July 16, 2006
Amazon: Icky Slippage Business Model I never signed up for Amazon Prime, Amazon’s “pay a bunch up front then get free fast shipping all the time” deal, mostly because I usually buy more than $25 worth of books at a time, so shipping is free anyway. But today, they hit me on the checkout with a free three-month trial of Prime, so I clicked yes – what the heck? My bad for thinking they were just being nice to me as a VERY GOOD CUSTOMER. The confirmation email they sent had buried in the fine print that my subscription would auto-renew after three months for the usual $80 if I didn’t proactively opt-out on their web site. That’s a business model based on slippage or breakage like so many others out there (they assume I’ll just forget about it and let the charges go through). I don’t have a problem with that model, but WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOUR OWN LONG-TERM CUSTOMER? Ick.