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Amazon extends $5 ‘thank my driver’ program following ‘extraordinary’ demand

Amazon is extending its program that allows customers to send their delivery drivers a $5 tip, following unprecedented demand in the program’s initial rollout.

The program allows Amazon customers to use Alexa-enabled devices like Echo or Echo Show, and Amazon’s mobile app, to tip their most recent delivery driver. When a customer says, “Alexa, Thank My Driver” into the device, the driver will receive the $5.

Amazon initially launched the program Dec. 7, but ended it after one day after receiving more than one million thank-my-driver requests.

‘After extraordinary participation by the community, starting December 21, we are extending the ‘Alexa, Thank My Driver’ $5 appreciation program by an additional one million ‘thank yous’!’ the company said on its website. ‘Drivers will receive a notification of when the $5 promotion has ended.’

In a separate emailed statement, the company said it had already reached nearly five million thank-yous.

‘While customers can continue to pass along their gratitude every day through the Alexa feature, we are touched by the stories we’ve heard from customers and drivers alike on the positive impact of the celebratory promotion,’ it said.

The first round of the thank-a-driver program was launched on the same day the District of Columbia attorney general Karl Racine announced a new lawsuit against Amazon on accusations that the company diverted tips away from drivers.

“Workers in the District of Columbia and throughout our country are too often taken advantage of and not paid their hard-earned wages,” Racine said in a statement. “What’s more, consumers need to know where their tips are going. This suit is about providing workers the tips they are owed and telling consumers the truth. Amazon, one of the world’s wealthiest companies, certainly does not need to take tips that belong to workers. Amazon can and should do better.” 

Amazon previously settled with the Federal Trade Commission in 2021 for $61.7 million over the tip-theft allegations.

An Amazon spokesperson said in an email that there was no connection between the thank-a-driver program and the suit. Amazon previously told the Washington Post that the suit was without merit and that it had changed its model in 2019, and that D.C. drivers earn more than the District’s minimum wage.

This post appeared first on NBC NEWS

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