Amazon Prime: No more “FREE” deliveries

By Chris Dawson November 28, 2012 - 7:21 pm

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that Amazon can not describe the unlimited free one-day delivery services included in Amazon Prime membership as “Free”. In the future your Amazon Prime membership will include one-day delivery services “for no further charge”.

Someone complained to the ASA that the free deliveries included in their Prime membership weren’t really free as Prime membership cost £49.00 per year. Sure enough in the Committee of Advertising Practice, Guidance on the use of “free”, Section 3.25 states: “Marketers must not describe an element of a package as ‘free’ if that element is included in the package price unless consumers are likely to regard it as an additional benefit because it has recently been added to the package without increasing its price”.

The ASA acknowledge that they “understood that Prime was a paid-for service which cost £49 per year and that, for that payment, members could then make use of the one-day delivery service, on selected items, for no further charge”. They went on to add “We understood Amazon’s intention was to make clear that the one-day delivery could be used without charge after subscription”, but still concluded that “the claim that one day delivery was ‘free’ was misleading”.

Nothing will change for members of Amazon Prime. You’ll continue to be able to select one-day delivery for eligible items and you still won’t be charged for the one-day deliveries. They just won’t be “Free”.

  • Gerry007
    7 years ago

    I am surprised the word ‘free’ is even allowed in Amazon or ebay P*P…..

    AS the saying goes; ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’

  • Free- its a very attractive term. The clarification for this was so much needed and here it is. Thanks to this article for clearing all the doubts.

  • Mark
    7 years ago

    When it launched the “free” fast shipping was the only thing it offered customers (the Kindle lending library was added later).

    If it offered a range of other services (worth the £49) as well as the shipping they may have got away with it, but not by itself.

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