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Were you charged for Amazon Prime without your permission?

Online shopping can be convenient and easy. But with sometimes lots of screens before you get to check-out, you could wind up signed up for a service without even knowing it. What’s worse, it can be tough to cancel. Read on to learn how to protect yourself from unwanted services and charges.

Today, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Amazon, saying the company violated the law by enrolling people in its Amazon Prime subscription service without their permission, continuing to charge them, and making it hard to cancel.

The FTC says the company used a series of hurdles — known as “dark patterns” — to make it hard for customers to understand that they were starting a Prime subscription. These dark patterns also made it hard for people to cancel their Prime subscriptions by making them hunt for the right place to cancel online, and then click through complicated extra pages to cancel. Often, consumers would call Amazon’s customer service, only to be referred back to the website to cancel, making the process even more frustrating.

To help avoid unwanted services and charges when you shop online:

  • Watch what goes into your shopping cart. Even if you empty your cart and leave the site without completing your purchase, you still could have been enrolled in a subscription service.
  • Watch for pre-checked boxes. They may sign you up for a product or service.
  • Carefully review your order before completing a transaction. If something got added that you don’t want, make sure to remove it.
  • Make sure you didn’t get charged for something you don’t want. Check your order confirmation to see. If you did, contact the company to cancel and get a refund. Make sure you get — and keep — the written confirmation.
  • Watch your bank or credit card statements. If you’re in a subscription, you’ve tried to cancel, and the company won’t stop charging your account, dispute it with your credit or debit card issuer.
  • Look for auto-renewals. Unless you cancel, you’ll continue to be charged.

If a company signed you up for a subscription service without your permission, or if you have problems with canceling a subscription service, tell the FTC at

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June 21, 2023

Over the past year or longer I continued to be charged with Prime Video. This occurred several times contacted my bank and had to change my debit cards. This usually occurred shortly after I made a purchase on Amazon.

Karleen Trigueiro
June 21, 2023

In reply to by Olga.jennings

HI yes they just continue to take , I am trying to get rid of kids amazon and haven't been sucessful

June 29, 2023

In reply to by Karleen Trigueiro

On the phone as we speak for the same exact thing. This is ridiculous

June 21, 2023

In reply to by Olga.jennings

I agree with you. It happened to me. I was able to get my money back. I have not shopped there since that happened.

August 21, 2023

In reply to by Deborah

This is the second time it's happened to me but this time I can not get them to refund me. My calls seem to be going overseas to a call center of people who have no control over it, they just send me to another line to listen to music. Last time I ordered something from Amazon, which I rarely do anymore, I kept having to correct Amazon in defaulting my order to Prime delivery. I know I did not accidently give permission because I'm extremely cautious with any purchase I make with them now. I'm going to do everything possible not to shop with them ever again. I just removed 2 credit cards from the wallet but I don't know if that will stop them from stealing from me.

Shedonia Johnson
October 19, 2023

In reply to by Shannon M Holmes

I totally agree, I canceled my prime back in July and I continue to have money taken from my account that I didn't authorize. It's very upsetting because I'm a disabled senior who lives on a budget. I hope there is a Class Action Lawsuit so I can recoup some of my money back.

Chris kelsch
October 25, 2023

In reply to by Shannon M Holmes

I AGREE!! at this moment, I am waiting to hear back from a call to FTC's lawyer, one of the team against Amazon, specifically to ask if class action available to sign on to, and to offer testimony if they need volunteers. Amazon signed us for prime without our knowlege, then after all instructions followed, hours of calls, emails, etc...they CONTINUE IT, doubling down, charging 2 times a month...they canhave stolen hundreds from us, and capitol one credit card says Amazon is on a " no block" list...meaning they

November 07, 2023

In reply to by Shannon M Holmes

Well there could be if we went to lawyers instead of the ftc with all these complaints first ..instead the ftc does it and goes after them and tries to fine or sue and then who knows where the money goes

Marilyn Vargas
December 04, 2023

In reply to by cw

I have been charged $14.99 for Amazon prime member since march of 2923 I call Amazon several times but I couldn’t cancel that membership I call today again December 4 talk to a representative for 1 hour n 8 minutes I couldn’t cancel again I’m tired of Amazon getting my money please help.

Myekye H
December 04, 2023

In reply to by Shannon M Holmes

They we’re charging on a credit card that was deactivated almost a year or more ago

James Demers
December 15, 2023

In reply to by Myekye H

No harm there - they aren't getting paid. (Would be great if they continued to give you Prime!)

(They tried to sign me up with a trick "button" that had no label on it, but I caught it before placing my order.)

Now there are the "FREE delivery on $35 of items shipped by Amazon" items that don't actually count toward the $35. (You don't find this out until you're trying to select free shipping.) $7 shipping on a $9 item? No thanks! It's like they have a team whose only job is to think of ways to scam the customers.

Hung dinh
November 14, 2023

In reply to by Deborah

Please forgive all that happened during my subscription and I don't understand why I keep being charged a monthly fee.

June 23, 2023

In reply to by Olga.jennings

Yes! They keep taking $16.04 out of my account 3 times a month for Amazon Prime! I’m just now realizing that they have been doing this for months, possibly a year!

July 03, 2023

In reply to by Tracy

You're definitely going to have to contact them regarding those charges, It was time for me to get a new card. The banker and I was going over my bank statement because old card was expiring and that's when I noticed Amazon had charged my card a whole entire year for $16.15, I knew nothing, absolutely nothing about. They did refund that full 12 month of charges. They also charged my card for prime membership, but before I could get a hold of that department the phone hung up haven't been able to get them yet, they charged my card 3x in one month for $16.19. So I'm literally trying to get to the bottom of that, because I don't haven't consented to a membership with them.

August 31, 2023

In reply to by Tracy

Same,been going on for 2yrs and they wanted to refund only 3months which I declined!

Mary McFadzean
September 11, 2023

In reply to by Blessing.

Same here --two charges since January 2018 without my authority.

Have tried to e-mail with the problem but it just bounces back.

How did you get a refund? Who did you contact?


August 31, 2023

In reply to by Tracy

Same thing happened to me. I had an amazon prime subscription but was being charged twice a month for a year. I didn’t notice it for a couple months because sometimes I was charged end of month and sometimes beginning of month which I assumed the first of month charge was just late. I finally cancelled Amazon prime and I am still being charged. Did you find out how or why yours happened. I am also being charged $3.75 each month for something digital I never subscribed to.

Clay C
September 26, 2023

In reply to by Tracy

I have been getting charged by them unknowingly for 4 months and had to pay for late fees because I was unaware . 16.10 a month for prime and I’ve checked my accounts and neither have memberships .

Marilyn Ende
October 23, 2023

In reply to by Tracy

Same with me for over a year. Amazon prime customer service that answered my calls was in the phillipines. It took almost two years to finally found out someone was using my card. I cancelled the card & cancelled prime. My bank is investigating fraud. This is happening alot

December 14, 2023

In reply to by Tracy

That’s what they took out of my account 1604 is there anyway to resolve the situation?

lucas cook
July 11, 2023

In reply to by Olga.jennings

I have had the same thing happen 2 times now, Amazon billed the card I had used for making a purchase for a Prime Sub I never wanted. After canceling the first time they ended my prime subscription the day I canceled even though I had paid for the entire month. I haven't canceled my prime this second time just yet, I either want the subscription to be honored for the duration I have paid once I cancel or I want all of my money back.

I'm currently searching for help in getting this done and its nice to see that the government is aware, however its too bad they haven't put the foot down

Taylor Jones
July 29, 2023

In reply to by Olga.jennings

Same! I actually have duplicate accounts and realized I was being charged for prime when I had no idea I was even enrolled . I asked them if they could merge my accounts and remove the membership they basically said they didn’t know how . I’m still paying for prime when I’ve tried to cancel I’ve called etc . I have no idea how much over the last year or 2 I’ve spent on this membership unknowingly.

Frank Brown 21…
September 21, 2023

In reply to by Olga.jennings

I’ve never used prime video and continue to be charged (so unfair)🤬

Carole Bauman
October 18, 2023

In reply to by Olga.jennings

Same here! Spent 2 hours today t

undo charges on Prime Video that I did not sanctioned. I have no idea what Prime Video offers or have ever watched one, or whatever it may be!! $396.54 charges of videos that I never ordered or watched!!!.What a rip off Prime Video appears to be!!!

Robert Ferguson
June 21, 2023

Thanks I will look over Amazon statements

Gary M
June 21, 2023

Ordered a $20. book years ago. Cost me over $200 because I did not uncheck Amazon Prime. They charged me $14. and change for three years before I discovered it.

Former Amazon …
June 21, 2023

In reply to by Gary M

Let the buyer BEWARE!!! Amazon is NOTORIOUS for the practice of FURTIVELY tacking on an UNWANTED
subscription to Amazon Prime. It's VERY EASY to fall victim to this UNSCRUPULOUS 'activity.' I have ceased
buying from Amazon as a consequence of this DISHONEST practice.

June 28, 2023

In reply to by Former Amazon …

I thank you and appreciate your honesty! My best friend also said Brenda do NOT sign up for prime...... You do not want it!!!

June 29, 2023

In reply to by Former Amazon …

I live in France and have the same problem with Amazon fr It is impossible to buy an item without prime. I have not been able to cancel it . Today I have cancelled both my cards on it. They don’t like it. I will never order from them again. This is not a problem with. German Amazon or Amazon UK. These are all separate companies so living in Europe it’s easy. The German Amazon is also cheaper and quicker without the Prime problem.

June 30, 2023

In reply to by Josephine

Even if you cancelled your credit card Josephine, I'd say still be careful. I also tried finding a way to cancel, but couldn't, so when it was time for my credit card to be renewed, I figured that would stop the subscription.
To my surprise, Amazon figured out my new credit card number, then kept charging me.
It was only after I called the credit card company to tell them I didn't want those charges that I was able to get the toll free number to Amazon and make them stop.
Amazon wouldn't give me a way to cancel, but the credit card company did.

August 16, 2023

In reply to by Gary M

same happened to me , they been charging for 2 years
have you received refund ? they giving me partial as if they doing favour and its my mistake - i didnt consent and cancelled before free trial
customer rep said even you cancel but auto renewal was still going on ? does not make any sense

Eugene Rossel
June 21, 2023

Yes they have charged me on my American Express card and I want it removed.

June 21, 2023

I found Amazon doesn't tell you where the vendor is located. Returned an item to a local Amazon return location. Went in to Amazon to find out why the refund didn't show on my card. Found out the vendor was located in China. Amazon doesn't tell you this on their site. I now shop only at the local stores.

Hilary Kaplan
June 21, 2023

Thank you for raising this issue. I saw an outrageous charge on my credit card for Amazon Prime. No communication at all notifying me of a large increase in payment. Not sure the benefits outweigh their audacity.

Yvonne Thorpe
June 21, 2023

Finally someone is doing something about this's been going on for years with me .if I don't have the money they have been taking from my husband CC with out his consent .and I have copied it all .and complain they told me they are not taking any monies they are .they're billing me twice .

Mike Sneed
June 21, 2023

Yes they did that to myself and my mother who is 70.

June W
June 21, 2023

They have been doing that to me for the past year, every time I order from Amazon, a few days later they are charging my card 14.99 for prime that I do not have, it got to the point I had to cancel my credit card and I had to wait ten days to get my new credit card in the mail.

June 25, 2023

In reply to by June W

They have done that very same thing to me even though I make sure to uncheck the box for a "free" 30 day trial of PRIME. This is the second time that I've had to cancel my credit card and get a new one.
It's a hassle to go to every other company that I actually have given my permission to do automatic billing and cancel my old c.c. and input the new one.

June 27, 2023

In reply to by Will

BEWARE- i canceled my (not wanted) Prime membership. They didn't. I canceled the card and when I made a further purchase on the site, they tried to charge that card instead - without telling me or even asking me.

June 21, 2023

Amazon is NOTORIOUS for the practice of tacking on an UNWANTED subscription to Amazon Prime when you purchase from it. As a consequence of this tactic, I have STOPPED ordering
from Amazon.

Lukisha Rutherford
June 22, 2023

In reply to by ConcernedConsumer

I was charged so many times I had an overdraft in my account from them signing me up for prime and kids prime then they came back saying I got a Amazon card credit.

Girish Zambre
June 21, 2023

"... lots of screens before you ..." -- it's not just when shopping. On many banking sites, for example, one is bombarded with flustering and distracting offers for loans and whatever else. Many sites are poorly designed so as to not visibly differentiate between matters of varying materiality and priority to the customer.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts!!

Lori Allakhverdiyev
June 21, 2023

Yes!!! I bought a new insignia Fire TV. I had to register it with Amazon in order for the tv to work and set up. Next thing I know is they billed me for $149 and then I was getting monthly charge too. I already had a prime account with that email address so I was also getting charged monthly for that. Now showtime keeps renewing and I've cancelled it after trial period.

Mike Shinder
June 21, 2023

I noticed in my January credit card statement that Amazon created a second prime account against my card. Calling them was useless but I eventually canceled both accounts and stopped payment to Amazon while they continued to attempt to charge me. They eventually stopped in March and my credit card company reimbursed me for those false charges

June 21, 2023

The Amazon dark patterns to coerce one into getting stuck with Prime are tiresome and make it where I don't want to shop there anymore. Every single time, there is an 'offer' to sign up for Prime, the default shipping method is selected for paid shipping so one must ensure that one selects the 25+ free shipping, and etc. Amazon used to value customer satisfaction and now they can be described to be in the bad part of Cory Doctorow's business lifecycle, i.e. they have turned predatory. It is sad to see and I hope the FTC efforts help Amazon prioritize customer satisfaction again.

Linda Johnson
June 21, 2023

Thank you for this update. I had to cancel my credit card for fraud to get that charge removed. I have not purchased anything from Amazon since. This was over 4 years ago.

June 22, 2023

In reply to by Linda Johnson

Had the “family” add their names onto my account! I do not have a family. When I told them to cancel they said they couldn’t because another “family” member was the originator of the “family” changes in my account. Only they could cancel MY ACCOUNT! Took it all up to Goldman-Sacs. Demanded Apple Card cancellation. Guess what, they say I had no accounts anymore. But…thesis still one in use. Have Apple’s attention now. IDENTITY FRAUD!!!!