Has Amazon Killed Its Price-Protection Policy?

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The retail giant says nothing has changed, but many customers disagree.

Amazon apparently no longer offers price protection except for TVs — although the company insists that nothing has changed from its earlier policy.

People who shop at the retail giant say it has matched its own prices in the past. For example, it would offer money back if the price of an item it sells dropped within seven days of your having purchased it.

As recently as March, one of our own writers got $12.22 back on Amazon purchases after prices dropped. (She didn’t have to do anything to get that $12.22, by the way, because she uses a handy — and free — service called Paribus.)

But such price matches are no longer offered, according to Amazon’s “About Price Matching” page:

Amazon.com consistently works toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry and will match the price of other retailers for some items. Amazon.com will price match eligible purchases of televisions with select other retailers. For all other items, Amazon.com doesn’t offer price matching.

Reports of people regularly being denied price-match requests by Amazon have been surfacing online over the past few weeks. Nonetheless, Amazon says it has not made any such policy changes.

In a USA Today report published this morning, an Amazon spokesperson said the company “always had a no price matching policy, because we believe we’re always making the best pricing decisions on behalf of our customers.”

The spokesperson also told the newspaper that, because it does not have a price-matching policy, its customer service associates have broad freedom in what they offer customers. So it’s possible customers have received price matches in the past and still are receiving them at times.

Whatever the case may be, there’s probably little that shoppers can do to sway Amazon.

You can, however, sign up for a free service like Paribus to take advantage of other retailers’ price-matching policies. These services monitor prices of things you’ve purchased online and, if the price drops within the retailer’s price-match window, automatically request a reimbursement on your behalf.

Paribus, for example, currently partners with 19 retailers in addition to Amazon. The 19 include Target and Walmart, which have two of the best price-matching policies.

What’s your take on this news about Amazon? Have you been denied price matches from the company in recent weeks? Let us know what you think below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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