In recent years, one way Amazon tried to make a little coin in the smartphone market after their own attempts to produce a smartphone fizzled out was to sell other manufacturer phones at a significant discount. The Prime Exclusive program was the source for these devices. The trade-off for consumers getting a deal on the phones was putting up with ads on the lock screen. Due to a change in the program, Amazon is offering a refund to consumers who chose to pay a fee to avoid those ads on the lock screen.
All of this has been triggered by Amazon’s decision as announced last week to remove the ads from devices in the Prime Exclusive program. That may seem like good news, but the trade-off – it seems like there is always one present – is that Amazon is raising the price for Prime Exclusive phones by $20 to help offset the lost ad revenue.
This move had the potential to really tick off one group of users though – the ones who had previously paid the one-time $45 fee to remove the ads. To try to make the situation just a little bit better for those users, Amazon is planning to issue a refund to users who paid that fee. In yet another trade-off though, Amazon is issuing the refund as an Amazon gift card on a user’s account, meaning the refund only has value if a user makes a purchase from Amazon.
Update: An Amazon spokesperson notes that refunds for the ad removal fee will vary based on the amount originally paid by a consumer. Prime Exclusive phones had different fees depending on the particular make and model selected, so the fee was not always $45 as indicated earlier in the article.
source: Android Police