There is some debate over whether Amazon has changed its policy on markdowns.
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According to users, Amazon has long provided refunds to customers if the price on an item they purchased went down and they called customer service to complain. But according to customers on Reddit, Amazon recently stopped doing that for everything except televisions.
Amazon, however, denies making any change. Refunds, it says, only apply to TVs and anyone who received them for other items were an "exception."
"Our Official Policy on Price Matching and price protection has not changed," an Amazon spokesperson said. "These stories are inaccurate. We work hard to find the best prices out there and match them for all customers every day. Our customers expect to come to Amazon and find the lowest prices and we are obsessed with maintaining that customer trust."
On Reddit, however, customers were perplexed and annoyed that Amazon would deny changing its policy, a move some suggested went into effect on May 1.
"What pisses me off the most is amazon is pretending like they never did this and if it happened before it was a 'one time exception,'" wrote one Redditor. "I have price adjusted at least 50 times in the last 3 years, so that's bulls**t if it was just an 'exception' this was the policy that amazon had."
"I just got off of the most frustrating chat with an agent where I learned this new change. Except the agent told me the previous policy to refund the post-purchase drop in price was never in existence," another Redditor wrote earlier this month. "Their supervisor told me this too! Just kept repeating I was an exception and never told me when this changed even though I kept asking. It took till I called and the agent on the phone told me the policy changed 2 days ago. They had me feeling like a crazy person on the online chat."
TechCrunch, meanwhile, posted emails from Amazon Customer Service sent on April 28, which said "If the item is shipped and sold by Amazon we have a 7 days price match from the time of delivery." By May 2, however, customer service said "With the exception of TVs, Amazon.com doesn't offer post-purchase adjustments."
"Why can't they just be honest with their customers and not treat us like idiots with canned robotic responses that are obviously lies," an Amazon customer wrote on Reddit.
The change also caught the eye of shopping start-ups like Paribus and Earny, which alert users if prices drop on something they recent bought online. As TechCrunch notes, this could hurt those companies' bottom lines; about 50 percent of refund requests handled by Earny are for Amazon, says co-founder Oded Vakrat.