Amazon Fresh auto-adds tip for delivery people, customers cry foul

Michael Finney Image
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Amazon Fresh auto-adds tip for delivery people
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An Oakland viewer contacted 7 On Your Side because of the tips he was unknowingly giving to Amazon Fresh delivery people.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tipping is part of our lives, but now the rules are changing.

Oakland's Hugh MacDonald speaks for a lot of us: "I've been tipping all my life, and I'm for it. But not when they force it."

MacDonald contacted 7 On Your Side because of the tips he was unknowingly giving to Amazon Fresh delivery people.

"When I order grocery items from them, they automatically put a tip in and they force us, the client -- the customer, to either cancel a tip, or it just goes without us being aware of it to a certain degree," he said. "I think that's wrong."

Here's how Amazon Fresh ordering works. You go online, select the items you want delivered. Then just like on Amazon. a list of items and charges mount up... but on Amazon Fresh there is place at the bottom of that list to include a tip.

MORE: Consumers cry 'emotional blackmail' as self-checkout screens ask for tips

While adding items to your shopping list the tip line remains empty, but once you get ready to purchase, a tip is automatically added. Here, it was $5.

That is what MacDonald didn't notice and doesn't like. "Amazon is automatically adding the tip without us, as a customer, saying, 'I want to tip,'" he said.

When MacDonald complained directly to Amazon, his tip money was refunded via a gift card. All the rules make it sound complicated, but he can actually use the online credit very easily.

MORE: Travel app Hopper automatically adds tip to checkout, but where does the money go?

Amazon told 7 On Your Side: "We've worked directly with the customer to explain our checkout process options, which gives customers the opportunity to add, edit, or remove driver tips similar to other food and grocery delivery services."

That is a much more liberal policy than many food delivery services, but MacDonald just doesn't like the way it feels.

So you can change the tip amount or delete it altogether before checkout... and if the delivery does not go well, you have 24 hours to reduce or do away with the tip.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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