Score a point for consumer protection as Amazon has agreed to abide by the rules set by the European Commission and will make canceling a Prime subscription much easier.
The process has been greatly simplified to follow a “two-click” process after consumer groups complained about how the (opens in new tab) the process originally was. European subscribers can now access their Prime account, where they will be greeted with some text explaining how the cancellation will work. Afterwards, they will select the prominent “End Membership Now” button. Gone is the maze of menus that people previously dealt with.
The updated process will come to Amazon on mobile and desktop devices. Customers can still adjust their payment options and change their cancellation date to a little later.
Clarity is key
Clarity was a major sticking point for the European Commission. It all started when several European consumer organisations, including the Norwegian Consumer Council, published a report with the scathing title “You can leave but you can never leave (opens in new tab)”. The report detailed how difficult it was to cancel an Amazon Prime subscription and referred to its design as having “dark patterns”.
The report claims that these dark patterns were aimed at manipulating people into keeping their subscriptions. The screenshots provided in the report show the old cancellation process and it is quite confusing. Users had to navigate through a series of menus, “distorted wording, [and] confusing choices. And along the way, Amazon encouraged people to stay, repeatedly reminding them of what they’re missing out on.
Not being someone to trust blindly, the European Commission says it and government officials will continue to keep an eye on Amazon to make sure it’s following the rules. We asked Amazon about this decision and whether these changes will reach American users.
An Amazon spokesperson told us, “Transparency and customer trust are top priorities for us. By design, we’ve made it clear and simple for customers to 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 a constructive dialogue with the European Commission.”
For the US, Amazon Prime will remain the same. That same spokesperson said Amazon is open to user feedback, but there are no changes at this time.
The European Union, in recent years, has been particularly tough on the tech giants. Several new laws were put in place to increase consumer protection and end monopolies. In March, the EU presented its Digital Markets Law (DMA) that may allow users to uninstall default apps and use services on other platforms.
Not satisfied with the software, the EU has its eyes set on establishing a standard universal charger. So instead of having a thousand different cables, you can have just one. Unsurprisingly, the tech giants aren’t too happy. Apple is totally against the idea of a universal charger.
If you’ve decided to keep Prime, be aware that Amazon Prime Day takes place on July 12 and 13, 2022. In preparation, has published a guide in the hottest offers for those days.