Cook County Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Amazon hit with class action over alleged wrongful debits for Prime memberships

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 1, 2017

Law money 10

A Chicago woman who claims Amazon continued to draw payments from her bank account for an Amazon Prime membership she says she didn’t even purchase has filed a class action suit against the online retailer.

On Feb. 20, plaintiff Latoya Christmas filed a complaint in Chicago federal court against Seattle-based Amazon, alleging the retailer violated the federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Illinois’ consumer fraud law for allegedly refusing to stop taking the money after she demanded they stop.

Christmas is represented in the putative class action by attorneys Todd M. Friedman and David B. Levin, of the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman P.C., of Chicago.

According to the complaint, Christmas discovered in September 2016 that Amazon had withdrawn $99 from her bank account, using her debit card information for a one-year Amazon Prime membership.

Christmas alleged someone else had used her debit card information to purchase the membership, without her authorization.

The complaint said Christmas contacted Amazon and demanded they refund the money and cancel the membership. She alleged Amazon agreed to do so.

However, the lawsuit said Amazon again deducted $99 from her account on Sept. 30, and has yet to refund the money.

In her complaint, Christmas alleges Amazon has likely done this to others who were charged for Amazon Prime memberships they did not wish to purchase.

The complaint did not estimate how many people they believe may fit in the potential class of additional plaintiffs. But the plaintiffs said they believed those answers could be obtained in discovery against Amazon.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs asked the court to include anyone in the U.S. “whose bank accounts were debited by (Amazon) after defendants received a cancellation request for their memberships” within the preceding year.

The lawsuit also asks the court to include a special sub-class of Illinois residents who were allegedly wrongly charged for Amazon Prime within the past three years.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to order Amazon to pay actual damages and statutory damages of $1,000 per alleged violation, plus punitive damages and attorney fees. 

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Organizations in this Story

Amazon.comLaw Offices of Todd M. Friedman PCU.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois