Using a Fake Baby For Amazon Mom Discounts? We're Cool With That, Says Website

Parents are generally expected to raise their kids to understand that it's not OK to cheat, lie, or steal. But "white lies" are fine, right? So what if that white lie involved you telling Amazon you have a baby just to score some sweet discounts on household items? Even though the morality police may shake their heads at this certain situation, Amazon has thrown up its arms in defeat. You want to make up a fake baby to get a discount on soap? Whatevs, we've got bigger problems to deal with, the Internet retail megalith says. (Maybe like figuring out how those drones aren't going to end up transporting drugs.)

The Internet was a bit distraught when Slate's Matthew Yglesias revealed Monday that he uses the Amazon Mom program to save 20 percent on everything from pasta and soda, to Kashi bars and dish soap. He explains that Amazon Prime customers can get Subscribe & Save items delivered regularly to their homes for a five-to-15 percent discount. However, after filling out a simple Amazon Mom form — his fake baby's name is Tim Duncan Crawford — he is able to secure a 20 percent discount. Not too shabby.

Gawker's Adam Weinstein got pretty pissed off over the whole thing. As a parent, he made it perfectly clear how he feels toward Yglesias's price-skimming practices.

Yes. It's very likely that a high-volume online retailer doesn't give a hoot if an individual consumer is a harried mom split between career and kids, or a scruple-free Harvardian stack of privileges with a Logan Circle brownstone and a contract to vomit capitalist preferences into a content management system for more money than most families see in two years. Our money all looks the same to Amazon. ...
For harried parents—and if you don't know any, go out and meet them, and find out what it takes to raise life-sustaining funding these days while keeping a child from killing itself—for harried parents in this endlessly acquisitive society, mail-ordering for sundries and staples is a godsend, and discounted mail-order is a blessing, indeed.

Nonetheless, Scott Stanzel, Amazon's director of Consumer Communications, pretty much gave the go-ahead for fake Amazon Moms. While it sounds like Amazon would rather the signee be an actual parent, it didn't exactly advise against signing up for the program. And it doesn't seem as if Amazon is going to bother looking up your personal parental information anytime soon, because ain't nobody got time for that. (Did we mention the drones? Bigger fish to deliver.) Stanzel told Business Insider:

"We’re happy to have all Moms and Dads in the program, although parents with imaginary children won’t be able to take full advantage of the great discounts on diapers and other baby products that the program is designed to provide."

The Amazon Mom program sign-up is very easy, with Prime members able to plug in the name, birthday, and wide-ranging status as "mom," "dad," "step-parent," "family member," or "other caregiver" (so, technically, a cat counts, right?) to receive discounts on diapers and household items. With Amazon Mom, you also get free two-day shipping and a free Kindle book each month. Beats paying for Prime, you'd think.

So why doesn't everyone do it? Morality? Ignorance? Apathy? I honestly don't know. What I do know is that way back in 2010, a wise newspaper editor once told me, "We are at epic levels of stealing now."

How many people do you know who share Netflix, HBO GO, or New York Times accounts? Answer: a lot. And companies don't seem to be cracking down on the theft anytime soon — or maybe they are just turning a blind eye in the hopes that people will subscribe once they are financially stable. HBO GO even "allows subscribers to have three separate accounts so that family members can watch different shows at the same time." And with the introduction of Netflix Profiles back in August, users are able to have five separate profiles in one account. But if you live in Tennessee, watch out: It's illegal to share video-streaming passwords there. (Because, legislative priorities.)

Sidenote: Where the heck is Amazon Dad? Maybe the Internet goliath should consider redubbing the program. #justsayin

Image: Robert Scoble/Flickr