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Kozmo the latest to tack on delivery charge

The online convenience store begins charging delivery fees, going back on an earlier promise by its former CEO that it would never do so.

Online convenience store Kozmo.com has begun charging delivery fees--going back on an earlier promise by its former chief executive that it would never do so.

Kozmo, which is privately held, started requiring customers Friday to pay $1.99 for the delivery of orders totaling less than $30.

Online grocer Webvan last month raised the minimum amount customers must order to receive free delivery. Orders under $75, up from $50, are charged a delivery fee of $4.99. Online grocer PDQuick.com charges $2.99 for all deliveries.

Last December, Joseph Park, a Kozmo founder who stepped down as chief executive in June but remains chairman of the three-year-old New York-based company, told CNET News.com that the company would not impose a delivery fee on any orders.

"I can tell you absolutely that Kozmo will never charge for delivery," Park said in an interview at the time.

"The founders' original vision was to deliver from the Internet to (customers) in under an hour," Kozmo spokeswoman Stephanie Cohen Glass said. "But there are delivery costs involved with that promise."

The move comes as many of the Internet's home-delivery companies pursue profitability. Many of the companies, especially in the online grocery industry, have gone out of business, including Streamline.com and ShopLink.com.

Kozmo's main rival, Urbanfetch.com shut down its consumer business in October.