For the last few years I have been a great supporter of Amazon.com. I have a student prime membership which is $50 cheaper than a normal prime membership ($99/year) and have praised the convenience and price of the products, shipping and lately applications you can get for free on Amazon Underground. See? Still flying the Amazon flag. It also made me deliriously happy that they are a Seattle based company. My birth place and the source of good memories (and a few terrifying one too but…). So what has happened that I am setting my Amazon flag a flame?
Someone in the higher ranks of the business that is Amazon thought it would be good business to only allow people to be STUDENT Prime members for FOUR (4) years. Wait. Who has ever gotten a degree past Associates that took four years? Hell, even the US government doesn’t think it’ll take less than four years (on average) for someone to get a bachelor’s degree. The median of actual people getting a bachelor’s degree is 52 months. That is 12 (there’s 12 months to every year) +12 (which is 24 months also known as two years, most associates degrees take this long) +12 (we’re up to 36 months) +12 (and now 48 which is FOUR years this is where your membership dies) but wait! There is still 4 months to count before we get to the median! Granted, four months isn’t much of anything in a grand scheme of things, but….don’t most people go for an associate’s first? So…add two years (or 24 months) and we’re at 72 months.
The median time it took for 2008 bachelor’s degree recipients to earn their degree was 52 months. Forty-four percent of 2007–08 first-time bachelor’s degree recipients completed a bachelor’s degree within 48 months of their initial postsecondary enrollment, another 23 percent within 49–60 months, and an additional 9 percent within 61–72 months.
And let’s not even begin with those who are thinking about PhD’s. Those students, do not count in Amazon’s jaded eyes.
Although the logic does not make sense to me at all. There are ways to prove you are a student beyond the four year mark (where did they come up with that number anyway? The only thing that generally takes that long –if you’re lucky– is High School). You can show a copy of your Schedule of Classes; easy for a real college student to get, especially online where it takes mere seconds to pull up and create a pdf of or screen shot. To save $50 I know many a student (including myself) who would take the time to produce this. Granted, one could then drop all those classes and snicker at the cleverness of them. Just like I could have gone to school for only one of the four years I had Student Prime. If that. But wouldn’t the membership be enough for Amazon? They still pay per year and I’m pretty sure they are using their accounts whenever they can (like I did) every chance they can. And like me they probably also spread good cheer about Amazon and how they work tirelessly to keep the reviews on their site honest, and how awesome they generally are.
Although quite disappointing, the four year restriction is not the only reason why I am cancelling my Student Prime Membership. Well, technically after December 4, 2015 Amazon will be doing that for me, but I am not going to allow them to charge me $99 a year for a normal boring Prime Membership. I did entertain the thought briefly, but the way I was treated the last few days by Amazon customer service who generally have always earned my praise, is the deciding factor as to why I am not even going to bother with Amazon at all. Even in this last month of Student Prime Membership.
As us clever people do, I got my digital hands on Jeff Bezo’s (the founder and CEO of Amazon) email address at Amazon (firstname.lastname@example.org) and sent him a nice note about my thoughts on this whole four year thing. It was a rather pleasant message if I do say so myself, basically sort of a break-up note since in the letter I said I cannot afford the $99 a year for the service and so have cancelled my membership as of December 4, 2015. I just wanted them to think about this ridiculous four year limitation. A nice note back would have been great, but not needed. It was bad enough how I discovered that my membership ends on December 4, 2015 and that there was a four year restriction….
On November 2, 2015 I received an email from Amazon saying that my Student Prime would be ending on December 4, 2015 and if I wanted to keep it I needed to click on a link and prove I’m still a student. Well, that’s sort of a no-brainer really.
So, I clicked that link and then got completely confused!
On Aug 17, 2014 your Amazon Student membership ended and you no longer qualify for the $39 discounted Amazon Prime rate. You will continue to receive the FREE Two-Day Shipping benefits and Prime Instant Videos that you enjoyed while you were a member of Amazon Student and we have charged your credit card $79/year.
WHAT? Are you kidding me? I did a quick check and no…..that isn’t 100% true. So I used the email address given and did ask what in the world….
My account expired October 4, 2015??? Wait! This is the first I heard about my account going to expire! Never read emails after working on a paper the night before and being still tired. The email in fact does not say it expired this last October, but that I originally signed up for Student Prime on October 4, 2011. But now the charge jumped from $79 to $99, which honestly I didn’t notice the first go around. But I did reply asking how the expire date suddenly changed. And of course, since I have all my different email addresses forwarded to one convenient gmail address….
*Headdesk* So I went back and tried it again.
So they were much, much clearer and it clicked in my head that there was a four year limit to the student accounts. Okay, so not wanting to pay $99 that I really didn’t have to spend all at once I clicked the cancel membership link after clicking the Terms and Conditions link:
That is when I got my digital hands on what’s-his-name email address and sent him a break-up note.
So, all is well that ends well as someone once said at some point in history. But then, I got this.
But…I actually DID send the note from the live.com account I use with my Amazon account! Look! I then of course replied with screen shots that show that the note came from my amazon account email address and that since I could reply to these messages that I had access to said account.
So now I am a little hurt that they would say such a thing and if they know my email address and will only respond to it, why not just say what you have to say as you are sending the message anyway. If I wasn’t really Angelina Farmer then the person would be getting a weird, confusing email right? But I am, and I can respond so that should prove that.
But it’s that last one.
However, we’ll not be able to offer any additional insight or action on these matters, and any further inquiries on this matter won’t receive a response.
To me, that says we’re not going to talk to you any more on this matter—EVER. Since you’ve already said you are no longer going to be a member, we’re going to ignore any problems you may have. We are now ignoring YOU. This lack of respect, this whole yo-yo thing we just did here I didn’t need to go through. Just to get clarification on a matter and then prove who I was. No one should be treated like they are not worth the time it takes to type a response. The thing however is that a lot of this seemed cut and paste. There were some differences, like who the email was addressed to depending on who they think send the email. I assure you we are one person, I just have a first, middle and last name like many people do. I also use my middle name a lot more than my first name as it’s a family tradition thing and anyway Amazon probably has a cop of my driver’s license somewhere. Amazon customer service had always been great. Unlike Jet.com who cancelled my order without telling me and wouldn’t have refunded my money if I hadn’t emailed them about it.
I guess now that they are not going to get any money from me on a yearly basis in any form, they figure they don’t have to be nice to me. If the price we as customers have to pay for Amazon being a big powerful company that proves all of their reviews are honest and from people who really bought the product is that we loose that customer service, then fuck honest reviews. Amazon always covered what was sold and if there was a problem or we didn’t like what we got we could send it back and either get a new one or our money back. They had always made it easy. But when Amazon is too confused itself about how much I will pay a year for normal Prime, I don’t know if I want to be around them any more.
It is always sad when a relationship dies. It’s even sadder when one side is nasty and rude about it, especially when that side is a big known company that is much loved (generally) as Amazon.