Amazon Flex is the e-commerce behemoth’s new service meant to help meet its delivery demand without depending on the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx. Flex drivers originally only made deliveries for same-day local orders through the Prime Now app, but recently let drivers deliver regular Amazon packages too. As Flex expands to more cities, it’s kind of freaking customers out.
That’s because people at home during the day are not super thrilled about random people in unmarked cars and vans wandering their neighborhoods. One woman first noticed a driver in an unmarked car who left an Amazon package at her door and took off.
“It was just a random guy,” she told CBS Pittsburgh. (Warning: auto-play video at that link) She expected a uniformed UPS or FedEx driver in a branded vehicle. Another mystery delivery driver rang the doorbell and waited, wearing a regular t-shirt and also driving an unmarked car.
That driver “didn’t give [her] an idea that he was with Amazon. It creeped me out,” she said, though she did know that there was a package from Amazon due that day.
Indeed, Flex drivers are just random guys (and gals) in their personal vehicles, which have to be a midsize sedan or larger.
Flex drivers are also in the news because some of them have filed a class action lawsuit claiming that they’re misclassified as independent cotnractors and are really employees.
The same attorney who filed class actions on behalf of Uber and Lyft drivers filed the Amazon Flex suit. Those cases led to proposed cash settlements and minor concessions, but did not win workers overtime, benefits, or coverage of their vehicle expenses.
Amazon’s New Delivery System Unnerves Some Moms [CBS Pittsburgh] (Warning: auto-play video)
Amazon delivery drivers sue company over job status [Seattle Times]
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist