Plaintiff Balks at Amazon’s Consolidation Bid in Amazon Prime Cancellation Suits

According to a responsive filing made by a California man alleging that Amazon intentionally makes it hard to cancel its Prime membership subscription, another suit advancing similar but not identical contentions should be prosecuted separately. The opposition to Amazon’s motion to consolidate the cases says that doing so would “not serve any valid purpose.”

As previously reported, the first-filed case alleges that Amazon implements “dark patterns” in the design of its online Prime cancellation procedure to impede members’ efforts to end their membership. In order to pad its bottom line with more Prime subscription payments, Amazon reportedly uses techniques including “misdirection” and “confirm-shaming,” where the option to decline is worded to shame the user into compliance and disabuse users of their desire to quit Prime.

The Seattle, Wash. class action also notes that European regulators took issue with the same practice, which Amazon agreed to change, showing that the company cannot claim ignorance or that it does not know how to simplify the process.

Last week’s motion in the Nicholas action explains that Amazon moved to consolidate the present suit with another, styled, Daly v., Inc., but has done so without proving that consolidation is a good idea.

“Amazon’s superficial depiction of the allegations of dark patterns as the common thread among the three complaints ignores the fact that Plaintiff seeks to represent a different class, challenges different conduct, and seeks different remedies than the plaintiffs in the Nicholas and Daly actions,” the opposition says.

Without common facts, claims or other issues, there is no basis to consolidate in the name of saving judicial resources or avoiding inconsistent rulings, the Nicholas plaintiff asserts. In fact, lumping the suits and their three plaintiff groups together would “obscure[] the logical structures of their respective actions, jeopardizes the representation of the respective classes they assert and the prosecution of their respective claims, and senselessly forces a leadership battle among their respective counsel,” the opposition claims. 

The filing notes, however, that to conserve resources, the plaintiffs in the related cases are willing to coordinate discovery.

The Nicholas plaintiff and putative class are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and the Daly plaintiff and putative class by Bursor & Fisher P.A. and Carson Noel PLLC. Amazon is represented by Fenwick & West LLP.