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FTC returns $60 million that Amazon illegally took from Flex drivers

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Amazon Flex drivers, watch your mail. The FTC just sent almost $60 million in checks and PayPal payments to eligible drivers who had their tips illegally taken by Amazon.

When customers placed orders through Amazon’s Prime Now or AmazonFresh services, Amazon asked “How much do you want to tip the courier?” Amazon told customers and drivers that “100% of tips are passed on to your courier.” But according to the FTC, from late 2016 through August 2019, Amazon illegally pocketed a big percentage of those tips.

The FTC just sent 139,507 checks totaling $59,428,878 and 1,621 PayPal payments totaling $171,715 to Amazon Flex drivers. Drivers who had $5 or more illegally taken by Amazon will get 100% of their tips returned to them. The highest award amount is $28,255 with an average of $422.

Here is more that drivers need to know:

  • Deposit or cash your check by January 7, 2022. If you have a question about your payment, call 1-800-654-8874.
  • Drivers getting checks of $600 or more will get a 1099 tax form with their payment. You should report this income on your 2021 tax return.
  • Visit www.ftc.gov/AmazonFlex for important information about your check.

Drivers also should know that scammers sometimes try to target people eligible for payments by impersonating the FTC and asking for money or account numbers. To protect yourself, remember that the FTC will never require you to pay upfront fees and won’t ask you for sensitive information, like your Social Security number or bank account information. If someone claims to be from the FTC and asks you for money, it’s a scam.

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Comments

we all needed Amazon during the isolation times.... But such a rich company to pocket hard earned money NOT belongkng to them is a , well. Amazon knows what a d who they are..,.. THANK YOU FTC!

Wow! What great work on the FTC's behalf. Who else could have gotten the drivers' tips back in their pockets!

Nobody!! Lol

How is the address determined on where the checks are being sent?

Please read FTC.gov/AmazonFlex and the FTC's Refund FAQs to learn more about payments.

Like Amazon cares about the $. What about legal action against the Company? Isn't stealing a crime anymore?

The FTC brought a suit against Amazon, alleging that the company secretly kept drivers’ tips over a two-and-a-half year period, and that Amazon only stopped that practice after becoming aware of the FTC’s investigation in 2019. Amazon paid more than $60 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it failed to pay Amazon Flex drivers the full amount of tips they received from Amazon customers over a two and a half year period. 

Bravo to the FTC for investigating and addressing this exploitation of its drivers! I hope the FTC will broadly publicize this.
Why a settlement and not a charge? I appreciate a settlement is easier and faster, but sometimes it seems to just encourage the corporation to hide things a little better next time.

I’ve worked for Amazon in 3 different states. If I was stolen from while working in Florida or Colorado but currently live in TN will I still receive my check? Amazon has my updated address since I moved last year but did the FTC receive my updated address?

Please read FTC.gov/AmazonFlex and the FTC's Refund FAQs to learn more about payments.

I don't deal with Amazon and I don't like Paypal but I want to thank you for fighting for the Little Guy!

How about from 2019 to now

Will Amazon send notices to these drivers? Not everyone comes on to FTC website! Just Asking VLAA

Amazing, & great article. Thanks for getting thier drivers the backpay, & help they need.

FTC, you are awesome! What an amazing job the FTC is doing!

Thank you.

Thank you for everything you all do for us!!

I complained as soon as I knew my pay was being sliced in half. I ran the same blocks, the same routes in the same areas and always knew within a $20 range what my pay should have been. For 14 months, I emailed, called, researched how to get my fair pay and everyone at Amazon stated time and time again that my checks were accurate. Today, I find out that they stole over $12,000 from me. That was money I earned delivering in snow storms, thunderstorms and a pandemic. I delivered when no one else would, to customers that were disabled, elderly, people that were unable to get to the store and grab the items they needed. I made thousands of customers happy, and they stole from EVERYONE!! I have seen copies of the memo’s going around the FC’s, they talk about how drivers know they are missing money, so they fire the driver for complaining. Yet it happened for YEARS. Shameful and despicable business practices. Thank you FTC for doing what no driver could do—-prove we were victims of theft and gaslighting. Support small business when you can and always know theres added cost even on “deep discounts”.

How did you find out the amount they stole from you? I've been flex'n since 2017 (still doing blocks) and I know I have something coming but have no idea how much. I actually just found out about this lawsuit today and would appreciate any resources for more information, if you have any.

If my account was cancelled by amazon. Will I receive my payment too. Will be like chek or direct deposit?

So I just call and the phone line says the wait is over 60 minutes and just hangs up on you. How am I suppose to get through to contact someone? I worked for Amazon Flex for 3 years I wanted to see if you guys had my information.

How can I file a claim to see if I can receive my missing tips from Amazon?

I started same with others and work just as much maybe even more and i got 1300 they got 13K they must have made a mistake on typing forgot another zero’s on my check

A big thanks to the FTC for pursuing Goliath on behalf of us little Davids. I got a check for over $2,300 yesterday. It covered the tips I should have received for the first four months I worked for Amazon. Thanks for putting a stop to this shady business practice.

I've moved twice & can't get a ahold of anyone at FTC over the phone about whether or not I'm actually getting a refund. I worked 2016-2019.

I tried calling them but all the time is busy . I don’t understand why they don’t have online checking status for refund?

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