- Amazon Prime members have filed lawsuits against the company for ending free Whole Foods delivery.
- Prime members had the perk until last year, when Amazon started charging them $9.95 per order.
- Recent lawsuits allege Amazon misled Prime customers in making the change.
Amazon Prime members aren’t happy their free Whole Foods delivery perk was eliminated, and now some are taking their frustration to the courts.
Several Prime members have filed lawsuits against Amazon for its decision to stop offering free delivery from Whole Foods stores.
In 2018, Amazon announced it would offer Prime members free two-hour delivery on Whole Foods groceries for orders totaling $35 or more. In October 2021, the company ended the perk, slapping a $9.95 fee on all Prime members’ Whole Foods orders.
In one proposed class-action lawsuit filed in late May, two plaintiffs allege Amazon “engaged in unfair business practices, breached its duty of good faith, and deprived Prime members of the benefit of their bargain” by making the change. They say Amazon should have reduced the cost of a Prime membership accordingly, or else offered members a refund, after eliminating the perk.
“Individuals signed up for the benefit of Amazon Prime to provide free Whole Foods delivery, at a time when most were avoiding going to stores, and still do,” Thiago Coelho, an attorney at Wilshire Law Firm in Los Angeles representing the plaintiffs, told Insider. “To strip that benefit from those individuals after gaining additional members and market share is concerning to any member who was induced to sign up exactly for that reason.”
In a second class-action lawsuit filed in June, the plaintiff claims Amazon misled customers with false representations of “Free Delivery” and “Free 2-Hour Grocery Delivery.” The suit alleges Amazon used “drip pricing,” which occurs when only part of a product’s price is revealed at first, while other fees remain hidden until the end of the purchasing process.
“Amazon engages in a bait-and-switch advertising scheme by not disclosing the $9.95 service fee along with the advertised price of the Whole Foods grocery items,” the lawsuit alleged. “Amazon advertises groceries from Whole Foods at a certain price and then tacks on a mandatory ‘service fee’ later in the ordering process after the consumer is already invested in the ordering process.”
Amazon Prime subscriptions recently became more expensive. In March, the company hiked the cost of an annual membership from $119 to $139 and a monthly membership from $12.99 to $14.99. Amazon previously raised the Prime membership price twice, once in 2014 and once in 2018.
Plaintiffs in both cases and Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests to comment.