A Complaint Filed in 2021 with the European Authorities Questioned the Practices of the e-Commerce Giant
Caught by the patrol. The online commerce site Amazon made changes on Friday to allow its European customers to unsubscribe more easily from its paid service “Prime”. A platform which allows, for 49 euros per year, users to receive an order more quickly, to access a catalog of films and series or even to read e-books.
After a complaint filed last year by the European Bureau of Consumers‘ Unions, the Norwegian Consumer Council and the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, the European Commission took an interest in the commercial uses of the American giant.
A prominent “cancel” button
In a press release on Friday, Brussels said that “Amazon is committed to bringing its cancellation practices into line with EU consumer protection rules (…). by means of a clearly visible and unequivocal ‘cancel’ button’. The company was accused of not respecting “EU rules on consumer protection, and in particular the directive on unfair commercial practices”. In other words, Amazon “posed numerous barriers to unsubscribing, including complex navigation menus, convoluted wording, confusing choices, and repeated soft prompts.”
After negotiations with the European authorities, Amazon changed gear. Even if the platform had already started to modify its interface for a few months. This “will now allow consumers to unsubscribe in two simple steps, by means of an obvious and visible cancellation button”, underlines in particular the executive body of the European Union. The opportunity also for Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, to dot the i’s: “Consumers must be able to exercise their rights without being subjected to any pressure from the platforms (…). One thing is clear, manipulative processes, or “user traps”, must be prohibited.”