The holiday season for Amazon workers is hectic, but this year, there is a way to show your appreciation for all their hard work with a few simple words. If you tell Alexa, “Alexa, thank my driver,” the driver who last delivered your package(s) will be given a $5 tip. Per the company’s blog, the feature is now available to U.S. customers with an Alexa-enabled device (Echo, Echo Show) or the Alexa or Amazon Shopping mobile apps, making it easy to thank drivers in the U.S. anywhere.
In celebration of this new feature, each driver who received a thank-you from customers will be matched with an additional $5 from Amazon’s pockets, at no cost to the customer. They’ll be doing this for the first 1 million thank-you’s received. The five drivers who receive the most customer “thank-you’s” during the promotional period will be rewarded with a $10,000 bonus and an additional $10,000 to their charity of choice.
The new thank you feature is part of a promotion that Amazon says it’s running to celebrate its impending milestone of 15 billion packages delivered. That means that Amazon will pay about $5.1 million to workers through this promotion. For comparison, Amazon spent over $4.3 million on anti-union consultants last year. According to Amazon Flex, delivery drivers make between $18 to $25 an hour. Drivers contracted through Amazon Flex are gig workers who use their own vehicles to make deliveries on their own time. Amazon also contracts drivers through Delivery Service Partners (DSP), which are independently operated businesses.
“For drivers, it’s more than just the packages that they deliver — they form relationships with customers, provide support to the community in tough moments, and sometimes play the role of the unexpected hero,” Beryl Tomay, vice president of Last Mile Delivery at Amazon said in the blog post.
Meanwhile, Amazon is being sued by the DC Attorney General, seeking penalties for allegedly misleading consumers by using tips to cover couriers’ base pay. “Nothing is more important to us than customer trust,” Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti said in a statement, per Bloomberg. “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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