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Amazon Video Rental: The 29 Days vs. 48 Hour Confusion & Confounding.

by Anura Guruge


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Have you ever, especially if you are a Prime Member rented an Amazon Video and noticed, to your chagrin and loss, that it is saying that you have just 48 hours to finish watching the movie — though you are pretty damn sure that it said ‘29 day rental‘ when you were paying for it.

Mystery solved.

No you were NOT mistaken in thinking that Amazon said ’29 days’ when you were going to rent it. That is what they say.

But that ’29 days’ is “UNOPENED” shelf life so to speak. You can keep it on your watch list for ’29 days’ PROVIDED you don’t click on it. Get it? ’29 days’ as long as you don’t open it.

As soon as you click on it and start watching it, even for 1 SECOND, it immediately goes into 48 hour mode.

So, UNOPENED —  29 days.

As soon as you start watching — 48 hours.

We had noticed this a few times with our rentals but let it pass since it was no big deal. We managed to finish watching the movie within the 2 days.

But last week we had an issue. The kids wanted to watch “Back to the Future I“. So I rented it. Pretty sure it said 29-days. This being the Summer I was glad. We don’t watch as much family TV. We watched about 40 minutes and then stopped. A few days later, with Father’s Day etc. intervening, we went back. It was gone! We had to rent it again. I balked just on principle. The $3.xx wasn’t going to break me BUT I wanted an explanation.

So I ‘called’ Amazon (or to be precise got Amazon to call me). As ever they were very nice — given my longtime Prime Membership and possibly because I have ordered over 100 items in the last six months (and that was a quiet period). She admitted that ‘this’ — the 29 day/48 hours — causes a lot of confusion. That begs the question as to why Amazon, usually so customer oriented, hasn’t changed it. Of course she reinstated the rental. Of that I had no doubt. But I haven’t checked whether it is there. Anywho … We now have an explanation.

If you ‘open it’ — you have 48 hours. So you have now been warned. SMILE.


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by Anura Guruge


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About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my https://nhlifefree.com/ blog.

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