No, we do not want Amazon Music Unlimited

A personal window into the “nonconsensual enrollment problem” that has Amazon and the FTC facing off in court.

If anyone at the Federal Trade Commission is bored today, feel free to reach out — my household may have another ready-made case against Amazon for you.

On a blue background, a large yellow frowning face emoji, with Amazon’s arrow logo making up the mouth.

Hope you enjoy this journey as much as we’ve hated it:

  • March 18: Billed $5.26 for an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription we never signed up for.
  • March 18: Amazon chat support: subscription canceled, refund issued.
  • July 1, 9:08am: Automatically billed $5.26 — again.
  • July 1, 9:21am: Subscription canceled, refund issued — again.
  • July 1, 6:29pm: Billed again.
  • July 2, 6:50am: “I can assure you that the subscription is over now.”
  • Aug. 4: Billed again.
  • Aug. 4: “You will not get charged in the future… Please be assured and trust me.”
  • The very next morning: Billed again.
  • Aug. 5: “That must be a glitch, no worries I have fixed it for you. You will not be charged again.”
  • Sept. 8: A new “$5.26” on the bank statement, of course.
  • Sept. 8: “I have put a note on the account for no further charges.”

We aren’t alone in experiencing this — and won’t hold our breath that this “note” will do the trick.

This saga, though frustrating, isn’t shared to grind an ax; it’s just another view on the kind of chicanery Amazon’s already defending in court.

This isn’t anything new

In June, the FTC sued Amazon for fooling customers into signing up for its $15/month Amazon Prime service and intentionally making it difficult to cancel, per Ars Technica.

The FTC’s complaint revealed that Amazon internally called its cancellation process “Iliad,” a nod to Homer’s ~15.7k-line epic, and accused Amazon leadership of slowing or rejecting changes that’d help customers navigate the “labyrinthine” Iliad.

Per the FTC, the “nonconsensual enrollment problem was well known within Amazon.”

  • The case is pending, but Amazon called the claims “false” and got back up from Stratechery, which said the FTC is “simply anti-business.”

Our takeaway: Skulduggery like this at least explains why Amazon’s legal chief made $18.2m — or 3.46m months of Amazon Music Unlimited — last year. That’s one busy man.

Related Articles

Get the 5-minute news brief keeping 2.5M+ innovators in the loop. Always free. 100% fresh. No bullsh*t.