Two lawsuits have been filed in Seattle accusing Amazon of urging its third party vendors to hide the price of shipping in its charges to Prime customers who pay $79 annually to receive free second-day deliveries.
Amazon declined to comment on the charges filed by lawyers for customers who hope to represent all Amazon Prime customers. It cited the legal actions for its reason not to comment.
“The bottom line is the free shipping that Amazon offered to its Prime members wasn’t free,” Kim Stephens, attorney for one of the plaintiffs, told ABC News adding that he was “shocked” by Amazon’s alleged pricing practices.
Marcia Burke of Alabama, one of the plaintiffs, claims “if the price of an item is advertised for $10 with $3.99 shipping and the [vendor] wishes to match or top their price, the [vendor] would charge $13.99 or higher.”
“An item included in its stated price the cost of shipping, but you thought you were getting it free,” Stephens said adding that a customer who was not a Prime member often paid less for a product and its shipping.
“But together they would roughly equal the cost Amazon is charging Prime members for so-called free shipping,” he told ABC.
Amazon receives payments from third party vendors on all sales made through Amazon.
The second customer filing suit is Cemal Ekin of Rhode Island.
“The routine inclusion and encouragement of inclusion of shipping charges in the prices of [certain vendor] Prime-Eligible items constitutes a breach of Amazon’s promise to Prime Program Members that shipping charges would not be included in the prices of items offered for sale as [vendor] Prime-Eligible, and violates Amazon’s agreement that shipping would be ‘free,'” according to Ekin’s lawsuit filed in February in the same Seattle court in which Burke filed her suit.
Thanks to www.ConsumerWorld.org for the heads up on this issue.
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