What you need to know
- In 2021, Amazon received complaints about the process to cancel Prime memberships, which was found to be unclear for many.
- Amazon has agreed to simplify the process, allowing users to cancel their Prime Memberships within "two clicks."
- The changes will are coming to several European countries now and the U.K. by the end of August.
- No changes are being made to the cancellation process in the United States.
As Amazon's annual Prime Day shopping event looms ever closer, the company is making it easier for Prime members to cancel their subscriptions.
The European Commission announced the retail giant's new commitment to a simplified cancellation process on Friday. The change comes more than a year after complaints were filed against Amazon for its confusing and "manipulative" design.
The assertion is that Amazon's cancellation process would nudge customers towards maintaining their membership by displaying alternate offerings, confusing language, and even more confusing menus — alternatively known as "dark patterns."
When opting to cancel, customers are taken through a three-step process of scrolling and locating multiple cancel buttons before finally landing on an "End now" button," as shown below:
The new implementation amazon committed to is shown below and appears to be much more straightforward, with a lot less information to navigate through. Aside from a comparison table showing consumers the differences they can expect after canceling, there's much less in the way of trying to tempt subscribers to stay.
"Opting for an online subscription can be very handy for consumers as it is often a very straightforward process, but the reverse action of unsubscribing should be just as easy," says Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders in a statement. "Consumers must be able to exercise their rights without any pressure from platforms. 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."
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed with Android Central that the changes will appear starting today for its online stores in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden, with changes coming to the U.K. by the end of August.
Unfortunately, these changes don't appear to be coming to any additional regions like the U.S. for the time being. The spokesperson tells Android Central that Amazon is always listening to consumer feedback to improve the experience, but there were no announcements at this time.
Amazon Prime gives subscribers many benefits such as free and faster shipping, exclusive discounts, and more. Of course, Prime Day is one of the most notable benefits of the membership, giving customers access to a bevy of deals during the event. The event takes place in the U.S. and a handful of other countries on July 12.
Of course, with the recent price increase, more people would likely be tempted to cancel their accounts if they find they don't take advantage of the benefits enough to justify the cost.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.