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  1. #1
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Amazon looses two more customers

    Amazon tried to slip us an $80 'prime membership fee' - which we didn't ask for - and certainly didn't know we signed up for.

    The charge appeared as this in our online account "AMZ*PRIMESHIPPINGCLUB 866-557-2820 NV"

    If you do a google search you'll see others have had this issue. Google Search

    So just a heads up for all you out there if you use amazon. We certainly wont be ever again. Which will kind of suck, but I can't support a biz that pulls this BS.

  2. #2
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    I'm a frequent flyer there. I can see how some one could accidently sign up, they slip it in as a shipping option, they also have a button that's similar to "add to cart" that will do it. Did something like this happen or you just ended up with an extra charge one day?

  3. #3
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Poor you, I use it all the time and ain't about to stop. After having read JM's post about Music Direct (I think that was the one), it seems Americans boycott a little too readily, and for what is seems like litte reason. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, and quite the opposite, when you have the luxury of choice such as you do, and boycott for whatever reason, you're basically pushing competitivness between business and that can only advantage the consumer. What I'm saying is don't do it just to do it, or because you had one 'bad' experience with company.

    Fair enough in your case (if the mistake was theirs), can't say the same for JM's case (just using him as an example, no offense to him).
    Last edited by JohnMichael; 12-01-2009 at 02:42 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Poor you, I use it all the time and ain't about to stop. After having read JM's post about Music Direct (I think that was the one), it seems Americans boycott a little too readily, and for what is seems like litte reason. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, and quite the opposite, when you have the luxury of choice such as you do, and boycott for whatever reason, you're basically pushing competitivness between business and that can only advantage the consumer. What I'm saying is don't do it just to do it, or because you had one 'bad' experience with company.

    Fair enough in your case (if the mistake was theirs), can't say the same for JM's case (just using him as an example, no offense to him).


    I corrected the company named. I have shopped with Music Direct for many years and as a long term customer I was upset with a misleading ad. You are right we do have many choices so why stay with a company that does not provide the honesty and type of service we would like. So no it is not poor us but lucky us to have many choices.
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  5. #5
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    No, I agree with Adam

    Here's an article I read recently on Cnet. These "gotcha" memberships account for lost millions in stealth fees every year.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-104...html?tag=mncol

    It's gotten so bad that Congress is holding hearings and may soon take action. The etailer's response to complaints like AAdams, basically "if you're too stupid to figure out... tough!" This is flat out wrong and CANNOT be allowed to stand. I support Adam 100% in this one. They disguise it in various ways "would you like (fill in the blank) to keep you apprised via email of (fill in the blank)? If you answer "yes" you may have just signed up for more'n than you bargained for. Boycott, then congress and if that doesn't work, torches and pitcforks.

    Worf

  6. #6
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    I was curious about Adam's post so I went onto Amazon to check out how this works. Because I'm considered "International Shipping", I see different shipping options then Adam would. However, I clicked on the page for information about shipping and found this information about a Free Trial of Amazon Prime:

    Free Trial of Amazon Prime
    How do I get FREE Two-Day Shipping?
    Place items in your Shopping Cart by clicking "Add to Cart with FREE Two-Day Shipping."
    Proceed to checkout.
    Click "Start my Free Trial."
    You can also start a free trial of Amazon Prime from the checkout page by selecting "FREE Two-Day Shipping" as your shipping speed.

    Note: Your credit card won't be charged for Amazon Prime when you start your free trial or if you cancel during the trial period. If you're happy with Amazon Prime, do nothing, and at the end of the free trial, your membership will automatically upgrade to a full year for $79.


    I could not find any information about how long this "trial membership" lasts and when the customer would actually be billed.

    I can see how someone might confuse this free trial shown as "FREE Two-Day Shipping" with the usual Free Super Saver shipping (free shipping on orders of $25 or more) when checking out.

    The problem here is the negative billing process of doing nothing at the end of the free trial and we'll charge you $79. The customer has no way of knowing that they've made an error until they get billed for the $79.

    Adam, if you read the Shipping FAQ section on Amazon, it is easy to cancel your Prime membership and get your money back as long as you have not used the paid for membership.

    Can I cancel my membership to Amazon Prime?
    You can cancel your Amazon Prime membership (except for any promotional trial memberships) and receive a refund of the membership fee if you or your registered guests have not made any eligible purchases. To do this, visit the Manage Your Prime Account section of Your Account and click the "Cancel membership" button. If you've used your membership and don't qualify for a refund, you'll see the option to turn off auto-renewal.


    I agree that this practice is not a good one. However, Amazon seems to make it pretty easy to get out of it if you purchased it in error or just changed you mind.

  7. #7
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    It is completely possible that the wife clicked on something and didn't fully read what was going on. But from everything said, and just the practice alone, I think this type of stuff is complete and total BS. I thought Amazon was above this type of practice but it seems hard times pushes good companies to the dark side.

    Oh well,..

    Besides, now it will give me a better reason to support a local book store.

    I was posting out of frustration and just a heads up to you all. $79 on an ATM card can quickly add up if that was all you thought you had, go grocery shopping, and then get hit with 3 or 4 over draft charges. One reason I do my online shopping with CC and local shopping with ATM card. But damn if straight up old school cash isn't looking better everyday.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Another point against Amazon is the price discrimination they had in place some time ago (not sure when exactly). What this means is they were saving consumers' likes/dislikes (which they still do now) and actually upping the price on products the consumer presumably liked, because the consumer was ready to pay more (a premium) for those items.
    Someone must have noticed this and made it public. Don't believe they do it anymore.
    This is unethical practise IMO...

  9. #9
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    averting amazon prime is like tip-toeing through a mine field or avoiding one of those noose traps that has you hanging by your ankles in the jungle a la Gilligan. As noted by FA, it looks a lot like the free super saver shipping option.

    I'm surprised me or my wife (who's always surprised by at least one item in her groceries when she gets home) hasn't signed us up.

  10. #10
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    On the way we act, the American consumer has and is taken for granted. As the "mom & pop" shops are rare and have been driven out by Wal-Mart and big box retailers, customer service has come to mean nothing. I really have a lot more to say on this but want to spare you all my soapbox. To the point, more people need to do what JM and atom had done. Maybe if more people took a stand we'd be better served. I mean, will Amazon miss Atom's sales, in the scheme of things, no. but if more people did the same then maybe change could be effected. When you are a long time customer like JM, you like to feel you are appreciated. So why couldn't the company give in over a couple bucks to please a customer and it's not like he didn't have a point.

    As I stated I should get frequent flyer miles from amazon but something said struck a chord. I had a movie in my cart that cost $6.99, I didn't have enough for free shipping so put it under "wait until later" so I could buy some stuff from a market place seller. i went back in and the price jumped in a day or two to $7.49. I ordered some stuff for a friend who didn't have an account with them and noticed the movie went up to $8.99 while still in my cart. That's two significant price jumps in the coarse of a week and it was not a Black Friday or Cyber thing. Even before I read this I suspected the price going up in order to prompt a quick check out. I just deleted it out of the cart. It's hard to justify $2.00 more when I had it in the cart for less.

  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I got caught in this several years ago. When I pointed this out, they refunded my money. However, I realized that I order so many movies from them, having prime has really paid off big time. I get my orders faster, and when I pre-order, I often get movies a day earlier than release date. If I was to pay for shipping for all I order, it would be close to $500 or more per year, so for me $80 is a bargain.
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  12. #12
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    To the point, more people need to do what JM and atom had done. Maybe if more people took a stand we'd be better served.
    Several years ago, many of the cable companies in Canada tried to upgrade everyone's cable with new channel packages and charge for them from day one. It was up to the consumer to contact the cable company and cancel the new channels to avoid the charges. If you didn't cancel the channels by a certain date, you were expected to pay for them.

    Canadians rebelled. We're a quiet, polite, patient people. But don't mess with our TV, our hockey, or our beer! The uproar was so great that the Federal Government actually had to step in and create a law to ban this type of negative billing. The argument was that under Common Law a contract of sale requires both an offer and an acceptance. The cable companies were not giving customers the opportunity to accept or decline their offer. Therefore, no contract of sale could exist and the cable companies could not bill for these services. The law against negative billing still stands today.

    Taking a stand against bad business practices can work if enough people do it. In addition to boycotting Amazon, contact your local Senator. That's what they're there for.

  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Several years ago, many of the cable companies in Canada tried to upgrade everyone's cable with new channel packages and charge for them from day one. It was up to the consumer to contact the cable company and cancel the new channels to avoid the charges. If you didn't cancel the channels by a certain date, you were expected to pay for them.
    ....

    Taking a stand against bad business practices can work if enough people do it. In addition to boycotting Amazon, contact your local Senator. That's what they're there for.
    I have a deep loathing of both Bell ExpressVu and Rogers Cable. Mediocre to poor product and truly dispicable customer service for a high price.

    Most resently on the local TV issues they have been telling the public lies about the TV networks, i.e. that the latter are "proposing a tax of up to $10 a month on Canadians" to support local stations. This is exceedingly disingenuous, if not an out-right lie. In fact what the networks proposed is that the cable/satilite providers pay the networks for carrying local stations in the same way they do speciality channels.

    Maybe there are arguments against such support for local TV, but they don't justify that the public be lied to.

  14. #14
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    I have a deep loathing of both Bell ExpressVu and Rogers Cable. Mediocre to poor product and truly dispicable customer service for a high price.

    Most resently on the local TV issues they have been telling the public lies about the TV networks, i.e. that the latter are "proposing a tax of up to $10 a month on Canadians" to support local stations. This is exceedingly disingenuous, if not an out-right lie. In fact what the networks proposed is that the cable/satilite providers pay the networks for carrying local stations in the same way they do speciality channels.

    Maybe there are arguments against such support for local TV, but they don't justify that the public be lied to.
    While I agree with you, the bottom line is that these fees will be downloaded to the consumer. The cable companies won't pay a red cent.

  15. #15
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    While I agree with you, the bottom line is that these fees will be downloaded to the consumer. The cable companies won't pay a red cent.
    All fees are passed on. Fees and Taxes on industry are always passed on. The only time they aren't are when monopolies/cartels are taxed. Cable, Communications, Medical, Insurance, any large lobby, are cartels. And fees on them mean more out of the consumer pocket. Not out of the CEO's paycheck.

  16. #16
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    All fees are passed on. Fees and Taxes on industry are always passed on. The only time they aren't are when monopolies/cartels are taxed. Cable, Communications, Medical, Insurance, any large lobby, are cartels. And fees on them mean more out of the consumer pocket. Not out of the CEO's paycheck.
    The aforementioned Bell ExpressVu and Rogers Cable are a convert cartel. And FA is correct that they will pass on the local TV fee to the consumer -- but that doesn't make the fees a "tax on the consumer" which is what the lying basstards are telling the public. These companies are gouging consumers and are hugely profitable by vitue of their quasi-monopoly position. At one time they were regulated by the Federal regulator, the CTRC, but that was lifted -- I'm bngger if I know why except the usual campaign contribution sort of graft.

    Bell and Rogers do not compete with each other in a way except advertizing; viz. not on product, not on price, not on customer service.

    By the way these bloodsuckers are also the major ISPs up here. They have wrangled the go ahead for Internet "throttling" only provided they don't favor their own their own businesses. They ought spend some of their vast profits to improve their infrastructure, thus obviating the need for throttling, but instead they will be allow to just pocket the money.

    Our current Conservative Party government is sternly controlled by business lobbiests and interest groups who brook no disobediance from their bought-and-paid politicians.
    Last edited by Feanor; 12-02-2009 at 12:13 PM.

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