Amazon Ends Post-Order Price Guarantee

Amazon ended its post order price guarantee this Monday, according to an email a reader and deal forum members received from the online retailer.

That stinks, the policy was neat. If you bought something from Amazon and its price on the site dropped within 30 days, you could contact them and get a refund for the difference.

Now according to emails people are getting, the policy is no more and only items bought before September 1st will be eligible. Must be the economy, stupid. We’re waiting on a confirmation/explanation from Amazon, but here’s the email Jason got…

Hello from Amazon.com.

Thank you for contacting us to take advantage of our Post-Order Price Guarantee.

I’ve confirmed that we now offer a greater discount on item than at the time you placed your order.

Since your purchase shipped within the past 30 days, I’ve requested a refund of $5.78 to the original payment method used for your order.

This amount reflects the difference between the price you were originally charged for the item and the current price offered by Amazon.com. This refund should be processed in the next few days.

Only orders placed before September 1, 2008 are eligible for a price difference refund under the Post-Order Price Guarantee policy. As of September 1, 2008 we are no longer offering discounts if prices change on our website after you make a purchase.

Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com–we hope you’ll visit us again soon.

RELATED:
amazon no more post-order price matching??? [High-Def Digest]
Amazon Dropping Post-Order Price Guarantee Effective Sept 1st [SlickDeals]
No more post-order price matching!?!? [Amazon Forums]

(Photo: nedrichards)

Comments

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  1. tange1 says:

    I have a request in to Amazon to get clarification on this – I was considering purchasing a large TV from them (1400 dollar purchase). This could sway me to another retailer – I’m honestly undecided.

  2. orlo says:

    It’s official: there are no good businesses left for consumers, only stockholders. You really need a sniping program to shop for expensive items on Amazon; prices can double or halve in an hour.

  3. ThunderRoad says:

    As someone who takes advantage of this, it is the main reason why I will purchase at Amazon vs another vendor (or Amazon merchant). If this is gone, then my incentive is as well.

    Bad form Amazon.

    If refunding to credit cards was getting you down from transaction fees for pennies, then how about just giving an Amazon credit — because then you have a reason for those customers to keep coming back and spending more!

  4. PeteyNice says:

    I sent this in, but that was not my letter that was quoted :(. Anyway, I am surprised it took Consumerist this long to write about it. It was big news all weekend. I bought a TV from Amazon on 8/31 just so I would be able to take advantage of this. Got $50 back already!

  5. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    While not strictly the post-order price guarantee, I did have this great experience with Amazon.

    Ordered an expensive (~1600, actually a good deal) TV from Amazon. Had a problem. Wanted to return it (for a replacement), but they were out of stock. Amazon gave me three options:

    1) Return the TV for a full refund
    2) Keep the TV, and they will refund 20%
    3) Deal with the manufacturer

    See any reason why options (2) and (3) had to be mutually exclusive? Neither did I! :-) I actually ended up getting an upgraded TV from the manufacturer too because they also were out of warranty replacement stock.

  6. edebaby says:

    Please people; just return the product and re-order at the new price. Or, order an additional item at the new price, and when you get it, return it as the original (higher priced) item.
    Of course, this is only effective if the savings exceed the shipping costs. If you have Amazon Prime, it is very effective.

    • mugsywwiii says:

      @edebaby:
      I thought they only paid for return shipping if the reason for the return is their fault? So you’d still have to pay for return shipping.

  7. rdm says:

    @ edebaby – now they are also canceling user accounts who refund too many items. With no warning. And they tell you if you try to create a new account they will find out and cancel that, too.

    [forums.slickdeals.net]

  8. Darklighter says:

    The confirmation from Amazon is in their help pages: the Post-Order Price Guarantee is no longer listed.

  9. Does Target still have their policy of 14 days?

  10. vladthepaler says:

    So you return the item at the price you paid & re-order it at the new price. It’s kind of a pain, but you’ll still get the lower price.

  11. boshaus says:

    That’s really disappointing that they have discontinued this service. It was a very big incentive for me making large purchases there (such as my TV, which I ended up getting $200 off of). Think with enough protest they’ll change their mind like Netflix did when they wanted to get rid of multiple queues?

  12. BrianDaBrain says:

    yeah, that sucks. I took advantage of that all the time… at least they still have the PRE-order price guarantee… :|

  13. theblackdog says:

    Damn, especially because I used it when an item I had ordered went on a lightning deal the very next day. They wouldn’t let me cancel the original order even though it had not shipped, but the CSR was nice enough to credit back the extra $20.

    Are there any other retailers who offer a similar guarantee?

  14. Triterion says:

    Oooh, something I ordered from them two weeks ago is a lower price now, I just emailed them for the difference, THANKS CONSUMERIST!! :)

  15. SeanOHara says:

    It’s no longer their policy, but I wonder if CS reps will still have the discretion to do it.

  16. sljepi says:

    Holy smokes, I just called them for post order price guarantee this last Friday. I was promptly refunded and the guy on the phone was nice and helpful.

  17. Triborough says:

    This isn’t much of a shock given that I had so many problems with Amazon including:
    * Unwillingly getting signed up for Amazon Prime
    * Packages that never arrived
    * Books that were obviously damaged before shipping
    * Customer disservice reps in India who could not speak understandable English

    They really don’t know how to treat their customers right.

  18. RandomHookup says:

    There go the businesses that made a living help you track these.

  19. DeleteThisAccount says:

    pricedrop application for firefox saved me hundreds of dollars when i bought my home in july… its just a shame they are doing this. I’m sure they made a nice profit from me, despite me getting the lowest price in a 30 day period. Now I’ll just have to shop around other retailers.

  20. Petra says:

    I have to agree with ThunderRoad, the pricing guarantee was one of the main things that kept me loyal to Amazon. Offering to at least refund the difference as an Amazon gift certificate would still keep them as #1 in my book, but if not, I’ll actually begin doing some of my online shopping elsewhere.

  21. vastrightwing says:

    Strange how in these economic times, buying something is so difficult to do. Take any commodity service like phones or cable/satellite. They make it nearly impossible for you to upgrade or change service without causing a cascade of billing headaches. Comcast, Sprint, AT&T, Time Warner, they all excel at making our lives more miserable. Then we have retail experiences like Sears, Best Buy, Circuit City and many more, who rip us off with the fine print, don’t deliver on promises, aren’t upfront about costs and charges, cancel our orders, won’t deliver our goods, ship the wrong item and won’t refund our money when we aren’t satisfied. No one allows you to talk to a real person when you have a problem. When you do get a real person, they can’t/won’t help you.

    My solution? I’m putting the breaks on my spending. I’m cutting back on my satellite and phones. I think real long and hard before I shop at a brick and mortar store or on-line. I ask myself these questions:

    Do I need this item so much I’m willing to take the risk and time to deal with it when there is a problem?
    Do I have the patience to deal with customer service when the item ceases to function?
    Do I trust the business with my credit card information?
    Does this service require an automatic credit card payment each month?
    Will I check my bill each month so I can ensure I don’t pay mysterious charges?
    Am I willing to hang on the phone long enough to cancel my service once I’m unsatisfied?
    Does the company have a history of adding mysterious charges to your monthly bill?
    Is the price I think I’m paying an introductory offer or can it change after a year?

    It makes little difference what or who the business is. It’s become a real job to research how to buy, what to buy and if to buy because there’s some little asterisk waiting for me to give them my money so they don’t have to deliver the goods.

  22. sarahq says:

    Methinks the pricedrop monitoring extension available for Firefox made this too easy for the consumer to monitor, and thus too expensive for Amazon to honor. As with rebate forms, Amazon was no doubt counting on a relatively small number of people to monitor the price closely enough to collect. How disappointing.

  23. Onouris says:

    Ouch just got an email back off Amazon uk saying they’re doing the same thing. They did say sorry about 5 times though.

  24. tange1 says:

    “Hello from Amazon.com.

    Thanks for writing to us asking about post-order price policies for items purchased from Amazon.com.

    While we don’t always beat the best available price on every product, we do offer deep discounts on many thousands of items and cannot offer discounts after your order is complete.

    From time to time, prices on some items will change due to special offers from suppliers and manufacturers or our inventory and sales volumes. When we can offer a lower price for new purchases, we will.

    We recognize that you have a choice of retailers and are pleased that you would prefer to order from us.

    I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of the many discounts we offer on your next visit to our store.

  25. AlexandraCurvus says:

    Dontcha just love it how Internet Retailers can just terminate accounts at will. It’s nice when you’re world wide, so individual customers just don’t matter. There’s always a supply out there. Wait till they go back in the red again, and have another “change of heart” Amazon is the BIGGEST player of pricing games. I have some items in my saved cart that change as much as 2-3 times IN THE SAME DAY! I’d just return it and get it at the lower price. When it starts costing them, they’ll learn.

  26. tinyrobot says:

    That is a damn shame. Oh well, they just went from the best place to shop to the still-the-best-but-damn-that’s-a-shame place to shop. Guess I’ll have to watch prices more frequently from now on before buying.

    In a related story, can anyone else in NY confirm that they’re no longer collecting sales tax for NY residents? An order I placed today wasn’t charged any taxes for the first time since they initiated the policy…

  27. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    I fail to understand this move on Amazon’s part. BB and CC are still doing the 30 day price guarantee thing after you buy it.

    This is indeed sad.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @doctor_cos: Amazon’s disadvantage in the game was that consumers could automate it and do it online with no cost. I’m not sure anyone automated the other competitors. I know B&M players hope it’s too big a hassle to come back into the store and fight with their twisted logic just to get $3.87 back. I’m not sure if BB & CC have made it easy to do price adjustments for online purchases.

  28. no.no.notorious says:

    OK, so you can’t get your refund. so what. amazon has always been known for their good customer service. i really hope they don’t get stiffed in the long run just because they don’t have their price adjustment guarantee. I think it’s petty to complain about it.

    I also think that if most products weren’t made in china, we wouldn’t be so hooked on finding things the “cheapest.” we know that the cost of making that TV/product is laughable, so it’s natural that our reaction is “wait, HOW much for that?!? it has to be cheaper somewhere else”

  29. Joey_Brill says:

    Steve Jobs has dropped prices on every piece of shiny goodness I’ve purchased. He also makes my toys obsolete three months after I’ve given him the cash.

    Amazon – you tease – you’ll have to escalate if you want more of my love. I’m demented AND committed.

  30. Starfury says:

    I buy from Amazon because they have good prices, I can get free shipping, and no sales tax. I’ve never had to use the price match service at all. I also get 3x points on my Amazon CC when I buy there. So far their changes don’t affect me or my online shopping habits.

  31. TheBursar says:

    I will be writing their executive customer relations at ecr@amazon.com. Also, if anyone knows Jeff Bezos’ email please post for other to see.

  32. TheBursar says:

    This is very unfortunate. As somebody who purchases a lot of electronic items, this was invaluable. Amazon has just lost those sales.
    Can anyone recommend a good place that does provide this service?

  33. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Onecall still has a seven day price guarantee which is apparently automatic as well, and they have live price matching all the time (vs. other similar vendors).
    I’ve no complaints with them after several orders.

  34. JJ4 says:

    The post order price guarantee was widely abused. trackers were developed and people were reselling on ebay and if the price did not drop were returning the item. various deal sites like sd and fw had people explaining how to do this and bragging about doing it.

  35. variaas says:

    Keep an eye on Price Protectr, which plans to offer price protection on Amazon purchases ([www.priceprotectr.com]). No details on how or when, but it’ll be interesting to see how this goes.