Achtung baby, the next step is court: Amazon’s e-commerce hopes could be Dash-ed

By Tracy West

- Last updated on GMT

Amazon Dash arrived in Europe in August this year, debuting in Austria, Germany and the UK. © iStock
Amazon Dash arrived in Europe in August this year, debuting in Austria, Germany and the UK. © iStock

Related tags: Consumer protection

Amazon's Dash button does not comply with German law, says the country's consumer group, which has issued the online retail giant with a warning and intends to take Amazon to court.

The Amazon Dash Button is a small electronic device, which allows consumers to order everyday items such as food and other everyday groceries, quickly and easily, at the click of a button.

Verbraucherzentrale told FoodNavigator.com that the main focus of the warning it sent was on the fact that Amazon was obligated under German law to give consumers certain information, such as the final price, before they placed their order.

The consumer organisation also has concerns about how easy it would be for another person other than the registered user (such as a child) to use the Dash button to order items.

Then there’s the fact that Amazon reserves the right to send a different product if the one ordered is not available. Verbraucherzentrale says it can do this automatically without telling the consumer.

dash
Some of the products that can be ordered with the US Dash button. © Amazon

Sending out warnings prior to legal action is customary in Germany. Verbraucherzentrale says Amazon received its warning, but chose not to act on it. The next step is to take the firm to court, which the consumer organisation has said it will do.

When FoodNavigator contacted Amazon, the company said it had had a “very positive customer response to the Dash Button”.

In a statement regarding the German complaint it said: “The Dash Button offers our customers a completely new shopping experience for ordering everyday essentials, so they never run out of important household items like toilet paper and laundry detergent.

"The protection of customers’ rights is very important to us and is ensured with the Dash Button. We are convinced the Dash Button and the corresponding app are in line with German legislation.

“Set-up and activation of a Dash Button exclusively happens through the Amazon shopping app which provides all necessary information. Customers can use the app to check the order status, make changes to orders or cancel orders. Products ordered via Dash Button are sold at the same prices sold on Amazon.de​.

"When they place an order, customers get a notification on their smartphone that indicates the price of the item. Customers also receive order and shipment confirmation emails, as for any other order on Amazon.de​. When ordering with the Dash button, Amazon only ships the exact products the customer has selected in the app.”

Amazon Dash was first launched in the US last year and in August made its way across the Atlantic to Austria, Germany and the UK.

Related topics: Business, Bakery, Beverage, Confectionery

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