Petition Begs Amazon to Reverse Free-Shipping Policy Change
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.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%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.