A court in German ruled last week that Amazon’s Dash buttons are illegal in Germany.
The judges reasoned that consumers are not given product and pricing information before ordering and the lack of this information violates Germany’s “Internethandel” (Internet Sales) laws.
In a statement to German news outlet Tagesschau.de, Amazon stated it would appeal the decision as it believes consumers should have the right to make their own informed decision if they want to use Dash Button as their ordering method.
As it stands today, the court’s ruling prohibits further use of the Dash Buttons in Germany.
Convenience At A Price
Amazon customers that use the company’s “Subscribe & Save” function have frequently seen price changes when reviewing current month’s orders.
The fact that prices change is not really an Amazon specific issue as commodity items that are often featured for Dash Buttons or the Subscribe & Save service have a tendency to fluctuate to market conditions.
Consumer advocates have often complained about deceptive packaging practices by manufacturers.
Now it seems eCommerce speed or convenience ordering innovations such as Dash Buttons or product subscriptions are under fire as well as consumer advocates argue it is too easy to manipulate prices and package content without consumer knowledge.
There is no evidence that Amazon manipulated prices for its own benefit. Most price adjustments are likely due to manufacturer price changes.
However, as one of the largest Internet retailers, Amazon is an easy target for consumer advocates. But to be fair, Amazon has a valid point that consumers should be able to make their own decision if they wish to use the Dash Buttons.
This situation does serve as a reminder that small online merchants need to be mindful to follow good customer service practices and inform buyers ahead of time if there are product or price changes before the next scheduled shipment.
What do you think about the potential misuses of speed or convenience ordering services? Please use the comments section below or head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Sellers and interact with other small business owners.