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Amazon Prime members, who were getting free two-hour delivery on Whole Foods orders over $35 from 2018 until last fall, are unhappy that the delivery perk was discontinued last fall, when they began charging $9.95 for the service. To that effect, two plaintiffs are alleging in a class-action lawsuit filed last month that 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. The plaintiffs say Amazon should have reduced the cost of a Prime membership accordingly or offered members a refund after they eliminated the free service.

A second class-action suit filed this month claims Amazon misled customers with false representations of “Free Delivery” and “Free 2-Hour Grocery Delivery.” In this suit the plaintiffs allege that the company used “drip pricing,” a practice that 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,” according to the June lawsuit.

In March, about five months after the free delivery service was eliminated, Amazon raised the price for a Prime membership from $119 to $139 for the year, and from $12.99 to $14.99 per month.

 

 

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