Last month witnessed Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos and his crew launch into space. While out of space, Blue Origin’s New Shepherd spaceship stayed in zero gravity for a few minutes before finding its way back to earth. The spaceflight with Bezos and his crew took place on July 20, 2021
Upon returning to earth, in a post-flight press conference the former Amazon CEO thanked Amazon customers and employees for making the trip possible. In Bezos’s exact words he said, “I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this.” Little did he know his innocent gesture of gratitude would receive backlash from customers. He added “Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s much appreciated.”
In the aftermath of his speech, many Amazon loyalists have turned sour. This has led to many Amazon customers saying that they are against funding the private space trips of a billionaire. Some who took to Twitter said the way Bezos orchestrated the whole episode was a gross display of wealth that made them cancel their Prime subscription.
Bezos’ tone-deaf comments after the spaceflight have greatly angered many, which has led to them voicing their disappointment with Bezos. According to these customers, they pay an annual fee for Amazon’s popular Prime bundle subscription. Several of them have turned to social media to express their displeasure over the speech made by Amazon’s former CEO. A post by a customer on a private Facebook group says “You guys, I just cancelled my Amazon Prime membership and feel GREAT about it, and I am overpaying to shop on a website and/or for a zillionaire’s rocket ride. Just had to tell the world I guess.” Another customer wrote “I’m about to cancel my Amazon prime membership quite literally just because Bezos said “thanks, you guys are the ones who paid for this” upon return from space.” Another customer has asked others to buy locally or from some online store other than Amazon.
Jeff Bezos who is an American business magnate, media proprietor, investor, and the founder of Amazon remained the Executive Chairman of Amazon until recently when he announced Andy Jassy – CEO of Amazon Web Services would be taking over as CEO. Andy Jassy had previously served as chairman, president, and CEO of the company. This handover to Andy Jassy marked the company’s 27th incorporation anniversary.
About a week before Bezos’ trip, Richard Branson traveled to space in his own company’s spacecraft. Branson’s Virgin Galactic has even started selling tickets to space. Both these companies are expected to start commercial space flights soon but that will be after launching some more test flights. But the backlash continues to receive slow-burning with many canceling their Amazon Prime subscriptions, a fee for preferential services from the e-commerce and digital streaming giant.