(NEXSTAR) — Just in time for the holiday season, Amazon’s extending its ‘Alexa, Thank My Driver’ program that lets you tip Amazon delivery drivers.
The program launched earlier this month and was expected to come to a close after 1 million “thank you” $5 tips were given. However, as NBC News reports, that number was met in only one day.
In a statement, Amazon said the program was extended due to “extraordinary participation” by customers, adding that the new extension will continue for another 1 million “thank you” tips.
How it works: 1) If you’d like to give a hardworking Amazon deliverer an extra bit of holiday cheer, say ‘Alexa, thank my driver” into an Alexa-enabled device like Amazon’s Echo 2) the deliverer of your most recently delivered package will receive a $5 tip from Amazon.
According to its statement, Amazon drivers will be notified once the program has ended.
As noted by NBC, the original launch of the program coincided with the filing of a lawsuit against Amazon by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine — the lawsuit accuses the retail giant of previously lying to customers about how much of driver tips were actually being given to drivers.
An Amazon spokesperson told NBC News in an email that there was no connection between the lawsuit and the ‘Alexa, Thank My Driver’ program. Nexstar reached out to Amazon for comment and will update when it becomes available.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Amazon representative Maria Boschetti said Racine’s lawsuit was “without merit” and involved an issue that was settled with the Federal Trade Commission last year. As part of the settlement, Boschetti said “all customer tips at issue were already paid to drivers.”
As inflation has ballooned during 2022, you may have noticed an increased emphasis on tipping everywhere you shop — including places like coffee shops, where digital tipping screens may ask if you want to add an extra $1-5 to your bill.
In conversation with Nexstar, Michael Lynn, a professor of marketing and management communication at Cornell University, said while there are few studies on an increase in on-screen tip prompting, he believes it’s become more common. Additionally, Lynn, who’s authored over 70 studies on tipping, said screen tipping at quick-service places is likely improving staff retention since these workers are likely making very little to begin with.
Nexstar’s Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.