Amazon Prime: Even more of a rip-off for services you don't want

Posted on by Mike Evans

Over the past year I've written several times about my dissatisfaction with Amazon's arbitrary decision to offer "free" video steaming while at the same time increasing the cost of the Prime service to £79 a year. I've argued, quite rightly I think, that the original Prime service should have remained at £49 while anyone wanting video services or book lending should have paid extra. I also think it is intrusive the way Amazon deluges Prime users with spam-like reminders to watch videos they may not want.

We're sending you this email because you're a Prime member who is not using the video benefits that you're eligible for. 
You don't have to sign up for anything new -- unlimited instant video streaming is included in your Prime membership.

Now comes insult added to injury. According to press reports, we in the UK are being well and truly milked in comparison with even with US subscribers who pay £14 less, at £65 a year. That, though, is only the start: In Italy, Amazon Prime costs only £7.50, while in Spain it is £11.25 and still only £36 a year in France and Germany.

Unlike Apple, which strives to have broadly comparable pricing throughout the world, Amazon appears to decide how much they can get in any particular locality. It isn't a question of how much the service is actually worth, it is how much Amazon can get. 

It is about time Amazon accepted that not everyone wants to have a compulsory video-streaming service (after all, many choose to pay Netflix or other providers according to choice) and the subscription to Prime should be structured according to the services required. And they should charge broadly the same in all countries.