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Amazon, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Today’s customer support email to a company I actually like.

I am trying to “Subscribe & Save” to several items on your site. I was brought to the “Subscribe & Save” idea through your flyer in a previous order:

So I went to your site looking for things to subscribe to. Seemed convenient! Unfortunately the guaranteed free shipping on all orders is clearly either not working or a lie in advertising. I doubt Amazon would blatantly lie, so I’m wondering what’s wrong?

Basically, if I subscribe to any products under $25, the free shipping is not registering. Example products:

I scoured your FAQ and I have not seen anything specifying that a product must qualify for Super Saving shipping to be shipped free under “Subscribe & Save.” In all of Amazon’s written documentation on the “Subscribe & Save” program, it is very explicit about there being free shipping on all orders and that there are no hidden fees and no penalties.

So, my question is why is the confirmation form saying I will be charged for shipping on “Subscribe & Save” subscriptions under $25?

I first called Amazon. Eventually the CSR tired of me. When I gave him the choice of either (a) Amazon’s system is botched or (b) Amazon is lying in their advertising, he said that Amazon was lying. I actually think its something more subtle. Like perhaps under $25 “Subscribe & Save” orders are free shipping only on shipments following the first one. I could see this being done to keep people from subscribing to get free shipping and then immediately cancelling the subscription.