Petition Begs Amazon to Reverse Free-Shipping Policy Change

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Amazon delivery to the home. Large Amazon box in lounge showing the ease of internet shopping from online retailers
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An Amazon.com customer has started a petition on Change.org calling on the company to reverse its recent decision to raise its free-shipping threshold.

As we reported last week, Amazon (AMZN) abruptly raised its cutoff for getting free "Super Saver" shipping from $25 to $35. That makes it a little tougher for customers to get their wares shipped for free, and we speculated that it could be Amazon's way of pushing users to sign up for Prime, which provides unlimited free shipping for an annual fee.

A lot of customers aren't pleased with the move, and now one customer has kicked off a petition to ask Amazon to reverse course and bring the cutoff back down to $25. Brian Halcomb-Allyn of Tennessee started a petition on Change.org with the self-explanatory title "Amazon: Reverse Decision to Raise Free Shipping Minimum." As of this writing, it has close to 10,000 signatures.

"The economy is bad enough right now," he writes. "Amazon shouldn't be making their customers spend more money just to get free shipping, just as people start struggling in the holiday season."

The organizer posted what he says is a response from an Amazon customer service representative, which apologized for the inconvenience and politely declined to sign the petition. And even if it somehow gets to the desk of Jeff Bezos, we imagine he'll have the same response.

We definitely understand why people are frustrated by the policy change, but raising the minimum does make a lot of sense for Amazon. Besides the aforementioned impact on Prime memberships, there's also the simple fact that the minimum hasn't been raised in a decade, during which time there's been inflation: According to one inflation calculator, a basket of goods that cost $25 in 2002 cost $31.64 as of 2012, so raising it to $35 after a decade isn't too far off-base.

Amazon does have a reputation for going above-and-beyond for its customers, so if this petition really takes off, it's not completely out of the realm of possibility that it could reverse course. But history tells us otherwise: A recent petition urging Victoria's Secret to make bras for breast cancer survivors got more than 130,000 signatures, and earned a hearing for its originators at company headquarters (LTD), but ultimately failed to accomplish its goal. Like Victoria's Secret, we expect that Amazon will stick with the decision that it feels is best for its business.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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6 Comments

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Erin K

I am a Prime member and I love it. As someone who purchases from Amazon often this membership has been way more in my favor than theirs, especially this past year. If you shop on Amazon alot then get a membership. You can even get some items in one day! But if you rarely go on the site and expect free shipping for such a low amount, just dont complain.

December 01 2013 at 5:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
momojet05

It's only $10. There's sites out there that say you must spend 50,80 or even $100 in order to qualify for free shipping. Better yet, they could always switch their site to club member status and have people pay monthly and/or yearly for access.
Things could be worse, so $10 will not affect my shopping habits with them.

November 23 2013 at 7:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Kyle

Funny that Amazon thinks that what is good for customers and what is good for business are two different things. I'll definitely be cutting back on my Amazon spending, both personally and for business.

November 20 2013 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura

Although I was surprised by the increase to $35 I won't sign that petition because I've already cut back on my shopping due to the increase which is a good thing. It's much easier to put $25 into my shopping cart and check out. Now I have to wait until it reaches $35 and by that point I realized I don't need some of the stuff I was going to buy. There's a lot of items on Amazon that qualify for free shipping from other sellers anyway. I used to buy the items with free super saver shipping but now I just buy the single items from other sellers on Amazon. Like a small $7 item that already has free shipping.

November 16 2013 at 5:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
casseemareej

That is funny...while ebay is trying to change the worlds currency to something that would suit Paypal someone is actually worried about shipping charges.

You guys just get funnier everyday.

October 31 2013 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Helen Archbell Ivie

To me, Amazon Prime is definitely with the annual fee. You not only get free shipping on most items, you get two day shipping, free. You also get many videos to watch for free. I love it.

October 31 2013 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BARRY

Amazon Prime isn't worth joining unless you do a lot of buying directly from Amazon.

October 31 2013 at 6:25 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply