Loyal Shoppers Are Threatening to Boycott Amazon—Here's Why
A new policy change from the company has some Prime members questioning their perks.
From backlash over its treatment of delivery drivers to concerns about its impact on small business, Amazon has always received its fair share of criticism. Despite these controversies, millions of consumers continue to flock to the retailer's online marketplace. But now, Amazon may have taken things a step too far. Following a new policy change that recently went into effect, some of its most loyal customers are jumping ship. Read on to find out why some shoppers are threatening to boycott Amazon.
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Amazon Prime provides various perks to members.
Amazon offers online ordering to anyone, with or without a Prime membership. But many shoppers have opted to pay the $139 a year fee for the perks that come with it. After all, Amazon Prime members get access to faster shipping options and video streaming for free, as well as exclusive discounts and deals. But these benefits haven't stopped some shoppers from questioning whether paying for Prime is actually worth it, however. There have been countless news stories breaking down the cost analysis and chronicling the changes in experience after someone cancels their memberships. Recently, Amazon even reduced one of its most popular Prime perks—which is now pushing some loyal customers to cut ties with the company altogether.
The company just changed its Amazon Fresh delivery policy.
Amazon Fresh is the company's grocery venture, which is also available to all shoppers with or without a membership. With Prime though, members can shop online and receive free same-day delivery or pickup from their local Amazon Fresh store. But up until recently, these customers only had to reach a $35 order minimum (or $50 in New York City) to avoid paying a delivery fee, according to Winsight Grocery Business.
This threshold changed on Feb. 28. Now only orders over $150 are eligible for free delivery—a policy change that was previously confirmed to Best Life by an Amazon spokesperson. According to the spokesperson, orders between $100 and $150 will have a $3.95 service fee; orders between $50 and $100 will have a $6.95 fee; and those under $50 will have a $9.95 fee.
Prime members were informed in January via email about the new rules and it hasn't been sitting well with some shoppers.
Some shoppers are threatening to boycott Amazon as a result.
Ever since the new pricing went into effect on Feb. 28, customers have taken to social media to complain about the change. "Mr. Bezos why did you change the Amazon Fresh free delivery prices," TikTok user @kathy_g15 wrote in text on a video posted that same day, which also featured a screenshot of an alert on Amazon's website informing shoppers of the new surcharge. "Now we actually have to go to the grocery stores," she captioned the video.
In the comment section, other customers sounded off with their complaints as well. "Used to order Fresh every week," TikTok user @leedleweedlebeetle responded. "I'll definitely be boycotting this. If people don't take a stand, this will be the new normal." Another under the username @lexyladybug81 commented, "Um no I'll find somewhere else."
TikTok is not the only place where customers are calling out Amazon for the change. On Twitter, one user accused the company of "increasing food insecurity" by increasing the threshold for grocery deliveries without a fee. "Please everyone boycott @AmazonFresh by @amazon unless they bring back free delivery for purchases over $35. Not only does this make Prime membership a total waste of money, but it's one of the only grocery delivery services that takes SNAP/EBT," they wrote on Feb. 28. Others are pushing for boycotts as well. "BOYCOTT @AmazonFresh until they return free delivery over $35. You lost my business. I'll give my $5000 a year to Trader Joe's," another person tweeted on March 3.
Amazon says the new fees help keep prices low.
Amazon doesn't appear to have any plans to reverse this change, even as customers call for a boycott. When asked about the complaints from shoppers on social media, a spokesperson for the company indicated that the new surcharges were a necessary move. "We're introducing a service fee on some Amazon Fresh delivery orders to help keep prices low in our online and physical grocery stores as we better cover grocery delivery costs and continue to enable offering a consistent, fast, and high-quality delivery experience," they said in a statement to Best Life.
The Amazon spokesperson also indicated that the fees could drop depending on certain circumstances. "We will continue to offer convenient two-hour delivery windows for all orders, and customers in some areas will be able to select a longer delivery window for a reduced fee," they explained.