MoneySavingExpert.com has been inundated with success stories from shoppers who've claimed a refund for unused and unwanted Amazon Prime membership after following our step-by-step help.
The following tweet from @NicolineFox is typical of what we've seen: "@MartinSLewis "Thanks for the heads up on Amazon Prime. £79 refunded. I didn't know it was taken until your information. #happy"
We warned users in February that if you sign up for Amazon Prime's free 30-day trial but don't cancel during the trial period, you'll automatically be enrolled onto the service for a year and a £79 fee will be taken from your account.
Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com creator and editor-in-chief, also highlighted the problem and told affected shoppers how to get their money back while on TV.
It came after we saw scores of complaints from confused shoppers whose accounts had been debited by Amazon without them knowing why. Many claim they didn't realise they had to opt out of the year-long membership, others say they don't believe they signed up for a trial in the first place, while some say they accidentally clicked the sometimes prominently placed trial button.
Since then we've received numerous tweets from shoppers who've checked their accounts, realised they've unwittingly been charged, and got a refund from Amazon.
In March the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also banned Amazon from continuing to use a direct mailing offer for a 'free trial' of Amazon's Prime after it found the online retail giant misled consumers about the cost (see the Amazon Prime 'free trial' ad banned MSE News story).
Here are just a few of some of the success stories we've seen:
- @KarenWilson17: "@MartinSLewis "I'm to get three years' money back for Amazon Prime. Thanks to you on TV yesterday, would never have known I'd been charged incorrectly."
- @BayliesMommy: "Realised I'd been charged for Amazon Prime. Thank you, thank you, thank you @MartinSLewis @MoneySavingExp I've got my refund of £79!"
- @greengoestweet: "Just got my Amazon Prime £79 back thanks to @MartinSLewis & his @MoneySavingExp email! #yay #refund #mse"
What is Amazon Prime?
Online retail giant Amazon's Prime service enables users who sign up for it to access its movie and streaming service, get unlimited one-day deliveries, borrow a Kindle book for free each month and have unlimited photo storage on the Amazon Cloud Drive (see our Amazon Discount Finder to bag bargains).
Amazon says everyone who signs up to Prime gets sent an email informing them of the duration of the free trial, how to avoid continuing to pay Prime membership, and how to cancel the paid membership if someone took it out without a trial.
Can I cancel Prime and get a refund?
Whether you see this as Amazon's fault for potentially misleading customers, or its users' faults for not reading the terms and conditions, we want to tell people how to get their money back. Here's what you need to know:
- I'm within the free trial period. To cancel, go to 'Your Account' > under 'Account Settings' select 'Manage Prime Membership' > Click 'Do not continue', which is the second option on the left-hand side of the page. Once done you'll continue to receive Prime services until your free trial period ends. Then your membership will cancel, and your card won't be charged.
- My free trial has ended. To cancel, go to 'Your Account' > under 'Account Settings' select 'Manage Prime Membership' > Click 'End membership', which is the second option on the left-hand side of the page. If neither you, or anyone authorised to use your account have used any Prime services since the trial ended, you'll automatically get the £79 fee refunded. If you have unknowingly used Prime services, your only option is to contact Amazon, explain what's happened and urge it to refund you.
- I subscribed to Prime without a free trial. To cancel you have 14 days to go to 'Your Account' > under 'Account Settings' select 'Manage Prime Membership' > and Click 'End membership', which is the second option on the left-hand side of the page. As long as neither you or anyone authorised to use your account haven't used any Prime services within the first 14 days, you'll automatically get the £79 refunded. If you or your invitees have used Prime services within the first 14 days, you'll be issued a prorated refund based on the number of whole months remaining in your membership.
This news story was published on 10 March 2015, but we re-checked it on 4 September 2015 and all the information still stands.