to your credit card, we cannot refund said charge. Please contact amazon and NOT TECHDIRT to resolve any problems you may have

vijay says:

I am a kind of moron.. The kind who does not read the fine print.
And I was shocked to see $79 charger to my credit card.. Man!. .I would have gone for a 2 day shipping by paying the amount instead.. I am not sure if I’d get the money back [I wont :(].. Anyway to give it a shot, I just sent the Help centre this email.

If anyone has faced this problem before and found a solution, please mail me to amirivija at yahoo dot com.

———————————————————–
Subject: Query regarding the Amazon prime account cancellation and refund of the charged amount.
Dear Sir/Madam,
I had ordered for a HP Pavilion DV6345US Entertainment 15.4″ Notebook PC on June 20. The shipment has been received and I thank you for the same.
I am surprised to see that I have been charged an additional 79$ for the Amazon prime membership. I do not need that membership as I would not be utilizing Amazon Prime Membership [as Amazon does not ship to my address of residence]. Would I get a refund of the charged money if I cancel the membership. I am willing to pay the shipping costs that have been incurred. Could you please help me in this regard? [At present my Amazon prime membership ends on June 20, 2008].
This is my first purchase at Amazon and it would be great if my problem with the charging 79$ to my credit card is mitigated.
Expecting a good service and a quick reply,

Thanking you in anticipation,
Vijay
———————————————————–

Burned and Burning says:

$79 Rip-Off

I sent the following email to customer service at Amazon.com:

This morning upon routinely checking my bank account I discovered an unauthorized charge for $79 from Amazon.com. I checked online to find if anyone else has experienced the same problem and found the following comments (see below). Is this the underhanded, sneaky way you people conduct business at Amazon? Is this the type of reputation you want in today’s business world–to be associated with common internet scammers who seize decent folk’s money in a way they don’t suspect or understand?

As a businessman, I can tell you that these types of antics may pay off in the short term but certainly not on the long term. I wonder who at Amazon authorized the implementation such an unethical policy of bilking its loyal, unsuspecting customers out of their hard-earned assets in such an unscrupulous manner. I have ordered many books, etc., from Amazon.com, and this service might even be worth the cost for me, but in view of the manner in which I was unknowingly charged, I am not interested in doing business with a company that with a quick sleight of hand, bilks me out of $79.

You will probably provide me with some sort of shaky evidence that I authorized the charge in some unknown (to me) manner, but that’s what makes your policy even worse. That’s what business ethics are all about–insuring all parties in a transaction that the customer knows and understands exactly what they are getting for their money–with no surprises. I’m sure that others like me, who have been burned by this practice, will never order another book from Amazon.com. Judging from the number of people who actually took the time to express their disgust with your policy, won’t the vast majority who didn’t report your actions simply decide never to do business with you again. I am certainly planning on informing others of your approved company policies and practices.

Danita Cronkhite says:

Re: $79 Rip-Off

Same here, I Just checked my account and found the charge too. So I decided to see if I could find something on it that’s when I found this forum. One of the comments said to call 866-577-2820 and you would get a refund, so I did that too. The number has been disconnected, I guess I will go into the Amazon web site and see if I can find a number and call them again so I can have it credited back to my account.

I can’t believe that Amazon did this I deal with them all the time, not only did they charge me this $79, but they sent me the wrong book too.

LJ says:

AMZ*Prime Shipping Club

Gutsy move by AMAZON……I guest they think that customers won’t mind if this corporation dips into their money. I know they will say that I authorized it, but I haven’t placed an order in over five months. Time to have all my information taken from AMAZON so this cannot happen again. Lets see if they really replace the money in two to three business days. I wonder if any laws have been broken?

Vblack says:

FRAUD!!!!!!!!!

Same thing with us. Saw the charge online a month after my last order and called them. They sure were quick to refund without argument. Must be getting alot of backlash from this. Never saw a button confirming they could charge me $79.00, anywhere in process. I wonder how many people, don’t notice, don’t call, and Amazon keeps their money. NICE!!! Maybe they were just trying to give good customer service by anticipating our needs. NOT!!!!!

Vblack says:

CALL AND GET YOUR REFUND!!!!

Get your refund, call 866-557-2820. Have your email address that your Amazon account is linked to, your name and mailing address.
Funny, but I was just thinking that if they immediately refund the money, all they get is people bitching and no civil suit. Maybe they thought the possible net gain was worth the extra customer service reps to handle people who did bother to call in and get a refund.

Anne says:

Got the refund!!! But what a shock to see that cha

Thanks to all of you who provided the explanation for this fraud. I was able to cancel.
Even though this was a marketing ploy like many others, my opinion of Amazon as a reasonably safe marketplace just took a dive. I don’t know that I will use Amazon as much as used to. Who’s to say these kinds of things won’t happen with other online sellers…

T.R. says:

I got the charge refunded

I just discovered this $79 charge to my card, and found this site in my attempt to figure out what the code-name on my card statement meant. I too felt duped in paying this. I went to Amazon.com and immediately cancelled the Amazon Prime, and called the number on my statement.

The number, 866-557-2820, is for Amazon’s customer service. I explained that I was not aware of being charged this fee, that I had been under the impression it was a free trial, and wanted that money refunded, thinking it a rather under-handed technique. The rep very simply said the money would be refunded.

jennfer says:

charged & called for refund

i just talked with a representative of amazon costumer service (1-866-216-1072)and requested a refund. the lady was really nice and in less than a minute she canceled the subscription and told that the money will be refund in 3 days. i am really satisfied with the service she gave me & will continuing using amazon.com

P Leigh says:

tricky Prime Shipping Club auto renewal!

Call 866-557-2820 and go through voice prompt maze. Eventually you will reach a kind but slightly beaten down customer service rep who will promptly refund the $79 “Prime Shipping Club” membership fee.
Nice try, Amazon, to seek out other revenue streams but subversive ones like this are definitely bad karma…

Kerri says:

Funny

Funny how so many people can be so stupid to forget to cancel a free trial. I went through the free trial, enjoyed my free trial, then told it to cancel after the free trial. It canceled like it was supposed to. No hassle, nothing. It even let me keep the free trial till the very last day w/o making me remember to cancel it at the last minute. People should pay more attention then these things wouldn’t happen to them.

GoblinJuice says:

Re: Funny

I don’t think these people are stupid, actually. I’m hoping they fall into two categories:

1) They did sign up for Prime, but forgot about it.

2) They did sign up for Prime, but didn’t realize it… because they weren’t paying attention.

I can excuse #1, what with me having the memory of a drunk dog, but I can’t excuse bitching about it here @ TechDirt.

As for #2, I have no sympathy for people that go thru life without PAYING ATTENTION.

Ugh. I feel sorry for Amazon. =(

Dave Sempek says:

Does anyone pay attention?

I signed up for the free trial and canceled it as fully explained in the agreement. I had no issues at all with Amazon and in fact 1 month after the free trial expired I signed up (I’m currently on my second year). This service is great, has saved me a ton of money, and has caused me to purchase much more from Amazon than I would have otherwise. Just last week I had a 50 lb item shipped overnight for $4. That alone would have cost over $100. Don’t blame Amazon if you failed to read the agreement. I found everything to be clearly stated and am very happy with the service.

Don, NJ says:

got my money back

was not sure what the charge was – thanks for clearing it up. Got a hold of customer service and they refunded the $79. I do remember when they offered it, saying that your CC will be charged if you do not cancel. no questions asked and refund confirmed by email. I do wish they gave me notice that they were going to charge the amount, and did not have to find it by looking at my statement.

richard says:

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

i had the same charge! OUTRAGEOUS!

just got off the call with them using their “We’ll call you”. Apparently it’s all been canceled.

thanks for your column!!!
Richard

email-1:
“We’re writing to confirm that your Amazon Prime subscription has been cancelled at your request. Your membership benefits have now ended.”

email-2:
“Our records indicate that you have not used your Amazon Prime membership benefits, so I have requested a refund of $79 for the membership fee. The refund should be processed within the next 2-3 business days and will appear as a credit on your next credit card billing statement.”

email-3:
“We always strive to provide a high level of service, and we would appreciate your feedback. Please let us know if we resolved your inquiry.”

Gary V says:

Amazon Prime Victim

Amazon almost always sends a receipt for sales. The exception to the rule is when they have picked your pocket.

I am too much of a cheapskate to give away $79 for a promise of some future marginal benefit. The charge was applied during a month that I made no purchases. This implies that I was lured into some dark alley and had my pocket picked while I was browsing.

Customer loyalty, my apple!!!

Disgusting behavior! – Gary

Mrs.Micki Pearson (user link) says:

Want my money back!!!!

I have enjoyed purchasing from you. But I don’t think that will happen again. You took $79.00 from my bank account and I would like it back. I am a huge fan of The X-Files. I would like to continue purchasing the series from you, but now I’m affraid to. I can’t afford for you to take that money from me. When I do purchase a series from you it’s like treating myself. Please return that money to me!!! Micki Pearson

Cindy says:

Amazon also took my money!!!

I also found my $79 was taken by Amazon Prime Club. I called the number 800-201-7575, the woman also said I signed up for it online and I paid $38 last June and another $38 last July. I didn’t notice that!!!!! I didn’t authorize anyone to take that money. She said the woney will be refunded within two business days. I am waiting. I hope I will get the money back. If not, I will complain again.

basim (user link) says:

86.02 $ was missing from my visa card by AMZ Club

Hi
I was just checking my visa account in my bank website on
line,and discovered there is 86.02 can $ was missing, the money is sent out for AMAZON Prime Shipping Club, I do not know att all your club, I only was checking the advertisements there, I never ordered item, or authorized anyone to take money from my visa card, I am very surprised
so please I want the money be credited back, before I take the case with bank to investigate this fraud. all I need my money back to close the case,with regards: basim

basim (user link) says:

86.02 $ was missing from my visa card by AMZ Club

Hi
I was just checking my visa account in my bank website on
line,and discovered there is 86.02 can $ was missing, the money is sent out for AMAZON Prime Shipping Club, I do not know att all your club, I only was checking the advertisements there, I never ordered item, or authorized anyone to take money from my visa card, I am very surprised
so please I want the money be credited back, before I take the case with bank to investigate this fraud. all I need my money back to close the case,with regards: basim

NoMore Amazon says:

nomore amazon

Whoever thought about this type of scamming marketing ought to be fired.
I spent a good 1 hour trying to recall what I bought for the last 10 days until i found this website and knowing the charges belong to Amazon Prime Club that I am not even know when I signed the approval.

Amazon, tell you what your program works like computer virus and I am not going to buy anything from amazon ever. Your stupid program can only scam those people who do not look at their statement every month.

Fire that idiot who put up such lousy marketing program!!

MOM says:

DELL

That’s not true: Overnight, next-day, or any other shipping
depends on the KEY WORD “IF WE HAVE IT IN STOCK!!!” I fail for this,paid Dell for overnight/nextday delivery: After yes 2,(two) weeks I called and demanded a refund and NO Product. What was dell’s reply? Read the agreement (fine print!) My Reply: ” I DID, AND YOU OWE ME: YOU READ THE AGREEMENT; ItSayS: DELL CHOOSES THE SHIPPER DELL IS RESPONSIBLE…BLA BLA BLA” WELL, I received my refund, but garbage like this is not only an annoyance, but VERY TIME CONSUMING TO DEAL WITH. My time might be most/more vaulable than all these …you get it, All companies are scamming. WHY? WHY? Because we are playing the idiots: FIGHTBACK!!!

J_Gets says:

Not a scam

I also saw this membership program, and understood very clearly that it was a subscription to which I would be signing up to use by joining Amazon Prime. This was even in the very early days of the program, so I know that it was not misleading even when it started. I had to buy a large number of books and other items that I needed to get quickly. I subscribed, bought all of my things, received them, then canceled the subscription before I was charged. Easy, painless, and very clear terms for those who take the time to read what they are agreeing to do.

Viswanathan Venkataraman says:

Amazon $79 debit

Yesterday I received SMS to say I have been debited $79. and the description was AMZ*PRIMESHIPPINGCLUB.

I did not even know what it was and what for. Thanks to internet I googled and got this blog from which I understood thi sdebit is from Amazon. How can they do it without asking and why wouldn’t they send a email that they have charged $79/-

Paul Dill says:

Amazon Prime

I wake up this morning to an unhappy wife wondering what this $79 charge to our account is. We call, a lot more upset by the time we get through and finding all of these web pages stating what Amazon Prime is an you have to sign up for it. I assure my wife and the gentleman on the phone that we did not sign up. He looks at our account, and states “oh, you were accidentally signed up.” His exact words. Accidentally? So Amazon is apparently hitting a lot of people who have account with them, and hoping that some will stay.

No notice, no information, no nothing? Just $79 please.

They have refunded the money after discovering they’re “accident”, however I’m wondering how many accidents they have made, you may want to check your accounts and if you’re here, they probably got you too.

I used to really like Amazon, but this new “accident” that they’re trying to build loyalty with, may have just cost them mine.

Aleta Kennedy says:

HOW TO CANCEL ON THE AMAZON SITE

I just found out today I had been charged and when I went to the Amazon site the first time, I couldn’t find how or where this Prime Club was located. When I searched for it on the website, it didn’t bring up anything but books. After I found this site and learned so many other people had also been ripped off, I went back and found out how to access it. Go to the site, go to “My Account,” scroll down to “Subscription Management,” and you’ll see a link to “Manage Your Amazon Prime Account.” I found out they had charged me last year as well as this year, and I didn’t have a clue about how I got involved. Words like “decptive” and “fraudulent” come to mind, and from now on, I’ll be using other websites…

Chase says:

Unauthorized Charge

Like everyone else, an unauthorized charge of $79 has shown up on my billing statement. I ordered a few items from Amazon about a month ago and did not select any special shipping options yet htis charge still showed up. I am trying to contact Amazon through e-mail and phone calls to dispute the charge.

Silk Soymilk says:

Its kind a odd but you can even out this prime shi

For all the morons, yankee fans and people who suffer from cyber-gonorrhea here it is:

This is how you do it –
a) Go to “Help” (top (almost) right of page) at Amazon.com
b) Click on “Amazon Prime” on the left Panel
c) Click on “Can I cancel my membership to Amazon Prime?”
d) Click on “Manage Your Prime Account”
d) Figure out the rest of this shit.

Its simple to cancel this shit – so please dont break your already spam-fucked head on this! relax and have some soymilk 😉

Ryan says:

Fixed

I read the advise hear after i say the same account withdrawl. I called 1-866-557-2820 right away.They person on the other phone explained to me that I had not canceled the service in time evm though I don’t recall ever sighing up for it or hearing about, but the explained to me that since I have never used it at then they would replace the full $79 withn two business days. The process took about 2-3 minutes and he was ver polite. Simple problem to solve, just call and be polite.

Zhenyu Zhu says:

79$ of AMZ Prime Club

I WAS JUST CHECKING MY BANK ACCT. ON LINE AND SEE THAT $79.OO HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT FOR AMAZON PRIME SHIPPING CLUB. ALTHOUGH I HAVE ORDERED THREE BOOKS FROM AMAZON WHICH WERE SENT TO ME VIA PRIME SHIPPING AS A SALE PROMOTION, I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER REGISTERED AS A MEMBER OF PRIME SHIPPING AND HAVE NEVER AUTHORIZED THIS. IF I HAVE HAPPENED TO CLICK ON ANY KEY ON THAT MADE ME A MEMBER AUTOMATICALLY, I WANT TO CANCEL MY MEMBER SHIP AND WANT MY 79$ BACK. I WILL RETURN THE SHIPPING COST OF THE THREE BOOKS TO YOU IF NECESSARY. THANK YOU!

Ingrid Linhart (user link) says:

AMZ Prime Club

Hello,
I am in the same situation. Just checked my account and here it was! I did not even realize right away, when I copied it in Google I found your forum, thanks a lot. I think I saw a cross for a free month, thought I would not go on anyway, but I forgot all about it! And I am sitting in Austria in the moment, so it is even more wasted as they cannot send that fast to here anyway. Is there a way out? It looks as 184 has found one. I will contact him. I don’t want to leave Amazon completely, I just have set up my book store new: http://www.book-pegasus.biz/.

Hello from Austria and good luck to all of you, Ingrid

Slim Turnpike says:

Re: AMZ Prime Club

Same thing happened to me. In my case it was my credit card company that contacted me about a charge yesterday for AMZ*PrimeClub with a location in Nevada. I had no idea what is was (Amazon could have used a more transparent code, couldn’t they?), so the card company concluded it was fraud and cancelled my card!

So not only did Amazon rip me off, they’ve caused great inconvenience in having to secure a new card, get a new number, re-do automatic billing with that card and so on.

At this point I still had no idea who “AMZ*Prime Club” was.

I thought that was the end of it, but today I noticed the same charge appearing on a second credit card of mine. I guess when the first card company rejected the charge, Amazon simply transferred the charge to another card (yes both cards were listed on my account).

This time I googled for AMZ*PrimeClub and found this thread. Aha I said. So I called Amazon and cancelled the charge on my second card. They did try to give me a runaround first.

I think this will backfire badly on Amazon. I always trusted them as an online seller before but I know feel that trust has been betrayed, twice in a row. I will be looking elsewhere for the items I used to buy at Amazon.

Glenn Fleishman (profile) says:

Yeah, this happened to me back in the 1990s with a

I was running a set of forum as an early Web host for Peachpit Press, and in some forum on Windows, one person posted a comment about having trouble canceling AOL services. Peachpit lost interest in the forums, I forgot about them, and some period later (a year or two?) I checked and found thousands of messages, because people had somehow become convinced that the forum thread on AOL was the place you went to cancel AOL.

Never underestimate the intelligence of someone who uses Google and believes that it’s results are authoritative.

WRONG WEB SITE says:

WRONG WEB SITE

Repeat after me……..

The web site YOU ARE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW… is NOT Amazon.com

The web site YOU ARE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW… is NOT Amazon.com

The web site YOU ARE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW… is NOT Amazon.com

The web site YOU ARE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW… is NOT Amazon.com

The web site YOU ARE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW… is NOT Amazon.com

The web site YOU ARE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW… is NOT Amazon.com

I repeat… NOT Amazon. This is TechDirt.com. Completely DIFFERENT web site. NOT related to Amazon.com in anyway.

You guys demanding your money back on this site, well, your the dumbest kind of person, and thats probably why you got charged in the first place, you DONT know how to freaking read, or are too lazy to read. Go complain about this on Amazon.com, not here.

If you are too dumb to comprehend what this means, ask someone smarter than you… pretty much anyone that walks by will be much smarter than you, so don’t be afraid to ask pretty much anyone, including children. Yes, even children are proabaly smarter than you.

Brian says:

The irony.

People buying from an online bookseller are pissed because they didn’t read the terms of the free trial they signed up for.

Demanding refunds from Tech Dirt instead of reading the posts that clearly stated that this site isn’t associated with Amazon.

Asking for the steps to get the charges reversed instead of reading the dozens of previous posts that provide those steps in great detail.

The irony…

I feel bad for Amazon because they’ve had to deal with this illiterate group. I feel worse for Barnes and Noble… surely they are having to deal with this group now that Amazon isn’t getting their business.

Jonas says:

I called amazon last night.

I got the charge also for $79.00. The lady at amazon said I clicked on this button for a prime club. The only thing i remember was clicking on this 2 day shipping button and I guess it gave me this club membership but I decided to buy the dvd at target. I was annoyed so I told the lady to take it off because I didn’t authorize the transaction and then I told her to tell amazon to make it noticeable for people to see that they might have to pay and the lady was I guess scared because I was almost yelling because this kind of thing happened to me a couple of times this year on other sites like Ebay and paypal.

Megan says:

Big bad boo-boo

Saw the charge and called both the bank and Amazon. Amazon tried to convince me that either I or my husband had signed up online yesterday…funny thing was that neither of us were online and haven’t been on Amazon for 2 months. Shady business practice-said they would reverse the charge “within 2 days” (love the fact that the charge made me overwithdrawn and tomorrow is the last business day of the week) and turn it over to their investigation department. Lots of bull…I buy tons of books for my classroom and they have lost a long-time customer. Shady.

vern (user link) says:

AMZ Prime Club

Just got a call from my 83 year old mother. She also got hit with the phony $79 Prime Club fee by Amazon. Fortunately, she called her VISA company and stopped the payment as she didn’t recognize the company. Funny how she got billed, she didn’t even know what Amazon is and doesn’t even have internet access to order anything. I know shipping rates are sky high, but $79 for shipping nothing to a little old lady who didn’t order anything seems a little out of line.

alex Crawford says:

re:AMZ Prime Club

what the hell is this Amazon Prime Club?
I just tried to buy my groceries and found out i have only $2 left in my account. i logged onto my online bank statement and found i had been charged $US79 ($AUS89) for this thing! i have no idea what it is, i never signed up for it and i want my money back. i am a hard-working student and need all the money i can get. this means i can’t buy anything until i get paid in 5 days!
i went to the amazon website and found no obvious way of contacting them to complain about this. does anyone have any suggestions?

Anonymous Coward says:

re:AMZ Prime Club

Amazon did the same to me today- the guy I got on the phone (conveniently)had no grasp of the English language and yanked me around for 15 min. before disconnecting me. The second jerk did the same thing. They sent me an email claiming I will be refunded but who knows? I am DONE w/Amazon. Call 1 703 880 6100 and DO NOT GIVE IN TO THESE THIEVES. Yours truly cimow@aol.com

Peter J Flannery says:

AMZ*Primeclub

Amazon stung me too. This is the email I sent them, not having a phone number.

I made orders on October 6th,8th and 10th 2007. I was offered a free trial of prime club which I used. I returned to the UK from the USA on 10/20/07. On 11/06/07 Amazon made an unauthorised withdrawal on my Mastercard of $79. This was not recognized and I informed my bank that a fraudulent transaction had taken place, blocked my card then cancelled it. I see from Techdirt.com/articles that Amazon.com has done this to many other people. I still consider this to be a fraudulent transaction and request that Amazon.com refund the $79 forthwith. A copy of this email will be forwarded to my bank. I am seriously considering having no further dealings with Amazon.com.

Marisa says:

$79 charge

I called and spoke to a really nice person at amazon customer service but she was very shady and unclear in her explaination of how the charge ended up on my corporate amex and said 3 days to credit the account, especailly when I only used it once and didn’t save it as a creidt card of schoice to my account. this is very disconcerting.

unhappy says:

Screwed Me Too

This is really bad business. I work with relationship marketing and this is probably the worst way to make relatinoships with consumers.

I was told that I signed up for this service last September. Not only did they charge me the $79, they were able to charge it to a card that was unaffiliated with the card that I had at that time. They charged it to a card that I opened three months ago and have been making purchases with.

I called and had it removed immediately. The woman I talked with knew what I was talking about before I even described it. Just bad business from the decision makers at the top and the marketing people in the middle. I feel bad for the customer service reps at the bottom who are fielding these calls.

I’m moving elsewhere as well…and telling everyone I know as well.

Bye bye amazon.

Joyce Mills says:

AMZ prime

We always check our Visa bills. My husband read questionable ones to me, if I approve, ok. BUT when he said $79.00 from AMZ Prime, I knew that wasn’t ours.
I did order one thing back in Oct. And that will be the last time.
I called immediately and talked to a woman, told her I did not authorize that charge. And to refund it immediately. Plus I told her I wanted it in writing. Five minutes after I was off the phone with her I had a confirmation email. :o)
I get so tired of being taken!! My husband usually does the calling on such matters but he’s too nice. :o)

Rachel says:

AMZ rip off

I CALLED AMAZON VIA THE NUMBER ON MY CREDIT CARD STATEMENT AND WAS ASSURED I WOULD GET A REFUND ON THE CREDIT CARD. NEXT STATEMENT CAME AND …NOTHING. CALLED AGAIN, AND AMAZON REP LOOKED AT MY ACCOUNT AND ACTED LIKE I WAS NUTS – NO REFUND WAS REQUESTED, ACCORDING TO HER. DISCONNECTED. CALLED AGAIN..DISCONNECTED AGAIN.
FINALLY CALLED THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY TO FILE A DISPUTE.

I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED SUCH BLATANT SCAM. I WILL NEVER BUY FROM AMAZON AGAIN AND I TOLD ALL MY RELATIVES & FRIENDS THE SAME.

Mark says:

AMZ Prime

I got the charge of $79 on my credit card too. I’d ordered two CD’s in November of this year and wanted ‘two-day’ delivery (only one made it in the two days anyway) and NEVER indicated I wanted to ‘sign up’ for some ‘free’ delivery for a year for $79!

I called the 1-866-557-2820 number and was assured by ‘Ahmed’ I’d receive a refund in 2-3 business days.

Based on what I’m seeing in this blog, I’d better check to be sure that happens!

What a scam!

Rains says:

Years Later, And The Same Thing Is Going On

I discovered the charge today, and am glad to see I’m not the only one who got scammed, but of course outraged by the whole thing. If you go to the amazon site and do the little deal where they call you, and talk it out with one of them over there, (Make sure to say things like you did not authorize this, you were not notified you would be charged, and that you want your money refunded) you should be able to get them to at least say they would refund you, it worked pretty easily for me. Now, the final task: to see if I actually get the refund.

Lemon says:

AMAZON PRIME CLUB

I got the same charge on my card and it lists the customer service phone number, so the charge subject was: AMZ*Prime Club 866-557-2820 NV.

I just called this number and as long as you tell them you accidentally clicked on the link to join this “prime club” and also as long as you haven’t already used the free 2-day shipping feature more than once, they will give you a full refund.

I am always really careful about this kind of stuff, so Amazon has definitely designed a clever scam…

Scott Lillig says:

Canceled my entire account...

Called customer service and I actually had a charge for Dec. 2006 and Dec. 2007 even though I haven’t used Amazon since Oct. 06′.

The lady on the phone was extremely nice, obviously trained ahead of time of people recording these calls and posting them on the internet. (which I was recording the call 😉

She refunded both charges and I asked her directly how this happened since I had not used Amazon since Oct.06 and they charged me on Dec.4 06′. All she could tell me that it was on the website and that somehow I subscribed too it even though I had not logged into my account or used their service nearly 3 months before I was charged the first time.

Then I explained how there were over 247 complaints on this forum for the same thing. And she told me there were plenty of happy people using the service as well. (I’m still wondering if they even know they signed up for it?)

So, I asked her how to go about deleting all my information and account from AMZ and she said she would send me an email to get this started…

Looks like I’m shopping at the bookstore down the street again!

Bonnie says:

i got bit by a Borders order (partnered with Amazo

I got the $79 charge automatically charged to my card about 2 weeks after I purchased a Borders gift card online. I was never asked if I wanted the card, I never had any opt in or opt out checkboxes for it and I was never sent any notice that I was registered for this “club” that I did not sign up for. I spent about an hour on the phone with the Amazon customer service routed through India. They said my card will be refunded in 3 to 5 business days. We’ll see! My bank will take care of the charge for me if they don’t. Sad thing is – now Borders and Amazon have lost my business. Beware of both Borders and Amazon purchases.

Miguel Arce says:

Canceled my Prime Club without problem

After a first angry moment, I found this web place and, following your instructions, I contacted amazon via e-mail. A very nice attendant responded me next day, with the cancellation confirmation and assuring me they will refund $ 79 on my credit card. I think this is an abuse position of Amazon, but they resolved the problem quickly and politely.

My sugestion for new people with this problem: go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=prm_su_lmd and enter your amazon.com account user name and password, click in “Can I cancel my membership to Amazon Prime?” and you are in way to solve the problem.

T Hotop says:

I've am a victim also....

I too just discovered an unauthorized $79 charged to my account. Thanks to all of you for providing your commentary, this will help me get the charge removed quickly (I hope). I’ve been a longtime Amazon customer and this is the first time I’ve ever experienced anything like this from them. Let’s hope it isn’t a trend!

Peter says:

Outrageous

I just opened my VISA bill, like so many others, to find this phantom charge. After looking for several minutes, I finally found the number to call. (Long are the days when Jeff Bezos got emails!)

I live in Europe and it is especially fraudulent for me because the free shipping is only within the US. I will be looking for a new vendor for future purchases, and encourage everyone else to do the same. Let’s make history, and CNBC, by showing how this kind of fraudulent, borderline criminal activity can actually punish the bottom line of the corporation who use these insidious practices.

Let’s get these guys.

Charles Krafft says:

Nicked by Amazon

I opened my bank statement today to find the Amazon Prime Club $79 charge attached to a series book purchases. I didn’t sign up for Prime Club membership. When I called 1-866-557-2820 to contest this charge the customer service rep said I had signed up. I DEFINITELY did not sign up! She cancelled the membership and said the $79 will be refunded within 2-3 business days. I told her to expect a call from me again if it isn’t. This was
underhanded. I’m glad I caught it! There’s something very fishy going on here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Thanks for all your comments. After discovering the $79 charge on the account, I googled ‘AMZ primeclub’ and found all this information. I called up Amazon number (it was mentioned as part of the transaction description on my credit card statement) and the lady I spoke with agreed to give a refund. She also apologized when I told her that I never subscribed to the club.

AMAZON Needs_A_Lawsuite says:

AMZ*PRIME Club

The issue here is that Amazon is charging customer’s cards without people realizing they are getting charged. I just happened to catch it on my statement. I missed the same charge that was made last year.

Amazon must make a MINT off of people simply missing the charge on their statement. Google this issue and many pages appear. Perhaps people don’t read all the ‘fine print’, but should that give Amazon a license to print money?

Lewis Yeager says:

AMZ Prime

Where do I join the class action suit against Jeff “Bozo?” I don’t care that they refunded my $79, it has got to be illegal to put a charge on my credit card without authorization through some slick “opt-out” scam that puts you “in” unless you take the time to read and click the right buttons to decline some service or product. As post 267 points out if a company wanted to add several millions of dollars to their income in a few weeks just hit all customers with a big unauthorized charge and sit back and count the loot (even if some a smart enough to demand a refund). Sue the bastards!

KB says:

what cheek!

We haven’t been in the USA for the last 4 months, relocated to England; I found a charge on my credit card that was registered with Amazon for 79.00. No permission or warning. What gall!! We are not able to call toll free numbers from here so are trying to resolve this through the credit card company, what a headache! the reWish I knew how to set up a warning for the poor suckers who may not fiqure it out!

Judy says:

Unauthorize Charge to my account!

This really takes some nerve! I received my charge card bill
in the mail this week and noticed a charge I had not made.
I went on the Internet to research the vendor listed and discovered it is some type of shipping club that Amazon.com
is signing members up to with or without their permission!
I believe this is about as dishonest as if a stranger obtained my credit card and make illegal purchases. I am so upset that I will never buy from Amazon.com again!

Judy says:

why did they do this to us?

I am with you 100%. I will never buy anything from Amazon in the future. Don’t want to buy from a merchant I cannot trust. I never received any notifcation of this charge and find it very dishonest of them to “automatically” think I
they could make this charge on my account. I called the Credit Card company the charge was made on and they are reversing the charge.

Rabih Makki says:

money taken out of my bank acct without my o.k

I have also been charged $79 with no request on my part and absolutely no notice from Amazon. I didn’t even know about this “prime shipping club” until I found the $79 on my credit card statement! This is clearly VERY questionnable activity on the part of Amazon and, at best, shows Amazon is operating, at least with respect to this shipping club, in a very shoddy manner.
Is there anyway to get my money back

Sheila H says:

AMZ Prime Charges

I actually paid this fee in Feb of 2007 and didn’t catch it; however, I did catch it this year and they are processing a refund for $79. They will not refund the prior year. I have not ordered from Amazon for 2+ years so it’s not as though I benefited from last years membership?!?

They told me that customers sign up for the Prime Club during the ordering process without understanding what’s happening, then freak out when the annual membership charge goes through. I told them I would just stop using Amazon then. What a CROCK!

Cesar Cerda says:

$81.24 CDN.???? WHY??????

I WAS JUST CHECKING MY CREDIT CARD ON LINE AND SEE THAT $81.24 CDN HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT FOR AMZ*PRIME CLUB 866-557-2820 NV, WHICH I DON`T UNDERSTAND AND I HAVE NEVER UTHORIZED THIS OR WHATSOEVER AND WANT TO BE CREDITED WITH THE MONEY NOW!!! I HAVE NOT VISITED YOUR WEB SINCE LONGTIME AGO I DID NOT ORDER ANYTHING.THANK YOU
cESAR CERDA

PLEASE ANSWER TO MY REQUEST!!!!!

Demetrius says:

AMZ Prime Club Charge of $79

Amazon is still charging the unauthorized fee of $79. I checked my credit card statement online today and the charge had posted on 2/14/08. I read the blog and called 8665572820 and pressed 7 at the prompt and spoke to an agent who processed my refund. He actually told me that he verified that I did not subscribe to AMZ Prime Club.

JAMES KULKAY says:

UNAUTHORIZED CHARGE

SAY WHAT?-My Bank notifies me of both daily balances and debit/charges.

02/18/08, I joined the “group” that have been charged $79.00 UNAUTHORIZED. I have ordered from Amazon.com ONCE-and that nows appear to be once too many.

I have spent hours wasting time (the bank is great- they recognize this “trick”)- Just fortunate that like the other Complaintants -we “caught” in time. Let me know your “reactions”/”results”

Veronica says:

Unauthorized AMZ $79

Unbelievable how long this has been going on…I too was hit with the $79 charge. Gotta love the internet, googled the name AMZ Prime and low and behold here was this wonderful site to help us all!! Cancelled on line tonight and will call # in the a.m. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to log this…sneaky tactics when you read the info on the Amazon site about this offer – quite misleading!

Taeho Jun says:

$79 unauthorized charge

I just checked my bank account and found unauthorized $79 charge as well.

I used Amazon to buy books last month, and then this situation happend.

I’m very suprised that Amazon takes my credit out of my account without permitting. I ask you to refund the money ASAP.

I’m considering I should keep dealing with Amazon or not.

Thank you

Jennifer Burke says:

$79 dollar rip off

Amazon did the same low down thing to me. I found the number and called and threatend legal action against Amazon and my money is now happily on the way back into my account. As instructed, I am faxing in my overdraft fees on my account that I incured because of this charge. Thanks Amazon for ruining your good reputation. Anyways the number is 1-888-216-1072.

Longtime Amazon.com customer says:

Shipping club fraud

Like the 300-or so others who wrote, I found a $79 charge listed on my checking account for “AMZ Prime Shipping Club.” I had never heard of it but Googled this site. Talked to my bank and they said they’d investigate it as fraud. Talked to Amazon and, after being switched to India, was told they’d remove the charge from my account.
I am a longtime Amazon.com customer, usually satisfied (even when they farm out my order to some small book store). No more. I am now a former Amazon.com customer.
In the above comments, several people wondered how much money Amazon has collected this way. Good question, one I’m sure the New York State Attorney General, who had been death on a lot of such fradulent acts, will be interested in.

Suzanne Kendall says:

Contact the Better Business Bureau

I also got dinged for $79 on my checking account and did not know what I was signing up for. I called Amazon.com and they said that they are going to reverse the charges. However, I was still pissed off that they pulled this scam in the first place. I don’t like getting tricked in this way.

I complained to the Better Business Bureau. I suggest that others do as well. Maybe we can all get Amazon.com to stop this trickery. It’s very easy to file a complaint online:
https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/complaintlink.aspx

I have a friend who is not going to dispute the $79 charges because she says she should have read the fine print. I think that is bullsh*t. She didn’t know that she was being signed up for it. She shouldn’t have to spend money that she doesn’t have on something that she doesn’t want. Too many people are ok with getting deceived and it’s considered ok business practice, and I am not ok with that.

Doris Sevilla says:

Unauthorized $ 79.00 Charge on my account

I WAS JUST CHECKING MY BANK ACCOUNT AND SEE THAT $79.OO HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT FOR AMAZON PRIME SHIPPING CLUB, I DID NOT AUTHORIZE THIS AND WANT TO BE CREDITED WITH THE MONEY NOW!!! ALL I DID WAS LOOK AT THE CLUB STUFF. I DID NOT ORDER IT AND I DID NOT AUTHORIZED AMAZON OR ANYBODY TO CHARGE MY ACCOUNT. IF I DO NOT GET MY MONEY BACK IMMEDIATELY I WILL TAKE LEGAL ACTIONS. THIS IS WRONG!!!! UNETHICAL AND SIMPLY (CREDIT CARD THEFT)
THANK YOU

A Hocking says:

BS Charge of $79.00 for Amazon Prime Club

I contacted Amazon and they stated that I had never signed up for the Amazon Prime club. The gal on the phone stated that the information would be forwarded to their investigators. She advised me that this occures every once in a while…..from reading all the post here it occures quite often….someone over there is making some serious cash if every person who ever ordered from Amazone is receving this charge…anually. Either they are practicing complete BS business tactics or someone over there is comminting some major fraud and I hope that bastard gets cought. I was advised that i would recieve credit to my account in 3-5 business days.

ALAIN AUGUSTO FIRMO QUERETTE says:

Unsubscribe and refund me.

Dear Sirs,
I did not know the details of AMZPrimeClub until translate the page on laguage tools of Google.
Firstly I am not interested this service, because buy just a year.
Secondly thought to be any promotion of AMAZON, and the site gives me to confuse.
So ask cancellation of the annual rates of refund me and which has already paid.

Best Regards.

Steve says:

AMZ prime 79.00 fee

I called 1-866-216-1072 EXT 7 (button 7) and had them cancel my AMZ prime service. This disturbs me because no one asked me to get this service and I have to wait 3 days to get the charges reversed. I found the phone number by looking it up on google. I hope you all will file a complaint at the FTC.com which is the federal trade commision complaint website. I have filed a complaint with them before and they do go after companies doing this foolishness

Murali Sudhakar Pulimi says:

AMZ Prime Club $79 unauthorised fee

Dear Sirs,
I did not know the details of AMZPrimeClub until translate the page on laguage tools of Google.
Firstly I am not interested this service, because buy just a year.
Secondly thought to be any promotion of AMAZON, and the site gives me to confuse.
So ask cancellation of the annual rates of refund me and which has already paid.

Best Regards.

Rich says:

unauthorized $79 credit card charge

same problem as all the previous complaints. sent the following email to amazon customer service…….

I called and canceled whatever caused my credit card to be billed $79 to my credit card. The charge to my credit card was identified as #AMZ*PRIME CLUB – nnnnnnnn that was never authorized by me or anyone else. Your security sucks! Nothing was purchased and I never logged in to my account. Browsing for a book should not trigger a unauthorized charge to my credit card.

This makes me ask the question, do you want me as a customer? What assurances can you give that something like this doesn’t happen again? Will you please remove any and all credit card data from my account. thanks, Rich