wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

, , ,

Amazon fined in Poland for misleading users through dark patterns

According to UOKiK, Amazon misled users into believing that placing an order or receiving an order confirmation was tantamount to a sales contract, which would be binding on the company.

E-commerce giant Amazon has been fined in Poland for misleading consumers through their user interface. According to a press release by Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), the company has been fined PLN 31,850,141 or close to $8 million. The watchdog body called out Amazon for misleading customers through ‘dark patterns’ that obfuscated the nature of the shipping contract and Amazon’s delivery obligations.

According to the CEO of the Advertising Standards Council of India, “A dark pattern is any user interface intended to trick users into making choices that are detrimental to their interests, such as buying a more expensive product or paying more than what was initially disclosed, sharing data, or making choices based on false or paid-for reviews.” In essence, dark patterns are design choices in apps or websites that mislead users regarding the nature of products or deliveries.  

UOKiK had been looking into allegations of Amazon’s use of dark patterns since 2021. According to the agency, Amazon misled users into believing that placing an order or receiving an order confirmation was tantamount to a sales contract, which would be binding on the company. In fact, it is merely an offer to purchase the product and Amazon is entitled to cancel the order if it feels. The contract is entered into only when Amazon makes the actual shipping notice. The agency alleged that Amazon made this information difficult to access for users and instead provided them with buttons saying “Buy Now” or “Proceed to Checkout”, which created a false impression.

Secondly, Amazon also displayed countdown timers to users which implied that they would receive an order on a certain date provided they placed the order within a certain time frame. This placed pressure on the consumer to buy as soon as possible. However, Amazon often failed to meet these deadlines while presenting them as a guarantee.

Finally, Amazon’s ‘guaranteed delivery’, which is intended to deliver a product to the customer within a certain amount of time or issue a refund, was not clearly explained to users before they placed orders. This meant that customers were often unaware of their rights.

In November last year, India’s Central Consumer Protection Authority notified a list of guidelines intended to protect customers from dark patterns.

Also Read:

 


STAY ON TOP OF TECH NEWS: Our daily newsletter with the top story of the day from MediaNama, delivered to your inbox before 9 AM. Click here to sign up today!


 

Written By

Free Reads

News

The ‘Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act’ (RISAA) is a legislation to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

News

In its submission, the Interior Ministry said the decision to impose a ban was "made in the interest of upholding national security, maintaining public...

News

Among other things, the security requirements include data encryption and regular review and updated access permissions to reflect personnel changes.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

NPCI CEO Dilip Asbe recently said that what is not written in regulations is a no-go for fintech entities. But following this advice could...

News

Notably, Indus Appstore will allow app developers to use third-party billing systems for in-app billing without having to pay any commission to Indus, a...

News

The existing commission-based model, which companies like Uber and Ola have used for a long time and still stick to, has received criticism from...

News

Factors like Indus not charging developers any commission for in-app payments and antitrust orders issued by India's competition regulator against Google could contribute to...

News

Is open-sourcing of AI, and the use cases that come with it, a good starting point to discuss the responsibility and liability of AI?...

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ