Why Amazon Prime Members Are Suing Over Whole Foods Delivery

It seems like it's hard to find anyone these days who doesn't use Amazon. Jeff Bezos' $1 trillion+ business might have started out of his garage, but now, it's not only successful on its own but has also acquired other entities, including Zappos, Twitch, and Whole Foods.

Whole Foods is arguably Amazon's most well known entity, and it's seen some major changes since the online shopping empire took it over back in 2017, when Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion (via Insider). Since then, Amazon Prime has infiltrated the grocery retailer. One of the biggest perks for Prime members came in the form of discounts, though the promise of convenient grocery delivery also attracted shoppers. According to Forbes, members could use something called Prime Now, allowing them to place their supermarket order and find their bags at their front door within a couple of hours. Though the concept once sounded great, a recent grocery delivery surcharge now has some customers up in arms.

Amazon Prime members are suing over a recently instated delivery charge

Prior to October of 2021, Amazon Prime users could order Whole Foods groceries to their homes without any extra fees. However, last fall, Amazon announced it would no longer offer free delivery to Prime members. The company instated a $9.95 service charge, according to Fox Business, which applies to all delivery orders and any pickup orders under $35. Though plenty of retailers are trying to fight the challenges of increased grocery prices, Amazon's surcharge, which it said was meant to offset costs without raising product prices, was not met with a pleased reaction from some Prime members.

Last month, two California Prime members filed a class-action suit against the retailer, saying that Amazon unfairly deprived members of one of the greatest perks of the membership. The ongoing lawsuit also says Amazon's decision to remove free delivery is "concerning to any member who was induced to sign up exactly for that reason." 

This isn't the first time Amazon has been sued since it took over Whole Foods. In January of this year, Reuters reported that a judge ruled a man could sue Amazon and Whole Foods for not hiring him due to his murder conviction. The brand was also sued in 2020 after employees said they were not allowed to wear "Black Lives Matter" masks, per BBC.