Want to Cancel Amazon Prime? Prepare for an 'Ordeal'

Watchdog groups challenge cancellation policy
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2021 2:06 PM CST
Updated Jan 17, 2021 4:28 PM CST
Want to Cancel Amazon Prime? Prepare for an 'Ordeal'
An Amazon Prime logo appears on the side of a delivery van as it departs an Amazon Warehouse location in Dedham, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Consumer watchdogs in the US and Europe have filed complaints against Amazon, claiming the company makes it too difficult to cancel Prime membership. A report from the Norwegian Consumer Council finds a "deliberate attempt to confuse and frustrate customers" looking to cancel the streaming service that also comes with free and fast shipping from Amazon, per Forbes. The report claims a person wanting to cancel the membership needs to visit the appropriate section of Amazon's website, then click and scroll through six separate webpages, each one containing warning symbols that steer consumers toward retaining membership. "Throughout the process, Amazon manipulates users through wording and graphic design, making the process needlessly difficult and frustrating to understand," the report reads.

The NCC has filed a complaint with Norway's consumer protection authority, arguing the manipulative practice violates European Union law. Meanwhile, Public Citizen has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in the US. "Amazon Prime's subscription model is a 'roach motel,' where getting in is almost effortless, but escape is an ordeal," Public Citizen's complaint reads. "Consumer groups in France, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Switzerland are also calling for action," reports the BBC. In response, Amazon says it is "clear and easy for Prime members to cancel their subscription at any time, whether through a few clicks online, a quick phone call or by turning off auto renew in their membership options." It adds "the information we provide in the online cancellation flow gives a full view of the benefits and services members are cancelling." (Read more Amazon stories.)

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