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Amazon Has Been Changing Prices on Subscribe & Save Orders Without Notice

How to know if it's happened to you.
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Update: 

We were able to connect directly with Amazon to ask for some clarification regarding issues several of our users reported about their Subscribe & Save orders.

According to the Amazon rep we communicated with, Amazon does not change Subscribe & Save order pricing without notice, nor is it in their S&S terms that they will or even that they can do so. However, in the Coupon Terms & Conditions listed on product pages with coupon offers, it does state that if an order or delivery date is modified, the discount will not apply. According to Amazon, they are working on ways to enable customers to keep their discounts on first Subscribe & Save orders even if there are changes to the delivery.

In Arcanlaw’s case, there were two separate issues. One stemmed from Arcanlaw changing the delivery date on the initial order which voided the promotions and coupons, according to Amazon. The second was a miscommunication from the customer service representative regarding their policy, and Amazon is working to resolve that particular issue.

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Slickdealer Arcanlaw recently posted a PSA on our forums regarding a potential pricing issue affecting Amazon's Subscribe & Save customers. Apparently, Amazon has overcharged some shoppers for their first Subscribe & Save purchases.

The retailer allegedly cancelled customer's original orders, then charged them more money for the same product on a later date. Amazon did not request consent from shoppers for these transactions.

Our members are heatedly discussing this issue, and for good reason. We're reviewing our community's collective experiences with the program so you know what to look out for.

Check out the original post below for Arcanlaw's full experience, as well as screenshots of his order history and an email with an Amazon customer service supervisor:

threadID: 12567832

What is Amazon's Subscribe & Save Program?

Amazon's Subscribe & Save Amazon's Subscribe & Save program is heralded as a convenient way to save on the stuff you use regularly. Essentially, you can score up to 15% off thousands of eligible items, as long as you subscribe to scheduled (free) deliveries of said items.

To learn more, check out our article on The Ins and Outs of Amazon Subscribe & Save.

How is Amazon Overcharging Customers?

So what's happening, exactly? Some customers have noticed a delay in their original Subscribe & Save orders. Upon investigating, they've discovered they were billed for their initial order on a later date for a higher amount.

Here's what happened to Arclanlaw, the original poster:

  • He ordered cat treats and cat food via Subscribe & Save for $18.54 plus tax on December 2nd.
  • His order was scheduled to be delivered on December 18th, but it never arrived.
  • When he received his January Subscribe & Save statement, he realized that his original two items had been re-ordered on Christmas Day (not by him) at $34.92 plus tax — almost twice the initial price. Amazon did not send him a cancellation notice for his original order.

Arcanlaw isn't the only Slickdealer who's experienced this. While some people have said they've never encountered any problems with the service, more than 50 other Slickdeals users claim to have had similar issues.

For example, user almondwalnut123 says, "It's been happening to me. Now, I check every single item before they ship them out."

The post also prompted user bingbangblow to check his order history: "I just looked and there's a canceled Subscribe & Save order. Same issue, reordered for $8 more. I never got the first order....how is this legal?!?"

Amazon's Customer Service Response

When Arcanlaw reached out to Amazon's customer service, he was allegedly told the following:

Amazon may, at their discretion, cancel a S&S order(s) if the price is lower than Amazon would like. They may do this at any time and without notification to the customer.

Amazon may then re-enter that S&S item(s) to a customer's account at the then-current price. They may do this at any time and without notification to the customer.

Reading through the Terms & Conditions of the Subscribe & Save program, however, we were unable to find such a clause.

We reached out to Amazon's customer service team to find out if that was, in fact, the case. A representative told us:

We don't do any such things. If the price is changed for an item on our website it will only be changed for future subscribe and save orders and the current order will not be affected.
The discount will be applied to the new price.

When we further inquired about the screenshots and email confirmations our users had in their possession, the customer service representative said, "No need of any concerns. You will be charged only the correct price. The price charged will not change."

How to Check Your Account

As Slickdealer Arcanlaw suggests, it's a good idea to "check your Amazon order history, particularly Subscribe & Save orders, to verify that the price you're being charged is the price you agreed to pay."

Additionally, you should keep an eye on your cancelled orders — although this may not always tell the whole story.

According to Slickdealer JVGeneration, "Amazon canceled a Subscribe & Save order and removed it from my canceled orders page. They tried to ship it with my Subscribe & Save at full price. The only proof I had for the lower price was an email confirmation -- they had removed all traces of the original order from my account."

What to Do If You've Been Overcharged

If you spot any unusual activity on your account, it's best to reach out to Amazon's customer service immediately. Be sure to have the email confirmation from your original order to help resolve any potential disputes.

Slickdealer akdawn says, "I am a long-standing S&S subscriber and only had this problem once. All you have to do is save your S&S confirmation emails from amazon. (Those emails do include the purchase price). I called about the one overcharge and they refunded the full amount of the item... which was unnecessary but nice."

So you should be able to get your money back, or at least receive your product for the original agreed upon purchase price. Just stay vigilant and keep all of your receipts.

Images courtesy of Amazon.

About the Author
Lesley Sheridan Contributor

Lesley Sheridan is a freelance fashion and beauty writer who lives for Pinterest boards, animal prints, strappy shoes and coupon codes. Her bookshelves are filled with Kevyn Aucoin makeup guides, and her favorite band is and will always be INXS. A Kentucky girl at heart, she currently resides just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her rescue cats, a boyfriend who wishes he were an astronaut and a dog whose favorite word is “pizza.”


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