Lawsuit, Citing EPIC, Alleges Amazon Locks Customers Into Prime Subscriptions With Dark Patterns

November 10, 2022

A recent class action filed in Washington alleges that Amazon used dark patterns to make cancelling customers’ Prime subscriptions more difficult. Dark patterns “are design features used to deceive, steer, or manipulate users into behavior that is profitable for an online service, but often harmful to users or contrary to their intent.” The lawsuit cites to EPIC’s 2021 complaint to the D.C. Attorney General’s office, which explains how Amazon’s deceptive cancellation interface effectively prevents Prime subscribers from ending their memberships, leads to further subscription fees, and allows the company to continue collecting, retaining, and using the personal data of misdirected subscribers. The class action alleges that Amazon violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act and asks the court to enjoin Amazon from using dark patterns in the Prime cancellation process. EPIC has repeatedly highlighted Amazon’s unfair and deceptive use of dark patterns and has advocated for enforcement action against companies that trick consumers with deceptive design. 

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