Be careful when installing new apps on Fire TV. Some apps in the Fire TV store now feature “Subscribe and download app” as the default installation method, meaning that you could accidentally create a new Paramount+ or Apple TV subscription when you only intended to download the app.

As reported by AFTVnews, “Subscribe and download” is now Fire TV’s default installation option for Paramount+, Apple TV+, Philo, STARZ, and a handful of other services (although it’ll say “Start free trial and download,” in some cases). Clicking this button takes you to a confirmation screen. If you rapidly click to rush through the download process without paying attention what you’re doing, Amazon will set up a subscription using your default payment method.

If you want to download one of these apps without purchasing a subscription, you need to scroll over and select the “Download app only” button when in the Fire TV store. This is still the default installation option for most apps on Fire TV.

An example of the 'subscribe and download' button in the Fire TV app store.

Admittedly, the “Subscribe and download” button might be a convenience for some users. Maybe you’re rushing to join and install Paramount+ before an NFL game—instead of joining from your phone, downloading the Paramount+ app on Fire TV, and struggling to type in your username and password, you can do everything in a few clicks from your TV.

This shouldn’t be the default behavior when downloading a streaming app, though. Fire TV’s default option has been “Download app only” for over a decade, and most apps on the Fire TV store do not feature a combined subscribe and download button. Some of Amazon’s customers will accidentally purchase subscriptions because of this strange, inconsistent use of the “Subscribe and download” button.

Last year, the FTC accused Amazon of intentionally tricking customers into joining Prime. It sued Amazon for employing dark patterns across its website and purposefully manipulating customers. According to the FTC, many of these customers did not realize that they had joined Prime, and Amazon’s cancelation process was set up in a way that discouraged members from canceling. Other groups, including the UK Advertising Standards Authority, have mirrored the FTC’s accusations.

Amazon knows better than to pull this nonsense in the Fire TV store. Intentional or accidental, it doesn’t matter. Dark patterns are an affront to consumer rights and give companies like Amazon an unfair advantage over their competitors. Dark patterns are also banned in the European Union, and while the rules are less explicit in the United States, the FTC has already shown that dark patterns may violate Section 5 of the FTCA.

Source: AFTVnews

Source link