I am just COVID free a couple of days but still feeling the fatigue. But Sunday was the first day I felt like gardening. So I did for like 3 hours.
As I was cleaning up a car shows up in front of my house. Some odd woman in a Nisson Rogue.
“Amazon!” she calls out like I am getting the items from her car FOR her.
“You can leave them on the porch, thanks.” I replied.
Next came the difficulty of where to leave packages. The instructions were pretty much crystal clear.
Then she asked me how I am and I looked at her and I’m like truthfully I’m tired. And she says “I’m tired too!“ I mumble something polite and commiserating, but I am all the while thinking to myself I don’t think I should be talking to her. (Always listen to the spidey sense.)
Then this woman has to go through this odd routine, where she reads out my name, and then my husband’s name, and then our address. (I resist the urge to say anything. I don’t want to have a conversation with a stranger.)
“I have packages for you and your husband and one might be heavy.” She says.
I just looked at her a minute. I didn’t say what I was thinking which was that I don’t order anything from Amazon I can’t lift so why is she working for them? With most job applications, if there is any physicality to it, they ask if you can lift 50 pounds. I think that’s the number?
I took a deep breath and told her if it’s heavy she can leave it on the walk or at the curb, that I would have my husband move it. I then go about my business which is taking some photos of my garden after working on it. I had adjusted a birdbath and I took it’s photo. You see the photo above? That’s it.
So the woman instead of leaving my packages goes all freakazoid and YELLS “ARE YOU TAKING MY PHOTO?”
I look up and I say (truthfully) that no I am taking pictures of my garden and birdbath.
“YOU CAN’T TAKE MY PHOTO!” she yells again.
I tell her once again what I was doing on my own property. I offered to show her the photo I took but she wanted none of it. I didn’t bother to tell her there are security cameras that could also capture her. I also didn’t bother to try to explain that she’s on a public street and that there is no expectation of privacy.
Finally I just snap at her to leave my packages at the curb and go. Her response is:
“YOU’RE NOT GETTING YOUR PACKAGES NOW! I AM TAKING THEM WITH ME!”
I looked at her and said that she was being paid by Amazon / Amazon Logistics to deliver packages not take them. I said to her technically, if she was now leaving with my packages that she was supposed to deliver it was like she was stealing them.
“YOU’RE THREATENING ME!!” She screams.
Oh, and then she starts taking my picture. I gave her the finger and told her to leave. Yes giving her the finger was not nice but guess what? I had had quite enough at this point.
At this point I did take a photo of her in her car, her car, and license plate to report to Amazon and the police. And I informed her that I was indeed taking her photo this time and her response was along the lines of I should knock myself out. That in and of itself was strange, just like her continuing to sit there. Because was it not just not a few minutes before she was screaming at me for taking my photo?
I started calling Amazon while she literally sat there on my street complaining to a friend (or friends?) of hers on her phone.
I have had some bizarre Amazon experiences with messed up deliveries (you know when breakables get tossed into a box and arrive broken and oozing out of a box, or they say they delivered only nothing arrived), but this one takes the cake, because I have never experienced such a delivery person anywhere. I reported her to Amazon. They actually couldn’t believe the driver. Or so I thought with my initial phone call.
Initially I felt reassured from a call center a million miles away in a different country. Sadly, it didn’t last that feeling.
I then filed a police report. I felt uncomfortable even after the Amazon Flex Driver finally left, taking my packages with her, so I decided although I wasn’t someone who generally speaking filed incident reports, decided to file one. (Now I am glad I listened to that inner voice of spidey sense, but I am getting ahead of myself.)
A lawyer who is a friend said to me:
Why did she remove them from your property to take them back to her car?
Why didn’t she just leave the packages?
And if so threatened and afraid for her safety, why didn’t she immediately drive away?
You are allowed to video and take her picture. Just as you implicitly consent, by way of ordering, to their delivery people entering your property to deliver. She as an employee of one of their sub contractors is also implicitly consenting to being recorded by delivering for Amazon.
Furthermore, Frightened people do not stick around hanging out recording with their car door open.
When I called Amazon and it was hard because it was an offshore call center. I could tell the poor woman did not understand me so I asked if she could bump me up to a supervisor because I knew I was speaking quickly because I was upset at what had happened, and she did. I spoke to a really nice man who said he would bump this up stateside. He was the one who made me feel reassured.
Yesterday at 4:11 PM I received a phone call from a woman at Amazon Logistics in the US. Very, very nice lady who goes through everything with me and then tells me (1) MY Amazon account is FROZEN while they investigate this incident. oh and (2) I had to verbally verify and in writing that their delivery people would be SAFE on our property.
So I have now done this once verbally, and FOUR times in writing. It seems like whenever I reply it goes back into an email queue and it’s like I have to start the process over, only I am not. I have actually sent them two security camera videos SHOWING their driver experience delivering with two different drivers.
I spoke to an Amazon DSP (Delivery Service Partner) delivery guy today. He has a regular route and I see him around making deliveries. I asked him if he ever had problems here or felt “unsafe” delivering and he looked at me puzzled. So I gave him the Cliff Notes version and his jaw dropped. He said simply “This is one of my favorite routes, I love the gardens I get to look at. You are so nice when I see you.”
But apparently those flex drivers are a very different species than DSPs or other Amazon drivers. I am thinking the standards are lower.
The flex drivers are the most independent of independent contractors, and they choose blocks of time. They are available to pick up and deliver for two or more hours and qualifications for a flex. Drivers seem kind of like they have a smart phone and a driver’s license and they have to do a tutorial on some Amazon app and have a vehicle with valid registration and insurance. I don’t know what level of background checks they do for these positions, that would be interesting to know.
All I know is as a customer I feel wronged. This isn’t bad order wrong, this is a delivery human who flipped out on me for going about my business on my own property, and then TOOK instead of DELIVERING my packages which sorry not sorry is her JOB, not taking them.
I thought 2018 was bizarre when an Amazon Logistics driver literally left an entire mesh bag/container thing full of packages in the middle of our street. We kept calling and calling Amazon to try to get them picked up to no avail. I was actually told in one phone call to just keep the items and how could we do that? These all belonged to people nearby so my husband delivered all of the packages that people did not come and pick up.
Then there was just recently when I received a book I did not order. They said it was a gift, but I still have no idea who sent it, only the person who gave it must find me very rude because I never said thank you. Amazon for “safety” wouldn’t tell me who sent it, which is kind of pretzel logic and creepy feeling since a mystery person apparently knows MY address, can’t you agree?
Now in 2018 I also tried then so-called Prime Now for groceries once in a while. As opposed to Instacart there was no easy way to have the shopper contact the customer if something was out of stock. Then in 2019, I bailed on Prime Now one July day when the food was first NOT delivered when I ordered (the shopper person shopped, order just was never delivered), and then when my husband used his account to order what hadn’t ever arrived when I originally ordered. His order was delivered, and nothing perishable was packed for perishable so cold and frozen food were kind of spoiled and melted in 100° weather. So we just bagged that Prime Now altogether.
Apparently our area doesn’t have Prime Now’s successor “Amazon Fresh”, and we tried Whole Foods delivery via the Amazon app before COVID and once after COVID I think it was and it was very hit or miss. Lots of missed items and no one ever looking at substitutions or contacting you. Truthfully I don’t even go to Whole Foods much since Amazon acquired them. I thought it would be a good thing originally, but it is just not the same. It’s not that I don’t like Whole Foods, its just not as fabulous as I once found it and it’s a little pricey to not be fabulous. So it is only once in a great while
So back to this Amazon debacle. A little while ago I went to check on an order that is not being delivered by Amazon, it is being delivered by USPS. I get the message no one wants on an online account. That my account is completely locked due to suspicious activity. It gives me the notification option, so Amazon text messages a code. SAME message comes up and they offer a phone number to call: 1-800-388-5512. I call that number and after a painful twenty minutes plus, the lady on the phone tells me I have to call 1-877-472-7562. Only that is NOT for customers, that number is a driver support phone number that all drivers must call if there is a problem.
So I go back and call Amazon Logistics again at 1-877-252-2701. There after an eternity I discover that apparently I am the suspicious activity on my own account which is locked, but there should be no reason why I shouldn’t be able to review my account, even if I can’t order anything.
I mean truly this is BEYOND messed up from beginning to end. It’s like the good old days of customer service simply do not exist. It used to be so easy to deal with Amazon. Tons of super nice customer service on the West Coast. Good deliveries, nothing crazy. And now the bigger they get, the problems multiply, don’t they? Do we have to now ask ourselves if Amazon thinks themselves too big to fail, but are they?
Time will tell.
Will they resolve my issue or just ditch me as a customer and side with the crazy flex driver or will I just break up with them because this whole thing was just that cray cray? It looks like my account is back open, but maybe it is also time to look at alternatives instead of depending on them so much?
Time will tell.
In the meantime, here are some current articles I find interesting:
Seattle Times: Amazon walkout to go ahead after 1,700 employees sign on, organizers say
By Lauren Rosenblatt Seattle Times Amazon reporter May 30, 2023 at 4:26 pm
More than 1,700 Amazon employees have pledged to walk off the job on Wednesday, demanding more flexibility with remote work and more attention on Amazon’s climate impact.
Of the 1,726 employees who had signed on to participate by Tuesday afternoon, about 830 plan to physically walk out of offices in Amazon’s Seattle headquarters while another 890 will join from offices around the world.
Amazon employees began planning the action last week, before the company’s annual shareholder meeting and about one month after Amazon started requiring employees to work from the office at least three days a week.
In Seattle, business boosters and politicians cheered the mandate and hoped that thousands of returning workers would enliven the neighborhood while encouraging other employers to issue similar directives.
So far, workers have been “united by a frustration with the direction that leadership’s decisions have been going,” said one Seattle-based worker who plans to participate and asked to remain anonymous to protect their job. That frustration stems from recent layoffs, the return to office mandate and a lack of action to address the company’s impact on climate change, organizers said.~Lauren Rosenblatt: 206-464-2927 or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter: @LRosenblatt_.
Amazon, Hit With Driver Lawsuit, Braces for 1,000-Worker Walkout
Yahoo/Glenn Taylor Tue, May 30, 2023 at 1:43 PM EDT
As many as 1,000 employees at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters will stage a walkout Wednesday, according to a recent report from The Washington Post. The work stoppage is reportedly in response to the company’s recent return-to-office (RTO) edict, its string of layoffs and overall environmental impact, according to an internal memo viewed by the Jeff Bezos-owned media outlet.
Amazon said corporate employees must return to the company’s offices three days per week starting May 1. CEO Andy Jassy and company leadership threw their full support behind the move in February in a shift from Amazon’s prior stance in October 2021, when it left back-to-office decisions up to individual team leaders…
The planned walkout comes on the heels of Amazon cutting 27,000 jobs in recent months. The company announced layoffs affecting 18,000 in January, before another 9,000 terminations were reported in March.
Two organizing groups are leading the worker agitation, including the employee-led Amazon Remote Advocacy group that formed on enterprise instant messaging platform Slack in the wake of the return-to-office policy, along with Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ). …
Notorious for its tenuous relationship with employees and labor organizations, Amazon is also being sued by three Colorado delivery drivers who claim its work policies require them to urinate in bottles in the back of delivery vans, defecate in bags and, in some cases, restrain themselves from using the bathroom “at risk of serious health consequences.”
“Amazon operates this scheme through harsh work quotas and elaborate tracking and workplace surveillance technology that make it impossible for Amazon delivery drivers to fulfill basic human needs while on the job,” the lawsuit states.
Filed by plaintiffs Leah Cross, Marco Granger-Rivera and Ryan Schilling, the class-action lawsuit contends that Amazon systemically violates Colorado law requiring employers to provide all workers with paid rest breaks for every four hours of work.~ Yahoo 5/30/23