Amazon is inviting customers to use Alexa to “thank my driver” for deliveries during the busy holiday season, just as the company is being sued for allegedly withholding tips.
In honor of the milestone of delivering 15 billion vehicles in the U.S. since its launch in 1994, technology giant Its US customers have been invited to use their voice assistants to show their gratitude.
Anyone who says “Alexa, thank my driver” will see the person behind the last package receive a thank you notification, and the first million will also tip the customer $5 for free.
The company’s “everyday hero” gesture was announced the same day the tech giant was sued in Washington, D.C., for allegedly withholding tips from drivers.
The state’s Attorney General, Karl Racine, said the company “tricked consumers into thinking they were paying drivers more, when Amazon was actually shifting tips to lower its own labor costs and increase profits.” “.
Seattle-based Amazon keeps drivers’ tips for two to two-and-a-half years, the FTC said last year.
The regulator said it stopped the practice after learning of the FTC’s 2019 investigation.
An Amazon spokesperson said the lawsuit was “baseless” because it “involves practices we changed three years ago.”
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Washington filed the lawsuit in the District of Columbia, seeking civil penalties for each violation and a court order preventing the company from returning to the practice.
Amazon has paid $61.7 million to more than 140,000 drivers under a 2021 settlement with the FTC, and said it disagreed with the ambiguity in how it reported compensation to drivers.
“We added additional clarity in 2019 and are happy to put this matter behind us,” a spokesperson said at the time.
But Mr Racine said it had still “evaded proper responsibility”.
“Stealing from workers is theft,” the Attorney-General added. “Severe penalties are needed to strongly combat this illegal practice.”