- Amazon Prime members have sued the company for ending Whole Foods free shipping.
- Prime members had the benefit until last year, when Amazon started charging them $9.95 per order.
- Recent lawsuits allege Amazon misled Prime customers into making the switch.
Amazon Prime members are not happy that their Whole Foods free delivery benefit has been removed, and now some are taking their frustration to court.
Several Prime members have filed lawsuits against Amazon over its decision to stop offering free shipping at Whole Foods stores.
In 2018, Amazon announced it would offer Prime members free two-hour delivery on Whole Foods groceries on orders totaling $35 or more. In October 2021, the company ended the benefit, imposing a $9.95 fee on all Prime members’ Whole Foods orders.
In a proposed class action lawsuit filed in late May, two plaintiffs allege that Amazon “engaged in unfair business practices, breached its duty of good faith, and deprived Prime members of the benefit of their marketplace” by performing the change. They say Amazon should have reduced the cost of a Prime subscription accordingly, or else offered a refund to members, after eliminating the benefit.
“People signed up to benefit Amazon Prime to provide Whole Foods free delivery, at a time when most were avoiding going to stores, and still are,” said Thiago Coelho, attorney for the firm. Wilshire attorneys in Los Angeles representing the plaintiffs. Initiated. “Removing this benefit from these individuals after gaining additional members and market share is of concern to any member who was enticed to sign up for exactly this reason.”
In a second class action lawsuit filed in June, the plaintiff claims Amazon misled customers with false representations of “free shipping” and “free 2-hour grocery delivery.” The lawsuit alleges that Amazon used “drip pricing”, which occurs when only part of a product’s price is revealed at first, while other charges remain hidden until the end of the process. of purchase.
“Amazon is engaging in a bait and switch advertising program by failing to disclose the $9.95 service charge and advertised price of Whole Foods grocery items,” the lawsuit alleged. “Amazon advertises Whole Foods groceries at a certain price, then adds a mandatory ‘service fee’ later in the checkout process, once the consumer is already invested in the checkout process.”
Amazon Prime subscriptions have recently become more expensive. In March, the company increased the cost of an annual subscription from $119 to $139 and a monthly subscription from $12.99 to $14.99. Amazon previously raised the price of Prime membership twice, once in 2014 and once in 2018.
Plaintiffs in both cases and Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.