US govt’s FTC accuses Amazon of duping millions of consumers into subscribing to Prime: Report

Amazon Prime accused. Image credit: Pixabt

IBNS: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has slapped legal charges on Inc, alleging that the company enrolled millions of consumers into its paid subscription service, Amazon Prime, without their consent and made it difficult for them to cancel, Reuters reported.

The FTC accuses Amazon of using manipulative and deceptive user-interface designs, referred to as “dark patterns,” to trick consumers into signing up for automatically renewing Prime subscriptions.

Amazon Prime offers various benefits, including fast shipping, discounts, and access to entertainment content, and has over 200 million members worldwide.

The FTC has been investigating sign-up and cancellation processes for the Prime program since March 2021, said the report.

“Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money,”  FTC Chair Lina Khan was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The FTC investigation into the sign-up and cancellation processes for Prime began in March 2021. Consumers who tried to cancel their Prime membership were reportedly faced with multiple steps to complete the cancellation process, according to the complaint.