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I was recently placing an order on Amazon.ca when I was offered an option to have free shipping if I joined Amazon Prime for a free 30 day trial. Sure, I figured, who doesn’t want free shipping? I signed up. And because it was in the lead-up to Christmas, I promptly forgot about the 30 day part of the free trial and didn’t cancel my membership before the trial period ended. So unlike me! Anyway, I figured if I’ve paid for the membership anyway, I might as well try out the much-vaunted Amazon Prime Video offering. So many movies! So many TV shows! Amazon Original Series! I had high hopes. Alas, I live in Canada.

Watch popular movies including The Fast and Furious, Bridesmaids, and Despicable Me, as well as hit TV shows, with all titles available to download.

To use Amazon Prime Video you need to either sign into the website: www.primevideo.com or download the prime video application onto a mobile device. I tried both. Before logging into my account I could see the promo “Watch popular movies including The Fast and Furious, Bridesmaids, and Despicable Me, as well as hit TV shows, with all titles available to download.” That sounded awesome. Oddly, though, once I logged into my account I had only a total of six TV shows and a half-dozen Bollywood movies to choose from. What? That makes no sense! So I contacted Amazon to see what was going on.

Cue standard customer service response:

Greetings from Amazon.com! I’m sorry to hear you’re unable to stream more than six TV shows from your account. To help you with this, I’ve personally checked with my resources and can see that the issue you’ve reported is not normal. This is really not what we want our valuable customers to experience. I see android device is registered to your account, please try to stream the videos through your Prime video app on your android device, where you’ll find the following options to stream the PrimeVideo content:
1. Open the PrimeVideo app on your device,
– on PrimeVideo app under TV shows category you’ll find different TV shows as listed below:
Crime TV,Trending TV, TV genres, Drama TV, COmedy TV, Top TV,Anime TV,Action &Adventure TV, Thriller TV,Kids & Family TV, Latest TV.
From the list you can choose the desired TV show to stream on your device.
Please click on the below link to find the list of PrimeVideo TV shows and please be assured you’ll be able to find more TV shows on this link:
www.primevideo.com
As an Amazon Prime member, you can stream hundreds of movies and TV shows from PrimeVideo.com at no additional cost. Prime TV shows and movies are available on Mac, PC, Fire Tablet, mobile and Internet-connected TVs that are compatible with Prime Video.
For more information about Prime Video, please go to: https://www.primevideo.com/help
I hope this helps! We look forward to seeing you again soon. Best regards, customer service rep with Indian name…

Well, that did not help me at all. So I wrote back saying I had taken all those steps and just ended up with the same result and if I could not have the full Amazon Prime Video viewing experience, then I was going to request a refund of my membership fee. To which I received this reply:

Good day Underground Woman, I’m sorry to hear about the Prime Videos selection for you. I’ll be glad to assist you today. I’d like to bring to your kind notice that as the Prime Video app is available internationally, the app lists all the Movies and TV Shows available internationally but when you login to the app it only list you the titles based on your geographical location.

Please understand that the Amazon Original Series and the Movies and TV Shows we are able to offer internationally also depends with the content owners and country restrictions. I hope you understand our limitations in this regard! Understanding the circumstances, I’ve cancelled your Prime membership. You’ll see the refund in the amount of CDN$ 89.27 on your credit card statement within next 3-5 business days.

If you wish to remain a member of the Amazon Prime program, you can rejoin by visiting our sign-up page : http://www.amazon.ca/prime (Hah – fat chance of that happening!)

Underground Woman, I’ve taken your message as a strong feedback and have forwarded it to Amazon video business department. I can assure you that we’re constantly working to improve our agreements so we can offer the largest selection of movies and TV shows possible. I do understand the inconvenience that causes our customers when certain expectations are not met and that’s definitely we do not want our loyal customers like you to experience. Our goal is to provide an exceptional digital video service and we always endeavour to assist with the best of our service to ensure we fulfil all of your needs. However, sometimes we fail to do so due to factors out of our control. Thanks for letting us know what you would like to see on our digital video service. Customer feedback like yours helps us continue to improve Prime Video Services.

Wow, so because I’m located in Canada your Amazon Prime video offerings aren’t even worth bothering with. But that isn’t something you feel compelled to share with me when pitching your membership through Amazon Canada?!? Really. And you don’t even notice my geographic limitations when I first query why my account is showing such a pitiful selection?

To be fair though, they did proactively cancel my membership and immediately refund my money, which is pretty good customer service. I just would rather have a company be up-front with what it’s trying to sell you, than be apologetic and helpful once you uncover the ruse that is this kind of BS service offering. Let me know when your international Prime Video grows up Amazon, and until then, stop harassing me to join your Prime service.