Your Amazon Prime membership is getting more “familiar”. A recent update to the wildly popular Prime subscription service has left customers scratching their heads asking, “But why?” Amazon Households, the title of the new provision, allows two adult members to connect Amazon accounts to a single Prime membership along with four minors. So long are the days of connecting four other accounts to your one membership.
What’s really confusing people about the whole changeup is how Amazon is requiring adult account holders to verify each others payment information for each account in order to be legitimized within the new Prime policy. However, people who shared Prime under the prior provisions don’t have to worry, they have been grandfathered into the new program. But if a member is dropped they will not be able to rejoin the account and new members can’t join a previous account unless they are the second adult of a household or any other relationship.
The Amazon Prime program for businesses has changed, too. Previously, four co-workers could be invited to a corporate account to share the benefits. Now, businesses must join the Amazon Businessprogram. The good news here is that businesses can join without charge and get free two-day shipping on orders $49 and more. But that seems about it.
The policy change appears to be similar to what other online companies are doing with subscriptions by switching to a “family” option en masse. Apple did it with Family Sharing, which enables a family to share apps and information all under one account. And Netflix did it, too, allowing up to four streams at a time on a single account. But Amazon’s update seems a little counter intuitive, and complicates the Prime membership.
Obviously there are greater forces at work here and it’s yet to be seen what Amazon has up its sleeve. Maybe this is the start of a ratcheting process on how members use Amazon’s services. Or maybe it’s not really anything more than an inconvenience to college students, roommates and couples with split finances. It’s all prespective really. Many people may favor this structure over the prior provisions.
Either way, if you use Amazon regularly and especially if you’re a Prime member, it’s good to know what’s happening within the e-commerce titan, Amazon.