An open letter to Amazon

Dear Amazon ( and call centre operator, who was very nice)

Let’s not lay any blame here, because this ended well, but I was a bit surprised to see £47.97 off my bank account for Amazon Prime.

When I signed up for the trial of Amazon prime, I was hoping and pretty sure I’d be warned when the trial period was over and get an email to tell me to turn it off if I didn’t want to continue or keep the account going if I wanted to be charged monthly for the service. Okay I didn’t read the small print but then it’s Amazon, they’ve always been nice people to me so I shouldn’t need to be cautious, right?

I used the Amazon Prime super speedy delivery option once during the whole period, so it’s not like I got much out of it. But I also didn’t really check how lon g the trial period was. Again, thought I’d get some kind of email or site warning.

So on my bank account, I saw this £47.97 out of my account (weird amount, is there a reason for that figure?) and helpfully, an 0800 (free) number to call next to the ‘Amazon Prime’ line of the transaction. It’s almost as if they’re waiting for people to see this on their account, jump out of their skin, call and then be smugly told it’s their Prime account, as agreed.

I called the number. It’s 20:45 here, I assumed no one would answer. Someone answered, was very polite and calm, and sounded like he fielded around a million of these calls a day, knew exactly where I was going with it. He said the account had been set to auto continue removing money from my account for the service (not by me, or not knowingly), hence the rollover from the trial period. But he also immediately said, without any prompting, he’d speak to his supervisor and see if he could get it refunded ‘with deductions’. I asked why deductions and he explained because I had used the service once, but then said he’s request the full refund. Nice guy. I mean it; he was polite, friendly, patient, etc. Okay maybe I’m overdoing it a bit because it ended well.

Anyway the short of it, he said I’d get an email, not to use the account for the next week whilst it all cleared up, and obviously they’d remove the Prime service from my account. Excellent.

I can’t imagine the hoops I’d have had to jump through to achieve the same result with another company, in roughly 10 minutes. Commendable, especially when I may (may!) have been slightly to blame.

Thank you Amazon.co.uk.

Your continually faithful customer,

Jerome Turner

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