The rise of subscription shopping service Amazon Prime may not be entirely driven by men wanting access to the latest Clarkson light entertainment vehicle, as research among current subscribers to Amazon's premium hub shows that nearly one-third of members signed up entirely by accident and without realising they'd done so.

says that 28 per cent of the Amazon Prime subscribers it surveyed only found out they had a Prime account after checking a bank statement and investigating what was behind the mysterious regular money disappearance, suggesting that the endless nag-boxes the retailer dumps in rotating page spots – and the way it adds Prime as a "delivery option" – when customers buy things via normal Amazon are working.

Amazon thinks this is unfair and said: "The sign-up process is clear and transparent, with multiple touch-points asking the customer if they would like to proceed," which is not true at all as anyone who's ever accidentally clicked on the wrong yellow box located right next to the right yellow box and activated a Prime account will know.

has one particularly sad story of someone who had an unnoticed Prime subscription running and happily debiting repeat payments to keep itself active for four years, although Amazon, to its credit, refunded the payments when contacted in complaint.

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