After a year of disclosure about Amazon's treatment of its workers, products that violated privacy, and huge tax deductions from the government, some people canceled their Amazon Prime membership in protest.
But boycotting one of the features of a company that has a taste in every nook and cranny of your online life won't hurt Amazon much. Amazon Web Services is the main backbone of the internet and cannot be avoided. Prime subscription fee of $ 12.99 per month. Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world and has more money than God. In 2017, Amazon accounted for 44 percent of all US e-commerce sales.
You will never lose Amazon's profits by canceling Prime. It's much more fun – and arguably, more effective – to be a grit on the gears. That's why I plan to never pay for Prime, and use the free trial forever, instead.
I have been doing this for years, and in the course of perfecting this grift, I have messed up one or two times, so you can learn from my mistakes.
Step 1: Open a new email account
You may have used your daily e-mail address in past Prime trials, which means you can't use it again to get a new free trial. Open your favorite email service – Yahoo, AOL, MSN – and start a new address. I avoid making Gmail burners because I use Google products for many things and this can be confusing. Don't use one of the fake email address services (such as Fake Email or Guerrilla Mail) that don't actually give you access to a secure inbox, because you really have to use this inbox to confirm the trial and check for order updates.
Note: Most email providers will limit the number of accounts that you can open with the same phone number. Because you will link this email and finally your Amazon account to your credit card details, you might also want to activate two-factor authentication. If you want to be extra safe, you can buy a cheap prepaid phone and use that number to receive the 2fa text code.
When you press the ceiling, move to the next email client. There are hundreds out there. One day, if I live for hundreds of years, I will run out of email clients. But it's like thinking about the heat death of the universe: I don't.
Step 2: Get a password manager
This is an important part of this game. Don't miss it. Please take it from me – you will want an easy way to keep this login right, after you have made a few dozen of them. You not only need to remember the login credentials for your Amazon account, but also all burner email accounts.
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Use Lastpass or your preferred password manager, if you don't have one. Using a password manager will also help make your online life safer in general.
Step 3: Start your trial
Exit any Amazon account that you already have and start a new one with the email address that you just created. From there, press Try Prime, anywhere on the site. You will be able to find it, it is everywhere and never leaves you alone. Go ahead and "try" Prime.
This will ask you to add your credit card, but that doesn't matter. We will make sure Amazon will never charge it for Prime in a few moments.
At present, Amazon does not seem to strictly enforce the rules about how many free trials one person can register. Some people on this Reddit thread have reported that Amazon stopped their trial after around 30 registrations. The Amazon Prime terms and conditions do not say that you cannot continue to accumulate free trials, even though it says that the company "may terminate your Initial membership at our discretion without notice."
I sent an email to Amazon to ask if, or how, they monitored the new Prime account, and would renew if I heard again.
Step 4: End your trial
It's time to curve Jeff Bezos. Immediately after starting the trial, point straight to end it.
To do this, open your account in the top bar, then Prime. It may take a while to activate your trial – there is a slight delay from the time you register when this option is available – but you will see your membership details in the left sidebar. Near the bottom, there will be a link that says "End the Test and Benefits" or "Remind me before renewing." Remember, you might not check whatever email address you are using, so you want to end that, not reminded.
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From here you will be directed through the path of the most cunning user experience I have ever seen. Take care, and continue to click "Cancel My Benefits," even when the site tries to keep you alive.
After several attempts to defend you, you will reach the page to be canceled. In small print, you will see that this option terminates your membership at the end of one month, and you are free to use the benefits of the trial until then.
I learned my lesson about not immediately canceling a very difficult way. I forgot to end the trial and saw that I was sued by Amazon for membership for months without realizing it – and not knowing which email address was guilty. I have to go to each Amazon account and email inbox (almost all the passwords I forget, because I haven't used Lastpass), to try to find the culprit and cancel the subscription. Don't like me, I want you to avoid this mistake.
Step 5: Live your life
You are free to use all Prime benefits for the next 30 days, at no cost. Sometimes I put reminders on my calendar when it's over, so I know when to renew if I need to. But because you have put an end to the trial as it started, you don't need to remind yourself, and in fact, the site will continue to remind you that your benefits will end every time you enter. You also obviously don't need to repeat this process every 30 days at the point – you can create a new one whenever you need.
Bonus step: Search inside
Do a little introspection about how often you use Amazon Prime for stupid little things that you can take in a small local store. One day, Amazon might change how to verify a new account. Maybe today is that day. Until then, you can live fast and die with free shipping.