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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos flew out to space and stayed in zero gravity for a few minutes last month. After landing back on Earth, he thanked all Amazon customers for funding it. Little did he know this gesture of gratitude would majorly backfire. Many Amazon customers are now saying that they are against funding the private space trips of a billionaire. Some said the way Bezos orchestrated the whole episode was a gross display of wealth that made them cancel their Prime subscription. Bezos’ July 20 trip to space was a test launch before his company Blue Origin began commercial operations to take astronomers and other wealthy space enthusiasts on private trips.
“I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this,” Bezos said after his flight, adding, “So seriously, for every Amazon customer out there, and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart, very much. It’s very appreciated.”
Even then several people criticised how Bezos’ statement was “tone deaf.”
Tone deaf doesn’t begin to describe this @JeffBezos quote.
I’m sure your workers who get blocked from unionizing at every turn are just giddy with excitement about your neato field trip to outer space that they subsidized. https://t.co/pmgCUIp7kp
— Nick Knudsen ???????? (@NickKnudsenUS) July 21, 2021
The backlash has been slow-burning since and now, according to a report by Business Insider, many of them are cancelling their Amazon Prime subscriptions, a fee for preferential services from the e-commerce and digital streaming giant.
“You guys, I just canceled my Amazon Prime membership and feel GREAT about it,” the report cited a customer as saying in a private Facebook group post. “I am over paying to shop on a website and/or for a zillionaire’s rocket ride. Just had to tell the world I guess.”
Since then many people have voiced their disappointment with Bezos. A Twitter user asked him to give every Amazon Prime subscriber “a freebie considering we paid for you to go to space!”
@JeffBezos how about you give every Amazon prime subscriber a freebie considering we paid for you to go to space! I’d like you to pay me to stay at home and rent some films, not much to ask???? #amazon #BlueOrigin #space #givemeabreak #amazonprime #freerental
— FromTheShadows (@FTShadows) July 23, 2021
Another incensed user wrote this:
I’m about to cancel my Amazon prime membership quite literally just bc bezos said “thanks, you guys are the ones who paid for this” upon return from space.
— ɴᴀᴅɪᴀ ???????? (@VainArab) July 24, 2021
A third user asked others to buy local or some online store other than Amazon.
You — yes, you, the one reading this — paid for Jeff Bezos’ vanity space travel. Maybe cancel your Amazon Prime account? Maybe shop local? Maybe order online from places other than Amazon?
— Daniel A. Hoyt (@dan_hoyt) July 20, 2021
About a week before Bezos’ trip, Richard Branson travelled to space in his own company’s spacecraft. Branson’s Virgin Galactic has even started selling tickets to space. Both these companies are likely to start commercial space flights next year after launching some more test flights.