Amazon reportedly changing Subscribe & Save order pricing without notice

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,266   +894
Staff member

Update (09/12/18):

Amazon clarified the situation stating that Arcanlaw had made a change to his order which affected its delivery date. This delivery date change caused the system to generate a replacement order to correspond to the new delivery date. Unfortunately, the replacement orders no longer applied the same promotions and coupons as the original orders, resulting in different prices.

“While the price of an item can change from delivery to delivery, as prices naturally fluctuate, Amazon does not change Subscribe & Save order pricing without notice, nor does Amazon cancel orders because of a price decrease,” A spokesperson told TechSpot.

So it would appear that unlike a magazine or other type of subscription, prices for the continued deliveries will vary depending on fluctuations in the product's price.

Amazon's Subscribe & Save is a service allowing users to sign up for regular deliveries of products that they frequently use. The perks of the program are that subscribers can save up to 15-percent off the price and free shipping and never have to worry about running out. It’s a decent deal for things that you frequently use like dog treats, toilet paper, or laundry detergent.

Slickdeals user Arcanlaw claims he signed up to receive cat food and treats through S&S for $18.54 plus tax on December 2. The products were due to arrive on December 18 but never showed up. When he received his statement in January, he noticed that his order had been canceled then re-ordered on December 25 for $34.92, nearly twice the price of the original agreement.

At least 50 other users stated similar experiences. One TechSpot staffer reports that the same thing happened to his Subscribe & Save order. After noticing it going from $19 per month to $25, without notification, he canceled his subscription. However, the cancelation did not go through the first time he tried, and he was charged for another month at the higher rate.

After contacting Amazon Customer Service via email about the incident, Arcanlaw was told this was part of the terms of service.

“Amazon may, at their discretion, cancel an S&S order(s) if the price is lower than Amazon would like. They may do this at any time and without notification to the customer. Amazon may then re-enter that S&S item(s) to a customer's account at the then-current price. They may do this at any time and without notification to the customer.”

Slickdeals combed through Subscribe & Save’s terms and conditions and could find no reference to the stated stipulation. It contacted Amazon for clarity on the matter and was given a contradictory statement to the response given to Arcanlaw.

“We don't do any such things,” the rep told Slickdeals. “If the price is changed for an item on our website it will only be changed for future subscribe and save orders and the current order will not be affected. The discount will be applied to the new price.”

Slickdeals pointed out that users had screenshots and email confirmations showing that they had been charged more, but Amazon replied, “No need of any concerns. You will be charged only the correct price. The price charged will not change.”

TechSpot reached out to Amazon for clarification of this controversy but did not receive a response by the time of publication. We will update this article with more information as we receive it.

Permalink to story.



Posts: 5,468   +6,152
Amazon, wading from unscrupulous to illegal. Amazon have been slowly creeping up to this for 2 years new. The subscribe and save branding become a misnomer over 2 years ago.


Posts: 56   +16
Yup, happened to me too!
What is the point, if Amazon don't honour the price to save money in the first place.


Posts: 3,806   +4,930
If the EU did not like the dash buttons they would definitely not like this.

This is exactly WHY the EU didn't like them..they knew exactly what Amazon was up to. This is why I will never, EVER have an automatic payment for anything.


Posts: 3,836   +1,186
I'm in the same boat guys, I started using this because it was really convenient UNTIL...

You get an email to review all your S&S, (For the purpose of the example, the item is $10) and I see that what used to be $10 before now it's going to be charged $20, so I say ok, let's skip or cancel but before doing so I go into Amazon and it's priced $10...

So they either know a price spike is coming (How?) or they are creating that price spike, one way or the other fudge them, I'm S&S to Walmart from now on.


Posts: 385   +267
Continued fail on Amazon's part. I guess Bezo gonna need to re-coup the money being lost in his divorce somehow.


Posts: 50   +0
I thought this was common knowledge? It's the reason I cancel all my S&S orders as well. Super shady practices. Even if they did send an email about price updates, it would be easy to miss. The default should be to put your order on hold until you acknowledge the price change.


Posts: 456   +139
Is it really that hard to go "click" and buy what you need when you need to order more? This prevents this problem.
Y same here. An email came charging me 18 pounds. I looked suspiciously high, I checked the website which said my July order was 14. Cancelled all of them straight away. I got screenshots but I don't see a way to post them. Pity, such a nice idea, such a horrible implementation.


Posts: 17,993   +6,806
I got screenshots but I don't see a way to post them. Pity, such a nice idea, such a horrible implementation.

OK, first, you absolutely positively have to be in the "forum mode". It can't be done from the front page comments.

Photos up to a certain size can be uploaded directly from your machine, simply by clicking the "upload file" button, directly to the right of the "post reply" button.

An advanced mode with more posting options, is, (IMO very logically), marked "more options. Previewing your post is possible in that mode.

To post larger photos, you need to open an account with "Imgur" (very popular for this type of function now), or anyone of a number of online image storage sites, and then simply hot link the photo to this site, using the "add image icon" in the tool bar above the reply box. Paste the photo's image into the dialog box when it appears.

Notice the "smiley" icon, the add photo icon is to the right of it, (looks like a TV screen), and the "add media (movies) button is the 3rd in line, and serves to insert YouTube and other video sources into your post. (That's the button that looks like movie film).