By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — Amazon Prime members are angry they’re paying for a service they say they aren’t receiving right now.

With the retailers’ sales and subscription revenues up, but no break offered to customers during the pandemic, CBS 2’s Tara Molina took the complaints we’ve received to their corporate offices on Monday.

For $119 a year, Amazon Prime members get a number of benefits. But the free, expedited shipping is a reason many sign up – and people we continue to hear from say it’s a service they aren’t getting it.

It’s safe to say Amazon as a company is in the green. The retail giant recorded more than $75 billion in sales in the first three months of 2020 – amounting to $10,000 every second.

Many of those sales come from millions of loyal Prime members. We found there are more than 150 million Prime members active now, and membership subscriptions are up.

But some longtime members, like Shawn Bidlingmeyer, were frustrated.

“Why am I paying for benefits I’m not receiving?” he said. “They’re not fulfilling what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Like others we’ve heard from, Bidlingmeyer said the company isn’t making good on its Prime shipping promises, yet refuses to give any membership money back despite requests for relief or a break on services members aren’t receiving.

“They just kept saying there is nothing we can do,” he said.

Amazon is still advertising free one-day delivery or same-day delivery for members.

But when it’s time to check-out, Bidlingmeyer said, “I pay for two-day shipping and then they say it’s two weeks out.”

He said when he asked about a discount, an online customer service rep offered him a $5 credit on his account or the opportunity to leave Prime and rejoin later on.

“I was asking a question and I was getting the runaround, not an honest answer,” Bidlingmeyer said.

So, we brought his question and concerns directly to Amazon, asking about any other options or solutions for existing Prime members.

Amazon spokeswoman Lauren Englund released the following statement:

“We have increased our capacity allowing most sellers to send products into our fulfillment network. Similarly, we are increasing purchasing from our Retail vendors. At the same time, we are improving delivery speeds in all categories, especially for products most highly demanded by customers. We continue to adjust our processes in response to COVID-19 to return to full capacity and Prime delivery speeds as quickly as possible.

“We’re focused on ensuring the safety of our associates while serving communities and people during this time. In addition to free delivery, Prime members can still enjoy entertainment benefits, including unlimited streaming access to thousands of movies and TV shows on Prime Video; two million songs with Amazon Music; a free rotating selection of more than 1,000 books; magazines and comics with Prime Reading; free games and loot with Twitch Prime; and more.”

 

Tara Molina