Amazon Prime Subscription Tricks

Below is an experience I had with an Amazon order today and the message I sent them through their chat line. It is so subtle and hard to spot many would fall for it. Remember Amazon has your credit card details stored at their site.

Illegal Marketing Tactics

Just now I ordered some items from and I was subscribed to Amazon Prime with no option whatsoever to opt out during payment. I believe this is illegal practice in Australia and amounts to extortion. In future I hope that you make this option available. If that option is not made available the next time I purchase something from you I will have no option but to report the matter to the relevant government authorities.

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I am having trouble understanding the problem. Please describe what you did, what your thought should happen and what did happen. Did you lose anything in this process, if so what? What did you report to which authorities?


I had that happen to me also. I was in the middle of an order I was placing from the US which was to have cost me $70 in shipping. They put me on a Prime 30 day trial, without me actually opting into the subscription. I immediately cancelled it - they applied the cancellation as from the end of the trial period. So it was a fortuitous experience for me - I received my product for nil shipping cost!!! Thanks Amazon! LOL!


Amazon Prime is a subscription service, costing AUD $6.99 per month, or AUD $59 per year.
It is not necessary to have an Amazon Prime subscription to make a purchase of an item from Amazon.

So when I read nfer’s post, it became clear that nfer wanted to buy an item, nfer did not want to buy a subscription service.


Given that you can cancel at any time (including during any free period), I doubt that you’ll get very far. Prior to joining Prime, I had bought from Amazon and was never unwittingly subbed to Prime. Its a choice I made much later.


It would be an issue, and assuming it is the case, if Amazon didn’t disclose automatic subscription to Prime when making any purchases and then subsequently took direct debits for the ongoing subscription. Amazon would need the consumers agreement/approval to take any payment for a subscription.

If subscribing to Prime was a condition of getting their current free delivery for eligible products, then if one continues with the purchase (and the free delivery offer), then they have agreed to this condition and accepted ongoing subscriptions until they are cancelled.

@nfer, can you remember if the purchasing process mentioned automatic subscribing to Prime at some point…and was it part of their free delivery on eligible products offer?


Same thing happened to me…

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Thanks I get it now. It seems the only way to deal with this is to take advantage of the delivery and then cancel the subscription before the free period is out and they charge your card for the next month.

This seems a kind of lazy tax where the penalty for not reading the fine print is paying for a subscription you didn’t want. If the software that signs you up with no apparent way to avoid it isn’t illegal it is certainly sharp practice.


I ended up taking the subscription when we got access to video, which I like, and music and free reading. Its a matter of balance. I don’t actually buy that much from Amazon but I sure get my money’s worth otherwise because I pay an annual fee of $59 which is something less than $5/m.


I have used the free delivery option many times and the savings accumulated have far outweighed the cost of membership. My Spouse is a keen user of the free book reading which is again a saving on Kindle book purchases.


Amazon did this to me hooking me up to the trail without me actually physically doing it.
When l rang to complain the person on the phone wasn’t surprised at all.
She advised me that it had been corrected to which l said.
In Australia you beached consumer law by allegedly making me sign up to the trail.
I said l know the US have weak consumer laws but the same can’t be said for Australia.
Apple also tried to ignore Consumer law and although the Regulator was weak and slow in its response to Apple it did act.

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Which is all good, I don’t doubt the subscription is value for some people but that does not excuse automatically signing people up for a service that also auto renews.

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My post was in response to @SueW‘s post about finding it value for money. That they now go straight to a Trial signup and auto renewals as is being advised by some posters is not good nor is it ethically supportable in my opinion.

When I made the choice to use Prime membership it was an option rather than a forced offer.

I created an extra account and ordered a part. There is an option to choose Prime but there are a total of three options to choose from. The created account does not have Prime membership.

I’m not seeing that this was a forced choice. Perhaps the user pressed the wrong selection or they just agreed with a default choice.


HA! I just did the same thing. I ordered a bag of potting mix which I do want, and went through with the purchase. It came with automatic free delivery on first order, so I went ahead and at no time was I even asked to join Amazon Prime. If I wanted a membership under the new account, I would have had to actively seek out a link. It was not even presented after my purchase.

Which does not happen. I’m with @grahroll on this matter… must have been a case of misunderstanding, hitting the wrong button, or having Prime as the only option for the purchase of that particular item which should have been a signal to find out what Prime was, and what it entailed, before committing to the purchase.


Well it happened to me. I made a purchase and when it got to delivery I had the option of paying for deliver or free, I was not told I was subscribing. Then I got a message congratulating me on joining Prime. I now know that free delivery comes with Prime but that was not clear at the time. I looked up the T&C and found I had a month free and then it would auto-renew and charge my card if I did not cancel.

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Free delivery does come with Prime, I agree… the that option has a Prime logo attached to it. My delivery is free, as a one off. No prime involved.

I didn’t get that option.

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I think its wholly dependent on what you buy. Maybe yours required (god knows why) a prime membership… unless that was the only way to get free shipping at the time. I had never had free shipping until I bought my Prime subscription for the video. The bag of potting mix came with a free shipping deal, first purchase on the account.

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Delivery cost is at the discretion of the seller! Really?

While making a purchase I was given the option to join amazon as a member to avoid the delivery cost, while being given 30 days free Prime. The cost of $6.99AUD coming out of my credit card. I cancelled within 30 days, on the same day after reconciling my credit card. I cancelled my saved credit card details. I then requested a call, since the chat had a technical issue. I don’t know whether this is lawful, but I believe it is unethical and deceptive. Maybe the law should be changed, if it is legal. Take on the big five? Not likely!

To contact amazon (they do not make it easy), follow these steps:

Log into your account

Go to the ribbon at the top and hover on Hello, John C Holmes where you will see a drop down option of your account. Click on this.

Click on Prime

Scroll to the bottom and click on Help

Under Browse Help Topics, click on Need more help?

Click on Contact us

Click on Prime or something else

Under Tell us more about your issue, Manage or cancel Amazon Prime membership

You can choose either phone, Chat with customer service or email.


As well as signing me up for a month free trial without it being clear that is what was happening they make it tedious to unsubscribe. I had to drill down to find the appropriate option and then tell it three times that I wanted to quit. Isn’t it odd that if you want to subscribe you don’t need to do that.