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Amazon Has Stopped Giving Refunds for Items That Drop in Price After Your Purchase

You now have to settle for what you originally paid or look for other ways to get the difference back.
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Partial refunds from Amazon purchases have always been fairly easy to get if an item dropped in price after you ordered it. You contact customer service and they will take care of it for you. Not anymore, though.

An Amazon spokeswoman told Recode the refund policy was never an official policy unless you bought a TV. If you ever received a refund for any other items, you were granted an exception. That's their official stance.

Over on reddit you can read plenty of comments contradicting that statement, which isn't a surprise. Getting a partial refund for the difference between what you paid and the new price is something Slickdealers have grown accustomed to. Those days are seemingly gone now, however. You can still try going through your credit card company and file a price protection claim, but that's more work than chatting with Amazon customer service reps like Thor.

After increasing the minimum shipping threshold to $49 and now getting rid of the partial refunds, Amazon isn't doing a great job getting shoppers excited about Prime Day 2016 this summer. Although, if it's going to be anything like last year there probably isn't much to be excited about in the first place.

The reason behind this change in "unofficial policy" might be price tracker tools such as Earny and Paribus, which will notify you if any of your Amazon orders drop in price after your purchase.

How does this affect your online shopping habits? Will you be more hesitant when shopping on Amazon, or will this not matter much to you?



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About the Author

Johan Mengesha is the Editorial Director at Slickdeals in Los Angeles, Calif. Mengesha has written for print and online media outlets since 2003 and has a journalism degree from Cal State Northridge. Published work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Daily News," the "Daily Sundial" and eHow.com.

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#2
It won't change a thing. I'll just reorder and return Smilie
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^^ What he said. It will actually cost Amazon more to deny the refunds, because everyone who isn't completely clueless will just return the item, usually with shipping at Amazon's expense, and repurchase the same item at the lower price.

I would tell Amazon the same thing I told the brass from my company: being cheap usually ends up costing more in the long run.

Excellent customer service, price match, and refund policy is what made Amazon so successful in the first place, and differentiated them from other online shopping alternatives like Wal-Mart and Ebay. The company appears to be gradually losing that advantage as they grow, either wittingly or unwittingly. Amazon was at its Prime (pun intended) in years past when they were smaller and didn't have a physical warehouse (and charge sales tax) in the majority of states. During that time they were a source of emulation for generous and pristine customer service, which became their early hallmark and set them on their road to growth and success.
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Last edited by mph82 May 23, 2016 at 08:00 PM.
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#4
I agree, buy and return.
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#5
Paribus is dead lol
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#6
Quote from MordechaiH
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It won't change a thing. I'll just reorder and return Smilie
Quote from mph82
:
^^ What he said. It will actually cost Amazon more to deny the refunds, because everyone who isn't completely clueless will just return the item, usually with shipping at Amazon's expense, and repurchase the same item at the lower price.

[snip]
Amazon has banned not only people who do this kind of thing, but also their entire households and any new accounts they try to open. If your game plan is to make Amazon pay for those returns, then there's probably an even higher likelihood your entire household will get flagged. There are plenty of horror stories on Google and even on these forums.

So, be careful for not just your sake but your entire household's, and weigh risk vs savings.
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Quote from Obsy
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Amazon has banned not only people who do this kind of thing, but also their entire households and any new accounts they try to open. If your game plan is to make Amazon pay for those returns, then there's probably an even higher likelihood your entire household will get flagged. There are plenty of horror stories on Google and even on these forums.

So, be careful for not just your sake but your entire household's, and weigh risk vs savings.
If they do that, they will have to refund Prime membership fee (credit card dispute for services not rendered). They can escalate all day long, but so can we. Besides, it's really not a great loss today to be banned from Amazon like it was years ago. There are many more online shopping alternatives today than there were 10 years ago. Amazon may view customers as replaceable, but so is Amazon. I will take my chances.
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Quote from mph82
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If they do that, they will have to refund Prime membership fee (credit card dispute for services not rendered). They can escalate all day long, but so can we. Besides, it's really not a great loss today to be banned from Amazon like it was years ago. There are many more online shopping alternatives today than there were 10 years ago. Amazon may view customers as replaceable, but so is Amazon. I will take my chances.
Getting money back isn't a real issue. They'll even print checks for the gift card balances of those who get banned.

My post is more of an advisory for the people whom are unaware they can get their spouse, children, and associates banned on their behalf from Amazon and Amazon-owned companies.

I have no doubt you and many others here will return and re-order with sound reason -- I'd personally exercise that right as well -- but there are some people who'll go too far just to save a few bucks.
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#9
what's the problem? just return it and buy it for the new lower price.
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05-25-2016 at 01:36 AM
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#11
Hmm... this sucks but oh well. I guess I will get accustomed to using Jet<- "the new amazon" more often and other alternatives
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#12
Quote from MordechaiH
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It won't change a thing. I'll just reorder and return
I called Amazon this week to price match (having not heard of the policy change) and was told by their rep to just reorder and return the original item. Terrible process for Amazon and customer. Increased costs for Amazon to ship, receive return, and restock, and increased dissatisfaction. All of this over a $5 price change! It's a loss for customer and Amazon. And frankly, having to go through this hassle, will make me think twice about ordering a high priced item from Amazon in the future.

Quote from mph82
:
If they do that, they will have to refund Prime membership fee (credit card dispute for services not rendered). They can escalate all day long, but so can we. Besides, it's really not a great loss today to be banned from Amazon like it was years ago. There are many more online shopping alternatives today than there were 10 years ago. Amazon may view customers as replaceable, but so is Amazon. I will take my chances.
For people like me who are prepaid for 3 yrs of Prime, that would get expensive for them. I'm also a large share holder. Not gonna hold their stock if I can't shop there. Banning is a problem for them. They need to address the root cause. Offer price matching.
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Last edited by schlack May 25, 2016 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Quote from MordechaiH
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It won't change a thing. I'll just reorder and return
The return shipping is deducted from your refund. In many cases this can make the process cost prohibitive.
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#14
The bigger Amazon gets, and the more competitors it buys or forces out of business, the more it will act like a monopoly.That's never good for consumers. We're starting to see where it's going already.
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#15
Quote from layzzzee8
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The return shipping is deducted from your refund. In many cases this can make the process cost prohibitive.
Not if you claim the item is defective. Then you get a prepaid return label Wink
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