CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Amazon merchants not allowed to ship Prime via FedEx Ground, new bill would require mailed paper Social Security statements for workers, and Lime introduces subscription service

BySimone Chavoor KGO logo
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Amazon merchants not allowed to ship Prime via FedEx Ground, new bill would require mailed paper Social Security statements for workers, and more
CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Amazon has informed its third-party merchants that they are not allowed to ship Prime packages via FedEx Ground, a new bill would require paper Social Security statements be mailed to workers for the first time since 2011, and Lime introduces a subscription bike rental service.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Amazon merchants no longer allowed to ship Prime packages via FedEx Ground

Third party vendors who sell their products through have been informed by Amazon that they are no longer allowed to use FedEx Ground to ship their Prime packages.

Amazon sent a message to the merchants on Sunday, reportedly saying that the decision was made in order to ensure customers get their packages on time during the busy holiday season. FedEx -- along with UPS -- has recently experienced shipping delays they attributed to "record shipping volumes and weather issues."

Merchants can still ship non-Prime deliveries using FedEx Ground, but the ban for Prime-qualifying shipments will remain until "delivery performance of these ship methods improves," according to the Wall Street Journal. Some merchants are concerned that their limited options will have an impact on shipping times during the holidays.

FedEx and Amazon have been competing for dominance within the e-commerce space. Amazon has been working to become more self-reliant when it comes to delivering its wares, while FedEx has severed ties with the online retailer.

New bill could mean workers receive paper Social Security statements once again

Workers 25 and older may soon be receiving something they haven't seen since 2011: a paper statement explaining their Social Security benefits.

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee recently passed the "Know Your Social Security Act," which will require that most workers received a mailed, paper document with their annual Social Security earnings, as well as information on "estimated benefits and about how much you or your family would receive in disability, survivor or retirement benefits."

The paper documents were suspended by the Social Security Administration in 2011 to save money and to encourage people to use online statements instead. Paper statements were only mailed to those aged 60 or over, who had not signed up for an account on the Social Security website.

If the new bill passes, it will allow workers to opt out of paper statements if they wish. The SSA will also be required to "clarify the procedures the Social Security Administration should follow in the digital age" -- only 2 out of 5 people accessed their online Social Security accounts in 2018, according to CNBC.

New Lime Pass subscription service waives "unlock fees" for riders

Electric scooter and bike rental company Lime has announced a weekly subscription service, LimePass.

Lime has stated that the subscription cost will vary from market to market, but a screenshot of the app suggests that San Franciscans will pay $4.99 per week. The subscription waives the $1 unlock fee per ride, meaning riders would still have to pay the per-minute charge for their ride -- but that the subscription would pay for itself after about five rides.

The introduction of LimePass brings Lime into competition with Bird's $24.99 a month subscription which gives subscribers unlimited riding for a month, Lyft Pink which gives discounted rides for $20 a month, and Uber which offers free bike and scooter trips to riders who sign up for their $24.99 monthly Ride Pass.

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