Problems with Amazon's own delivery service?

How did I know it was an Amazon delivery? In my case, it was on a Sunday.

And my two horror stories technically happened to other people; on two separate occasions, I received two packages - one addressed to me, and another addressed to someone else in my townhouse block.

The carrier shows as “Amazon Local” vs something else like UPS.

We have a lot of stuff coming via their local service and generally it works well - but the two times I’ve had a package go awry (in one case, disappear entirely) it was Amazon Local.

This has been happening to me more and more. About one in three packages ends up being late. Today it happened again. It was supposed to be here today, but oops! It will be here Friday, instead.

So no porch pirates are ever customers? Interesting belief.

Remember, security is about closing holes. Adding new holes is never a good thing.

AMZL has uniformly sucked for me. They kept delivering packages to incorrect addresses or saying that nobody was available to accept the package (at Tom Scud’s office at a time when it was clearly open and staffed).

A couple of times the packages randomly showed up a week or two later, after Amazon had already shipped duplicates. No idea whether they were just delivered late, or whether the people at the wrong address had brought them over.

The post office also delivers Amazon packages on Sunday.

Welp, the package did show up the next day. Which was within the original estimated time, and well before I needed the contents. If they hadn’t lied to me (“your home was closed, so we couldn’t deliver”) I would have been perfectly content.

They do that here a lot. It must be faster to punch “handed to resident” on their phone than to fire up the camera, take a pic, and attach it to the tracking.

That said, I’ve heard that only the “gig” AMZL drivers have to take pictures of the delivery. Amazon does hire full-time AMZL drivers in some areas, and they don’t have to take pictures.

Well, the saga is finally over (I think).

On Thursday I spent quite a bit of time online with support using Amazon’s ridiculously named “chat” program. A slow and ineffieicent way to communicate. (I repeatedly tried to tell them to not waste time telling me how sorry they were about me experience, etc. Just get to the facts. No deal.)

First chat: 1 rep. It just … ended. Nada, went away.

Second chat: 2 reps. The first handed me off after a while to a 2nd who was unbelievably slow. Even though I had started this thinking I had plenty of time I lost a lot of time with them being so slooooow. So I tried to rush it near the end.

I was promised a $10 promo code and free rush shipping for a replacement. I couldn’t refile the order at the time so I couldn’t check this right then.

Third chat: 3 reps. One passed me on and another just disappeared. I was trying to place my order. Didn’t see the $10 promo or a place to even click on rush shipping at all. Went around and around. Turns out they could not do a rush shipment at all! Gave me another $10 promo code. But still couldn’t see either. Turns out it’s a “fulfilled by Amazon” thing so the promos only show on things sold directly by Amazon. The rep told me how to check that, I verified it. Finished
placing the order.

I was really questioning if going thru all this was worth it. The item (Black Friday sale price) was under $10. And the non-sale price ate a good amount of the promos. Errrrgggh.

That was Thursday. Good old two-day Prime shipping right? But … Guess what? It was sent via AMZL again! No matter what I tried I couldn’t convince any of the reps to find a way to have it shipped another way.

So two days later (Saturday) it’s listed as out for delivery. Yeah? We did get another package via AMZL on Saturday (which “only” took 4 days to deliver via Prime). I asked the driver if there was another package. Nope.

So all day it was listed as out for delivery and promised by 9PM. Nada. Was not looking good.

Today, again listed as out for delivery and … it actually arrived! Someone did their job.

So, nine days after ordering I have it. Boy, the Prime membership is sure worth it!

I did a bunch of searching on Amazon’s web site. There doesn’t appear to be any way to complain about the delivery/packaging of an order any more. No way to tell Amazon about how badly AMZL sucks.

I did an F-bomb minirant about my recent AMZL on something I’ve ordered twice before and never had delivery problems with. Thursday they “attempted delivery”, but couldn’t leave the package without a signature. Never had to have a signature before, and never had a problem in 10+ years with packages being left on the porch. Amazon helpfully emailed me to tell them how to delivery the package: leave in enclosed porch, leave in garage, leave on back porch, leave with neighbor, leave with receptionist, leave in front office. Yeah, absolutely none of those were helpful, and no other options nor way to contact someone to get other options.

Friday I happened to be home early, and found out I could track the AMZL delivery driver all across the nearby neighborhoods as he dropped off their packages. All the while the website told me he was “1 stop away!” For 5 hours. When the driver finally did get to my street, I heard the thunk as he tossed the package on my doorstep, and got to the window in time to see the AMZL truck speeding off – with no signature and the package left unattended on the doorstep as had been impossible the day before.

Had I known that AMZL driver’s M.O., I could have driven around town after him, doing my Christmas shopping by hovering up the packages he’d probably tossed at the door before zooming away.

When I ordered my nephew’s birthday present this weekend, I opted for pickup from Best Buy rather than have to deal with more Amazon Prime stupidity. I wonder, if I cancel my Prime membership, will that force delivery by other means? I may do that come January…

No, it won’t force delivery by other means. I am not an Amazon Prime member and I get packages via AMZL. (Normally, I opt for locker delivery, though, as it seems safest.)

Skip the chat and send an email to the customer service people:

They typically take a day or so to respond.

I was not aware that Amazon had their own distribution/delivery system. Are they using this mainly in areas underserved by other options?
Personally, I would welcome it if it means they stop using USPS altogether. UPS is usually fine, but whenever the US mail gets involved, that’s when we have problems.

I think this is only in fairly major metropolitan areas where they have their own warehouses - and I presume it’s because they feel they can deliver cheaper than having it go through one of the other services.

We’re DC metro area and I think this has only been a thing here in the past 2 years or so.

Yeah, those are the same useless choices as on their web site. Just leave the package on my front stoop, where it is convenient and out of the rain. Pretty please.

UPS has a much longer list of options, including a “your description here” and they, sensibly, have “by my front door” as the default. I wonder what misguided committee came up with Amazon’s list.

I just started seeing Amazon delivery trucks and we are neither of those things.

It looks like they’re outsourcing their delivery service to anybody who wants to pony up some startup funding.

I am more the Amazon/USPS side but I have worked the AMZL side of the operation sometimes; usually its pretty good (they get the best leadership trained and “raised” through the Amazon “customer-centric” system) but the drivers are almost always part-timers using their own vehicles and pretty much making their own rules. This time of year it gets even worse. There are fairly rural areas we service that get excellent service because the drivers find it fast to access and run the route. Some city areas they avoid like the plague because of congestion and such and it all still moves USPS. Where AMZL falls is usually on the customer-service-contact operation. We call it AMZL-Hell becuase of how it resembles “voice-mail-hell” even though its a live person.

It is expanding in leaps and bounds because of the time and timing of most of our deals with the USPS. I think (I am at the bottom of the food chain) TPTB suspect rate hikes real soon and are looking at building our own totally independent system as fast as possible. Like setting up a tent in the rain; lets get it standing and we’ll make it pretty and nice when we get the chance.
PS – on the trucks and drivers and all. Virtually none are “blue badge” like me; most are yellow vendor badges. In the case of a few of the early AMZL operations like ours we do own some of the physical vehicles but that is as far as it goes. We have even started a couple different off-shoot companies, or bought existing operations, to maintain a degree of separation. It has to do with how people are managed but the one time the details were explained to me all I got out of it was a headache.