Amazon Alexa Tips Drivers For Thanks, Does It Really Go To Them?
Amazon is re-opening the Alexa tip jar for another million "thank yous".
Update: In response to the incredible impact of the celebratory promotion, in which we reached 1 million "thank yous" within 36 hours of launch, we are spreading even more joy, starting December 21. Eligible drivers will be offered $5 per "thank you" for another 1 million "thank yous.”
Amazon says they blasted through the first million "thanks" in just one day!
Delivery drivers work hard every day delivering for our customers, and we want to show them our sincere appreciation and connect them with the customers they serve. Any time a customer says “Alexa, thank my driver” the driver who delivered the customer’s most recent package in the United States will be notified of the "thank you" they’ve received.
As of December 8, we have received more than 1 Million "thank yous" concluding the promotion offering $5 per "thank you" to eligible drivers. You can still share your appreciation by saying, "Alexa, thank my driver." We are thankful for the enthusiastic response to the promotion and the appreciation shown to drivers.
Amazon has announced the "Alexa, thank my driver" campaign that allows buyers to show their gratitude with some drivers receiving $5 tips paid for by the company.
Starting December 7, any time a customer says “Alexa, thank my driver,” the driver who delivered their most recent package will be notified of the customer’s appreciation. And, in celebration of this new feature, with each thank-you received from customers, drivers will also receive an additional $5, at no cost to the customer.
We’ll be doing this for the first 1 million thank-you’s received. And, the five drivers who receive the most customer “thank-you’s” during the promotional period, will also be rewarded with $10,000 and an additional $10,000 to their charity of choice.
However, the company's motive for this generosity has been called into question as it coincidentally launched the same day the Washington DC Attorney General's office sued Amazon for allegedly wrongfully withholding tips from some drivers through its Amazon Flex service.
WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The District of Columbia attorney general's office on Wednesday sued Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and its Amazon Logistics subsidiary alleging the biggest online retailer had withheld tips from delivery drivers.
Washington Attorney General Karl Racine said the company "tricked consumers into thinking they were increasing drivers' compensation when Amazon was actually diverting tips to reduce its own labor costs and increase profits" through its Amazon Flex service.
Amazon Flex drivers use their own vehicles to deliver goods and groceries ordered through programs like Prime Now and Amazon Fresh. The FTC alleged the company kept drivers' tips over a 2-1/2 year period and stopped the practice after learning of the FTC investigation in 2019, the FTC said in 2021.
The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, seeks civil penalties for every violation and a court order to bar Amazon from re-engaging in the practice.
Last year under a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Amazon paid $61.7 million to more than 140,000 drivers.
Amazon has "thus far escaped appropriate accountability, including any civil penalties, for consumer harm," Racine said in a statement.
"When a company is caught stealing from its workers, it is not enough for the company to repay the amount stolen. Stealing from workers is theft, and significant penalties are necessary to strongly disincentivize this unlawful conduct."
What do you think of Amazon Alexa's new "thank you" feature - is it genuine generosity or a cynical attempt to distract from the DC AG's lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below!