Are you a current Amazon Prime member, or a former member within the last three years? Did you attempt to cancel your subscription only to be charged another Prime fee? You may be entitled to compensation under consumer-rights laws for Amazon's exploitative tactics. Fill out the form to find out »
WHAT'S THE ISSUE?
A class-action lawsuit accuses Amazon of engaging in illegal behavior regarding Amazon Prime members’ subscriptions to the service. Customers report unknowingly being signed for Amazon Prime and having immense difficulty cancelling their subscription. Amazon’s tactics include dubious design, language and layout in an effort to dupe users into retaining their subscription so that they buy more on Amazon.
The firm’s lawsuit focuses on Amazon’s exploitative behaviors that directly impact the way its customers subscribe to or cancel Amazon Prime subscriptions. These tactics are what the Federal Trade Commission deems “dark patterns” and are especially harmful to consumers. They are intentionally designed to confuse and impede the consumer’s ability to consent to purchases or subscription services. General examples can include buttons with the same style but different language, changing what the customer would expect to click, double negative language, disguised ads and time pressure designed to dupe users into clicking, subscribing, consenting or buying.
ABOUT AMAZON'S DARK PATTERN TACTICS
Examples of Amazon’s dark patterns include:
- Requiring Prime members to navigate through six layers of menus and webpages to locate the option to unsubscribe from their membership.
- Employing warnings of the consequences of unsubscribing from Amazon Prime while offering multiple prominent opportunities to stay enrolled.
- Confusing customers by changing terms on key buttons: “End Membership” changes to “Cancel My Benefits,” and then to “Continue to Cancel,” and finally to “End Now,” whereas, the “Keep My Benefits” button remains constant.
WHAT AMAZON KNOWS
Business Insider reports that Amazon executives and employees had long been concerned that customers were feeling tricked into signing up with or remaining with Prime, but they chose not to use clearer language because they didn't want the company's subscription business to slow down.
The Federal Trade Commission began investigating similar issues in March 2021 and is now seeking testimony from Jeff Bezos and current Amazon CEO, Andy Jassy, in the government’s investigation of Amazon Prime, according to news outlets.
Amazon Prime has an estimated 200 million members globally, 150 million of which are located in the U.S. Currently, the service costs $139 annually or $14.99 monthly.
HOW CAN A CLASS ACTION HELP?
Amazon is the world's largest online retailer, and we believe it has exploited its Prime customers to maintain its leadership position. In this investigation, our consumer-rights attorneys seek to represent a class of current and former Prime members who attempted to cancel but did not complete the procedure and were charged a membership fee. A class-action lawsuit makes it easier for a group of similarly affected individuals to bring powerful force against a major company.
Amazon has been forced to make changes in other markets. In Europe, Amazon agreed with the EU Commission’s request that it change its cancelation procedure, so that European consumers can cancel their subscription within two clicks, using a prominent and clear “cancel button.” But in the U.S., where Amazon is fighting the FTC’s investigation, Amazon continues to employ dark patterns to exploit U.S. consumers. We believe legal action can help.
TOP CONSUMER RIGHTS FIRM
Hagens Berman is one of the most successful consumer litigation law firms in the U.S. and has achieved more than $320 billion in settlements for consumers in lawsuits against Big Tech, retailers, food corporations, automakers, big banks and others. The firm is currently leading multiple antitrust cases against Amazon on behalf of its customers, and the firm has achieved many record-breaking victories in matters benefitting consumers. Your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in consumer law.
NO COST TO YOU
There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining this case. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the class's legal team. In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.
On June 21, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Amazon regarding its use of "Dark Patterns" to deceive its customers into subscribing to Amazon Prime. The FTC's case follows on the footsteps of Hagens Berman's case filed in November of 2022 outlining Amazon's brazen use of Dark Patterns in its subscription service, Amazon Prime. The FTC's case relies heavily on the firm's initial findings, echoing the same sentiments against the world's largest retailer.
"We are proud that our antitrust and consumer-rights legal teams were the first to file a complaint regarding Amazon's brazen use of trickery and Dark Patterns to induce its own customers," said Steve Berman, managing partner and co-founder of Hagens Berman. "The FTC has hopped on our bandwagon, and while imitation is the sincerest for of flattery, we do believe the FTC's interest only speaks to the strength and validity of our 2022 class action."
Hagens Berman is currently pursuing a total of eight US antitrust and anti-consumer cases against Amazon as well as one UK effort against the retailer through Hagens Berman EMEA, with all cases stemming from independent research and expert economic analysis