Amazon is adding a way for customers to show delivery drivers their appreciation during the busy holiday season.
Beginning Dec. 7, customers who have a package delivered from Amazon can say "Alexa, thank my driver" to their Alexa-enabled device or Amazon app and the delivery driver will receive a note of gratitude. The first 1 million drivers to receive thank yous will also get a $5 tip at no cost to the customer, Amazon announced.
The five drivers who receive the most thank yous will also receive a $10,000 bonus, plus $10,000 donated to the charity of their choice. The company says it's celebrating the hard work drivers do and how they've helped the company deliver 15 billion packages since 1994, building community with customers along the way.
The announcement comes just as news broke that Amazon is being sued by the District of Columbia for allegedly stealing driver tips.
The suit cites a Federal Trade Commission complaint issued in 2021. The complaint alleged that Amazon changed its payment policies in 2016 in a way that meant drivers earned less than 100% of their tips. Amazon paid a $61.7 million fine to settle the FTC claim, which the agency would pass onto drivers.
But Amazon has "thus far escaped appropriate accountability, including any civil penalties, for consumer harm," D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, who brought the new lawsuit, said in a statement. He is seeking those civil penalties in addition to a court order to prevent Amazon from returning to the practice.
"Nothing is more important to us than customer trust," Maria Boschetti, an Amazon spokesperson, tells CNBC Make It in an emailed statement. "This lawsuit involves a practice we changed three years ago and is without merit — all of the customer tips at issue were already paid to drivers as part of a settlement last year with the FTC."
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