Why You Should Read The Fine Print On E-Deals

Wisebread’s Elizabeth Sanberg posts about an Amazon deal that offers a free subscription to Wired magazine if you spend $75 on certain electronics.

Sanberg wasn’t interested in the subscription, which is why she was happy to find out that she could opt out in exchange for a $10 refund. An excerpt from Amazon’s follow-up email to her:

Terms and Conditions:

This subscription is included as part of the qualifying purchase(s) you made in the last 1-2 weeks in the Amazon.com Consumer Electronics Store.

If you do not wish to receive the subscription, you may receive a refund for the stated value ($10.00) [emphasis added]. To obtain this refund, please print and send a completed copy of the Online Form with a copy of your Amazon.com order confirmation to the address noted on the form. Please mail within 4 weeks from the date you received this e-mail.

Sanberg also spotted some terms and conditions that explain why others who made a similar purchase wouldn’t have received the opt-out note:

If you have opted out of receiving marketing emails from Amazon, you will not get the email notification for this offer. If you still want to take advantage of this offer, please update your communication settings located in “Your Account”.

You never know what you’ll miss if you just gloss over fine print. Taking a few extra seconds to look things over can put money in your pocket.

Free $10 on Amazon (or Why to Read Fine Print) [Wisebread]


Edit Your Comment

  1. spazztastic says:

    If there’s a $10 refund involved, isn’t the subscription…$10?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Yeah, I don’t understand why there’s a $10 refund if the subscription is free. Why not just offer to let people opt-out of the subscription if they don’t want it, even if it’s free?

    • yasth says:

      It is a complicated way for magazines to claim that you paid $10 for a subscription. Advertisers pay much more for that than free. So they give you a deal where the $10 is kind of hard to get.

  2. rdm says:

    Actually, the marketing emails don’t make a difference here. I did this deal as well but before I did it, I set up the marketing emails so that I would get it in my email. I still didn’t get it in my email and had to contact Amazon customer service (twice, because the first responder didn’t understand the problem at all) to get the form for the refund.

  3. CTAUGUST says:

    I had this happen with another magazine. I had no desire for the free subscription as I was already a subscriber, so I submitted a claim for a $15 refund at the time. You have to watch these as the publisher’s drag their feet. They don’t want to give you $10, they want to count you as a subscriber for advertisers. I had to keep an eye on them and finally contact the BBB to get my $15. In the end, they paid me twice and did not return calls when I tried to alert them to the error. Oh well, extra $15 for me.

  4. Terek Kincaid says:

    Not exactly the same, but something similar:

    I bought a chair from Staples.com on Black Friday that came with a $30 rebate. I did the EasyRebates online, and saw that the rebate came as one of those awful Visa debit cards. After looking at the fine print, I saw a check box where I could swap it out for a regular check. I’m sure I’ll wind up waiting a bit longer, but at least I’ll be able to spend all of my money.

  5. jano says:

    Wow, I really wish I had known this. Our copies of Wired get flipped through occasionally, but always end, mostly unread, in the recycle bin.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I only subscribe to Wired because I can grab the new issue when it arrives in the mailbox and take it with me on the subway to read while I go to work or come home. If I have time to read the Wired website, I browse the blogs. I like reading magazines because of the visual aspect. I spend a lot of time in design, so it’s important for me to keep looking at other people’s work and picking up new tricks.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      On second thought…did you get a subscription because it was offered as part of a deal? If so, and you didn’t want it…why get it?

    • Lauchlin says:

      If you don’t want your Wired subscription, I’ll take it.

      I love that magazine, but I’m too poor to read any magazines now. Stupid grad school. Haha

  6. MDSasquatch says:

    I wonder if these are the same group of people that throw those FREE newspapers all over my yard?

  7. RobThy says:

    Excellent post! You just saved me $10! I just logged into my email and printed out the form for my $10 refund.