Amazon Moms say new diaper discount program reeks

Amazon Moms used to offer a great deal on diapers, but they've changed the program -- and parents aren't pleased.Amazon Moms used to offer a great deal on diapers, but they've changed the program -- and parents aren't pleas …It was a great deal: Members of Amazon.com's Mom program got 30 percent off diapers and wipes, free shipping for up to a year, and didn't need to clip coupons or track store sales in order to get the best prices on baby supplies.

So parents were understandably upset last week when Amazon.com announced new parameters for the program, with lower discounts and a limit on the free two-day shipping. But things really hit the fan when members found out that they'd need to purchase a $79-per-year Amazon Prime membership in order to keep their 15 percent Moms discount once the three-month trial period was over -- and that they couldn't even get one last order in at the lower price.

"What we find devastating is that they disabled the discount 10 days before they said they would," wrote Suzanna Gabulyan  Forestell on the Amazon Moms Facebook page. "I've been a loyal customer for so many years and referred so many people to them and I cannot believe this is the treatment I am getting!"

Now parents feel betrayed, and some are considering a boycott or even a Class Action Lawsuit against the retailer.

"Amazon marketed themselves as a company for moms... a company that understood the needs of moms and lured many of us in under the pretense of a good deal. I feel totally used," commented Melody Alberti on Facebook.

Rosanna Lara agreed. "I'm very disappointed because I was planning on ordering a few more boxes of  diapers before the change," she commented.  "If we have to pay an extra $79 then I really don't see a savings nor do I see why I would give them anymore of my business."

Mir Kamin of Wantnot.net, a shopping site devoted to discounts, points out that Amazon Moms can still be a good deal, especially if you factor in not having to leave the house, clip coupons, or buy a warehouse club membership.

"It's still better than not belonging if you're truly buying a lot of diapers and wipes from them, and you feel  like Prime is something that benefits you otherwise," Kamin said in an interview with Yahoo! Shine. Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping across the site, and also have access to other services such as free streaming video and Kindle book rentals. "You have to ask yourself: 'Would I pay for Prime anyway?' If the answer is no, then don't."

There are lots of alternatives for those who'd rather take their business elsewhere. "Bear in mind that many other online diaper sources -- Walgreens and CVS, for example -- run regular coupons and free shipping specials, so it may be that they're occasionally the best online deal, too," Kamin points out. Diapers.com (which is owned by Amazon.com) and Drugstore.com also offer diaper deals, and Sam's Club, Costco, BJs, Walmart, and Target have store brands and solid sale prices. (On Friday, a package of 27 Huggies "Little Movers" size 4 diapers was $12.49 at CVS.com and $18.49 on Amazon).

Still, Amazon Mom customers are complaining about bait-and-switch tactics; Amazon.com representatives declined to give a reason for the changes.Others consider it just part of doing business. "I suspect this is a reaction to so many people signing up for Mom Prime who weren't really the diaper/wipes buying type, just for that free year of Prime," Kamin says.  

But the bottom line is that the smaller discount leaves parents with less money in their pockets.

"There are times that I had gas in my tank to get to work only because of the savings I received," Janine Calvert wrote on Facebook. "No one is saying they shouldn't have raised their prices, but they did it so drastically and painfully… it is a slap in the face to long-term customers who have spent millions of dollars collectively with Amazon.com over the years."


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