Audible uses a variation of the Forced Continuity dark pattern. When a user adds monthly billed items to their basket and proceeds into the checkout process, Audible fails to show that the items listed are not a one-off fees, and will in fact reoccur every month.
Step 1 of the Audible.com check out process. Note how it hides the fact that the charges reoccur every month
Step 3 of the Audible.com check out process. Note how it hides the fact that the charges reoccur every month
Thanks to @simonw for submitting this example.
Update (October 18th, 2010)
Audible has always been about the experience of listening – so, we take constructive criticism very seriously. When we heard that some listeners have found our check-out process less than clear, we took it upon ourselves to refine the wording of our offers and clarify our recurring billing practices. We appreciate simonw bringing to our attention the “forced continuity” impression we seem to have made. I will post again once we have completed the changes. We invite the Dark Patterns community along with simonw to review our changes. Open communication is the core of our business and we want to make sure we hear our listeners as well as they hear us.
Update (October 2010)
The Audible.com example shown above was originally logged in early 2010 and is now out of date. In October 2010 Audible updated their UI and they are no longer employing the Forced Continuity dark pattern.