Amazon Prime

Still no sign of a proper Android video player, though, as Amazon preps first fee hike in 9 years

Amazon this morning in an email to its customers announced that starting with your next renewal, its annual fee will increase to $99. Amazon notes the increase in fuel and transportation costs, along with the increase in the number of items available for free two-day shipping. It also mentions the more than 40,000 movies and TV shows available for streaming. Not mentioned: Any hope of getting a video player for Android.

Dear Phil Nickinson,

We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your Prime membership will be increasing. The annual rate will be $99 when your membership renews on July 30, 2014.

Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.

For more information about your Prime membership, visit our Prime membership page.

Sincerely,

The Amazon Prime Team
 

Reader comments

Amazon Prime's annual fee increasing to $99 when you renew

124 Comments

Time to cancel the subscription. I don't listen to music that much and the videos they offer are okay at best. So, $100 for what, Amazon, for what? Two day shipping? Most my orders get delivered in two days anyway....

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Agreed. I got Prime earlier this year and haven't really used it. I have enjoyed 2 day shipping on some items, but just don't use them enough to justify a renewal.

I am giving up my prime membership because of this increase.

Amazon.com is not always the price leader, and many of their competitors are offering free shipping. I have been considering canceling Prime anyways because Amazon' prices, combined with free shipping offered by competitors, has eroded the value of a Prime membership. Even if I continue ordering on occasion from Amazon, a hundred dollars will pay for a lot of shipping.

An example: I recently purchased a marine radio, mic, and charger, from Hodges Marine. The shipping was free and Hodges price for the three items was over $70 less then Amazon.

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Sellers are also increasing the prices of their products to Prime customers only to offset the shipping prices, was just on HLN with robin meade 2 days ago

I live on a rural farm, and I can buy almost anything I need on Amazon and have it shipped to my door before I would be in town to try to remember to swing by multiple stores. I also love the variety of choice, and getting to view customer reviews as I shop. For me it's still an awesome deal!

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But he lives on a farm. He probably doesn't know that...or that there are other places that have reviews for products like Amazon's.

Bad quality on Netflix(in terms of resolution) is because of more users and possibly your Internet provider screwing you by sending Netflix traffic through congested servers or outright throttling. I am making this post just because more people need to know about the shenanigans Internet provider's are pulling these days so complaints can be made.

If you are referring to the general subjective quality of the content, then just ignore this post.

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Kind of bummed about this. As someone who has had Prime for 9 years, they should keep the first ones in at $79 and just up the price for new subscribers.

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I'm kind of bummed that I needed to withdraw rent money and all of a sudden the ATM is saying I have insufficient funds, just to get home and check my card and 99 dollars was taken out without my permission. That is just DIRTY Amazon.

Got the email about 10 minutes ago! I will really have to see how much I would spend in shipping without it. As the poster above said, free shipping gets to me in 2-3 days anyways and I do not use prime video that much..if ever.

I guess I could just split the cost of a single membership with my brother-in-law.

Mine is a bit different.We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your Student Prime membership will be increasing in 2015. Your 2014 annual renewal will remain at the original price of $39. On June 17, 2015, your membership will renew at $49/year.

maybe that is a perk for students. I originally thought if it was before July you would not be hit until next year, but people below are showing the increase whenever they renew.

Mine is staying the same too..., mine will stay at $79 for 2014, and next year it will go up to $99. I renew at the end of this month.

Posted via Android Central App

I got the same deal. I renew at the end of March. Probably based on some arbitrary date cutoff they've set, but not announced.

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Wow, when I used free shipping in the past it took 2 days just to ship the items then 3-5 days ground shipping. That's why I originally looked into Prime because it is obvious they prioritize those orders over the free saver orders and I was sick of waiting an entire week for items I saved a couple bucks in tax on..

Not to mention 3.99 for overnight shipping if you really need an item and zappos does not carry it.

Sent from my Moto X!

It won't increase during the summer. It will increase on your renewal date. Mine said it'll increase on February 15th, 2015.. My renewal date. May want to fix the headline/article.

I'm keeping mine. I use two day shipping all the time. I watch movies from there also a bit. For us, we can deal with an $20 fee change.

I used to be a promoter of this service, but with the amount of orders they screwed up of mine in the last year? Absolutely not paying more for the promise of two day shipping (yes they were PRIME items) that took over six days, with no weather or holiday delays. This happened multiple times, with no concern by Amazon whatsoever. And interestingly, my orders only started screwing up after Amazon stopped offering prorated refunds for cancelling at any time.

Def. done when mine runs out.

I am pretty confident I can say you are in the minority. I personally think amazon may be the best company I have ever dealt with from a customer service standpoint.

I absolutely used to feel the same way. In in some respects (broken items, wrong items, etc), they still are. But with shipping, their only response is always to just keep waiting. Even on an order that said it never even left their warehouse, they made me wait a full week before they would "reship." If it was only one item (esp in the 2.5 years I've been a member), awesome, but it literally happened to at least 4 times in a three month period, and I don't live in a rural or difficult area to ship to.

The biggest thing that annoys me is when they ship my stuff ground when Prime is supposed to be 2 day because they calculate the warehouse is close enough to you to get your order to you in time using ground.

Any time my order is even one day late, I get a free month extension to my prime subscription by asking chat for it...

That's what killed it for me. Signed up for prime.. They sent a 'next day' package using an untracked unguaranteed service (basically they cheaped out and stuck a stamp on it). Ring up.. Must wait a week to see it arrives. Resent the *same* way with the same result, despite me offering to pay extra for a proper tracked delivery. By this time I've bought elsewhere and cancelled the order.

Meanwhile I've never had a super saver order take more than a couple of days. Those are generally sent by proper couriers.

Posted via Android Central App

Not this summer, rather your next renewal date. Mine goes to $99.00 next month.

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I got an email this morning saying 99$ but mine renews June 17. I think it's earlier then July 30th date

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The price increases next week for new Prime subscribers. It increases at the next renewal date for current subscribers.

I don't have Prime so I don't know for sure, but I don't think they offer refunds if you cancel unless you haven't used the service yet. So if someone has already had something shipped via Prime and cancels today, they won't get a partial refund and their membership will still be in effect until a year from their last renewal, then it will end. I could be wrong, but that's my understanding. If that's the case, the answer to your question is no.

literally the ONLY feature I use is prime shipping, if they offered unlimited prime shipping for 50 bucks a year, I'd buy it, but and clearly overpay for it. but I don't care about ANY other features they offer.

canceling after having prime since it launched.

We use it so much, this isn't even an issue. $20 is $20, but we use it almost weekly, some times more than once. For us, it pays for itself. They've had a few small issues over the years, but very few, and certainly less than anyone else I've dealt with.

I'm very curious about the rumored music streaming.

I'll likely be keeping my Amazon Prime membership. It is very useful since I live car free and want to avoid heading to any sort of major retail store if I can help it. I don't use the Prime Video because the internet in general does a much better job of providing downloadable TV and movies, but I'm very interested in the rumored music service. If this price increase is a precursor to the addition of a Spotify type service with a mobile app, I will be very much on board the future of Amazon Prime.

No longer worth it to me. They don't even have an Android app for their prime video which means that entire service is worth as much as a pile of shit to me. I was in it for the shipping and the break even is much too long at $99.

You also get to get a free one from four select ones for keeps. So that's two free books a month. One for keeps and a loaner.

Posted via Android Central App

I use the shipping enough to justify it. And use the app on my i devices too. Still worth $99 to me.

Sent from my Moto X!

I was going to give it a try, but the lack of streaming video on Android killed it for me. When asked when they would be getting an app, they said it was difficult because of all the different types of android phones. My response- That's funny, Xfinity, HBO GO, Netflix, Hulu, & Crackle don't have any issues.

They're FoS. They want you to buy their Kindle device that has it built in. That's all. Corporate greed, plain and simple.

Somebody (*ahem AC ahem*) needs to reach out to Amazon PR and get an official statement on their lack of an Android Instant Video app. It's ludicrous that they don't have one at this stage of the game, and I'm strongly considering dropping Prime, despite using it for shipping 1-2 times per week.

I will have to re-evaluate the amount of my use. The lack of an Android app for being Amazon Prime Instant Video. Will the rumored music service be available for Android? Maybe we can finally push Amazon for compatibility.
Posted via Android Central App

I'll be keeping my subscription. I order everthing I can on Amazon. They have been great with pricing, shipping and returns. I understand the increase and think its very reasonalble. To me its well worth it and I'm for promoting great a service/company.

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I've rarely been tempted by Prime because I hardly buy from Amazon as it is. Amazon is as bad as Walmart. This price increase will only keep me away even more.

Its been the same price for NINE years and people are complaining that there's finally a price hike. Not to mention, you get so much more now than then. Wow.

Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

Likely because many including myself felt it was barely worth it at $79. The extra $20 isn't much but it's enough to push us over to concluding it is now overpriced.

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Phil, do you have any "juice" with someone at Amazon? We need a video player for Prime!

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I'll be cancelling. I don't have wifi at home so the real draw to prime, the streaming, is useless for me. I've enjoyed the 2 day shipping but since amazon doesn't collect sales tax on purchases, I get dinged every year when I do my taxes.

And Amazon's prices lately have been ridiculously high, like 2x higher than stores, so what's the point?!

Actually, I've a relatively small amount of products on Amazon that have gotten ridiculous price homes in the past few months. Sometimes enough to validate the "2x" comment... I also saw a pair of Nokia Purity earbuds that were proceed at $17K, but that's whatever.

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I'm keeping my Prime especially since I'm getting rid of cable which is a waste of money.

For all the people complaining about Amazon VOD being weak and a waste and that they don't use it.... Maybe you should give it a try if you already have Prime because I use it all the time. It is better than Hulu for movies not TV and It's not as far behind Netflix as people think

Prime video really has gotten a lot better. When it launched, it was crap, but it has a lot of good stuff now and some of the originals are really good.

I guess I got lucky with my renewal date:

We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your Prime membership will be increasing in 2015. Your 2014 annual renewal will remain at the original price of $79. On April 15, 2015, your membership will renew at $99/year.

I truly cannot believe the number of people saying they are not renewing over $20. The service has gotten so much better over the years. Almost everything I buy is Prime eligable now. Prime has some good instant video (some good children's shows that Netflix doesn't have). Free book rentals. I'm actually really surprised they didn't raise the price sooner. Between inflation, gas price increases, the added shipping items, and the extra services, Prime is a better value at $99 in 2014 than it was at $79 in 2005.

The majority of us, myself included are cancelling, because the cost of 20 dollars more simply isn't worth it. I rarely even view the Amazon Prime TV offerings simply because none of my normal setup boxes support it or its something extra required to sign and sort out. Id rather be able to watch on my HTC ONE but that's just isn't a feasible option. And number 2, like others that comment here rarely anymore do I get my package in two days even with the "free-two day shipping". Why am nearly 100 bucks a year for maybe less than half of my packages sending on the addressed Two-Days? Better to save the money and just go the 3 to 5 days and not worry about it.

I guess I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I get maybe 30% of my packages over night, even when I opt for the 2 day shipping. The only time I don't get a package in two days or less is when I order at a time where two days lands on a Saturday or Sunday.

Exactly. That's been my experience too. I'm often shocked how fast the item comes. It's obvious that Amazon is trying hard to over-deliver on this service. I couldn't be happier with it.

+1... You and me both, but I guess it's an individual value proposition for each person. I probably do more than 50% of my overall shopping on Amazon, have smart TVs and media players in multiple places, have young kids (Amazon now has exclusivity on Nickelodeon content), and have a couple Kindles in the family. If these things apply to you, Prime is the best $100 (seriously guys... $8.50/month) you can spend.

I assume it's where you're located and the availability of a specific item in any given location at a given time. Like, I ordered an Intel I7-4770k last month work two day shipping and it was dropped off at my door in a little under 40 hours. However, I ordered a new lamp in mid-January with two day shipping and didn't receive it until four later. And I tracked both of them and noticed that each was delivered from a warehouse in relatively opposite sides of the country. So I think that they need to balance which items are located in each warehouse.

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If you don't get your package in two-days, a statement I find suspect, you simply contact their customer service and they will give you credit etc. People just like to whine.

^Out of 6 late orders (4 in a three month period) last year, I got ONE extended month of prime membership. One PRIME order took 10 days to arrive. I called on every single order - was polite - no swearing or yelling - and thanked them for their time. So your assertion is wrong.

Free book rentals IF you have a Kindle, otherwise no free rentals;

Video requires streaming, which I don't have (i have a mifi through a cell company, pay by the GB) so that doesn't work for me;

only 50% of what items I shop for are Prime eligible and they are 2x the price of what I can buy locally;

Amazon doesn't collect sales tax so you pay for it all at once on your taxes (in my state);

So that is why I will cancel. :)

OK. That's you. There's no way the prices are double what you can get locally unless you live in a developing country like Mexico or somewhere in Africa.

Many of us don't use or want the books or videos. This is sort of like cell phone companies telling me they it's actually cheaper for me to be forced to upgrade to an 80 dollar plan because my older plan, I was paying more per texts and minutes. But if I don't use more texts and minutes, how is it a better value? It's not. Giving people things they don't want and won't use and charging more and then calling it a better value is condescending.

In addition, while more things are prime eligible than six years ago, more and more things (and not just super cheap items) are "add on" items, which means, even if you pay for prime, you still have to order a certain amount of stuff to get that item. That is ridiculous when you are paying an annual shipping membership.

8.25 a month isn't bad. I get several packages a month so the savings on shipping alone are worth it. Also I'm a cable cord cutter so the Nickelodeon shows that are exclusive to Amazon now are great for my kids. It's only an increase of 1.66 a month. Don't sweat it people.

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It is still worth the extra $20! Some comments are about not receiving items on time using 2 day shipping and I've had two packages not come in time. I pre-ordered a Xbox One last August & was supposed to receive it the day it was released, but I received it the next day & Amazon gave me a $50 credit on the order & an extra free month of prime. If you have an issue with shipping, contact their customer service & they will take care of you.

Bingo. I had the same situation with a launch-day game that didn't get to me on launch day. They gave me generous credit.

A couple Christmases ago my mom ordered a game for my Nephew. The item didn't arrive. She called and they sent a new one. It turns out that she had inadvertently selected her old address and the item went there. After she received the second copy she called Amazon and explained the situation and what she should do. They told her to just keep the second copy. Their customer service is beyond excellent.

As I said on the other thread, I'm keeping prime. It's worth it for the shipping, the free library book each month (with Kindle), and media.

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Everyone who says they will cancel now due to the $20/year price increase is CRAZY! Sounds like it was never worth it for you if this made the difference.

Bo knows! Mines good till November.....I will now see if the total of my orders shipping justifies the $20 increase between now and then. I just tryed the movie streaming on my 12.2.......looks pretty good! Maybe I will play with the movie streaming some more.....

That's wrong sir as they must currently have the service in question thus putting them in a position to cancel over this rate increase.

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No. He's saying that if you didn't see the value at $99, you likely weren't seeing the value at $79 either as a single emergency one-day shipment could easily eat that $20 and then some.

Thank you! Either you like Prime or you don't. $20 may not be nothing, but it shouldn't make or brake your subscription.

Posted via Android Central App

That's funny. Some of us have calculated that $79 is just barely a cost savings due to our current usage. $20 more now takes it to the point it is no longer cost effective.........for some of us. YMMV obviously.

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Why does my email say the renewal will cost me 49.00? Is it because it's a student prime membership?

Bad move on Amazons part considering major department stores announced last holiday season 2013 that they would be matching Amazons price at these local department stores. Target, Best Buy and Nordstrom have matched Amazons prices so far for me, by me just showing them my phone with Amazons price for the same product. So I saved money on not paying shipping or by paying Prime service, I get the product on the spot and I support local business! Bye bye Amazon Prime!

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You have to drive to the store, wait in line, and then deal with moronic sales people that don't know anything.

You think Best Buy and Target are local businesses? Ha.

Yes! Just renewed at the beginning of this month. I've had very few shipping issues using Prime and it's generally the fault of the carrier losing/misplacing the package, not Amazon and my customer service experience with them has been pretty good. Although, if by next March, they still don't have a dedicated Android video player with Chromecast support, $99 will be a tough amount to justify.

I'll be in the class of 2015 as well. Mine renews late May and will be the same for 2014, but going up in 2015. While previous standard shipments would get to me in 2-3 days they closed the local warehouse and now ship from another state and non-prime shipments (from other family members to me) take almost 5 days to go 200 miles. Stupid "smart post". We watch a good bit of the Amazon Prime Videos so we'll probably be keeping it and just split the cost with family members that happen to use the account a good bit during the year.

They should give Amazon credit card holders a discount to the original $79.

Their selection of streaming videos for free sucks so it will be no love loss for me to drop the service. Sure I enjoyed the Prime Shipping for the one year that I have had it but it's not worth spending $100/year to get free 2 day shipping, at least not to me.

Maybe I will be back if they offer something else for that $100 besides 2 day shipping and Veronica Mars episodes.

I love the hilarious hand-wringing by a bunch of whiners. Either use the service or don't. My favorites are people that post to announce that they live in a cave and thus would have no use for such service. Why would their opinion be important?

One thing that hasn't been mentioned. You can add four other people to your Prime membership and they will all get free two-day shipping and the $3.99 one-day shipping. That increases the value tremendously but only for people who have family and friends they care about, which is a large assumption for this crowd.

Sideloaded Flash player + browser with desktop mode that supports Flash (like Firefox) = Prime Video streaming on Android.

well, i guess i understand if a price hike is needed, especially after 9 years. But a $20 price hike? seems pretty extreme. A 25% increase.

I had heard Amazon raised the price in the EU and UK so I was waiting to see how much it was going to be.
Frankly since joining Prime Ive been putting in about 4-6 orders a month. I make sure only to order items that are listed with prime shipping, so for me this still works out really well given the prime videos included.

I just renewed mine today for $79 and got a note back from them that next year's renewal will be $99.