or: How to prevent your Prime Membership from renewing at the end of the current term
When I subscribed to Prime in 2012, the service had already been in existence for many years. I had doubts about whether I would be able to get enough value out of my membership to justify the $80 flat fee for shipping per year, but I was curious enough to try it. I subsequently placed 108 orders in 2013 alone (vs. 90 orders in 2012). Arguably, having Prime made me order more from Amazon, which is exactly why they are offering it in the first place. But rarely am I in a rush, and almost never would I have used 2-day shipping on any of these orders had I not had Prime. So there isn’t really a quantifiable benefit for me – it is just the peace of mind that you get your stuff faster without paying extra. As a Netflix subscriber, I surely did not use the Amazon Prime streaming service enough to justify the cost, either.
So when I received the email about the fee increase to $100, it was clear that I did not want to continue with the program. By the way, Amazon will charge sales tax in Massachusetts on the Prime Membership fee, but regular shipping fees are not taxable in Massachusetts,
But how does one cancel? There is an option to cancel on the Manage Prime Membership page, but there is a warning in bold letters that you will lose your benefits. I still have 6 months left for the current year. Amazon will only refund the fee to those who have not used Prime shipping on any orders. No worries, though, because Amazon gives you the option to let the membership expire at the end of the current term only after clicking on the “End Membership” button:
Many people who engage in a discussion about the value of a Prime membership and the backlash that Amazon is seeing do not understand what is at the core. The issue is not about the cost of shipping vs. free shipping. The issue is about the value of 2 day shipping vs. regular free shipping. Because I don’t need everything that I order within 2 (business) days, and because so many items that I order are not offered with Prime shipping anyway, I am not willing to pay $100-plus for a service that may save me a few dollars once in blue moon but for most orders does not.