Trouble in Amazon Prime membership-land

Trouble in Amazon Prime membership-land

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you probably know all about unlimited Prime Instant videos. If not, here’s your wake-up call: you’re missing out on tons of awesome movie, television & documentary film content that’s available to you for free as part of a paid Amazon Prime membership.

When Prime Instant videos first launched, it essentially fell into my lap as I was already an Amazon Prime subscriber for the 2 day shipping benefits. More recently, I’ve found that I don’t really need Amazon Prime for the shipping benefits, as they have a warehouse here in Phoenix and I get deliveries from them very quickly, with or without Prime 2 day shipping. With that in mind, the Prime membership is really only valuable to me now for the additional benefits; unlimited Prime Instant videos, Kindle book loans and other such perks.

The Amazon Prime benefit earned through Amazon Mom doesn’t allow access to Prime Instant Videos

Unfortunately, I’ve recently run into a bit of a snag with my Amazon Prime membership. I’m a member of the Amazon Mom program (it should really be named Amazon Parent), which is a free program that gives you discounts on baby supplies and other benefits, such as free Prime 2 day shipping. The more you spend on baby products, the more months of free Prime 2 day shipping you get. Thanks to all of my infant paraphernalia purchasing (I have twin baby boys), I have maxed out that benefit and have earned 12 months of free Prime 2 day shipping.

Amazon Mom upgrade to Amazon Prime Paid membership

Before I joined the Amazon Mom program, I linked my account to my wife’s Amazon Prime membership, as she had paid the $79 annual fee. The Prime program allows multiple members of the same household to utilize the benefits. At the time, I was able to access Amazon Prime Instant Videos using my Amazon account and everything was just fine and dandy. After joining Amazon Mom, however, all was no longer well in Prime Instant Video land.


Amazon Prime Instant Videos require a paid Prime membership

You see, access to Prime Instant Videos requires a paid Amazon Prime membership. The problem is, now that I’m an Amazon Mom member, I apparently have “non-paid” Amazon Prime shipping benefits. When I try to watch a Prime Instant Video now using my Amazon account, Amazon tells me I need to “upgrade” to a paid subscription before I can view the content.

Amazon: lose the free Prime shipping months you’ve earned or no Prime Instant Video access for you!

This poses multiple problems for me (as well as other Amazon customers in a similar situation). The first being that I have many months of “free” Prime shipping benefits earned through the Amazon Mom program, which Amazon says I would lose if I “upgraded” to a paid Prime membership. The second is that my household ALREADY has a paid prime membership, so why is Amazon trying to charge me? I verified that my account is still linked to my wife’s paid Prime membership, but apparently my Amazon Mom membership status confuses their system.

So what should Amazon do? Amazon Mom “earned” Prime shipping benefits should be tacked on or banked on an account so that they can be used after a paid Amazon Prime membership period is over. This would allow the Amazon Mom customers to continue earning their benefits as well as utilize paid Prime membership benefits. Amazon also needs to fix their system to recognize that accounts that are part of Amazon Mom can also be part of a paid household Prime membership so that Prime Instant Videos and the other benefits are available to the account. There’s no way Amazon is getting another $79 a year out of us for a paid prime membership when we already subscribe. I also don’t want to quit the Amazon Mom program and lose the baby product discounts, so I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place it seems.

Please fix your stuff Amazon!

About Wes Novack

Wesley Novack is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has a breadth of experience in online publishing, the consumer electronics industry, and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, skateboarding, hiking, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on Twitter @WesleyTech.

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One Comment on “Trouble in Amazon Prime membership-land”

  1. Amazon Mom is a great program. But the name is really poor. Amazon has never been one to have clever names for anything. “Video on demand?” Yeah, unique.

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