Amazon has introduced a brand new Alexa function that can permit clients to thank their supply drivers with a tip.
As of Wednesday, Amazon is letting customers tip $5 to the motive force who delivered their most up-to-date package deal, without charge to the client. Clients simply have to say “Alexa, thank my driver” to provoke the tip.
The provide applies to the primary 1 million thank-yous. The 5 drivers who obtain essentially the most thank-yous will likely be rewarded $10,000, plus a further $10,000 to their charity of alternative, Amazon stated Wednesday. The function is on the market to U.S. clients with an Alexa-enabled machine or the Alexa or Amazon Procuring cellular apps.
The promotion comes as drivers face an inflow of deliveries for the vacation buying season. Amazon in October stated it’s hiring 150,000 U.S. staff to assist handle the vacation rush and will likely be counting on greater than 275,000 drivers in its supply service accomplice program and a whole bunch of 1000’s of Flex drivers – contracted staff who use their very own autos – to ship packages worldwide.
The nationwide wage for Amazon supply drivers is about $21 per hour, in accordance with ZipRecruiter.
How a lot Amazon supply drivers make:Annual and hourly wage breakdown
Amazon faces lawsuit for stealing suggestions
Amazon’s thank-you function function launched the identical day Washington, D.C., Lawyer Basic Karl Racine introduced a lawsuit accusing the corporate of deceptive clients and stealing suggestions from drivers.
This follows a 2021 settlement with the Federal Commerce Fee that had Amazon pay greater than $61 million after allegedly pocketing suggestions promised to drivers.
In line with the lawsuit, Amazon used greater than $1 million from D.C. shoppers’ suggestions between 2016 and 2019 to subsidize its personal labor prices. Whereas Amazon advised clients that 100% of the information could be handed on to staff, the lawsuit says the information have been used to pay a portion of what Amazon had already promised its drivers.
Amazon modified its earnings mannequin in 2019.
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“Nothing is extra vital to us than buyer belief,” Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti stated in a press release shared with USA TODAY. “This lawsuit includes a follow we modified three years in the past and is with out advantage – all the buyer suggestions at difficulty have been already paid to drivers as a part of a settlement final yr with the FTC.”
The brand new lawsuit acknowledges that Amazon has paid restitution to drivers however says it has but to pay civil penalties for misrepresenting its tipping practices to shoppers. The district seeks civil penalties and a courtroom order to make sure Amazon can not have interaction within the follow once more.
What are Amazon’s working situations like?
The “thank my driver” function launch follows the largest union push in Amazon’s historical past.
Amazon staff in Staten Island, New York voted to unionize earlier this yr – a primary for the corporate. Final month, a choose ordered the corporate to stop and desist anti-union retaliation within the warehouse.
In the meantime, numerous information retailers have reported on poor working situations for Amazon drivers, particularly throughout the vacation season.
Vice printed an article throughout the 2021 vacation season that stated drivers have been delivering packages till 10 or 11 p.m. and ignoring security necessities – like sporting seatbelts – to fulfill the surge in demand.
The Guardian final yr reported that 14-hour shifts have been frequent amongst “overworked” drivers, and featured the voice of a driver who stated he usually used a plastic bottle to urinate to fulfill supply charges.
In April 2021, Amazon launched a press release saying the corporate is conscious that its “drivers can and do have bother discovering restrooms due to visitors or typically rural routes,” however known as it an industry-wide difficulty and stated it will search for options.
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