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For Amazon Prime Day, consider canceling your Prime – Quartz account.

I have never really wanted Amazon Prime.

At first, I signed up for Prime's exclusive Amazon affiliate program to access the Washington Post. At the time, in 2017, a one – year subscription at the post office cost $ 99. For the same price, I could sign up for Amazon Prime and get six months of free post – Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, owns the newspaper – as well as the following months for $ 3.99. If I had to pay $ 99 anyway, I thought I might as well have a Prime account.

The first year, I read a lot of the Washington Post and used a bit Prime. I lived in New York, a place where almost everything you can think of – clothes, groceries, toiletries, planter planters, decorative LED lighting, the latest novel by Mohsin Hamid – is nearby. From my apartment I could walk to Target, four grocery stores, two hardware stores, three pharmacies, two farmers' markets and countless restaurants. I've worked for five minutes at Home Depot, Best Buy, Harmon Face Values ​​(the best health and beauty products store you'll find in Manhattan), Trader Joe's, The Container Store, Staples, TJ Maxx , Marshalls and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Many people, probably most of them, do not have this profusion of shopping options just minutes from home or their office. But I did it, and feeling too much that Prime was excessive. I rarely bought in bulk, because of the lack of storage space in my apartment; there was therefore no point in spending large household orders. The reports on Amazon also made me uncomfortable with the company's work practices, its corporate culture, the treatment of third-party merchants, the hunt for pageant for a second head office. North America and everything Amazon knew about me. I have never gotten used to emails sent by Amazon a day or two after viewing but not buying a product. "Hello Ali," would say Amazon, as if we were friends. "Are you looking for something in our magazine of chargers and adapters? If this is the case, these articles might interest you. "

The second year, I was first by accident. Amazon automatically renews your Prime account, which probably accounts for the high retention rate of the service. There is no way to disable this automatic renewal unless you cancel your account, but you can choose to receive an email alert a few days before you renew your subscription. This e-mail navigated into my inbox, in part because it looked like all the other automated e-mails that I sent to Amazon, which I deleted by reflex.

I used my first accidental to watch TV shows on Amazon (Fleabag, Catastrophe, Mozart in the Jungle) and occasionally order online. I decided that was not enough to justify the subscription. Around January, while I had three months of subscription left, I tried to cancel my Prime account. Amazon rang the alarm.

"⚠️ Articles related to your premium membership will be affected if you cancel your subscription," said the cancellation page, listing the benefits I would lose. There was no way of saying if this would happen immediately or if my bonus benefits would continue until the end of my current subscription. Google also failed to clarify this point, so I asked the Amazon press team.

Screenshot of Amazon screen

"Premium members who have used their benefits can cancel their membership and will still have access to their bonus benefits until the next renewal period," said Lauren Englund, an Amazon spokesperson. "The date your subscription ends and your services are disabled is indicated on the last page of the cancellation process."

I was struck by the fact that this information would have been more helpful to the consumer, on the first page of the cancellation process, but probably less useful for Amazon, which obviously had it. intention to keep me registered. I asked Englund why Amazon did not include the option to prevent automatic premium renewal instead of sending a reminder before that happens. "This option is indicated on the last page of the cancellation process," End the [XX date of next renewal period]Wrote Englund.

In fact, to cancel Prime, you must confirm your intention three times. After its initial warning, Amazon asks you to consider "moving to monthly payments." (Prime is more expensive monthly, at $ 12.99 a month, than with an annual subscription of $ 119 currently.) On the third and last screen, finally, Amazon told me the date my benefits would take end. I canceled.

Screenshot of Amazon screen

How is life after Amazon? Absolutely good. It turns out that you can still use Amazon without a Prime account, which is easy to forget when a lot of the site is for Prime customers. Sure, shipments take longer, but there are not so many things that most people need urgently and unexpectedly, so you can not plan ahead and wait a week before their arrival. I recently moved to London and I used Amazon to buy a Brita filter (water is extremely difficult here) and a USB charger without any problems. Both have even come faster than expected by Amazon. I know many people with a Prime account who are happy to share their account for streaming on their TV. I still pay for the Washington Post.

I'm not saying you should cancel your Amazon Prime account. Everyone's situation is different. Amazon can be essential for many households, especially for those who do not have access to a car, do not have access to the transit system, or have the time to do their shopping themselves. Bezos said that he wanted Prime to be "such a value, you would be irresponsible not to be a member". According to the latest estimates on the adoption of Prime by the Cowen investment company in the United States, 63 million US households, or roughly half of the households in the country – suggest that Amazon understood what Bezos said.

My goal is to suggest to you, before the Amazon Prime Day shopping vacation, to take a critical look at your Prime Account and ask if you keep it out of habit, or because you really need it. It seems difficult to escape Prime for three main reasons: it is a very good service, it is renewed automatically and, most importantly, it changes our behavior as a consumer.

Prime, like many other digital services – Uber, Postmates, Instacart, to name a few – encourages us to make impulsive purchases, to expect to always be able to press a button and get something more or less on demand. Amazon is currently striving to make the day one day the standard on Prime, doubling the speed proposition, and it's not hard to imagine that this window will shrink to a few hours once the company will have delivered the drones. This shopping approach is appealing, but slowing down your shopping can also be enjoyable. If you change your mind, Amazon will not hesitate to pick you up.

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