Amazon's all greed and no accountability. Credit OP
By - noonesguide
This is not necessarily true.
Companies have tried this liability-shifting scheme for years and the courts don't buy it.
[Here](https://law.justia.com/cases/illinois/court-of-appeals-first-appellate-district/2017/1-15-11071.html) is one example of a successful lawsuit under the theory of "apparent agency". All of the Yellow Cabs in Chicago were technically considered independent contractors, a move by Yellow Cab to limit their liability of the negligence of their drivers. Except Yellow Cab controlled their schedules, appearance/design of the vehicles, and so on. It was very clear to the court that these "independent contractors" had no independence at all, and were acting as agents of the company.
Sounds very similar to Amazon's strategy and it won't work. If an Amazon van plowed into a group of kids, you can bet your ass Amazon is getting sued.
Thank you for actually citing precedence and not just going off on an unsubstantiated rant. +1
The original post is a theory that falls through very quickly. Like you pointed out, Amazon or any other company can't claim no fault when they ultimately control the major aspects of an operation, which are the exact points that lead to accidents (schedules, deliveries per driver, the specs on the vehicles, etc).
And they clearly don't do this for some insane legal loophole. They use this system because it's cheaper, easier and quicker for them to have a wide range in their own delivery service without investing billions themselves.
Alas, Amazon does do this. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/05/us/amazon-delivery-drivers-accidents.html?referringSource=articleShare
Had to scroll way too far to find this.
The same can be said of a lot of delivery companies in the US. Contracted drivers not actually working for the company on the side of the van. Low pay and bad working conditions not uncommon.
Also pizza drivers, trading miles and maintenance on their car for wage.
Don’t get me started on pizza delivery lol.
Can I get you started
just don't get me started
But I want you to want to get started.
Lol. you got me started. Grrrrrrrr.......
Oh my heavens 💅🏿
We didn't start the fire!
Exactly. I'm a pizza delivery guy and I just call an Uber for every delivery I need to make. Saves the wear and tear on my own car.
This is a joke. This person is joking.
He's not I'm a pizza delivery driver. Unless you're going to tip now we're just going to send that stuff to doordash or Uber. Sorry.
Please, rev that engine..
I literally can't even
More dangerous than police work. If only they had the same legal standards for interacting with the public.
It is possible to claim the difference between what your company pays you and what the federal rate is on your taxes. You just have to keep track of the numbers (miles, rate, etc). It's not the same as getting paid directly but it does help.
Edit: apparently this is no longer possible under current (changed in 2018) tax law. Thanks Trump.
sorry, but no longer the case. federal tax revision in 2018 nixed that. I miss being able to claim the 20+k miles I drive.
EDIT this applies to the US, and, sadly I don't own a private jet...
Damn, that sucks
You can drive 15k miles a year with the right pizza joint. That exceeds the standard deduction amount right there.
Not sure about that. Trump changed a lot of tax write offs. Really hurt me as a construction worker away from home.
But Daddy Trump is a champion of the common man. I'm sure if you double check you're actually better off.
Still struggling. Biden hasn’t helped any either tbh.
They removed the deductions to fund the lower overall tax rates. Now when the Dems increase the income tax rates again, the deductions won’t be reinstated. It has been going on like this for at least 40 years I know of. Doesn’t matter what the politicians mess with but you will always be paying higher taxes over time. They always trade your deductions away for (temporary) lower taxes.
It's even worse than that. Many, many, many things got axed along with the mileage. Completely disgusting change that's literally taking thousands out of the pockets of blue collar workers all over the US, and it seems like almost no one ever talked about it.
Doing hardwood I get about 65¢/km (Canuckistan), and that was just what was offered to me based on 'expected averages', whatever the fuck that means.
First pizza place I worked for doing deliveries paid .45 cents above minimum wage at the time, milage, and a commission on deliveries too. Plus tips! I would make more than the manager on Friday and Saturday night.. and that was driving a old V8 truck.
I delivered for Mazzio's, Pizza Hut, Mr Gatti's, Pizza Inn, and Papa John's. I drove a Honda Civic hatchback at Papa John's and made good money.
> I worked for Domino’s UK
You live in a civilized society that believes in workers' rights, at least for now.
As fucked up as Brexit was/is/going to be, I'm super curious to see how it changes the working environments in the UK. I wonder if they'll go hardcore capitalist like the U.S. and strip back worker protections, benefits, etc. Or if they'll try to maintain all that at the cost of something else like military budget or some shit.
It'd also be insanely weird to see if they somehow went full Japan mode and had people working 18 hour days or something.
I feel so bad for people that voted remain. I know it's not their fault. But I am curious to see how the fallout of Brexit will change things like say a decade from now.
I hope shit works out for our UK brothers though. Especially remain voters. I'm sorry for what's about to happen to you. I know it's gonna suck ass.
The Tory party is also trying convince the UK Boomers to sell everyone else down the river and give up their entire healthcare system.
It will probably go through, as enough politicians are being bribed. They will pass some kind of bullshit Medicare type system where everyone Boomer age and older gets to keep it, but everyone else gets to enroll in some kind of horrific system similar to the USA.
Holy shit. Fucking boomers being selfish pricks in your country too? It must be endemic throughout the entire generation! I hope to fucking god it doesn't pass. As we say in the United States every time we want to do fuck all to help but still get attention for seeming like we want to help: "Thoughts and prayers!"
I dunno...I paid my way through college by delivering Pizza for Papa Johns. I drove an 89 Hyundai Elantra that I paid $400 for and I took home ~$100/night in tips. I was paid minimum wage plus a $0.50 delivery fee for every run on top of that. Plus I got free food every night. It was a pretty good gig if you ask me.
similar for me, i worked there for like 3 years in HS and always felt like I was making bank, $80 tips for a 5hr shift after school or 150 on sat/sun nights.
compared to like the 8/hr job at the movie theater or grocery store that job was great.
Weirdly enough delivering newspapers turned out to be much the same deal, just with my bicycle (though others use private cars, too), I get 50% of my money back on \*some\* repairs, but not others (parts and tools that is, I never went to a repair shop since I like doing these things, but I dont get the hours for repairs paid either), and I had so much shit break over time, including by rear wheel because \*their\* trailer came off the mounting due to a pothole and slammed into the spokes at 30 kph. Had to cannibalize my old bicycle that luckily was still around.
Drove for papa John's part time after work for some extra cash. Ended up having to take the money I made in tips and put half of it back into my tank. The oil changes every 2 months didn't help either
FedEx Ground is contracted, FedEx Express actually works for FedEx
I used to work for FedEx Express, and honestly if I had started 5-10 years earlier, I'd still be there today. I only left because full time hours and an hourly rate closer to $30 was probably 5+ years away and I couldn't wait that long with my son on the way.
Weekends and holidays off, Saturdays optional (but like *actually* optional because there was actually competition for those shifts). I was on the joint health and safety committee and saw first hand how quickly they responded, one example being an employee reporting some bits of the metal platform in the warehouse sticking out, and within a few days they had welders on site making repairs. We all stretched out together every morning, which was also when we'd get announcements and do Q&A. Had regular warehouse and driving safety courses. Good benefits, pension. Boss always gave me the benefit of doubt if my numbers fell behind in my monthly performance review, they updated and adjusted the route metrics every single time, I was never pressured to work faster.
Also, got a bit of an ego boost from the looks I'd get from some women...
Honestly I've complained incessantly about basically every job I've ever had except that one. It was hard work, but it was a good place to be.
I worked there as a temp during the Christmas season. Struck me as a pretty decent place to work. Hard work, but good pay, benefits, hours, team culture, etc.
Federal Express Express? Sounds like people saying PIN number.
It does, but it's the correct name : Federal Express rebranded to FedEx in 2000. The original service of priority air delivery became the FedEx Express operating company, and recently aqcuired RPS became the FedEx Ground operating company.
Since then the've made other acquisitions and kept a operating company model where the companies keep their own staff/HQ building. FedEx Freight was Watkins freight I believe, based out of Arkansas, they bought Kinko's and that's FedEx Office now, HQ in Texas. It's kind of like the main FedEx HQ in Memphis is the federal govt and the different opco's are state govt.
Fed Ex does the same thing. A majority of the delivery vehicles are owned/leased by a smaller operator.
UPS, OTOH owns all of their vehicles and their drivers are UPS employees
FedEx Ground is contracted, FedEx Express is owned/operated by FedEx I think
UPS store workers are not UPS employees though; those are franchises. Just FYI.
Except for freight. UPS just recently sold off the entire freight segment of their delivery services.
And usually union employees.
Fuck FedEx. They do the most sketchy shit
UPS has one of the best Unions. It’s not perfect and the last deal wasn’t perfect but the benefits are fantastic
welp guess i'm using UPS or USPS from now on
I did seasonal helper job at UPS. I’m not gonna say it was the best job ever but I wasn’t treated like shit, was compensated accordingly and the full time drivers seemed to have worked for them for a long time.
You have to work hard, but they pay you for it.
Full time UPS drivers can make 6 figures, it's a good paying job. UPS figured out that if you pay well you can get good employees with low turnover. It's a pretty wild phenomenon yea?
> i'm using UPS or USPS
For ordering online you rarely have the option to choose, which is a shame since the only issues with deliveries I've really had was with FedEx
Ehhh I think that depends on your contractor. Mine is fucking great, has been for a while too
And for freight as well. Generally speaking companies like Costco and Amazon and Starbucks don't want to get into the transport industry because they would have to hire on executives and personnel with experience in that industry. For their use its always better to subcontract that out. McDonald's and Walmart have their own shipping companies.
Generally both the warehouse and shipping industries are pretty terrible work conditions... but they're also uniform "industry standard" terrible work conditions. It's not like you can leave this Amazon program or an Amazon warehouse and find places with better pay, better opportunities and better safety.
One of the quirky things is that without inflation adjustment, the wages of semi drivers have been flat for 40 years. My father-in-law jokes about how the $50 per gig (music) fee is the same today as it was in 1980. And that's true for driving as well. The per mile driving fees have not changed.
I think for a lot of guys in this industry the DSP is probably one of the better deals they get.
My FedEx driver at work is employed directly by his boss, who also drives the truck whenever an employee quits for not being paid enough (which is often). This isn't an Amazon specific issue, just more exploitation by larger companies. It's not the same everywhere, just like how some Taco Bells are corporate owned and some are franchise
I dont think amazon ever had employee delivery drivers. Amazon had a contract with ups,usps,and fedex to deliver their packages, then they started amazon flex and had contract drivers use their own vehicles to deliver packages while at the same time collecting data on how long it took to deliver packages, the routes they took, and the issues they had to deliver, then they started to phase down that program and ramped up dsp. The worst part about that job from my buddy who did it for a couple of months was that its physically impossible to deliver 350+ packages in a 12hr shift and dsp still wanted to add more packages to deliver
Is there any way you could draft a law to ‘pierce the veil’ in cases where it’s _very, very clear_ that a soi-disant contractor is in truth an agent of one company, in this case Amazon?
It just beggars belief that if Amazon employed someone to drive a van for them, they would have vicarious liability for what that person does when acting for Amazon - _but_ if they tell that person to incorporate a company, buy a van off them, and then drive for them and them only _literally with an Amazon-branded van_ and on Amazon’s schedule, then somehow Amazon is treated as just another client of that company. It’s preposterous, risible, a farce.
Ha, yeah, I dated a guy recently whose mum was a tax lawyer for Amazon. She made good croissants and had a very nice house, but I didn't know how I felt about it all ... they were guilty croissants.
Yeah this. Many, many delivery companies hire independent contractors who slap a logo on their truck.
This isn't unique to Amazon, its industry standard.
FedEx Ground and LaserShip (LoserShip) are the same deal. I know a guy around where I live that operates an Amazon DSP, a FXG franchise, and a LoserShip franchise, as well as a local courier service. He does OK. Other DSPs really don't.
Same thing in Germany
thanks for pointing this out. Like yes ofc that doesn't make what Amazon is doing good or okay at all, but I do want to point out the Logistics industry as a whole faces issues, this really isn't just an Amazon exclusive problem.
FedX does the exact same thing. Low-End LLC leases a truck from Fed-X to make deliveries.
Yep am a Fedex driver. But it’s not a bad gig when you get paid $200 per day and can finish your route in 5 hours.
This explains a lot about how FedEx trucks drive and park.
Also explains why one of the drivers threw my package like a Frisbee from the curb instead of walking up
I hate fedex. all their drivers have screwed up my packages or left them nowhere near my door or the wrong door.
FedEx is notoriously the worst package delivery service, and beating USPS is pretty damned impressive.
I have never had a problem with USPS. A Christmas card was a few days late, right after Trump's appointee, Louis DeJoy, intentionally reduced USPS capacity (to benefit his own contract mail delivery business). The card was from my dumbass Q-Trump uncle, so like I said...no problem.
Deliveries from usps seem to get delayed a day or two on occasion for me, but I haven't had usps break my shit so I'll take it
Short of recent covid and trump administration related issues I've never had any problems with USPS. They are by far my preferred package delivery service.
Ahh is that why some of the absolute worst drivers I’ve seen on the highway are FedEx trucks? You’d think they care at least a little with their name on the side
If it doesn't impact the share price or the bottom line it doesn't matter. Besides, choosing which delivery company to use is almost exclusively a business decision on the part of the retailer/seller and business owners only care about what it costs, not their reputation. I recently tried to get a company to switch to UPS over FedEx after as always FedEx screwed up the previous delivery. The gal on the phone said that they can do UPS but it'll have to be some special on the phone order because the guys on the dock don't like dealing with UPS. Its ridiculous that a business would rather use a crappier delivery service that a customer has taken the time to complain about and would still rather use them for the sake of convenience . I was willing to pay extra for UPS so it wasn't just money.
I came here to say this. I can't say FedEx is as bad as Amazon, but this is a part of FedEx's business plan. There are a couple other delivery services that utilize the same strategy. I'm not sure about door dash or Uber eats, but I imagine they use this as well.
These are upsetting practices because social welfare ultimately loses, but don't boycott Amazon or FedEx because they're utilizing a market niche. Ask your township or congressmen to consider regulation on these practices.
>Ask your township or congressmen to consider regulation on these practices.
Ya that should work. After all, it saved the environment from Chevron.
Have you seen the way city and state governments simp for Amazon? All so that they'll hopefully maybe build more shit there so officials can say "look at all these jobs I brought in" when they're up for reelection. Asking any elected official to do anything about Amazon is a complete waste of time.
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Only FedEx Ground/Home Delivery, not express, freight, or office.
Also Ground route owners make ALOT of money compared to the Amazon owners.
Confused. All the Amazon vans I’ve seen are brand spanking new and gorgeous.
Actually haven't seen a beat up or dirty van that I recall.
Highly depends on the area you live in in my experience.
I used to work close to a major distribution hub for East Metro Atlanta. The drivers would run those vans hard -I mean they'd seriously *haul ass* from and to that side street - but I never saw one that looked dingy or unsafe to drive.
Same. Not sure I have ever seen one that didn't look brand new.
Not sure if this is the case, but the vans around here are also nice and new. There's also a Amazon Distribution Warehouse about 10 miles away. Its possible the two are related.
Yea that's not consistent across the country. Either the DSP actually gives a shit and goes out of their way to keep the vans looking nice, or the vans literally just rolled off of the factory floor and are literally brand shaking new. They're all leased after all. Give it enough time and you'll see them start to get banged up, especially on the back quarter panels because new drivers forget how long the vans actually are.
amazon should definitely pay taxes but fuck me you'd think they were the devil incarnate from all the fake bs that gets posted about it daily on reddit.
it's *Always* anecdotal.
>it's Always anecdotal.
You are also agreeing with an anecdote
Amazon does pay taxes. Politicians just hyper focus on one aspect of our hyper bloated tax system that they get waived because they did money things and use that as a talking point for more taxes.
Most of the other shit you see is probably true though. They're a huge company with lots of room for corruption and sketchy business practices. It's anecdotal because it's coming first hand from employees.
People also like to conflate Amazon and Bezos as a single entity.
the amazon vans are fancy and new, but all of the contractors that do deliveries, their vehicles look like piles of shit...
I had to wash our driveway and road once because an amazon delivery persons' van dumped so much engine oil out onto the ground it looked like a scene of a car crash. it also sounded and smelled like a complete junker ready for the wrecker. I've only seen an amazon delivery van once, the rest are completely trashed minivans and other cars. almost all of the amazon deliveries i've seen use a series of 3 couriers that I have never heard of outside of amazon.
I just learned this when the delivery person refused to use my key garage access, and when I asked why they told me her “company told them not to,” I replied asking, aren’t you Amazon? She said no, that she works for a contractor
Just to let you know that the DSP told their driver to not use the garage access is because it works correctly about half the time. When a garage opens but won’t close, or won’t open period drivers have to call support, which takes about 20 mins, then the driver has to call the customer which is more time wasted. Doesn’t sound like a lot but with about 10 maybe 20 garage access stops a day and about a 50 percent failure rate wasted time adds up. The app that amazon has drivers use is called Flex and it’s about the worst damn thing that man has created. Ever think “man that driver doesn’t know where they’re going.” Yeah that’s because the flex app doesn’t have a clue which direction it’s heading, or the preset routing is all over the place. Please boycott amazon. I was a driver and the stories and news you read and see are true.
There's a recent post on r/amazondspdrivers that shows the Flex app navigating out of the neighborhood, onto the freeway, off the next exit, then driving back on surface streets just to deliver to the house next door.
And that's without the app doing dumb shit like placing your second stop past your third stop so you have to backtrack.
The travelling salesman problem is notoriously difficult to solve.
It is but with all the computing power that Amazon has at its disposal it can brute force a near perfect route.
We did this problem 25 years ago in college and got a decent route with no obvious blunders in a decent amount of processing time.
Bold of you to assume that Amazon has their shit together. I know someone on one of the driver-app teams and it's almost always a dumpster fire.
Most drivers are at least rudimentally aware of this and it infuriates them that a trillion dollar company can't (or won't, to get more conspiratorial) build a delivery app that works properly, especially when you realize they eventually want to have it completely automated.
I'm pretty sure FedEx or UPS semi-solved it years ago in their system, probably at least 15 years back. There was some documentary about AI or whatever, and a segment was about that problem, and they showed how the parcel carrier addressed it.
They knew they couldn't make a perfect route through all the stops - and definitely didn't have the colouring power to make a good one every single day. But, they could cluster the stops into small groups of 5-7 and find the best route among that cluster, and then find the best route between the clusters. It massively simplified the problem and resulted in pretty efficient routes.
Of course it can still have issues, and will occasionally produce an insanity, but those should be rare.
I'm sure this factors into it also.
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gig work is the new serfdom
Serfs were less disposable.
That's actually a really important feature of the way the US 'labor market' operates.
If you own a slave or maintain surfs you have a financial interest in maintaining a minimum health for reasons of pure self interest. A 'labor pool' as we have today thanks to the city based industrial system means that the moment a person breaks or wears down you just get another one.
There was already a pretty low standard of care encouraged, just the bare minimum to keep producing useful work. Even that is gone now. You'd think we'd work towards removing opportunities for tragedies of the commons but as they say, capitalism is a death cult.
Silicon Valley: “there will always be poor people. Let’s monetize that”
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[*The comment is on \/r/IdiotsInCars*]
>For those that don't know how Amazon delivery works, all of the Amazon branded vans that you see belong to what Amazon calls a DSP, a Delivery Service Partner.
>There are thousands of these companies, all small.
>Amazon has a smooth website detailing this wonderful business opportunity. Basically all you need to open your own business is decent credit and $30K in cash. You lease some Amazon spec vans, get insurance, hire some drivers, etc.
>Now you're a business owner. Except not really. Your only possible customer is Amazon. You have absolutely no power or leverage. You take what Amazon is willing to give. Don't like it? They have six more dummies ready to take over your area.
>That's why Amazon vans are always dirty and beat up. The DSP gets just enough to survive, barely, maybe, if they treat their drivers like shit and skimp on maintenance.
>It's all a scam to shield Amazon from liability. If an Amazon van plows through a kindergarten at recess, Amazon can't be sued. It's Gullible Dumbass LLC and their bare minimum liability insurance that's on the hook. And the company doesn't have any assets to go after. Their trucks are leased, the company has no actual value.
>One of the many reasons that I don't shop at Amazon.
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That's a common practice with a lot of big corporations to shield themselves from any kind of liability.
And to isolate expenses or to handle temporary situations. Most of what gets done in business has a portion completed by a contractor for various reasons.
Yeah. That's why business love to hire contract workers so that they don't have to deal with their shit or give them any benefits that the actual company employee gets even though the contract staff is actually working for the company.
Also for the freedom to cut them loose at any time while maintaining a degree of separation from the subsequent mass layoff.
They have a very persuasive sales pitch, and like a casino, sometimes the DSP owners actually do come out ahead. They point to them as the example.
But if many of these DSP's aren't profitable, then wouldn't we see them folding?
Or is it that Amazon pays them just enough to turn a small profit and keep them running on the wheel?
I work in the parts department for a large Ford franchise. The majority of our drivers (80%) are contracted through a crappy company like this. And then they wonder why all of their drivers keep leaving to come work for us as in-house Ford employees instead, where it's the same exact job except better pay, better benefits, better management/bosses etc.
I just started working for one of these little companies as a driver. This should be entertaining cause I'm not gonna put up with any shit. First time I'm lied to or they go outside what we agreed to, I'm gonna park that fucking van on the side of the road and call a cab.
Edit1: Day 1 training, or how to ignore propaganda vol 1. It was 10 hours of repeating videos of either a) how to use the app to deliver (all Amazon drivers use their Flex app so you can download and do it too) and how it's totally not like any of those other jobs where you deliver using an app. b)Amazon cares and is cool c) here's how to tie your shoes because apparently you are a fucking child. And then a test if you fail you don't get the job. But the questions are about Amazon specific things and if you can tie your shoes. It could have been a 15min thing but fuck no watch this same video but slightly worded different. I played on my phone and didn't watch or listen to a thing, training guy knew what's up he thought this shit was stupid too. If anybody failed he just showed them the answers on their re take. Leave it to capitalism to over complicate putting a box in a van and driving said van to a place and loading aforementioned box.
Edit2: day2 on the road and day1 solo. probably fired for refusing to go do a "rescue" for another driver. Apparently nobody get to end their route untill EVERYBODY who is out delivering is done. Yes that means you can be done but now you have to drive an hour to intercept somebody that's dumb as fuck and do their job for them or your fired.
Congrats, I'll be surprised if you make it to the end of the week.
Around here our poor Amazon drivers the same 2-3 can be seen 7 days a week all hours day and night not knowing when their shift will end.
Keep us updated how long it lasts
No one really cares. You'd have a van full of stuff and those people will think you're a cunt because their fleshlight didn't turn up, and pretty much everyone wants free delivery when they buy stuff online. That's how much they really value your job.
They don't want to pay for it so if Amazon don't want to pay for it. Well no one wants to pay for it. The big hope is that machines will do it one day. Amazon will throw a lot of money at that.
You might get a few upvotes from people pretending to give a shit, but like the Europeans clapping outside their houses for their national health service workers, they won't back that up with anything tangible.
This is literally how all delivery companies work, they deliver things for other companies and get paid to do it, they also cover their own costs and liability. If an Amazon logo is on the truck, Amazon can also be liable.
If you were able to grow large enough to deliver for other companies congratulations, Amazon helped bootstrap your delivery business, otherwise Amazon is going to keep your schedule filled up.
I've never seen a shitty Amazon truck because they were all made in the last few years...
Edit: the reason why they created this program was to organically grow a network of delivery providers because they needed more capability and flexibility for same day.
I was going to say something similar to this. No way Amazon would allow a company to do whatever they like while brandishing the Amazon logo. Also, I can't speak for everywhere, but all of the Amazon delivery vehicles that drop shit off at my place are pristine and electric.
It’s been a while since I looked at the program, but IIRC, you’re correct that you can’t use the vans leased from Amazon for non-Amazon deliveries. One because of the branding, but also because they supposedly are offering a better rental rate than is otherwise available to attract participants. If you choose to not use Amazon’s vans though, and have your own, you can do whatever deliveries you’d like. There isn’t an exclusivity for the company to only work with Amazon. Larger and existing delivery companies might have a mix of Amazon and non-Amazon vans.
They have those Mercedes-Benz vans by me and they’re all new and spotless. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a dirty Amazon vehicle.
> I've never seen a shitty Amazon truck because they were all made in the last few years...
All Amazon trucks I see are new and in better condition than most other cars. No reason to add that to the text. The rest might be right, but it takes away from it.
Yeah every Amazon van I see is gorgeous looking.
The problem is that none of the Amazon carriers will ever grow large enough to actually branch away from them. They have no ability to transport anything further than the communities around the local Amazon fulfillment center, so already they are extremely limited in what they can branch out to. They're basically stuck running same day orders for whatever companies are in the area.
Plus Amazon's traveling salesman algorithms are stupid streamlined so they'll know exactly how many packages to give to a delivery driver to push them to a breaking point.
It doesn’t actually shield Amazon from liability though, because it has certain standards that must be followed, and those standards are what make the companies so dangerous. Amazon is 100% on the hook for an accident like that.
The thing is, Amazon's policy suite combined with this relationship still makes a pretty good liability shield. The most problematic "rules" aren't rules but _incentive guidelines_, and they say pretty clearly that you have to prioritize safety as the Delivery Partner.
So the situation is they're basically saying "look, you don't have to do Y, but we'll pay you more if you do. But of course, you shouldn't take any safety risks to do that." And because the margins are so tight, you can't make money if you don't do Y consistently, so the Partners require their drivers to do that because they don't want to risk being unable to make their targets/etc. and get the money they need.
So Amazon can go into court and say "we don't demand that, we incentivize it and only when it's safe to do; and in fact when we discover our Partner drivers are being unsafe, we terminate Partner relationships immediately". And that's all true, and shifts the responsibility to the Partner who technically made the call to force drivers to do unsafe things.
It's bullshit, but actually making the legal case that Amazon really does effectively require that is expensive. And guess what? Those Partners don't have the resources to do it.
I had a similar thought, AT&T tried pulling some BS like that several years ago when they were installing new fiber optic cable in my neighborhood. Their subcontractor damaged my driveway and they were only willing to patch the large hole they caused instead of paying for a new driveway in total. We wouldn’t agree to that because new and old cement won’t match and it would detract from the curb appeal of our home and negatively impact its resale value.
We let AT&T know we considered their subcontractor to be an extension of them since they were performing work on their behalf while they kept insisting our only option was to deal with the sub and they weren’t responsible.
After several months of follow up, escalation, and posting to their social media accounts, they finally caved and paid to replace the whole thing.
But clearly, their strategy is to out-stubborn you and get you tired and frustrated to point you give up.
I worked in cable for 17 years and subcontracted a lot of work due to it being either short term surge work or specialist work like fiber optic runs such as yours. The contractor is required to carry a huge amount of liability insurance (usually $1M or more) for this very reason and would be held accountable for the damage (AT&T probably made them pay for their good-will gesture in other ways). I'm honestly surprised AT&T gave in though as I'm guessing this damage occurred in the apron and therefore within the utility & road easement. If the sewer or water lines are ever replaced the town/city in charge of it will only replace their portion of the apron no matter if it clashes with the owner's segment of the driveway (that's why in a lot of places the apron may be asphalt and the rest concrete).
Yeah, they gave us that argument as well regarding the easement but I suppose they couldn’t get us off their books until we allowed the repair work to commence.
A couple other details that may have convinced them to just move on from this dispute:
1. We had a real estate attorney draft them a letter giving an estimate for the loss in home value we’d realize for a mismatched driveway
2. One day when I wasn’t home, the supervisor for the sub (witnessed by a rep for AT&T) started verbally berating my wife calling her weird and abnormal for not just agreeing to the patch job
3. The sub also didn’t follow protocol when the damage occurred. They hit and ruptured the gas line as they were running the cable and it was the gas company that actually came out and excavated the hole to perform the repair. However, my wife and kids who were home at the time had no idea there was an active gas leak in the front of our house until the gas company employees knocked on the door and told them they needed to get out to a safe distance.
I’m guessing the potential negative PR they might’ve incurred outweighed the cost of a new driveway. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they then circled back and demanded reimbursement from their subcontractor.
Okay, I would absolutely agree your case was mishandled and as the manager of that job I would have had it paid for and then made the sub pay it back in either cash or additional (unpaid) work.
My wife keeps bitching to me about the edge of our driveway being chipped up from snowplows and that the town needs to replace it but since she has doesn't know who Don Quixote is she doesn't understand what I mean about tilting at windmills.
I worked for 3 contractors and my buddy owns one. This isn't very accurate. The contractor actually makes a fuck ton of money.. like one of my bosses owned a tesla, a Mercedes, and a 4runner. All paid for from owning the DSP. But mostly everything else is right.
This type of scheme is super common in a lot of industries. Contracting work out like this also makes it impossible for workers to organize and bargain for fair rights. Fuck companies like this.
They do a similar thing to businesses that have an amazon storefront. First if you sell something that other business with amazon storefronts also sell, you are in constant competition to “win” that sale. Meaning, someone simply searching and clicking buy, buys the item from your store by default. The ways that you win, are myriad, but many of those things (like time between complete order, to it being shipped) are incredibly restrictive, and cause businesses like the one I worked for, to not have nearly the resources to devote to their own online presence. We had a direct sales website, as well as a presence on amazon, ebay, and reverb, and I would say that amazon sales accounted for 85-90% of our annual sales.
amazon basically gets a distribution center without any of the overhead, and they treat you as such. There’s obviously the percentage they take off every sale. There is also a thousand tiny cuts like the way they can cut you off for “too many violations” which if you are familiar with the horror stories from their warehouses, you can imagine the sorts of bullshit entails a “violation.” So you are at their whim. They have such a garbage return policy. You might be glad that you can essentially return anything for any reason, and they just take it, but they are able to do so because they offload the responsibility to the seller. It is nearly impossible to reach them or get assistance for bad returns. We once had a guy return an expensive keyboard that was absolutely destroyed. We confirmed that the serial number didn’t match between the unit and the box, and a number of other details, and the best we got from amazon was a credit that was a fraction of the worth of the keyboard. They were unwilling to do anything else about the customer. This is why people order a camera, and get a box of rocks, or buy a box of their favorite tcg, only to find all the packs opened/searched.
This, btw, is still just one more facet of the gigantic blood diamond that is the amazon business model. It seems like no matter where you choose to look more closely at them, you find the same vile rot.
Uber is the same way. I rear ended someone backing up in a street while on a pickup. Because I didn’t have a passenger, uber insurance wouldn’t cover it. My personal insurance wouldn’t cover it because I didn’t have ride share insurance through them. I had to pay $1500 out of pocket to the guy I hit.
So I work at the post office and I have to say the sheer volume of Amazon packages that our carriers deliver are insane. We get more Amazon shit than actual mail, and it has been getting steadily worse even in the short time I've been there. We probably handle 100-150 amazon packages along with mail, and every Sunday we have "Amazon Sunday" where all the new carriers come in and we only deliver Amazon packages. We fill our (pretty high capacity) vans over the brim with packages and we usually get back at like 4 pr 5pm IF we don't have to help someone else (which is inevitable because our turnover rate is high). We have recently been encouraged to start running to the door and back so we can deal with the sheer amount of shit, but most people don't because us new carriers are so overworked that we're too tired to (I myself have worked for the past eight days straight and was just told at 4pm today that my off day tomorrow was canceled and I have to help another post office).
Ok but how the fuck is this a design?
It's not, but it fuels the reddit circlejerk against Amazon so updoots it gets.
Although OP is right, this line here:
> one of the many reasons I don't shop to Amazon
[Amazon totally be like...](http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-j7qUGZGLOG8/VPsFYTjeMVI/AAAAAAAAWUo/XSZbUapkhRs/s1600/moneycry.gif)
Why do people shit on others for voting with their wallet? I don't care if my money alone doesn't bring down their entire corporation. At least I can sleep at night knowing that I'm not funding their awful treatment of people.
Because "just boycott them" is a red-herring argument that only serves to distract from the actual solutions to the problem (e.g. strengthening and enforcing anti-trust and consumer protection laws).
Granted, there's a difference between merely mentioning you're boycotting them (as OP has done) and advocating for it as a solution, but there's a difference between what the comment you replied to said and "shit[ting] on others for voting with their wallet" too.
Probably the same shit people that say get out and vote, it matters! Hypocrites are everywhere.
Yeah but they’re getting worse. Hopefully they lose enough customers to make a difference. I doubt it since bezos is rich as hell but still lol. Like their search sucks, the only pro is the return policy and fast delivery and even then shipping is 50/50 (for me at least). Like at this point might as well go to the store myself and save the mark up fee or pay for same day delivery from a grocery store.
> Hopefully they lose enough customers to make a difference
That is a wish that sounds pretty much pre-covid. The solution lays solely in competition.
Amazon could lose all its individual consumers for its retail side of the business and still be successful.
This. Amazon is a digital services business with a lucrative retail side-hustle.
>The solution lays solely in competition
this is the key. People aren't going to just not buy things online if they were going to in the first place. If anything, they'd buy it at another retailer. But they'll have to be almost as good as amazon or people won't be incentivized enough to actually make the switch.
Amazon really is just becoming another Wish or Aliexpress. All every search returns is thousands of cheap Chinese products with a made-up name in all caps and riddled with keywords. On top of that, Prime shipping is no longer two days. It takes about a week where I am right now.
It's become my absolute last resort at this point, and I gladly spend a bit more to buy things from manufacturers and their partners if it's feasible.
The real problem though is Amazon's other services. They could completely stop retailing online and still make shit tons of money. AWS is a solid chunk of income and good luck not supporting that. You'd have to boycott every website that uses it, and that would still hurt those businesses more than it would hurt Amazon.
The hell do you people buy on Amazon? I use it mostly for books, video games, and the odd electronic or fitness stuff. I've never once gotten some knockoff product.
> Yeah but they’re getting worse.
Agreed. I've drastically cut my shopping there because they sell crap. its (Random 6 capital letters name brand) crap from alibaba. Even name brand things I can't guarantee are genuine with their commingle policy. Target and Best Buy are getting an ever increasing share of my business.
> its (Random 6 capital letters name brand) crap from alibaba.
Yep. If you want cheap no-name crap from China, you might as well just buy it from AliExpress and cut out the middleman.
I hope Amazon digs their own grave though. I hadn’t shopped on their site in years since I moved out of the US. I went back to visit recently and wanted some Nintendo Switch accessories. Amazon is basically a Chinese marketplace now. It’s impossible to tell what’s a genuine product. Easier to just go to Best Buy and find the Nintendo licensed products myself.
Still sucks going from one big corporation to another (Best Buy), since the US seems hell-bent on destroying local merchants, but still…
Wait wait. Amazon has vans they are fully wrapped with Amazon colors/van wide logos, etc....are those contractors and not actual Amazon drivers?
It's a mix. Some work directly for Amazon, but many work for a delivery partner. Amazon basically leases them the trucks to use. Every large logistics operation does this to some extent, FWIW.
>that's why Amazon vans are always dirty and beat up
Except that they aren't, so that's bullshit. And if that part is bullshit then probably so is the rest of it.
I mean even if it was true OP is being an asshole victim-blaming someone who essentially got scammed into what they thought was a good business opportunity. So OP is just an asshole.
Amazon vans around here look pretty nice honestly. They're all like brand new and shiny.
"I did everything right, I did nothing wrong!"
"It's not my fault it's their fault!"
"Nothing I could do!"
Note: not in europe
The Amazon vans all look mint around my area?
Fedex does the same thing with ground drivers.
The Amazon vans that drive around my county are all uniform and appear very well maintained. Have seen some crappy looking unmarked vehicles deliver a few packages though.
At the risk of getting downvoted to oblivion, is this Amazon’s fault? or Gullible Dumbass LLC’s?
I've literally never seen a dirty or beat up amazon van though.
It's nothing to do with liability, you insure against that and it's not a huge cost in the scheme of things.
The reason they subcontract is it allows them to scale up and down easily without having to manage hiring and firing the employees and dealing with vehicles, and all associated costs of employment. The equivalent in the warehouses is using agency staff at Christmas, vs. hiring directly into the company.
DSP eh? This was doomed from the start.
I mean the driver could just not plow through a kindergarten at recess
Got a buddy making like 2k a week doing this except he didn’t lease their vehicles because you don’t have to and he didn’t hire it out he’s doing it himself.
Also if you sue a company that has no value the company won’t lose anything. And most liability coverages for business insurance will cover 7 figures so outside of running over recess (has this ever happened even once?) I think the small business’s insurance would cover it.
This smells like Amazon bad
Will still use Amazon because its convenient
Seems like normal business structure. FedEx does something similar
The routes for FedEx are bought and sold similarly to taxis. https://www.routeconsultant.com/industry-insights/interested-in-a-fedex-franchise-what-you-need-to-know-before-you-buy-a-fedex-route
I missed the part where people don't have a choice but to open a business under Amazon.
Also, this is just smart business on Amazon's part.
The real assholedesign is OP’s post
This sucks but where else would I get 90 airheads for under $0.25 each?
This how XPO works as well. They do the deliveries for Lowe's in my area.
Lowe's hires XPO, who then hires contractors to do their deliveries for dirt cheap.
couldnt the same be said for fast food chains or other chains too