POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - EUROPE

Prime subscription

Amazon moves to comply with EU cancellation policy



It should be much easier to cancel a Prime subscription from 1 July.  Photo: Shutterstock

It should be much easier to cancel a Prime subscription from 1 July.  Photo: Shutterstock

Online retailer Amazon will adapt the procedure for cancelling a Prime subscription following a discussion with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities.

As of 1 July, it should only take two clicks to suspend or cancel a subscription for Amazon’s subscription service Prime. The subscription gives access to audiovisual content, as well as exclusive delivery options on purchases. The cancellation button will also be easy to access and clearly visible on the online giant’s webpage.

At the origin of this change is an action launched by the commission in April 2021 against the company, which has its European headquarters in Luxembourg. Various national consumer protection authorities and the European Consumer Organisation had filed a complaint, saying that the cancellation procedure was confusing and overly complicated.

To continue operating in the EU, Amazon had to comply with EU rules on consumer protection and unfair commercial practices.

“One thing is clear: manipulative design or ‘dark patterns’ must be banned. I welcome Amazon's commitment to simplify their practices to allow consumers to unsubscribe freely and easily,” said the EU’s justice commissioner Didier Reynders in a statement. While subscribing to an online service is incredibly easy, cancellation often isn’t, the commissioner cautioned.

Amazon commented on the news too. “Customer transparency and trust are top priorities for us. By design we make it clear and simple for customers to both 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 constructive dialogue with the European Commission,” a spokesperson told Delano.

The change will take place on Amazon platforms in all EU member states, and the commission, supported by national authorities, will monitor the implementation.

This article was edited to include commentary from Amazon.