How Amazon Flex Drivers Get Deactivated From Amazon Flex
How Amazon Flex Drivers Get Deactivated From Amazon Flex
The on-demand economy is very different from a normal W-2 job. Workers are considered independent contractors, which means that companies don’t have to give a reason to terminate any independent contractor. However, removing a good contractor could be costly for the company since they will need to hire another one and give them time to learn about the job. For any company, its all about money so they need to balance between getting rid of bad contractors and keeping the good ones. This means that it is not in a company’s best interest to arbitrarily deactivate good contractors.
Everyone thinks that it is easy to work for an on-demand economy. It is true for a good majority of self-employed contractors. Many people wonder how you can get deactivated. There are many rules about various companies and it may be difficult to understand what you can do and what you can’t. For example, Uber will deactivate you if you accept and cancel too many trips. On the one hand, in the independent contractor agreement, it says we can carry out the job however we see fit. On the other hand, Uber has the right to terminate us at any time for any reason.
Rules and Guidelines for Amazon Flex Drivers
Like any job, there are rules and guidelines for the job. Amazon covers it in 17 videos, so the highlights can be lost in the middle of all those videos. Here are the highlights for primarily Prime Now warehouses and Restaurant deliveries:
- Don’t drop a block less than 45 minutes from the start of the block (shift)
- Don’t be more than 5 minutes late for the start of block
- You can be late for pickup but don’t deliver items late
- Always have an insulated bag when you pick up food from a restaurant
- Don’t abuse the “I’m at the location but my GPS isn’t working” feature by being too far away
How Amazon Flex Drivers Get Deactivated
From my time with Amazon, I know that there are typically two types of deactivations. One is temporary in that there is a good likelihood that you can get reactivated. The other one is permanent deactivation. The same goes with Uber and Lyft. Below are the different reasons why an Amazon Flex driver will be deactivated for and which category they fall into:
Temporary Deactivation (likely for reactivation)
- Not having Hot/cold bags for restaurant pickup and delivery
- Excessive late deliveries
- Deliveries that the customer does not receive
- Undeliverable packages/deliveries not returned to Amazon in a timely fashion
- Performing other jobs during Amazon Flex (Uber Eats, Postmates, Doordash, etc)
- Using the “I’m at the location but my GPS isn’t working” too often for starting the block
Permanent (not likely for reactivation):
- Missing blocks or shifts
- Being late for a block or shift
How Many Times Before You Get Deactivated?
There isn’t a specific numbers for each of these situations. I would guess that it would be a three strike rule. If you do any of the above things three times, expect a deactivation email from Amazon. There are ways to prevent this from happening, which I will cover in the next section.
Some Amazon Flex drivers claim that there is a minimum reliability rating (how many shifts you worked divided by the number of shifts you signed up for) to be 90% and this rating may be for the past 20 blocks. This means that you may be able to miss a block out of every 20, for example. Keep an eye on the reliability rating in your Amazon Weekly Summary.
How Can An Amazon Flex Driver Prevent Deactivation?
The best thing you can do is call Amazon Driver Support before it happens. Be proactive, not reactive. I use this tactic most often for late deliveries. Sometimes, there are things beyond my control to make my delivery late. Once, an order wasn’t put in until I arrived to pick it up. Another time, a restaurant was backed up and delayed me by about 10 minutes, with traffic delaying me another 20 minutes, so I delivered a few minutes late. Another time, there was an order that was late being fulfilled at the warehouse. It happens. Sometimes, you can explain why you were late for a shift or why you need to drop a shift, but most times it will go against your reliability rating.
I wouldn’t necessarily call every time I use “I’m at the location but my GPS isn’t working” button unless there was seriously something wrong with your GPS. Sometimes, my GPS has a lag of about 30 seconds, so I click that button after I waited about 10 seconds. I know I’m nearby, just that the GPS is a little slow. I typically use it a few times a day and sometimes you need that function to make all your deliveries on time. I wouldn’t do it to check in for your shift when you’re still a mile away.
How will Amazon Flex Deactivate You?
You will get an email from Amazon Flex and they will list a general reason why you were deactivated. They don’t go into specifics of when, but at least they tell you the reason. Here is what the email looks like (this was mines for hot/cold bags):
How Can An Amazon Flex Driver Reactivated?
There are a few things you need to do, but I will cover this in my next post.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course! Driver Promotions
Filed Under: Amazon FlexTagged With: amazon flex, amazon flex driver, deactivation, independent contractor, reactivationSours: https://ridesharedashboard.com/2017/04/18/how-amazon-flex-drivers-get-deactivated-amazon-flex/
Amazon Flex is one of the best gigs for making lots of extra cash in your spare time. It is because Amazon Flex pays between $18 and $25 an hour. And you don’t even need any special qualifications. The company offers many opportunities and advantages for its workers. But, there is a complication in this entire system that makes all workers stand on end – its complex rating system.
What are the basic parameters of Amazon Flex Rating?
The most common complaints you hear from Amazon customers are:
“My delivery was supposed to arrive today, and it didn’t.”
“I received a damaged package!”
“My package was stolen from my front door!”
Preventing such problems is everything to Amazon. It is why Amazon’s fundamental rating parameter is a combination of two significant factors: avoiding lost deliveries and preventing package theft.
Amazon does not want its Flex drivers to bring packages back to the facility. Neither wants customers to step out onto an empty porch. Once you accept that, the Rating System starts to make more sense.
What is the Standing System, and how does it work?
Amazon Flex uses a system called “Standing” to assess its drivers, which comprises two significant metrics: quality of delivery and reliability.
Your position can be one of four ratings: Fantastic, Great, Fair, or At risk. As the name suggests, At-Risk puts you at risk of deactivation. That is the one you want to take into account.
To see your position in the Flex app, go to Menu and then Activity Hub. You will see your status 48 hours after your first block, and it is updated every day.
How to choose your delivery blocks?
You can deliver packages all day long or whenever you want with Amazon Flex. It is because Amazon wants to give everyone an equal chance to make money with this program. Therefore, Amazon Flex uses a system called “Delivery Blocks.”
Simply put, a delivery block is a kind of delivery schedule. It will appear on your Amazon Flex app after you install it successfully. You can view all the available delivery blocks and swipe onto the app to accept the work during that time.
Cancellation or missing delivery blocks
Cancellation of the delivery block is possible with the Amazon Flex app. But, you must do this at least 45 minutes before the start of your delivery block. It allows other Amazon pilots to get the delivery block and ensure deliveries are on time.
If you miss the 45-minute deadline, then you can also cancel a delivery block. And this should be five minutes before the start of your block delivery. In such cases, it will appear as a “Missed Delivery Block” in your records.
Canceling or missing many delivery blocks is something you should try to avoid because Amazon Flex may disqualify you from the program.
There are no clear rules on how many canceled or missed delivery blocks lead to disqualification.
And missing or canceling delivery blocks also means less money.
Treatment of undelivered packages
Amazon has stringent policies for undelivered packages. If the package has not been delivered, it needs to be returned to the Amazon Delivery Center. It allows Amazon to hand the box over to other Amazon drivers for faster delivery.
Additionally, Amazon Flex allows undelivered packages only when a customer is unavailable to take delivery for some reason. It means that you cannot ignore the delivery and declare it undelivered.
Deactivation from Amazon Flex Account
Weekly, Amazon sends statistics of your performance. Among all that information, one of the most important numbers is “Reliability Rate” the closer to 100%, the better.
Reasons for Temporary deactivation
- There are no hot/cold water bags to collect and deliver (When you make food deliveries, you must have thermal containers for hot or cold products)
- Too many late deliveries
- Customers did not receive their delivery (Customers may complain that they have not received their delivery)
- Undelivered packages or deliveries not returned to Amazon on time (When you finish your day and you have packages left over, you must return them to the station immediately or at the latest the next day before 10 am)
- Working for others during an Amazon Flex block
- Pressing the “I’m in location, but my GPS isn’t working” button too often when starting a block. (When you use it fraudulently)
- Selfie lock
They Blocked You for Selfie on Amazon Flex (Solution)
One of the temporary or “Definitive” blocks is the selfie block.
A few months ago, Amazon implemented an identity verification system for the driver. It consists of taking a photo to help protect the drivers and their accounts more since users have multiple accounts or user accounts that did not belong to them.
However, it is a system that works but still has some flaws, so here are few tips to avoid this kind of blocks:
- Don’t wear glasses
- Try not to wear caps
- Take the photo with good lighting
- Try to make your face just inside the frame ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Reasons for Permanent deactivation
- Too many blocks
- Being late several times due to a blockage or shift
- The deactivation notice
If you meet any of the above conditions, Amazon will send you an email listing your violations for deactivation.
They give you a period of ten calendar days to respond using their online form and state that it will take up to three weeks to process the information.
Amazon Flex Ratings: About Standing, Reliability, & Deactivations
Delivering with Amazon Flex can be a great, flexible gig. Drivers earn at least $18 per hour, and you have the freedom to pick only the delivery offers that work for you.
But the darker side of working with Amazon Flex is a punishing, unforgiving rating system, called ‘standing,’ that can put your job in jeopardy after just a few delivery issues.
Here’s what drivers on Reddit have to say about the standing system:
- “The sad part is that even if you do everything humanly possible to make a delivery and cannot, it’s considered you’re at fault.”
- “Welcome to Amazon Flex. *ANY* package for just about any reason returned will be held against you.”
- “My overall standing went from ‘great’ to ‘at risk’ with no major details given”
- “I fully escalated it with at least 15 emails and they still stand by it.”
It’s pretty clear that Flex drivers have some frustrating with the standing system.
As a Flex driver, the best thing you can do to keep your standing high and prevent deactivation is to understand the standing system inside and out, and to learn how to dispute ratings for situations out of your control.
Amazon’s Two Biggest Priorities that Drive the Ratings System
To understand the rating system for Flex drivers, you have to understand Amazon’s biggest priorities. The entire standing system is based on two huge priorities by Amazon: Preventing package theft, and preventing missed deliveries.
Think about it. What two Amazon problems do your hear about most? “My package got stolen off my porch!” and “My delivery was supposed to come today and it didn’t!” Preventing those two issues is everything to Amazon.
For Flex drivers, Amazon really doesn’t want you to bring packages back to the facility and they really don’t want customers to walk out to an empty porch. Once you accept that, the standing system begins to make more sense.
The Standing System for Flex Drivers
Amazon rates the performance of Flex drivers with a system they call ‘standing.’ Your standing is meant to show how well you are doing with the Flex program, and it’s made up of two larger metrics: Reliability and delivery quality.
Your standing can be one of four ratings: Fantastic, Great, Fair, or At Risk. As the name suggests, At Risk places you at risk of deactivation. That’s the one you want to watch out for.
To see your standing in the Flex app, go to Menu > Activity Hub. You will first see your standing 48 hours after your first block, and your standing is updated every day.
Deliveries up to two days ago are reflected in your current standing, so if you missed a delivery today, it may not show up in your standing for a few days.
The reliability rating is Amazon’s metric to measure if you show up on time to blocks, and if you cancel blocks properly.
The reliability levels are Fantastic, Great, Fair, At Risk. When you’re in the At Risk level, you may be deactivated if your ratings don’t improve. Reliability is broken down into two categories: On-time arrival and on-time cancel.
On-time arrival: You are expected to arrive and check in by your block start time. If you don’t check in within 5 minutes of your block start time, you may not be able to start and your reliability rating may lower.
On-time cancel: You can cancel scheduled blocks (also called forfeiting) without harming your ratings if you cancel at least 45 minutes before your block starts. Your reliability rating will lower if you cancel less than 45 minutes before the block. In other words, no-showing your blocks will quickly lead to low reliability ratings and deactivation.
- Reliability rate: The percent of delivery blocks you arrived on time for out of hte last 20 you scheduled
- You must show up for your blocks on time, within 5 minutes of the start time
- You must cancel a block at least 45 minutes before it begins
What the Flex app looks like when your standing is At Risk
Delivery quality is Amazon’s metric to measure how well you are completing deliveries. The delivery quality levels are Fantastic, Great, Fair, At Risk. Like the other ratings, you should be concerned about the Fair and At Risk statuses.
Delivery quality ratings are made up of the following categories:
Delivery completion: Did you complete all of your deliveries? Any non-delivered packages can harm your ratings, even if you believe the circumstances are out of your control. You must attempt to deliver every package, and all undelivered packages must be returned to the pickup facility.
- Attempted delivery rate: The percent of the last 500 packages that you attempted to deliver
- Delivery success rate: The percent of your last 500 packages that you successfully delivered
On-time delivery: Were your packages delivered during the window listed in the Flex app? This can be frustrating if it’s physically impossible to meet the delivery window due to issues with the warehouse or the route. Prime Now and Whole Foods deliveries are especially time sensitive, so be careful with these orders.
- On-time delivery/attempt rate: Percent of your last 500 packages you delivered or attempted to deliver by the deadline displayed in the app
Delivered and Received: This measures whether the customer actually receive their package, and if you followed delivery instructions. You hold ultimate responsibility for the customer receiving the package, and you must also follow all other instructions such as scanning a valid ID for alcohol deliveries. This can be a troubling metric if you are victim to porch thieves or customers filing fraudulent missing package claims.
- Recent delivered/not received count: the number of your last 500 packages marked delivered but not reported received by customers
Delivery Quality Must-Dos
- You must attempt every delivery, even if you end up marking the package undeliverable
- You must return undelivered packages
Amazon sends an email when a customer claims a package was not received
Unfair Reasons for Losing Standing
One of the biggest criticisms of the Amazon Flex system is that the driver can be held responsible for circumstances beyond their control. And the standing system is quite sensitive. Hundreds of successful deliveries can be undone by one or two returned packages, or one or two customer claims.
All of the following could potentially cause a driver to lose standing, even though it seems unfair:
- Can’t deliver a package because there is no safe location to deliver and customer won’t answer calls/texts
- Can’t access the location (locked, restricted access) and can’t contact customer
- Packages for a late shift (after 5pm) that can’t be delivered because a location closes at 5pm
- Customer not answering the door or providing ID for alcohol purchases
- App glitches. Unable to scan packages or lose delivery info due to a glitch and you are still held responsible for the return
Doesn’t sound fair, does it? But that’s currently how it works for Flex drivers. You can try to dispute drops in standing, but it doesn’t always work.
How to Improve Your Standing, or Dispute it
It’s frustrating when your standing slips, but there are things you can do to get your ratings back into ‘Fantastic’ territory.
Simply doing more deliveries is the most effective way to turn your ratings around. It might sound obvious, but a lot of the time the best thing to do is to move on from past issues and continue working. One bad rating isn’t the end of your gig, especially if you’re in the Fantastic or Great category.
But when you strongly believe that a rating was unfair and you think that it might harm your status with Flex, it could be worth trying to dispute the rating.
How to dispute an unfair or incorrect rating: Contact Amazon at [email protected] plead your case. Keep your story brief and to the point, and try not to get too upset or frustrated in your emails.
Unfortunately dealing with Amazon support can feel like an uphill battle, and often your first few emails might be met with a copy/paste response. Don’t give up too soon, especially if your standing is in the Fair or At Risk category.
If you stay persistent, there’s a chance that the rating will be overturned.
It’s possible to improve your standing back to Fantastic
Deactivated from Flex: Can You Be Reactivated?
If your standing is ‘at risk’ and you continue to have issues, Amazon may deactivate you. You can also be instantly deactivated for major incidents, such as a serious customer complaint. Amazon will email you to let you know that you are deactivated, but in typical gig economy fashion, the email only contains minor details.
It is possible be reinstated after a deactivation, but it’s a big challenge with no guarantee of success. To attempt to overturn your deactivation, contact Amazon and ask them why you were deactivated. Then dispute the claims as well as you can.
Here’s an example of a Flex driver on Reddit who was reinstated after a deactivation. Unfortunately if you search the internet for more stories you’ll find more about unsuccessful appeals than deactivations that were overturned.
Flex deactivation emails are vague
How to Protect Your Standing
Here are a few ways to protect your standing and prevent deactivation.
- Always show up on time, or cancel more than 45 minutes before a block
- Always attempt a delivery
- Always return undelivered packages promptly
- Take careful photos of deliveries
- Don’t confront/argue with customers or property managers
- Leave a paper trail: Call and text customers, call support, take great pictures
- If you notice a repeated issue with a business or drop off, report it to Amazon and request the location removed from your route
- Fight unfair reports, but get used to the fact that they happen
- Have a backup gig. Other delivery apps are great backups
Always Have a Plan B
Deactivations are all too common with Amazon Flex. Amazon is a customer-friendly service, so when something goes wrong, the blame nearly always lies on delivery drivers. You might have hundreds of perfect deliveries under your belt, but just a handful of mistakes or false reports could quickly end your gig at Amazon Flex.
With sudden deactivations so common, it’s good to have a backup plan. Sign up for other delivery apps that offer similar work as Amazon Flex. If you have an issue with Flex, you could sign into one of your backup apps the same day and continue earning.
More about Amazon Flex
Filed Under: Delivery Gigs
Flex rating amazon reliability
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