Amazon Prime changes its cancellation practices to comply with EU consumer rules

July 3, 2022

The European Commission has announced that Amazon has committed to bringing its cancellation practices into line with EU consumer protection rules. It says that Amazon will enable consumers from the EU and EEA to unsubscribe from Amazon Prime with just two clicks, using a prominent and clear “cancel button”. It says that this change was necessary for Amazon to comply with EU consumer protection laws, including the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

Following a complaint by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the Norwegian Consumer Council and the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, action was launched in April 2021 by the Commission in cooperation with national consumer authorities. The reported cancellation practices included hurdles to unsubscribe, including complicated navigation menus, skewed wording, confusing choices, and repeated nudging.

Previously, to cancel their subscription, consumers had to scroll through multiple pages containing distracting information and unclear button labels. Originally, Amazon had started making changes to its Prime web interface, labelling the cancel button more clearly and shortening the explanatory text. From now, this text will be further reduced so that consumers do not get distracted by warnings and deterred from cancelling. Overall, the platform will now enable consumers to unsubscribe in two simple steps, through an easy and visible cancellation button. Amazon has committed to implementing these changes on all its EU websites and for all devices (desktop, mobile and tablet). The changes took effect from 1 July 2022.

The Commission says that it and national authorities will continue to monitor the implementation of Amazon’s commitments to align its platform with EU consumer law.

Although this applies to the EU and EEA, the UK government proposed changes to consumer law to deal with so-called subscription traps last year.