Amazon Prime has changed the way the world runs. Press a button and just like that, something you need shows up within two business days (or one!) However, behind the curtain there are a lot of steps and hard work involved in the seeming magic of Prime's two-day promise.
Amazon contracts the majority of their deliveries out to small independent contractors called DSPs (Delivery Service Partners). That's right, those blue Amazon vans? They aren't actually driven by employees of the giant corporation, but by employees of local small businesses. And they work HARD. We're talking 250-350 packages a day on average (not to mention Holidays or Prime week when that number bumps up to over 400!)
Amazon gives customers a way to leave notes for their Drivers, but what about notes that Drivers want to leave for their customers? We asked, and there’s a few things they wish you knew. Here's a list of things those hard working individuals wish you knew as an Amazon Prime customer:
- They don't have any control over when your package arrives.
Routes and the order of package deliveries are determined by a software that Amazon provides to contractors. Drivers are simply following a predetermined route that is displayed on their work phone. Your order notes appear in their delivery app when your stop is next and then your Driver only has a few seconds to read and follow those requests before delivering without getting off schedule. Keep notes friendly and brief, and understand that Drivers have very little say in when you receive your delivery.
- If you give an access code, make sure to include the whole code or it won't work.
That includes any # or * at the end. If the whole code isn't given, your driver won't know how to access your property and will have to mark your package undeliverable. Also if that code changes, you’ll need to make sure to update it. Drivers are pretty smart, but surprisingly they are not omnipotent - still waiting on that Amazon software update.
- They are evaluated on how they drive, so give delivery vans some space on the road.
Delivery vans make frequent stops, sometimes only a few houses down. Due to the size and weight of the vans, they are also slow to start and stop. In addition to the mechanics of driving a large van, Amazon’s vans are also outfitted with camera systems that monitor drivers at all times and evaluate them on their speed, how closely they are following other vehicles, whether or not they come to complete stops, etc. Show a little extra courtesy when you see a delivery van, and give them a little more room.
- They are evaluated down to the minute on deliveries.
Every aspect of the delivery routes is monitored. From GPS tracking, to video camera systems in the vans, Amazon is watching your deliveries down to the minute and even a small setback can reflect poorly on a driver. Understand that Drivers are in a race against the clock to get each delivery done and still meet what is expected of them (which is A LOT): safe package placement, taking a clear photo of the package, following customer requests, calling or texting customers for undeliverable packages, etc.
- They are legally not allowed to put packages in your mailbox
By law, only employees of the United States Postal Service are allowed to put things in your mailbox. Asking a delivery Driver to do so is asking them to commit a Federal Crime and could lead to termination for the Driver.
- If you live in an apartment complex, they are probably having to carry many other packages into your building with them.
Apartments generally have a central location for deliveries and are considered a single stop by Amazon’s algorithm. In reality those secure locations often fill up or malfunction and the Driver must still deliver the packages. They end up going door to door, attempting to find each delivery address, which puts them behind schedule for their route. As we’ve already mentioned, Drivers are held accountable for sticking to a strict schedule and there are no exceptions for an apartment complex whose bulk delivery location was unuseable. Drivers are often attempting to bring in and drop as many packages at once in order to stay on schedule.
- Understand that delivering heavy items (water, cat litter, dog food) is A LOT of work for your Driver.
Have you ever noticed how insanely heavy cat litter is? Yeah, your Driver has too. And you're not the only one who orders it. If you live in a place that requires a long walk up a driveway, or a few flights of stairs, understand that heavy weight deliveries require intense manual labor. Consider tipping your Driver, as they’re making the same amount of money whether it’s water or feathers.
- Lying about not receiving your delivery can affect their job even if you're just joking.
We hope this one is obvious, but if you get your package and lie and say you did not, that reflects very negatively on your driver. Amazon refers to it as a concession and Drivers get in trouble for those. So let's all just agree no to do that, mmkay?
- Your dog might be sweet to you, but they are a stranger walking into your dog's territory.
Even normally friendly dogs can sometimes be aggressive towards strangers who they feel might be a threat to their home. Dog bites are a big issue for drivers, so do them a favor and make sure your pet isn't free roaming where you want them to drop your package.
- No, they did not crush your package on purpose.
Your package goes through a lot before it ends up in your Driver's hands. Don't assume that because something is damaged it was the fault of your driver, chances are it got to them that way. Marking a package as damaged will negatively impact your Driver’s evaluation score. If you receive a damaged product, return it for a replacement. If only the box is damaged, marking it damaged will only negatively impact your Driver, who probably had nothing to do with it.
If you appreciate the hard work your Drivers are doing day in and day out, show them a little extra gratitude with a tip. DRIVR is the first platform to make tipping your delivery Driver as easy as the press of a button.