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Class Accuses Amazon of Unwanted ‘Upgrades’

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Amazon upgrades customers to Amazon Prime and charges more than $100 for it without their permission or knowledge, a class claims in court.

Gregory Harris filed the suit Wednesday against, alleging unfair competition and violations of consumer law and the federal Electronic Transfer Act. The complaint in superior court is the Top Download for Courthouse News on Friday.

Harris claims Amazon charged him $107.91 for Prime without his permission. The flat annual fee for Amazon Prime includes free two-day shipping, video and music streaming, unlimited photo storage, and access to a Kindle lending library.

Harris says Amazon upgraded him after he visited the site in June 2015, and represented that "he would not be charged for membership and only the products that he purchased."

But after he entered his debit card information he noticed he had been charged for Prime, he says.

Harris says he canceled the membership, but that if he had not noticed the charge, Amazon "would have taken additional unauthorized, multiple, and recurring payments."

"Defendant's misrepresentations to plaintiff and others similarly situated caused them to use defendant's services, which plaintiff and others similarly situated would not have used absent these misrepresentations by defendant and its employees. In so doing, defendant has violated California consumer protection statutes," the 16-page complaint states.

Amazon said late last year that more than 3 million customers had signed up for Prime membership in the third week of December. The Seattle-based company said there are "tens of millions" of Prime members worldwide.

Harris seeks class certification, "corrective advertising," restitution, actual, punitive and statutory damages, and attorneys' fees and costs.

He is represented by Beverly Hills attorney Todd Friedman.

Amazon spokeswoman Ana Rigby said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

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