Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

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HanSolo
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Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:56 pm

I don't buy on Amazon very often, but a high percentage of the times I tried to, it says the item has free shipping, but then at checkout, it charges for shipping and does not offer any non-free shipping options. This seems to be a bait-and-switch.

I'm not in Prime, and I'm aware that I could get free shipping that way, but on the instructions page for how to get free shipping it doesn't say that buying Prime is one of the steps. And the steps it does give don't work, because the options it says to select aren't on the screen at checkout time.

It appears that this isn't an isolated incident. If I look for similar reports on google ("amazon" "free shipping" "bait and switch"), I see over a million search results, going back several years. Someone on Amazon's own forum said "The current workaround is to open up a chat window with an amazon customer service rep (or call), explain the issue, and they will remove the shipping charge manually." The problem with that is they require you to order the item first, meaning you've already agreed to pay the shipping fee. If they screw up and don't refund the fee, or take a very long time, then you might not have any recourse with either Amazon or your credit card issuer.

Question 1: Anyone else encountered this bait-and-switch? If so, how did it turn out?

I'm thinking one way to protect oneself from this bait-and-switch is to first get the chat rep to agree to have the fee refunded by the delivery date (I was able to get them to agree to that, at least verbally, but then I didn't complete the order), and select an Amazon Locker as the address, then if the fee isn't refunded by the delivery date, just don't pick up the item. I see on Amazon's website, you have 3 days to pick up the item, otherwise, it'll be returned for a refund. Maybe I'll try this.

Question 2: If you don't pick up the item from an Amazon Locker, will they really give a total refund (including shipping), and if so, how long does it take to get the refund?

On a personal note, I would like to add that it feels disappointing that consumers have to work this hard to do battle with unscrupulous businesspeople. I guess there are billionaires who are struggling to make their next billion and we're supposed to help them out.

Saving$
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Saving$ » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:58 pm

If your order totals to $25 worth of items shipped by Amazon, you can get the free shipping. I've never had a problem - one of the shipping options is the free shipping.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:00 pm

Agree with Saving$. No problems here.

OnTrack
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by OnTrack » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:06 pm

Perhaps next time take a screen shot where it says there is free shipping and a screen shot where there are only paid shipping options. That might help to contest the fee. Also, if you post proof on social media, perhaps they will be shamed into fixing the problem. I haven't had that problem myself. I'm not a prime member, but I often get free shipping by spending above a certain threshold (can't remember the threshold).
Last edited by OnTrack on Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HanSolo
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:07 pm

Saving$ wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:58 pm
If your order totals to $25 worth of items shipped by Amazon, you can get the free shipping. I've never had a problem - one of the shipping options is the free shipping.
Are you on Prime? The item currently exhibiting the problem is this one (https://www.amazon.com/Braun-Cutter-Rep ... B00JRV9CWK), price $27.89. The product page says "free shipping". After adding it to my cart, the checkout page shows only one delivery option (next day, $7.98).

Apparently, some people are seeing this (like the ones on the Amazon forum I cited, https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/Tx1WHO5V7SNOFE9/ (edited to reference the quote I gave above)) and some people are not. Perhaps there's some kind of roulette mechanism involved.
Last edited by HanSolo on Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

quantAndHold
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:11 pm

HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:07 pm
Saving$ wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:58 pm
If your order totals to $25 worth of items shipped by Amazon, you can get the free shipping. I've never had a problem - one of the shipping options is the free shipping.
Are you on Prime? The item currently exhibiting the problem is this one (https://www.amazon.com/Braun-Cutter-Rep ... B00JRV9CWK), price $27.89. The product page says "free shipping". After adding it to my cart, the checkout page shows only one delivery option (next day, $7.98).

Apparently, some people are seeing this (like the ones on the Amazon forum I cited, https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/Tx1WHO5V7SNOFE9/6/) and some people are not.
If it’s really only giving the next day shipping price and you can’t select slower shipping, there’s probably a bug. Either contact customer support, or wait a day and see if the problem goes away.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Whakamole » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:14 pm

Are you trying to ship to an Amazon locker? I think that is now for Prime only unless you pay shipping.

I've had similar problems over the past few months. I don't buy very much from Amazon anymore.

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HanSolo
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:26 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:11 pm
If it’s really only giving the next day shipping price and you can’t select slower shipping, there’s probably a bug. Either contact customer support, or wait a day and see if the problem goes away.
Interesting that this "bug" has been discussed (as I noted above) since 2015 and there are still reports of the same problem in 2019. Coming from the software industry, I can say that sometimes there's an ambiguity over whether something is a "feature" or a "bug". In this case, I can see where Amazon might view it as a "feature".

If any non-Prime member can select the above-mentioned product and not see a shipping charge at checkout (I'm not asking anyone to complete the purchase!), that'd be interesting to know.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by emoore » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:28 pm

I thought Amazon raised the minimum to $35 dollars to get free shipping?

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:34 pm

emoore wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:28 pm
I thought Amazon raised the minimum to $35 dollars to get free shipping?
They did but they backed off and made it $25 again after Walmart made its minimum $25. That was a while ago. Nothing like competition in the marketplace.

OnTrack
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by OnTrack » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:40 pm

I'm not a prime member and I get these options for the link for braun:

Choose a delivery option:
FREE Two-Day Shipping on this order:

Get fast, free delivery on this order by selecting "FREE Two-Day Shipping with a free trial of Amazon Prime" below.

Wednesday, June 5
FREE Two-Day Shipping with a free trial of Amazon Prime

Monday, June 10 - Thursday, June 13
FREE Shipping

Friday, June 7
$7.03 - Standard Shipping

Wednesday, June 5
$8.98 - Two-Day Shipping

OnTrack
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by OnTrack » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:47 pm

Note that there are these conditions:

Do one of the following:

To place the order using the shopping cart:
Proceed to checkout.
Ship your items to a single U.S. address in one of the 50 states.
Select Group my items into as few shipments as possible as your shipping preference.
Select FREE Shipping as your shipping speed.

To place an order using 1-Click:
Click Review or edit your 1-Click orders on the 1-Click confirmation page.
Click Change next to Shipping Speed.
Select FREE Shipping as your shipping speed.

emoore
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by emoore » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:50 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:34 pm
emoore wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:28 pm
I thought Amazon raised the minimum to $35 dollars to get free shipping?
They did but they backed off and made it $25 again after Walmart made its minimum $25. That was a while ago. Nothing like competition in the marketplace.
Oh right. I do remember them going back. Competition is good. Not sure why it's not working for the OP then.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:30 pm

OnTrack wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:47 pm
Note that there are these conditions:

Do one of the following:
(snip)
Yes, I read that before. The problem is that the options they say to click on don't appear on the screen.
OnTrack wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:40 pm
I'm not a prime member and I get these options for the link for braun:

Choose a delivery option:
(snip)
That's interesting. I just tried it again, after reading your message. I'm still getting the same thing (only one option under "Choose a delivery option", that being by tomorrow, for $7.98). Unless it's a location issue (which I doubt, I'm in Los Angeles), I can only guess that my account is coded differently from yours (e.g., I may have the "sucker for ripoffs" setting in mine). Or it's some kind of "roulette" algorithm at work.

As the person said in the Amazon forum post I cited, it's surprising this has gone on so long without lawsuits. I guess the fact that it's not predictable works in Amazon's favor (e.g., if an investigator looks into it and doesn't see the same behavior, they'll dismiss the case).

I had the same issue in Dec 2018 ordering a Yubico key:
HanSolo wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:44 am
The only trouble I had was in the ordering. I ordered two on Amazon, who said the order qualifies for free shipping, and then they charged me for shipping, so I canceled the order.

123
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by 123 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:09 am

HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:56 pm
...
Question 2: If you don't pick up the item from an Amazon Locker, will they really give a total refund (including shipping), and if so, how long does it take to get the refund?
...
On shipments to a locker in my area they give you 3 business days after delivery to pick it up from an Amazon locker. They send a follow-up email every day reminding you that it's there. If you don't pick it up in the time period it is automatically returned and a refund is issued. I haven't had a refund on a item left in a locker but other Amazon refunds I've done have varied. Often the refund is processed as soon as Amazon knows the return package is on its way (like it you mail it from UPS). Other times it may be delayed until Amazon verifies/inspects the returned item. I think some of it depends on your history with Amazon as a customer. These situations are based on buying from Amazon and Amazon fulfilling the order.

If you buy from another independent merchant on Amazon (through the Marketplace) your experience may be different.

Sometimes Amazon shipping options on the website get a little funky and don't always initially work the way you expect. I have had to immediately cancel an order and do it over to make it work right a couple of times.

Overall I think Amazon shopping is very good when you deal with Amazon directly. The third-party sellers etc are a very mixed bag.
Last edited by 123 on Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by GerryL » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:34 am

HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:26 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:11 pm
If it’s really only giving the next day shipping price and you can’t select slower shipping, there’s probably a bug. Either contact customer support, or wait a day and see if the problem goes away.
Interesting that this "bug" has been discussed (as I noted above) since 2015 and there are still reports of the same problem in 2019. Coming from the software industry, I can say that sometimes there's an ambiguity over whether something is a "feature" or a "bug". In this case, I can see where Amazon might view it as a "feature".

If any non-Prime member can select the above-mentioned product and not see a shipping charge at checkout (I'm not asking anyone to complete the purchase!), that'd be interesting to know.
I had this happen to me a few months ago when I was trying to place an order. Since I am not a heavy online shopper, it was confusing, but I had no intention of going forward with the purchase if I had to pay for shipping. So I cancelled out and went back and tried again later, at which time the free option appeared.

I seem to recall that on the problem occasion the order defaulted to one-click shopping, which I have never set up.

Also, I always have my purchases sent to the nearby locker.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HueyLD » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:07 am

HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:26 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:11 pm
If it’s really only giving the next day shipping price and you can’t select slower shipping, there’s probably a bug. Either contact customer support, or wait a day and see if the problem goes away.
Interesting that this "bug" has been discussed (as I noted above) since 2015 and there are still reports of the same problem in 2019. Coming from the software industry, I can say that sometimes there's an ambiguity over whether something is a "feature" or a "bug". In this case, I can see where Amazon might view it as a "feature".

If any non-Prime member can select the above-mentioned product and not see a shipping charge at checkout (I'm not asking anyone to complete the purchase!), that'd be interesting to know.
At the first screen after you click on “proceed to checkout,” scroll all the way down to shipping method and change it from “standard shipping” to just “shipping” option above. You will notice a later delivery date range. The shipping charge should be zero afterwards..

The above assumes that you use the Amazon App.

My impression is that Amazon hates free shipping and makes it a “hide and seek” for those wanting the free shipping option.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by yohac » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:00 am

OnTrack wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:40 pm
I'm not a prime member and I get these options for the link for braun:

Choose a delivery option:
FREE Two-Day Shipping on this order:

Get fast, free delivery on this order by selecting "FREE Two-Day Shipping with a free trial of Amazon Prime" below.

Wednesday, June 5
FREE Two-Day Shipping with a free trial of Amazon Prime

Monday, June 10 - Thursday, June 13
FREE Shipping

Friday, June 7
$7.03 - Standard Shipping

Wednesday, June 5
$8.98 - Two-Day Shipping
Same here. Free shipping is not the default choice, but it's there.

Saving$
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Saving$ » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:53 am

HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:07 pm
Saving$ wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:58 pm
If your order totals to $25 worth of items shipped by Amazon, you can get the free shipping. I've never had a problem - one of the shipping options is the free shipping.
Are you on Prime? The item currently exhibiting the problem is this one (https://www.amazon.com/Braun-Cutter-Rep ... B00JRV9CWK), price $27.89. The product page says "free shipping". After adding it to my cart, the checkout page shows only one delivery option (next day, $7.98).

Apparently, some people are seeing this (like the ones on the Amazon forum I cited, https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/Tx1WHO5V7SNOFE9/ (edited to reference the quote I gave above)) and some people are not. Perhaps there's some kind of roulette mechanism involved.
1. I am not on Prime
2. Using Chrome browser on a standard windows desktop, I can add your problem item to my cart, click checkout now, I get a screen asking me to join prime which I decline, and then the final screen asking which shipping address and which shipping method. Delivery by June 10-14 is free.
3. At the above screen I can select an Amazon locker instead of shipping to my house. Delivery remains free.
Last edited by Saving$ on Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

JoeRetire
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:56 am

HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:07 pm
The item currently exhibiting the problem is this one (https://www.amazon.com/Braun-Cutter-Rep ... B00JRV9CWK), price $27.89.
It says:

Price: $27.89 & FREE Shipping. Details

Click the "Details" link and read what it says.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:30 am

I put it into my cart and checkout, said no to free shipping and on the "Choose a delivery option", I can ship 10 days for free. It's the second choice under free 2 day prime. I am not prime.
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:41 am

I am paying Prime and getting free shipping. To me you should not get free shipping excepting the greater than $25 purchase. Why should you get free for free when I am getting free for Prime?
OP seems to have a bee in his bonnet about Amazon overall. You can see this in the title of the post. A lot of people dis Amazon. That's what happens when a company gets bigger.
OP should join Prime or go to his local store or on another website and get his merchandise.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:51 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:41 am
I am paying Prime and getting free shipping. To me you should not get free shipping excepting the greater than $25 purchase. Why should you get free for free when I am getting free for Prime?
OP seems to have a bee in his bonnet about Amazon overall. You can see this in the title of the post. A lot of people dis Amazon. That's what happens when a company gets bigger.
OP should join Prime or go to his local store or on another website and get his merchandise.
But the item is over $25......
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by jlawrence01 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:09 am

I have had the same experience as the OP.

If you are not a PRIME member, they make it difficult to get good pricing which is the reason that I do NOT use Amazon.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by PaddyMac » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:21 am

I'm a Prime member so always get free shipping.

I also regularly get the "accept standard free shipping and we'll credit you $1 for digital items" (ebooks, videos etc.) I try to order pantry items and office supplies etc. a little ahead of when I run out, so that I take advantage of the offers. I also buy items one by one, so that the $1 add up quite nicely to get free books and movies.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by whomever » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:44 am

Free shipping is not the default choice, but it's there.
That's always been our experience as well.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by jminv » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:15 am

I tried it and it works fine. I even created a new account to check, still works fine. I checked it for 2 different los angeles addresses and got 5 shipping options, including the free one. Free is not the default choice. If you're doing 1 click then you need to change your settings too. Contact amazon to see what's going on with your basket so you can avoid it in the future. I did a price comparison on this item and it was the lowest on amazon so the pricing is good.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Caduceus » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:27 am

It's probably just some kind of bug. If you contact Amazon customer service, I am sure they will take care of it. Amazon has hands down the best customer service of any retail operation I've come across.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:03 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:56 am
HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:07 pm
The item currently exhibiting the problem is this one (https://www.amazon.com/Braun-Cutter-Rep ... B00JRV9CWK), price $27.89.
It says:

Price: $27.89 & FREE Shipping. Details

Click the "Details" link and read what it says.
Direct Link to the details

I don't see anything in there that disqualifies the original poster.

For what it's worth, it gives me 5 shipping options, including to sign up for prime, or for free 10-day shipping.
HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:26 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:11 pm
If it’s really only giving the next day shipping price and you can’t select slower shipping, there’s probably a bug. Either contact customer support, or wait a day and see if the problem goes away.
Interesting that this "bug" has been discussed (as I noted above) since 2015 and there are still reports of the same problem in 2019. Coming from the software industry, I can say that sometimes there's an ambiguity over whether something is a "feature" or a "bug". In this case, I can see where Amazon might view it as a "feature".
On the one hand, Amazon has tens of thousands of some of the top software developers in the country, and 25 years of experience to build on. If anybody has the resources to create an online sales system that works reliably at least for the core functions like determining shipping options, test it exhaustively, and respond in a timely manner to bugs, Amazon does. It would seem very reasonable to conclude they deliberately misled you.

On the other hand, like many giant corporations, Amazon often seems like they have so much going on that they can't manage their own system effectively. Their 3rd party seller system is particularly problem-laden, and the item your are looking at does indeed come from a 3rd party seller.

Regardless of which it is, I'm fairly certain that if you contact customer service, they will fix it for you.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Bungo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:15 pm

I'm not getting any non-free options for that item:

Choose your Prime delivery option:

Tomorrow
FREE One-Day Delivery
Thursday, June 6

Your Amazon Day
FREE delivery on your preferred day of the week.
Choose your Amazon Day

Tuesday, June 11 - Wednesday, June 12
FREE No-Rush Shipping
Get a $1 reward for select digital items. Details

Or choose your Prime pickup option: Pick up at Amazon@DowntownSanJose ( View Location )
Tuesday, June 4
FREE Same-Day Delivery

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by jhfenton » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:40 pm

Bungo wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:15 pm
I'm not getting any non-free options for that item:
I see basically the same options as you, all free, except shifted to Cincinnati.

We're Prime members, so I've never seen any issues with delivery not being free. Even when I try to find things locally, I often end up having to order them on Amazon to get them faster.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by azanon » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:48 pm

I went off Prime a few months back, and was largely on it because of the "free shipping" (with minor nods to the extra cash back on their credit card, and very infrequent streaming of music or movies).

Anyway, it was the best decision I made because I didn't lose either the free shipping, or the rather speedy shipping either. While YMMV, as others have said, shipping is free after $25 anyway, but what I also noticed (at least at my home) was even though they would show an estimated arrival date several days later than the typical "2 days" you usually get as a Prime member, in practice my packages usually come in by 3 days or so, and sometimes still just 2 days. My guess is that their shipping lanes are so well established, that they'd have to intentionally delay the package for it to take much longer than 3 days.

So as far as shipping times and costs go, for all intents and purposes, I really can't tell the difference between Prime and non-Prime. And $25 is an easy threshold for me to meet.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by Abe » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:57 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:41 am
I am paying Prime and getting free shipping. To me you should not get free shipping excepting the greater than $25 purchase. Why should you get free for free when I am getting free for Prime?
OP seems to have a bee in his bonnet about Amazon overall. You can see this in the title of the post. A lot of people dis Amazon. That's what happens when a company gets bigger.
OP should join Prime or go to his local store or on another website and get his merchandise.
This is what the OP said.
HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:56 pm
I don't buy on Amazon very often, but a high percentage of the times I tried to, it says the item has free shipping, but then at checkout, it charges for shipping and does not offer any non-free shipping options. This seems to be a bait-and-switch.
This doesn't have anything to do with Prime membership. It has to do with Amazon representing an item as having free shipping when it's not free shipping. I have experienced this too when ordering from Amazon.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by researcher » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:09 pm

HanSolo wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:07 pm
Are you on Prime? The item currently exhibiting the problem is this one (https://www.amazon.com/Braun-Cutter-Rep ... B00JRV9CWK), price $27.89. The product page says "free shipping". After adding it to my cart, the checkout page shows only one delivery option (next day, $7.98).
I am not an Amazon Prime member.
I've ordered hundreds of items from Amazon over the years and never experienced this problem.

Are you sure it only shows 1 delivery option? Are you on the "Review your order" page?

When I click on your link, I see 4 delivery options. One of them says...

Monday, June 10 - Friday, June 14
FREE Shipping

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HanSolo
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:00 pm

Image
JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:56 am
Click the "Details" link and read what it says.
I did already (as I explained above, "I read that before").
Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:41 am
I am paying Prime and getting free shipping. To me you should not get free shipping excepting the greater than $25 purchase. Why should you get free for free when I am getting free for Prime?
Because the item is over $25 (as I explained above, price is $27.89).
Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:41 am
OP seems to have a bee in his bonnet about Amazon overall. You can see this in the title of the post. A lot of people dis Amazon. That's what happens when a company gets bigger.
It's not polite to resort to ad hominem. See screenshot above. I think it's reasonable to say something is wrong when something is wrong. See also the link I provided to the Amazon forum where others have been discussing this since 2015 and continuing into 2019. See also several comments from others who have had similar experiences, as I quote below:
Whakamole wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:14 pm
I've had similar problems over the past few months. I don't buy very much from Amazon anymore.
GerryL wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:34 am
I had this happen to me a few months ago when I was trying to place an order. Since I am not a heavy online shopper, it was confusing, but I had no intention of going forward with the purchase if I had to pay for shipping.
HueyLD wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:07 am
My impression is that Amazon hates free shipping and makes it a “hide and seek” for those wanting the free shipping option.
Abe wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:57 pm
This doesn't have anything to do with Prime membership. It has to do with Amazon representing an item as having free shipping when it's not free shipping. I have experienced this too when ordering from Amazon.
jlawrence01 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:09 am
I have had the same experience as the OP.
Regarding the following:
Saving$ wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:53 am
2. Using Chrome browser on a standard windows desktop, I can add your problem item to my cart, click checkout now, I get a screen asking me to join prime which I decline, and then the final screen asking which shipping address and which shipping method. Delivery by June 10-14 is free.
I'm trying it using the same setup. Since several people are seeing something different from what's in my screenshot, I can only guess that my account is coded differently in some way that induces the alleged "bug".
iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:03 pm
On the one hand, Amazon has tens of thousands of some of the top software developers in the country, and 25 years of experience to build on. If anybody has the resources to create an online sales system that works reliably at least for the core functions like determining shipping options, test it exhaustively, and respond in a timely manner to bugs, Amazon does. It would seem very reasonable to conclude they deliberately misled you.

On the other hand, like many giant corporations, Amazon often seems like they have so much going on that they can't manage their own system effectively. Their 3rd party seller system is particularly problem-laden, and the item your are looking at does indeed come from a 3rd party seller.

Regardless of which it is, I'm fairly certain that if you contact customer service, they will fix it for you.
Based on my experience in the software industry, I think the above is probably reasonable. The thing is, considering that this has been a known issue since at least 4 years ago, and they still have the issue, seems to indicate a preference on Amazon's part for not fixing the bug (especially considering that the bug works in their favor). Any software development organization I was ever part of would have resolved such an issue, certainly in less than 4 years (and I worked in some companies of similar size). So I'm left wondering if this is a case of unscrupulousness or merely gross incompetence.

I agree with your comment about customer service, the key phrase being "fairly certain". I don't like being placed in the position where I have to make a legally binding agreement to pay a shipping charge that I shouldn't be charged, and having to depend on their competence at resolving the matter afterwards, especially while their competence is already in question.

In my opinion, the proper way for Amazon to handle this issue is any of: (a) simply fix the "bug", or (b) they zero out the shipping charge before I place the order (either by modifying the order before I submit it, or by providing a gift code or promotional code equal in value to the bogus charge -- they won't do it), or (c) they publish a statement on their website saying this is a known issue and that they commit to reimbursement of the fee in such cases (I asked customer service to do that and they refused; they could escalate the request to someone who has the authority to do that, and they won't).

I don't see anything preventing Amazon from doing any or all of the above -- other than having a preference for the situation continuing just as it has been for at least 4 years running (as evidenced by the Amazon forum posts I cited). While I may agree with many of you that Amazon works well most of the time, I'm certain that they have the resources to do better, particularly in the case of this long-standing "bug". They just refuse to do it. I guess that's because there's nothing in it for them.

While I know that some of you will disagree with some part of what I'm saying, I think there's a legitimate consumer issue here (as some of you have corroborated). While nothing much can be done about it, I see nothing wrong will reporting the issue and trying to understand what's going on.

Thanks for your attention to this issue.

niceguy7376
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by niceguy7376 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:05 pm

Could you try to ship to your address and see what the options are?
Could you try to go to Amazon site in "Incognito" mode and see if it is different for the same product?

How about trying different browser?
It looks like there is something in the logical flow that triggers this.

increment
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by increment » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:11 pm

Is it possible that Amazon already knows that if they ship the free (i.e., slow) way, at the time of receipt there may be no locker space at your chosen site?

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:28 pm

HanSolo wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:00 pm
Image
I logged in using a different non-prime associated email address and got four options as many point out above using my home address. However, when I changed the delivery address to the locker shown in the above picture, I only get the one option. So the "bug" is because of your chosen delivery location.

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HanSolo
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:54 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:28 pm
I logged in using a different non-prime associated email address and got four options as many point out above using my home address. However, when I changed the delivery address to the locker shown in the above picture, I only get the one option. So the "bug" is because of your chosen delivery location.
UPDATE:

OK, this is interesting. I changed my shipping address from Los Angeles (which is where I am now) to Cincinnati (which is where I will be next week), and suddenly a whole bunch of other shipping options appeared (not just the one I mentioned), including free shipping to an Amazon Locker during June 10-14 (without joining Prime). So I took it.

From this, I might speculate that the "bug" is that if you're close enough to wherever the item is being shipped from, then same-day/next-day shipping will take priority over the other shipping options, and remove those other option (including the free ones, if any). Just a guess.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by GerryL » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:39 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:30 am
I put it into my cart and checkout, said no to free shipping and on the "Choose a delivery option", I can ship 10 days for free. It's the second choice under free 2 day prime. I am not prime.
Not Prime. Been ordering more recently -- always purchases eligible for free shipping -- and having items sent to locker within walking distance of my home. I recall in the past that deliveries were rather slow, but the recent orders have been coming quickly. In one instance the package arrived at the locker before I was even notified it had shipped. Barely 24 hours after the order was placed. The longest recent wait was for a pair of shoes that took almost a week. I've been impressed.
This may be because 1) I live in a Pacific Northwest metro area and/or 2) they are ramping up their new faster delivery for Prime customers.

CFM300
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by CFM300 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:45 pm

OP, I guess you missed this response early in the discussion:
Whakamole wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:14 pm
Are you trying to ship to an Amazon locker? I think that is now for Prime only unless you pay shipping.
Also, from Amazon's website:

Standard Shipping and FREE shipping may be unavailable at some Amazon Lockers.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer ... =201117910

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HanSolo
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:14 pm

CFM300 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:45 pm
OP, I guess you missed this response early in the discussion:
Nope, didn't miss it. Contrary to the cited response, I eventually succeeded in getting it shipped for free to an Amazon Locker without Prime (see my last post, above).
Also, from Amazon's website:

Standard Shipping and FREE shipping may be unavailable at some Amazon Lockers.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer ... =201117910
That's great but as far as I can tell, that page was never linked on any page in the ordering process. In fact, the link for "Why didn't I qualify for free shipping" (visible on the screenshot I took) goes to a page that doesn't give that as the reason. Instead, it says, "Your eligible Amazon.com items shipping to this address total less than $25.", which is a false statement because the item is over $25 and the product page says it is eligible for free shipping. Note that all of the other non-free options are missing from the screenshot as well (2-day, 5-day, etc.), so my earlier guess about the bug seems to be the leading theory for now.

When I'm paying someone, I don't like them to give me false statements. When people pay me, I don't do that to them.

CFM300
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by CFM300 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:46 pm

HanSolo wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:14 pm
When I'm paying someone, I don't like them to give me false statements. When people pay me, I don't do that to them.
Of course. Give 'em a call. In my experience, they provide great customer service and will likely credit your account some amount of money for your troubles.

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HanSolo
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:25 am

CFM300 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:46 pm
Of course. Give 'em a call. In my experience, they provide great customer service and will likely credit your account some amount of money for your troubles.
There's no need to call them for crediting the shipping fees since I found a way to resolve that (as I reported above). So the only reason left to call is to advise them how to fix their bug and how to stop printing false statements on their website, but unless someone at the back-end is ready to pay me a consulting fee (which they won't, because I'm expensive) then it's not worth my time. I have other things to do.

prd1982
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by prd1982 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:25 am

I surely don't see this as a scam. You changed to another Amazon locker, and free shipping was available. As someone pointed out earlier, Amazon has said that free shipping is not available at SOME lockers. So perhaps their help page could be enhanced, or even the commit page changed to show why free shipping wasn't available. But none of this was bait-and-switch.

Personal opinion: I'm seeing more and more posts to the Bogglehead site using phrases like scam, criminal, bait-and-switch, etc. There is a big difference between these terms, and not being optimal.

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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by HanSolo » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:50 am

prd1982 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:25 am
I surely don't see this as a scam. You changed to another Amazon locker, and free shipping was available. As someone pointed out earlier, Amazon has said that free shipping is not available at SOME lockers. So perhaps their help page could be enhanced, or even the commit page changed to show why free shipping wasn't available. But none of this was bait-and-switch.
Nobody used the word "scam". I was simply reporting that their ordering process is misleading (as confirmed by several people in this thread who agreed that they didn't get free shipping after it was represented to them that it was free). If my wording bothers you, I can only say that the appearance of bait-and-switch isn't much different from an intentional one, in terms of the effect on the consumer. Unless you have information that nobody else has, we simply don't know which one it was (and I'm not assuming one way or the other).
Personal opinion: I'm seeing more and more posts to the Bogglehead site using phrases like scam, criminal, bait-and-switch, etc. There is a big difference between these terms, and not being optimal.
The Amazon forum I cited shows that it's been a known issue since at least 2015. Even if not intentional, it's at least gross negligence to not fix it for that long. Calling it non-optimal is very kind of you toward them, but I don't think I've said anything unreasonable.

Sorry if the wording bothers you, but this thread has served a useful purpose. After lthenderson's discovery, I was able to resolve the shipping charge issue, and I shared that resolution here so that others may benefit from that experience.

I'm done with this issue and ready to move on. As this is the Consumer Issues section, let's continue to help each other out rather than criticize each other. Thanks.

tj
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Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

Post by tj » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:55 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:28 pm
HanSolo wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:00 pm
Image
I logged in using a different non-prime associated email address and got four options as many point out above using my home address. However, when I changed the delivery address to the locker shown in the above picture, I only get the one option. So the "bug" is because of your chosen delivery location.
Also looks like yuou might be trying to order from a Marketplace seller rather than Amazon direct.

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