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Amazon extends $5 'thank my driver' program following 'extraordinary' demand

The program allows Amazon customers to use Alexa-enabled devices to tip their most recent delivery drivers.
An Amazon driver loads packages into a delivery van
An Amazon driver loads packages into a delivery van in Alpharetta, Ga., on Nov. 28.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images file

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

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

Amazon launched the program Dec. 7 but ended it after one day after it got more than 1 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 5 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 the same day Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine announced a lawsuit against Amazon over accusations that it 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 settled with the Federal Trade Commission for $61.7 million over the tip-theft allegations last year.

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, that it had changed its model in 2019 and that Washington, D.C., drivers earn more than the city's minimum wage.