Amazon fined almost $8M in Poland over dark patterns

Poland’s competition and consumer protection watchdog has fined Amazon’s European subsidiary around $8 million (31.9 million Zlotys) for “dark patterns” that messed around internet shoppers.

The preliminary ruling applies to Amazon EU SARL, which oversees Amazon’s Polish e-commerce site,, out of Luxembourg. Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection said the decision, subject to appeal, reflected misleading practices related to product availability, delivery dates, and drop-off time guarantees.

According to the ruling, Amazon’s Polish operation repeatedly canceled customer orders for e-book readers and other gear. The online souk believed it was within its rights to do so because it considers its sales contract and delivery obligations are active only after an item has shipped, rather than when the customer purchases it.

But these abrupt cancellations left punters who thought they’d successfully paid for stuff and were awaiting delivery disappointed, sparking complaints to the watchdog, which has seemingly upheld the claims.

Not only that, the regulator was unimpressed that the language on Amazon’s website warning this could happen is difficult to read – “it is written in gray font on a white background, at the very bottom of the page.”


Source: Amazon fined almost $8M in Poland over ‘dark patterns’ • The Register

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