Amazon Prime members are suing for the termination of the free delivery of Whole Foods

A select number of Amazon Prime members are apparently so unhappy with the termination of Whole Foods’ free subscription to the subscription service that they are taking legal action.

The e-commerce giant acquired the supermarket chain in 2017 and began offering free same-day delivery of orders worth $ 35 or more to Prime members a year later.

Amazon introduced a $ 9.95 service fee for all Whole Foods purchase orders in October 2021. Orders set for orders over $ 35 remained free for Prime members, an Amazon spokesman told FOX Business. time.

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The service fee is intended to cover the operating costs associated with the delivery of foodstuffs without the need to increase product prices, but not all Prime customers agree that business practices are fair.

Whole Foods Market is a multinational supermarket chain based in Austin, Texas. Amazon acquired the company in 2017. (iStock)

Joy Peznik and Gil Kaufman, two members of the Amazon Prime of California, filed a class action lawsuit in the Western District of Washington with the U.S. District Court on May 31 and are listed as plaintiffs in a 15-page legal document read by FOX. Business.

The complaint alleges that Amazon should have reduced the cost of its subscription service when free shipping was revoked.

“Individuals signed up for Amazon Prime to provide free delivery to Whole Foods, many of them registered at a time when most avoided shopping and still do,” said Thiago M. Coelho, a lawyer. on class actions. the case from Wilshire Law Firm in Los Angeles, in an email sent to FOX Business.

“To deprive these individuals of this benefit after acquiring additional members and market share is a concern for any member who has been encouraged to register for this very reason,” Coelho continued.

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The complaint alleges that Amazon tested Whole Foods shipping charges in the summer of 2021 in Portland, Providence, Manchester, Detroit, Boston and Chicago before releasing it nationally.

Amazon

Amazon Prime often receives a two- or one-day delivery, which includes an advantage with annual and monthly memberships. (Reuters / Carl Resin)

It goes on to say that the free delivery of Whole Foods orders “is a cost-effective solution for Amazon”, which helped the company triple its food supply from 2019 to 2020, which also coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The complaint alleges that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Amazon Prime members paid for membership because they wanted to take advantage of Prime’s free Whole Foods delivery service, but the offer was “unfairly” revoked.

“As a result of Amazon’s unfair business practices, consumers paid $ 119 for a service that was unfairly terminated,” the complaint said. “The main members have not benefited from their membership agreement.”

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Los Angeles-based Wilshire Law Firm and Woodway, Washington-based Triad Law Group are clients of class action lawsuits in the Western District of Washington.

Bag with Whole Foods in the shopping cart

Amazon offered Prime members free same-day delivery for Whole Foods orders over $ 35 worth from 2018 to 2021. (Associated Press)

The complaint states that “there are more than 100 members in the proposed class” and a lawsuit is required.

FOX Business contacted representatives of Amazon and Whole Foods for comment.

Amazon Prime memberships include a long list of benefits for delivery, streaming, shopping, reading and entertainment, ranging from free shipping to select non-grocery items, exclusive deals, access to Prime Video and Amazon Music, Prime Try Before You Buy, early access to books, etc.

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Current Amazon Prime membership fees are $ 139 per year or $ 14.99 per month. Students have a reduced fee of $ 69 per year or $ 7.49 per month.

Amazon Prime Video on the TV screen

Amazon is a technology-focused e-commerce platform that hosts a number of streaming and digital platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music and Amazon Photos. The company is also partnering with Audible, an audiobook company. (Thomas Trutschel / Photothek via Getty Images)

In previous earnings calls, the e-commerce platform has revealed that it has more than 200 million Prime members.

The company generated $ 116.4 billion in revenue in its first quarter of 2022, according to a quarterly Amazon report released in April.

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