Some Amazon Prime customer were angry enough at Prime Video’s introduction of ads that decided to take legal action.
The retail giant is facing a proposed class action lawsuit filed on Friday that alleges it breached its terms of service and misled customers by introducing ads into Prime Video service and then requiring users to pay $2.99 to get rid of them. The Hollywood Reporter first spotted the lawsuit, and posted a copy of the lawsuit on its site.
Amazon turned on the ads to its Prime Video service after telegraphing the move a few months earlier. Executives said the ads would allow Amazon to continue investing in content without having to raise the price of the service. Unlike other subscription streaming services, Prime Video is a feature tied to the online retail company’s Prime service, so raising prices could’ve meant charging people who don’t even use the service a higher rate.
But beyond the introduction of ads, the new standard service also dials back sound and picture quality.
A spokesman for the company declined to comment.
The lawsuit alleges Amazon was being deceptive since customers now have to pay the additional $2.99 to get the same feature that was promised to them earlier. A Prime subscription costs $14.99 a month or $139 a year if paid annually.
“Based on Amazon’s advertisements, reasonable consumers who subscribed to Amazon Prime before the change reasonably expected that their Amazon Prime subscription would include ad-free streaming of movies and tv shows for the duration of the subscription,” the lawsuit said, noting that the practices were “deceptive.”
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages as well as a ban prohibiting Amazon from pursuing the “deceptive conduct, as allowed by law.”