By Mark Lavish
With Prime Big Deal Days running from Tuesday, October 10th to Wednesday, October 11th, we’re going to see a massive influx of those bright blue Prime vans we’ve come to know and love, but when more people order more packages, more people need to deliver those packages.
For many, package delivery has become a primary mode of shopping, but packages don’t arrive on their own–unless you live in College Station, Texas or Lockeford, California, a real person needs to deliver them! Customer service jobs are demanding, and delivering for Amazon is no exception. Drivers work an average of 8 to 10 hours per day, are tasked with operating vans and trucks much larger than many personal vehicles, and must be on their feet and moving if they aren’t driving.
With Amazon drivers carrying crazier and heavier loads (just check out the r/AmazonDSPDrivers subReddit for living proof), there are a few simple ways you can lend a hand to make sure your delivery driver is able to get your package to your door safely and comfortably.
1. Add clear delivery instructions
One simple and overlooked way to help your driver directly is by writing clear delivery instructions for your addresses. Amazon describes the steps for individuals and businesses on their website. If you’re an average customer (i.e. a person ordering for their home address) and would like to update your instructions, follow these steps:
- Open your Amazon app (mobile) or the website (computers or mobile)
- Go to Your account
- Select Your addresses
- Select Edit delivery preferences
Here, you can tell your driver where you’d like your package(s) to be placed (front door, back door, side porch, garage, etc.), if there’s a security code/call box/access key, if your address is closed on weekends, and if you have a dog at your address. There’s also an “additional instructions” section where you can type out specific instructions to further help your driver get your package to you safely.
Sometimes, drivers will need access to security codes, but if it’s not available in the instructions, the driver might not have a safe place to leave your package. (Licensed via Adobe Stock. Photo credit: Александр Беспалый)
2. Secure any loose animals
You know your dog, but does your driver know your dog? Animals who are not secured may pose a threat to delivery drivers, and you may not even receive your package if a driver fears a dangerous animal is on the property:
“[Besides calling customers directly], the other option drivers described is to not deliver the package and attempt to communicate to Amazon that there was a dangerous-looking dog on the premises.”
The best option is to make sure your dogs are secured during your expected delivery window. If that’s not possible, you can consider purchasing a deck box located in an area where your dog cannot reach it–if safety is an issue, many of these boxes come with a combination lock that you can include in your delivery instructions.
Note: Amazon employees cannot place packages in your mailbox.
3. Clean your driveway
Amazon drivers are advised against driving down driveways, but if yours is long and you don’t have a delivery box at the end of your driveway or have signage/explicit delivery instructions stating otherwise, expect Prime vans to come down your driveway.
Since Prime vans are front-wheel drive, this can pose some risks for your drivers if your driveway is particularly muddy or snowy. Even if drivers are expected to walk down your driveway, shoveling snow and providing a clear path to your delivery location will help your drivers avoid slips and falls.
If your property is damaged by an Amazon driver, contact Amazon’s customer support line, your insurance company, and if you’re able to contact the driver, have them call their delivery service provider (DSP) to report the incident.
4. Report poor service to Amazon, not your driver
Oftentimes, packages are late, lost, or show up damaged; other times, you might have an unpleasant experience with your driver. The easiest way to remedy these issues is contacting Amazon rather than confronting your driver.
The Stuff I Use YouTube channel provides a step-by-step demonstration for filing a complaint about a delivery within the Amazon app, but the steps are broken down here:
- Open your Amazon app.
- Navigate to the ☰ option at the bottom-right of the screen.
- Scroll to the bottom and select Customer Service.
- Select the order you had an issue with.
- Choose the option that best fits your issue (for example, “Damaged or defective item” or “Says delivered, but it’s not here”). Additional details may pop up.
- You will then be prompted to either wait for the issue to solve itself or to contact Amazon directly for more help.
In the case of a missing package, there isn’t much to document, but you should still contact Amazon rather than confronting a driver–even if a driver is delivering a separate package to your address, they still won’t be able to track down a missing package if it isn’t on their itinerary. You’ll only waste their time as well as your own!
5. Have compassion and patience
Your drivers are working hard to get your packages to you safely and efficiently, but their demands are constantly rising as more people rely on Amazon for their daily shopping needs. Drivers can be expected to deliver anywhere from 175 to 300 packages in a day, and during major holidays and Prime Day deals, these numbers can grow higher. In fact, to show appreciation to help alleviate the stress these drivers feel, some customers have taken it upon themselves to provide cold drinks and snacks for their drivers.
Amazon has become a staple in many of our lives, so these drivers, in many ways, are our lifelines–let’s treat them with the respect they deserve.