After a two year investigation, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon for deceptive sales practices of their Prime program and the hurdles to cancel.
While Amazon denies the allegations, the FTC claims Amazon has all kinds of little tricks and hidden consent to get people to sign up for Prime. They also make it difficult to complete a purchase without Prime, and hide the consent in purchases without disclosing the sign up is actually for a monthly recurring subscription.
After that, the hurdles continue when wanting to unsubscribe. Internal memos, discovered by the FTC, show the company calls it “Iliad” after Homer’s poem about the Trojan War. The process is all about discouraging people from cancelling without a lot of hurdles, hassles and hard to find places on their site.
This follows on the heals of an FTC settlement with Amazon over privacy “lapses” with Alexa and Ring. The fine was $30 million with Amazon “disagreeing” with the claims, but settling to resolve the matter. That amount of the fine is literally the equivalent of a one dollar speeding ticket in the revenues of the company. I disagree in that this matter should never have been settled but pursued. I have no idea why anyone would pay to purchase an Alexa or Ring doorbell that have a long long track record of spying on the purchaser. Sure, we keep telling pollsters that our privacy matters – then to a lot of things to insure we lose it – VOLUNTARILY! No thanks.