Amazon have made it easier for users to cancel their Prime subscriptions in just two clicks after consumer groups took their grievances about the e-commerce giant to the EU last year.
The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the Norwegian Consumer Council and the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue criticised Amazon for pushing users to go through a number of stages to cancel their subscription, and lodged a complaint to the European Commission April last year.
The groups pointed to the confusing wording and complicated menu options used by Amazon to make it more difficult for customers to cancel their payments.
Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said in a statement this afternoon: “Consumers must be able to exercise their rights without any pressure from platforms. One thing is clear: manipulative design or ‘dark patterns’ must be banned”.
An Amazon spokesperson said: “By design we make it clear and simple for customers to both sign up for or cancel their Prime membership. We continually listen to feedback and look for ways to improve the customer experience, as we are doing here following constructive dialogue with the European Commission.”
As reported by City A.M. earlier this year, new laws being pushed through UK parliament are calling for fake reviews and “subscription traps” to be made illegal.
Under new provisions, the UK competition watchdog plans to make it “clearly illegal” to pay someone to write fake reviews, and will have new powers to fine firms up to 10 per cent of their global turnover.
The rise of fake reviews has come alongside the wide e-commerce boom, which has resulted in fraudsters flooding the market to falsely incentivise people into buying products. This loses customers thousands of pounds a year.
The new provisions will mean the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) can put a heavier onus on sites, like Amazon, to ensure that customer reviews are genuine, as well as to avoid trapping users into payment schemes.
Consumer choice site Trustpilot said it “welcomes legislation introduced with the aim of protecting consumers from fake reviews”, whilst some have warned the rules should not be too erroneous on firms.
Amazon Prime services, including video and delivery, cost UK customers £7.99 a month.