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Consumer Center’s class action lawsuit against Amazon Prime approved

Consumer Center’s class action lawsuit against Amazon Prime approved

Because Amazon Prime introduced advertising in February without the consent of its customers, the company is now facing court. The Saxony Consumer Center is suing for damages. star explains how customers can join.

At the beginning of February, Amazon Prime unilaterally changed its video streaming: Anyone who pays 3 euros more can continue to watch ad-free. Since then, everyone else has seen more or fewer advertisements, often in the middle of the film.

Since then, the anger over the forced change has been vented in the reviews of the Amazon Prime app in the app stores. One-star reviews are raining down on the Prime app. But it doesn’t have to remain just frustration, because the Federal Office of Justice has allowed a class action lawsuit by the Saxony Consumer Center. Prime customers can now join this lawsuit. star explains how it works:

What exactly does the consumer center criticize?

On February 5, Amazon Prime unilaterally introduced advertising during the normal film offering. Since then, according to the lawsuit, two to three and a half minutes of advertising have been shown per hour, sometimes even in the middle of the film. This massively affects the enjoyment of the works. The consumer center also complains that the picture and sound quality has deteriorated and the “Watch Party” function is no longer available. Only those who paid a 2.99 euro surcharge could stream videos again in the old way.

“Such changes within an ongoing contract are only possible with the consent of the consumer,” says Michael Hummel from the Saxony Consumer Advice Center. “Other streaming services show how it’s done correctly and ask their customers beforehand.”

Who can sue (or co-sue) against Amazon Prime?

All Amazon Prime customers who were Prime customers before the new rule was introduced on February 5 and who paid the fees can file a lawsuit.

How do those affected proceed?

Anyone who wants to take part in the lawsuit must register in the lawsuit register at the Federal Office of Justice (BfJ). To do this, all fields marked with * must be filled in. This takes about a quarter of an hour and is done like this:

I. Registration: Check the box next to “Consumer”.

II. Personal information: Enter your first and last name. The person who pays for the subscription must register, not any other users.

III. Address: Enter address.

IV. Representation: Don’t enter anything here! So don’t enter “consumer advice center” or anything like that. This section is only for special cases: For example, in the case of minors, parents could enter their name here.

V. Information on the class action: Has already been filled out correctly.

VI. Subject matter and grounds of the … claim: Please enter here how you have been harmed. Briefly and to the point. For example, that you can no longer watch ad-free. Or that you have paid the surcharge of 2.99 euros per month (and from when). It is important to mention that you had a subscription before February 5th and also paid the fees. Then state that you want the damages reimbursed, i.e. either the 2.99 euros or part of the monthly fee, as compensation for the advertising. There are no legal requirements for the wording, it just has to be understandable that you want your money back.

VII. Information on the amount of the claim: Do not fill in. The court will decide.

Finally, read the brief legal information and confirm by checking the two boxes below – and then send it off. A few days later, the confirmation from the Federal Office should be in your mailbox.

The BfJ has made the form available online.

What is the best outcome of the lawsuit?

The class action lawsuit is being heard at the Bavarian Supreme Regional Court. If successful, anyone who joins the lawsuit will either get the 2.99 euros a month back, if they have paid it. Or they will be required to pay compensation because the quality of the old subscription has been reduced. The consumer center is demanding at least half of the subscription fees actually paid. Interest on the money would also be due.

Is there a risk?

Anyone who joins the lawsuit has no financial risk – except that they have filled out the forms in vain. The only thing that is conceivable is that Amazon will terminate the contracts.

Until when can I join the lawsuit?

Interested parties can still register up to three weeks after the end of the oral hearings. (This date has not yet been set.)

What does Amazon say?

Amazon justifies the contract change by saying that it “wants to continue to offer attractive content for Prime members.” Customers were “informed transparently, in advance and in accordance with legal regulations,” said a spokesperson. “And all customers have the right to cancel their membership at any time.”

Are there other class action lawsuits?

There are a whole series of other class action lawsuits filed by consumer centers. An overview can be found on the website. One of the most notable is the , which tens of thousands of people have already joined. A class action lawsuit has also been filed with the lawsuit registry against the sports streaming service Dazn due to unilateral price increases. However, this is currently still being examined by the courts.

Sources:, Amazon, , iPhone Appstore, AFP

Source: Stern

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