Under heavy criticism, Amazon agrees to simplify cancellation of Prime memberships in Europe

Company has been slammed for "dark patterns" of unsubscribing.

Updated: July 1, 2022 - 3:57pm

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Amazon this week agreed to simplify its much-maligned process for cancelling Prime memberships in Europe, a decision that came after both heavy criticism and talks with the European Commission.

The Commission noted in a press release on Friday that, prior to this week, Amazon's Prime cancellation process in Europe involved "scroll[ing] through multiple pages containing distracting information and unclear button labels."

Now, "following a dialogue with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities, Amazon has committed to bringing its cancellation practices in line with EU consumer rules," the Commission said. 

Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders argued in the release that "unsubscribing should be just as easy" as subscribing.

"Consumers must be able to exercise their rights without any pressure from platforms," Reynders said. "One thing is clear: manipulative design or 'dark patterns' must be banned.”

Consumers in Europe "will now be able to unsubscribe from Amazon Prime with just two clicks," the Commission stated. 

Amazon has tens of millions of Prime subscribers worldwide. Earlier this year, amid supply chain crises and escalating operational costs, the company increased its Prime membership fee by $20, the first such increase in nearly half a decade.