June 22 — Have you ever wondered if you have Amazon Prime? Or how many different accounts could you have?
Do you ever wonder when you signed up for it?
You’re not alone and the Federal Trade Commission is taking the corporate giant Amazon to court over it.
The FTC is suing Amazon for allegedly tricking millions of people into subscribing to its Amazon Prime service. The agency claims that Amazon had signed up customers without their proper consent and then made it difficult for them to cancel the yearly subscription service.
Amazon, of course, denies the charges.
Attorney Clint Barkdll said, “This is a big story in that Amazon Prime has over 200 million members, probably the majority of the listening audience are members of Amazon Prime. It’s $139 a year. The Federal Trade Commission is saying not only were people sort of tricked or they were clicking links on the website that unwittingly signed them up for the service but then it was very difficult if not impossible to unsubscribe.”
Some economists are pointing out there were some similar recent settlements for much smaller internet subscription services that came close to the $200 million range.
Barkdoll said, “So if the FTC is successful here, this would likely be a record setting damage or settlement award and like so many of these things, who knows how that then gets dispersed. If you’re a member of Prime, you’re probably going to get some kind of a rebate back and then Amazon will need to switch the platform to make it easier to unsubscribe to the service if that’s what you want to do.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “I’ve experienced this personally. At first I signed up for it willingly, because it was $99 a year and you supposedly got all this free delivery and things like that. So you felt like okay, I’m making up for a lot or maybe I can make up for most of it. But then the problem is, they automatically sign you up. I didn’t get any notice that the price was increasing to $139 a year. I did try to cancel it once like a week past the date and they said no, you cannot cancel it at anytime. You have to wait until your anniversary date to cancel it, for the next year you are locked in and I found that really troubling.”
Barkdoll added, “Remember if you’re an NFL football fan, some games are now broadcast exclusively on Prime. So that was another way they picked up millions of new members.”