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Seattle, NYC and Philly Customers Balk at $299 'Prime Fresh' Amazon Grocery Fee

The free month was fun while it lasted -- a year, in the case of New York and Philadelphia.

The news was greeted with the kind of reception one might expect for a delivery of rotten fruit: Amazon will begin charging customers in Seattle, New York City and Philadelphia an annual membership fee to use its Fresh grocery delivery service.

Amazon began notifying customers in these cities that grocery deliveries would only be available to Prime Fresh members, who would need to pay $299 a year for the convenience of having eggs and milk delivered to their doors, according to GeekWire. It’s a fee the retail giant already charges in cities like Los Angeles, where it was described as an upgraded version of the popular $99 Prime two-day shipping program that also includes streaming movies and music.

But in New York City and Philadelphia, Amazon kept extending the 30-day free trial period indefinitely until it was about a year long. That free ride has ended.


That didn’t go over well with users, who turned to Twitter to vent their displeasure.

Amazon has been experimenting for a while with pricing for its grocery delivery service. For example, in parts of California, it allowed Amazon Prime members to choose to pay a $7.99 delivery fee instead of upgrading to Prime Fresh. In its hometown of Seattle, where the company began testing the service eight years ago, the service has been free.

Update: Amazon issued a statement, confirming the change.

“Customers in all areas where AmazonFresh is available can sign up for Prime Fresh or a free 30-day trial of Prime Fresh to use the service,” a spokesperson said. “Existing Prime members who upgrade to Prime Fresh will be refunded for their Prime membership on a prorated basis.”

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