Cost of casually browsing Amazon


When is a scam not a scam? When it's a dud purchase.

I write so often here about people being ripped off by shady merchants that perhaps I've become a bit too wary. So, when €112 disappeared from my bank account for a service I didn't buy, my radar was on immediate alert. The online 'purchase' was from Amazon, a normally highly reputable company, so clearly I was concerned.

I got in touch to warn them but discovered it wasn't a scam at all! In 'browsing' their website, they claimed, I "might have signed up accidentally" for a 'free trial' of Prime - their subscription-based downloading service which automatically converts to a paid option if you don't cancel it. Hmmm. They refunded the money immediately, once I pointed out I hadn't bought it - or anything - from the Amazon UK site (I'm a US customer as the Dollar conversion is much better value).

However, in the meantime, Mastercard had noted the 'suspicious' activity and cancelled my credit card causing me some embarrassment in a shop.

Dear me. It's hard to know which was more annoying, but if I hadn't spotted it, I might have had to resort to a new credit card - at cost - for something that wasn't my fault. They accepted a verbal assurance on this occasion. I'll still use Amazon, especially for Kindle, but be far more careful to check my account for real purchases.