amazon-lawsuit-1200x0.jpgAmazon in the past has offered refunds when prices fall on in-stock items just after you buy—if you speak up in time.

Now, alas, this has changed. While Amazon was happy before to help out the individual customer, some Web startups have exploited this generosity. They ‘scrape’ a customer’s Amazon record, price-check any outstanding order receipts, and automatically e-mail Amazon on the customer’s behalf to request the desired refund.

Re/Code suggests that Amazon will still honour such requests for refunds on televisions, but not on other products.

This seems like a questionable issue to me if we go by the case of pre-orders for merchandise (not the same situation but still of interest). Pre-order price guarantees are still in effect. The onus is not on me to monitor the prices and alert Amazon. I just end up paying less. Secondly, the numbers in question, even for higher-ticket items, are quite small. I can’t imagine it would be worth it to compromise my privacy by giving a third-party access to my Amazon account just to save a couple dollars on a book or even higher-priced items.

(Revised at 9:15 a.m. to reflect the difference between the just-described refunds and price protection for pre-orders. Thanks to JWSweet for the catch!)


  1. Amazon hasn’t gotten rid of the pre-order price guarantee. It is still offered throughout their site. What they have done is changed their policy on refunds after you purchase a product and then the price goes down (an in-stock item). Different scenario and, frankly, one I don’t have a problem with.

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