On Wednesday, Amazon was accused of enrolling millions of consumers into its paid Prime subscription without their consent.
What is the Complete Story?
The US FTC, aka Federal Trade Commission, accused the e-commerce giant Amazon of enrolling millions of consumers into its paid Amazon Prime service without their consent. Now, it is hard for them to cancel the subscription.
The agency sued the e-commerce giant in federal court in Seattle. They made a statement that Amazon has cheated millions of their consumers by unknowingly enrolling them into Prime subscriptions.
In the United States, consumers have to pay $139 per year to enjoy Amazon Prime services. However, the subscription amount drives much of Amazon’s sales volume. There are more than 200 million Prime members worldwide.
And they are crucial to Amazon’s other businesses, such as its Prime Video streaming service and grocery delivery service.
How Amazon Duped Millions of Consumers into Enrolling in Prime Subscriptions?
The Federal Trade Commission claimed that Amazon had used manipulative user interfaces known as dark patterns to trick their consumers into enrolling in prime subscriptions. If consumers unknowingly enroll in the paid subscription, it becomes hard for them to get out of it.
However, the FTC said it seeks civil penalties and permanent injunction to prevent violations in upcoming years.
Lawsuit against Amazon
On Wednesday, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Amazon for enrolling millions of consumers into its Prime subscription without their consent. It was said in the lawsuit that Amazon changed its cancellation process in April.
Still, consumers have to click five times on desktop and six times on mobile to cancel the subscription. Since March 2021, the Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the Prime service’s sign-up and cancellation processes.
According to the lawsuit, customers who attempted to cancel Prime service have to face multiple labyrinthine steps to accomplish the cancellation task. The FTC made a statement that Amazon committed international misconduct to delay the FTC’s investigation by providing bad faith to request documents.
What Amazon Has to Say on the Allegations Made Against Them?
In response to the FTC’s allegations, Amazon claimed false facts and the law. The e-commerce giant said it is true that consumers love our Prime services, and our design makes it clear and simple for them to sign up or cancel their Prime subscription.
They added that the FTC announced the lawsuit without notifying them. However, Amazon also had a discussion with the FTC staff members to ensure they understood the facts and legal issues before having a word with the commissioners.