It took 4 confirmations to end my Amazon Prime subscription. Here's why the company would make it so hard to do.

Getty/Emanuele CremaschiAmazon Prime members spend more on Amazon.com. That’s worth keeping around.
  • It took me four separate clicks to cancel my Amazon Prime subscription.
  • It’s no surprise that Amazon makes it difficult to leave Prime, considering how important it is to the company.
  • Amazon needs to hold onto customers using any method it can, including adding benefits and supercharging perks like free shipping.

Amazon Prime is a lifesaver for the holidays.

Its promise of quick two-day shipping proved invaluable this year, as I did nearly all of my holiday shopping on the website. Amazon’s offer of both a 30-day free trial and a 30-day extension to that trial was quickly snatched up and utilised.

But it’s now weeks after the holiday, and the frequency of my Amazon orders has gradually slowed down and reached a complete halt.

I don’t use other benefits like Prime Video streaming or Whole Foods discounts very much, and because of that, I don’t feel I need to pay for Prime once my trial is up.

But Amazon doesn’t make it easy to cancel the service. I counted how many clicks it took me to finally end the membership: four in total. That is not even counting the click I did to navigate to the Prime membership page.


First, once on the Prime membership page, I needed to click “end trial and benefits.”

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This navigated me to a page that outlined Prime’s free shipping offers and which I would miss out on.

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Clicking “end my benefits” there led me to a page that encouraged me to switch to an annual membership, which would be cheaper than paying monthly. Since I wanted to save 100% instead, I clicked “continue to cancel.”

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On the next page, I still had to confirm by clicking “cancel my membership.” Only then was my membership canceled.

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It seems Amazon makes it intentionally hard to end a membership. Customers may assume they have already canceled after they click “end my membership.” This is much like the cart abandonment phenomenon, where customers add things to their online shopping cart and neglect to check out.

Of course, Amazon’s customer service will refund any unexpected charges, prorated from the last time they were accessed. So, customers aren’t on the hook for membership fees they don’t want to pay.

But many customers may just throw up their hands and accept that they paid for a membership for the next month or year.

It’s no surprise that Amazon would make it as difficult as possible to quit Prime. The membership is Amazon’s crown jewel, and the customers are far more valuable than the typical Amazon shopper.


Read more:
Amazon is making it harder and harder to quit Prime

While Prime members buy an average of $US1,400 in products from Amazon each year, regular, non-Prime customers only spend $US600, according to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners survey from 2018.

Using their unlimited free shipping, Prime members tend to order more items, more often.

Amazon needs to keep these customers both satisfied and confident they are getting a great value so that they stay members.

While many might associate Prime solely with its two-day-shipping guarantee, it also has other benefits like video and music streaming. There are also some items that are available only to Prime members, which creates additional value.

Last May, Prime members were given another perk:big discounts at Whole Foods, which rolled out to stores in 2018.

The value of Prime has also risen steadily as Amazon has added more benefits to the program over the years. A recent JP Morgan analysis estimated that the service is actually worth $US785 a year when everything it offers is counted together. That’s six and a half times the actual cost of an annual Prime subscription.

It’s also an increase of about 12% from what JP Morgan estimated Prime to be worth in 2017, when its analysts said membership was worth $US700 a year.

Are you an Amazon employee or customer with a story to share? Contact this reporter at [email protected]

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