Some Amazon customers are cutting Prime after Jeff Bezos' trip to space: 'I am over paying' for 'a zillionaire's rocket ride'

Advertisement
Some Amazon customers are cutting Prime after Jeff Bezos' trip to space: 'I am over paying' for 'a zillionaire's rocket ride'
Jeff Bezos speaks about his flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard into space during a press conference on July 20, 2021 in Van Horn, Texas. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • On July 20, billionaire Amazon cofounder Jeff Bezos briefly went to space.
  • Upon returning to Earth, Bezos thanked Amazon's customers for funding his space trip.
  • For some Amazon Prime members, it was a gross display of wealth that made them cancel their subscription.

On July 20, billionaire Amazon cofounder Jeff Bezos briefly went to space in a rocket from his rocket company, Blue Origin.

Upon return, the former Amazon CEO thanked Amazon customers and employees for making the trip possible: "I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this," Bezos said during a post-flight press conference. "Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It's very appreciated."

Some of those customers he thanked, however, saw the jaunt to space as a good sign to quit paying $120 annually for Amazon's wildly popular Prime subscription service.

Advertisement

"You guys, I just canceled my Amazon Prime membership and feel GREAT about it," one such customer said in a private Facebook group post. "I am over paying to shop on a website and/or for a zillionaire's rocket ride. Just had to tell the world I guess."

Read more: It's easier than ever to find a job. And that's making it harder for employers to mandate vaccines.

They were one of several people Insider spoke with who said they canceled their Prime subscription in the days following Bezos' trip to space, who were directly inspired by the trip to cancel.

Advertisement

For Katie, the decision was a long time coming.

She signed up for Amazon Prime way back in 2004, and has been a subscriber ever since. "Back then, it simply seemed like a good place to buy books online," Katie, who asked not to be identified with her last name, said.

But as time went on, reasons to feel differently about Amazon began to build.

Advertisement

"First, it was realizing how this company negatively affects the publishing industry," she told Insider, in reference to Amazon's tumultuous relationship with book publishers over the years. "Then, it was discovering the abysmal treatment of the warehouse workers. Next, a growing awareness of my own consumerism that was really starting to gross me out."

For Katie, Bezos' trip to space was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Some Amazon customers are cutting Prime after Jeff Bezos' trip to space: 'I am over paying' for 'a zillionaire's rocket ride'
Blue Origin's New Shepard crew (L-R) Oliver Daemen, Mark Bezos, Jeff Bezos, and Wally Funk hold a press conference after they flew into space on July 20, 2021. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"I saw a few posts from people in some of my online groups that they finally pulled the plug, and reading all of the positive replies, it's like it just clicked for me."

Advertisement

A similar situation played out with another former Amazon Prime subscriber, named Katy: Over the years, as more stories about Amazon's treatment of its workers came to light, and she became increasingly aware of the environmental impact of her consuming habits, she began to rethink her Prime subscription.

"In July of 2020 I started to really budget for the first time," she told Insider. "And seeing that I was spending a great deal of my money on convenience that didn't match my values and could be done in a cheaper way was a big part."

When Bezos went to space, the decision became clear.

Advertisement

"The whole thing was such a spectacle of a single person amassing so much wealth that they simply have lost touch with the reality for the average person," Katy said. "I had forgotten to cancel and my membership was renewed. I had moved some money around in my budget to cover the cost of another year, and the coverage actually inspired me to log on and cancel and get a refund instead."

Though she doesn't regret her decision and isn't considering going back, Katy said she understands why millions of Americans continue to subscribe to Amazon Prime.

"For many people, Prime and Amazon gives them access to things they cannot get in other ways," she said. "I am lucky to live in a place where I have access to many locally owned shops including a local grocery and a locally run shop that sells bulk items to help reduce single use plastic."

Advertisement

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

{{}}