Using your own vehicle to deliver packages for Amazon and earn extra money. Sounds good, right? But has Amazon been keeping the tips its drivers are making when delivering for its Amazon Flex program? According to the complaint the FTC issued today, the answer is yes.
In its app and numerous marketing materials, Amazon advertises that drivers can earn $18 to $25 per hour — plus 100% of customer tips. According to the FTC, during a two-and-a-half year period, Amazon Flex used about $61.7 million in tips to subsidize drivers’ base pay. Customers thought they were tipping drivers — not Amazon — and drivers were left shortchanged.
The FTC also says that Amazon, despite receiving hundreds of complaints from drivers who saw their pay decrease, continued diverting drivers’ tips until the FTC notified the company of its investigation. The settlement announced today would require Amazon to pay back the full $61.7 million to drivers, provide only accurate information about tips and pay to both customers and drivers, and get drivers’ consent before changing how it handles tips in the future.
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