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Automated apps have ruined a little-known Amazon perk

By Shawn Knight
May 23, 2016
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  1. A little-known Amazon perk that allowed customers to request a refund in the event an item purchased dropped in price shortly after the sale is reportedly no more.

    According to Re/code, Amazon stopped offering such refunds earlier this month, as per price-tracking companies and users on Reddit. The only exception seems to be on purchases of televisions. Amazon, however, tells a different story.

    Spokesperson Julie Law told the publication that the policy has always been limited to televisions and that any customer that received refunds on other products was granted an exception to the rule. Either way, those exceptions apparently aren’t being handed out at all anymore.

    Re/code speculates that the “change” in policy may have something to do with an uptick in sites that track price changes on Amazon and automatically request a refund on the customer’s behalf. In fact, it is Santa Monica-based startup Earny that first pointed out the change to Re/code. Another firm, Paribus, also noticed the change, the publication said.

    These programs work by scanning a customer’s e-mail inbox for digital receipts like those sent by Amazon then issue a refund request when a price drop crops up. This of course means you have to grant the company in question access to both your e-mail and your Amazon account, the latter of which Amazon frowns upon.

    Lead image courtesy Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

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