Will Customers Cancel Amazon Prime Because of the New Ads on Prime Video?

Last updated on January 1st, 2024 at 07:45 pm


Find out why customers cancel Amazon Prime subscriptions, including ads on Prime Video, slow shipping, price increases, and more.

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Will Customers Cancel Amazon Prime Because of the New Ads on Prime Video?

Recently, a growing number of consumers have been choosing to cancel their Amazon Prime subscriptions, a trend driven by various factors that are diminishing the perceived value of the service. The latest of these factors is the recent announcement that starting on January 29, 2024, Amazon Prime Video will now be showing ads and if you want the current ad-free experience, you’ll have to pay even more.

Even though streaming services are all raising prices, the online backlash against Amazon has been significant and likely because customers aren’t just mad about ads.

Ads on Prime Video aren’t the only thing making customers reconsider their memberships. Other factors include slow shipping, price increases, fraudulent merchandise, cheap products, fake product reviews, and the hassle of product returns.

Nobody Wants to Pay to Watch Ads

Let’s face it, when you’re already paying for service, having to watch ads on top of it can be viewed as insulting – especially if you didn’t have ads on that service before. Since the announcement, users on Reddit have been furious with many having cancelled their Amazon Prime memberships.

I happen to be in the Amazon Prime subreddit and have been seeing posts like this one in my feed all month:

Slow Shipping: A Promise Unfulfilled

Amazon Prime’s allure was largely based on its fast, often two-day shipping promise. Lately, however, customers have noticed a decline in delivery speed and reliability, with delays becoming increasingly common. The erosion of this core benefit has led many to question the worth of maintaining their membership, especially when the promised speed is no longer guaranteed.

In one of the posts, a Reddit user who goes by the username logicson said that according to their order history, Amazon Prime 2-day shipping averaged 6 days.

Many users point out that Amazon’s free shipping with Prime is usually nullified by the size of the order with most orders qualifying for free shipping if the order total is over $35 anyway. Of course, if cancellations skyrocket, I’d expect that to change as well.

Price Increases: Evaluating Cost Versus Benefits

While the latest announcement isn’t technically a price increase, the reality is that if you want what you were getting previously (an ad-free experience), then you’ll need to pay more. So for all intents and purposes, this is a price hike with zero additional value.

Periodic price hikes have also prompted subscribers to reassess the value of their Prime membership. As the subscription fee climbs, users are calculating whether the benefits justify the cost, especially in light of emerging competitors that offer fast shipping without a membership fee. For many, the service no longer seems economically sensible.

Fraudulent Merchandise: A Trust Broken

The rise in counterfeit items sold on Amazon has significantly impacted consumer trust. Receiving fake goods not only causes immediate frustration but also raises serious concerns about the authenticity and safety of products. This breach of trust is a potent reason for members to reconsider their Prime subscription.

In many cases, customers have reported obviously fake brand name products sold on Amazon with little to no recourse taken on the seller. Even after filing reports, the fake products stay online.

Fast fashion background with pile of cheap, low quality clothes. Garment made in inhumane conditions - cancel amazon prime
Amazon’s increase is cheap products isn’t helping Prime memberships

Cheap Products: Quality in Question

The marketplace’s inundation with low-quality, cheap products has further led to dissatisfaction. Consumers find themselves sifting through a plethora of subpar goods to find quality items, making the shopping experience tiresome and often disappointing. This perceived decline in product value is steering customers towards other platforms with more consistently high-quality offerings.

This past December, the FDA sent Amazon a warning letter for selling supplements without all the ingredients listed on the label and for selling products labeled as supplements which were actually drugs. Using products without all of the ingredients known could be an incredibly dangerous practice.

The violations cited in this letter are not intended to be an all-inclusive statement of past or present violations that may exist in connection with the products you distribute. You are responsible for investigating and determining the causes of any violations and for preventing their recurrence or the occurrence of other violations. It is your responsibility to ensure that your firm complies with all requirements of federal law, including FDA regulations.

Fake Product Reviews: Misled and Misinformed

The fake review business is booming. Whether it’s on Amazon, Yelp, or Google Business, fake reviews and companies’ lack of transparency on why certain reviews are removed while others remain can make it very difficult to know if a product purchase is safe.

Fake product reviews have become a significant issue, misleading consumers about the quality and performance of items. These deceptive practices make it challenging for buyers to make informed decisions, leading to dissatisfaction and a sense of betrayal. The prevalence of these insincere reviews has eroded the trustworthiness of the platform and is a critical factor in the decision to cancel Prime memberships.

Problematic Returns: A Hassle to Reconsider

The process of returning products has become increasingly cumbersome for many users. What was once a straightforward procedure is now often a hassle, with more steps, longer wait times for refunds, and stricter return policies. This added inconvenience is making customers think twice about the benefit of shopping with Prime, especially when alternatives offer more straightforward return processes.

Amazon has now begun requiring some customers to provide photo identification in order to process returns. Reddit user vangoku had a horrible experience where a refund was refused after an item was sent back – so not only do they not have the item, but they’re out the money too.

The Changing Consumer Landscape

This shift away from Amazon Prime signifies a larger movement where consumers demand more from their service providers. They are no longer willing to compromise on aspects like shipping speed, cost, product quality, and the integrity of reviews in exchange for convenience. Instead, they seek services that consistently meet their expectations of value, trust, and efficiency.

Customers are starting to realize the downsides to online shopping. Whether it’s a fake item or a cheap item, these things are much easier to determine in person at a brick at mortar store rather than online and could cause customers to consider cancelling Amazon Prime.

Final Thoughts

The increasing trend of canceling Amazon Prime subscriptions reflects a complex mix of dissatisfaction and changing priorities among consumers. Issues like slow shipping, rising costs, fraudulent merchandise, an influx of cheap products, misleading reviews, and problematic returns collectively undermine the service’s value. As a result, consumers are exploring alternatives that align more closely with their needs for transparency, quality, and convenience. This movement highlights the importance for businesses to adapt and respond to consumer demands to maintain relevance and loyalty in a competitive market.

Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He’s also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover bands, Liquifaction and Minority Report.

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