Walmart Leak Reveals Name, Details Of Upcoming Amazon Prime Competitor

shippingpass-logoEarlier this month it was revealed that Walmart, whose online business has been hugely overshadowed by its bricks-and-mortar operations, was finally going to take a real stab at Amazon with the introduction of an annual subscription service that offered free shipping and other benefits, but at a lower yearly cost than Amazon Prime. Yesterday, the retailer goofed and tipped its hand to reveal some details on the upcoming service.

TechCrunch reports that the actual site for the service, which appears to be named “ShippingPass,” went live briefly on Tuesday. It was supposed to only be available for early testers and has since been taken down.

Adding confusion at the time was the fact that the leaked site listed the annual subscription rate at only $1, which would be… $98 less than the price of Amazon Prime. Alas, this is not the actual rate. Rather, it will be $50/year when ShippingPass launches later this year.

The handful of shoppers who were able to register at the $1 rate later received an apology e-mail from Walmart, a refund of their dollar, and the promise of a $50 gift card.

In addition to the name and the yearly rate, the leak revealed some other details about ShippingPass:

• No minimum order — Walmart.com currently requires a minimum of $50 for free shipping. ShippingPass will launch with a “no minimum” requirement.

• Auto-renewed subscriptions — The current default for ShippingPass is to automatically renew subscribers every year. This can be turned off within your account settings, but it’s good to know going in that you’ll have to turn this option off if you don’t want the subscription to keep renewing.

• The early bird gets their package in three days — In order to get the three-day delivery guarantee from ShippingPass, customers will need to place orders by noon local time.

• Limited geographic availability at launch — The site didn’t say which parts of the country would or wouldn’t get the new service when it launched (aside from exclusions for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, other U.S. territories, and customers with P.O. boxes), but it did indicate there would be limited availability during the pilot phase.