"I have to accept all cookies in order to unsubscribe from
@IBKR marketing emails (and get similar behaviour with the website in general)"
I signed up to @NOW at a reduced price of £5.99 (normally £9.99) as part of a 3 month special offer, Today I decided to cancel my subscription, To dissuade me from cancelling my subscription, @NOW threaten to increase my price for the remainder of my contract to the original £9.99. Ironic that NOW is home to characters like Joker and The Night King, cause this is a perfect example of scum and villainy if I’ve ever seen it. @darkpatterns
Typeform makes it difficult for users to cancel their subscriptions. This analysis by growth.design unpacks the issues and provides recommendations.
Dominos and Pizza Hut use deceptive patterns in a confusing system of discount codes and deal finders, subtly overcharging customers.
In an apparent effort to boost email open rates, T-shirt vendor True Classic sent a marketing email with the subject line "Appointment Confirmed...". This is forbidden under the CAM-SPAM act Section 5 (a) (2) "Prohibition of deceptive subject headings".
The total annual cost was hidden. The 50% cancellation free was hidden. The clickwrap agreement text was much smaller than the sales text (e.g. "£0.00", "Start free trial"). The cancellation terms were hard to find. Should this be permitted?
A screenshot of an unnamed travel website shows numerous dark patterns in use.
"Just seen a @Nike ad on Instagram advertising Air Max Plus for £99.95 on the Nike app. Download the app and they’re “Older Kids” shoes - the adult ones are the usual £164.95. Deffo intentionally misleading - they know what they’re doing"
This appears to be Argos partnering with
"For context: following a dialogue with @EU_Commission & national consumer authorities, Amazon agreed to make changes to its Prime cancellation procedure in July 2022"
"@Starbucks @TrustArc proof that it doesn't have to take almost a minute to set client side cookies. In the first run I've crippled the timeout, the second run is stock."
"Wow, solid dark pattern here by Samsung: the option on the bottom —reminiscent of a regular “I have read this” prompt— auto-checks the marketing box as well. This is why people don’t trust brands. Don’t do this to your customers the moment they sign up. All potential trust lost."
This appears to be an example of the IAB's controversial "Transparency and Consent Framework".
"We usually expect a $2000 bill per month from Figma, but in July this year, we got a bill for about $20,000 which came to us as a shock..."
Unlike platform ads (contracts between brands-platforms), native ads often have off-platform supply chains. While platforming the latter might be a transparency gain (esp under DSA registration), here TikTok is just playing with performance indicators. The medium is the message
The FTC accused Credit Karma of “deploying dark patterns” to mislead consumers into believing they were pre-approved and had “90% odds” to coax them into applying for credit cards, according to a news release. Nearly a third of users who applied to the “pre-approved” offers were ultimately denied.
An example of the "hard to cancel" dark pattern.
An example of the "hard to cancel" dark pattern.
Nextdoor UK uses trick wording and misdirection, making it difficult for a user to understand how to unsubscribe.
Do not browse the web in in-app browsers (e.g. in apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok). Experience is bad. Those apps also INJECT TRACKING INSTRUCTIONS. They control every interaction, all that is typed, clicked... Browse with normal web browsers.
"There’s a spectrum of behavior — some of which is just smart business and tech practices, and some of which is more nefarious. But using the term “dark patterns” to broadly describe anything that we don’t understand, or can’t see that is designed to get you to do something… becomes problematic pretty quickly. "
Nice cookie selection dark pattern from Sedo to start the morning.
"Still raising cash off stealing Top Secret documents."
"How nice of you to hide the unsubscribe link"
The FTC wants Amazon to fork over any disappearing messages that executives used to discuss Prime.The federal agency has been probing Amazon over potentially misleading tactics used to get people to subscribe. Insider reported in March that Amazon execs were worried customers felt tricked into signing up but did nothing.
Wow, didn't know you could pay to continue your broken streak on Duolingo. Not sure how I feel about this.
"Because instant ink bills at the end of each billing cycle, I will receive one final bill for $11.99, plus charges for any additional pages printed. I will lose rollover pages associated with my account."
Treatwell uses trick questions - alternating sentiment for its checkbox labels - to trick users into agreeing to emails or tracking.
Luton airport website shows a disguised ad. It appears to be a "continue" button leading on from the checkout, but in fact tricks users into subscribing to a totally unrelated service.
"Last month we had debit card fraud, where bank sent us new card. [...] Meanwhile, everything Amazon shut down for us. Amazon, Alexa, smart thermometers. Worst of all - the last season of #BetterCallSaul, which I paid for."
Noticed my Skype client on the iPad started doing this sneaky crap where when you open the app it presents a prompt that asks you to approve sharing all your contacts w/ Skype. And there's no visible way to say "no."
"this is a gross dark pattern from @thefarmersdog. you have to affirm the marketing material before you’re allowed to see a price."
'"We use A/B testing to optimize nearly everything related to our products, from new gamification features, to our learning content, to our Super [Duolingo] purchase page design, and even to the notifications that learners receive as reminders to do their lessons," said von Ahn'
"you can't actually drill into and read reviews which makes assessing the actual quality of the restaurant difficult. And I've found that restaurants will run their own "ghost kitchen" shadow restaurant out of their main (poorly rated) location."
"fun lil deceptive UI pattern from (apparently desperate) F*cebook this morning: I updated my phone & shortly after got a push notification from FB - I’ve had those turned entirely off for at least 3-4 years! so I go spelunking in the settings…"
"AKA “We will automatically uncheck your stated preferences and ruin your experience once a month until we wear you down and you stop manually re-checking them.”"
"Such unclear langage is probably not GDPR compliant. What is really happening when I click on “Reject All” and then “Accept”? I hope it’s not a dark pattern to force me to “accept” your cookies."
In this example, Gumtree UK makes it very hard for users to opt out of ad tracking.
Gumtree UK provides a "one click" opt-in for ad tracking, yet requires dozens of clicks to opt out.
BeyondMenu used the email subject line "Your Friday reservation is confirmed..." - which was likely to alarm users, none of whom had made a reservation. When opened, the email reads "Your reservation is confirmed with your couch... Order now"
In this example, HP does not permit consumers to use the scanner they have purchased until they register a mandatory online account with hp.com. This requires them to provide their name, location, email address and phone number.
BeyondMenu sends a fake reservation confirmation email to consumers, which is likely to alarm them and cause them to open the email, only to find out it's just another marketing email.
"HP at it again: Have to create an account to scan a document."
"LAST CHANCE... We won't email you again." (I got 10 more messages in the next seven hours.) It says I need to "RENEW" a membership I never had in the first place. Fake urgency of final contact to nudge action.
Prices on Wish were personalised, based on location and purchase behaviour. The platform failed to inform its customers about this. Following the ACM's demands the company has decided to end its price personalisation in the EU.
"boa página para quem clica em "editar subscrição" no fim do vosso email não solicitado porque tem outras newsletters que quer manter, @expresso" (Portuguese language example).
"Signed up for the @BostonGlobe to read an article. Article was 'meh', so wanted to cancel my sub. Cannot do it online, have to call. The agent tells me: 'You can't cancel the first 24 hours because you'll only show up in the system after...'"
"It's easy to dunk on Adobe software quality, I know. But I hit "Save" in Illustrator and got this hilariously huge cloudsell."
"r/assholedesign - Because nothing comes before profit, especially not the consumer."
"...the changes seem in line with its intention to move away from its original model of photo sharing among friends, to the one pioneered by TikTok: showing as much algorithmically targeted video content as possible and juicing engagement wherever practical."
Udemy employs the 'fake countdown timer' dark pattern.
"The wildest part is that this approach by Apple is actually a concession to appease various antitrust investigations around the world. Instead of rejecting Netflix’s app or forcing them to give Apple 30% at least now Apple just scares users. How gracious."
Professor Jonathan Zittrain replies: "A printer self-bricking after awhile is a great example of 'you think you bought a product, but you really rented a service.'"
"Tech giant Google unfairly steers consumers towards its surveillance system when they sign up to a Google account, instead of giving them privacy by design and by default as required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)."
"A 6 minute video below that explains how Facebook's UI employs dark patterns that make users share more data than they may intend."
Zoom uses obstruction and misdirection in its subscription cancellation journey.
A comment on a pop-up that appears on google.com when using a web browser that is not Google Chrome.
The program collects information about the apps you have installed on your phone, how often you use them, which Wi-Fi networks you connect to and your web browsing habits and then sells that valuable information to marketers.
eWebinar uses a fake countdown timer, pressurising users to click through.
"I am really sick of @Norton's dark patterns -- like 1.) blocking the "x" on dialogs, when 2.) the dialog itself is all advertising, not an actual warning."
"Google has now drawn a line in the sand. Give us all your local SSIDs, local bluetooth connections, with likely even more detail, or they now refuse to allow you to use Maps to navigate."
A critical analysis of Amazon's purchasing user journey (spoiler: contains dark patterns!)
Reddit is famous for their relentless interruptions to their web experience in pushing users towards their native mobile app. Here they experiment with a "cheeky" nudge about cats and dogs.
This modal dialog box requires users to subscribe to a mandatory newsletter.
The user needs to click a small button labelled "..." then select "Decline", then ignore the main button (despite it being the thing they requested) and select the less obvious secondary button labelled "Confirm".
"Venmo has a feature where the person that you’ve requested payment from can opt into payment protection, which adds a 1.9% fee to the transaction that the requestor pays without any sort of consent or control if opted into. It’s a dark pattern that I can’t believe is legal."
"Norton360 isn't the only antivirus product installing cryptominers. Avira, a "free" antivirus product w/ > 500M users, recently introduced users to Avira Crypto. Avira is now owned by NortonLifeLock, which also just bought Avast antivirus (500M users)"
Cancelling this New York Times subscription took about 8 minutes. Most of the time was just waiting for the CS rep to respond in live chat.
"Now I know why I'm getting marketing material posted to me when I thought I'd turned this off"
"In order to refuse the deposit of cookies,m internet users must click on a button entitled "Accept cookies", displayed in the second window."
"The company should know by now, based on the dozens of previous rejections: I'm not interested!"
Are they purposefully neglecting to create cost control, projection and notification features?
This is a #privacy nightmare and an utter disgrace.
@Verizon you are a pipe to the internet and that is all. I am appalled you would think you have the right to track and monetize my activity.
If you register with http://ebay.co.uk using the "sign in with google" feature, you get automatically opted in to marketing emails.
On the intersport.de website, a random number generator was used to fake live consumer interest on product listing pages
"ummmm @Docker Hub cookies preferences take 20 seconds to be processed.. is this a @TrustArc technical challenge or a dark pattern? #darkpatterns"
Despite this being a legal requirement in various legal jurisdictions, pitchbook.com forces users to "consent" to cookies if they wish to enter the website.
"[...] customers received false or misleading information from Robinhood on a variety of issues, including how much money customers had in their accounts, whether they could place trades on margin and more."
A random number is added to the true count of "spam comments blocked to date" to simulate a live counter
Linkedin asks the user a yes/no question but instead of allowing the user to answer "no", the button reads "No, show me more"
The letter reads "statement of account" "FINAL NOTICE" except it's just an invitation to renew a subscription that would otherwise expire.
“Yes, power users complain—and still continue using the site—but the casual user does not. These dark patterns have been normalized on other websites. These practices are done because it works”
Google has recently rebranded its Adwords advertising platform to Google Ads.
Together with the new name, the interface also got a big overhaul.
And as someone who spends many hours of every day on the platform, I can’t say I’m happy with the results.
For those of you that don’t know, Fast is a one-click and login checkout tool. To date, they’ve been primarily focused on ecommerce sites which puts them up against the likes of Shop Pay, Apple Pay and other simple purchase solutions...
Wow, the dark patterns in Windows to keep you on Edge are quite something.
Search bing for Chrome leads to huge banner promo for Edge. Changing the default browser pops up promo for Edge.
Really disappointed in @humble for this UI design. The "add to cart" button adds a monthly subscription but is strategically placed to make users believe it will just get them the bundle instead.
Not cool, @humble. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Hey @figmadesign, could you please tell people that they're being charged extra money if they submit this form with the "can edit" option? And maybe explain your pricing model INSIDE the app?
Data sales begin April 26 unless you opt out; T-Mobile claims it'll be anonymous.
Yeah, unfortunately @talkspace @Headspace and @betterhelp are not therapy providers — they are data brokers mining your most intimate conversations & reselling them to 3rd parties incl. advertisers.
You should not use them under any circumstances.
This is how the software company does its best to raise the threshold for purchasing a cloud service.
You can’t get out of the contract without talking to the “customer success team”.
Look at this dark pattern bullshit. Finding the skip button isn't supposed to be a game.
Received a surprise bill of $700+ USD from @confluentinc
I believe I got this bill due to dark patterns in UX and I think Confluent can do much better to treat their customers right.
Over 680 trackers and options for one webpage. "Accept all" or open each single item from a dropdown to opt-out.
This is insane.
When engagement metrics drive the decision. On the left, Twitter’s email with the direct message text included. On the right, LinkedIn’s email forcing me to open the app to see the message. Drives me Bananas every time!
When turning off data collection on Xiaomi phones, you need to turn off every single system app and in between you need to wait 10 seconds.
Is there any other well known SaaS company besides @asana that charges per-seat pricing but uses this dark pattern
What's the difference between Zipcar's $7, $8, and $10 plans?
Samsung's stock health app now showing ads on a friend's Samsung S9 phone, which he bought for hundreds of €.
New York Times makes it intentionally difficult and time consuming to cancel subscription. #forcedcontinuance i finally had to cancel my credit card after trying on chat 3 times, being made to wait and "dropped service". For Shame