Amazon is now facing a class action lawsuit after adding ads to Prime Video. While Amazon did publicly announce the change ahead of time, the lawsuit alleges subscribers have been misled and that the change is a breach of contract.
At the end of January, and after announcing the change back in 2023, Amazon introduced ads to Prime Video. Based on our own testing, the ad load isn’t bad, but that doesn’t change the fact that existing subscribers now have to either sit through ads or pay an additional $2.99 a month to remove them.
“This is not fair” states the lawsuit, while explaining subscribers that already paid for an annual Prime membership are still only mid-way through that billing period. As these subscribers consider themselves to have “already paid” for Prime, which includes Prime Video, the lawsuit (via The Hollywood Reporter) alleges they shouldn’t have to pay extra each month to have access to ad-free Prime Video.
Essentially, the lawsuit is looking to protect those that have effectively prepaid for a subscription for a year, and not necessarily those that are paying on a monthly basis. The lawsuit argues those annual plan subscribers would have a ‘reasonable expectation’ that they would continue to have access to ad-free Prime Video, and especially after years of always having ad-free access.
This, according to the lawsuit, amounts to false advertising by Amazon.
“Amazon’s false advertisements harm consumers by depriving them of the reasonable expectations to which they are entitled”
The lawsuit also alleges that the change is a violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act.
For reference, the introduction of the ad-supported tier resulted in some other changes as well, such as existing subscribers losing access to the Watch Party feature. Even for those that have opted to pay the additional monthly fee for ad-free Prime Video, the upgrade doesn’t apply to any accounts linked through Amazon Household.
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