Many stores offer a price protection policy, which means they'll provide a price adjustment for a consumer who bought an item if the store drops its price afterward or if another retailer does. But Amazon (AMZN) is no longer one of those retailers.
The online giant has changed how it handles price protection, excluding such refunds for all products except TV sets, according to TechCrunch. If a customer bought a a Chrome notebook on Amazon for $300, for example, but the price declined to $250 within a week of the purchase, the retailer previously would have refunded the difference.
The policy change comes amid a rash of new services that track a consumer's purchases and then monitor whether the price dropped afterwards. If it does, the service requests a price adjustment on the consumer's behalf. Those services include companies such as Earny and Paribus.
Amazon, however, said its policy hasn't changed, adding that customer-service representatives previously had some leeway on when to offer price adjustments. Still, it appears to have been a fairly common practice, given that about half of Earny's price adjustments stemmed from Amazon purchases, TechCrunch reported.
"Customers who were provided refunds in the past by our customer-service associates received an exception," an Amazon spokeswoman said.
Amazon also doesn't provide price-matching policy, again except for TVs. As a result, it has one of the least consumer-friendly policies, given that rivals including Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) offer some form of price protection. Target, for instance, will match an item's price if it's sold for less at a competitor, and it offers price adjustments within 14 days of a purchase.