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FTC sues Amazon for using 'deceptive' tactics to sign up customers for Prime

2023-06-21 15:53 by
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The FTC is suing Amazon for allegedly enrolling customers to subscribe to Prime "without their consent while knowingly making it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions to Prime".

In a complaint filed today, the FTC accused Amazon of "knowingly" duping millions of consumers into signing up for Amazon Prime. More specifically, the FTC elaborated on how Amazon used "dark patterns" that tricked customers into automatically renewing a subscription to Prime, noting that during the checkout process, the company made it difficult for consumers to locate the button to finish purchasing an item in their cart.

"Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money," said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan in a press release. "These manipulative tactics harm consumers and law-abiding businesses alike. The FTC will continue to vigorously protect Americans from "dark patterns" and other unfair or deceptive practices in digital markets."

Amazon Prime costs $139 per year and gives consumers access to free two-day shipping, along with additional perks like access to Prime Video and music streaming.

The complaint says Amazon internally used the term "Iliad" to describe the service's cancelation process, which is a reference to Homer's lengthy epic poem about the Trojan war. The FTC also says users have to click through five pages on desktop or six on the mobile app when trying to cancel their subscriptions.

The FTC has been investigating Amazon Prime's sign-up and cancellation processes since 2021. In its complaint, the FTC alleges that Amazon attempted to "delay and hinder" its investigation in multiple instances. The Commission also alleges that Amazon executives failed to address the issues until they were aware of the FTC investigation.

Read more -here-


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