Amazon.com Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
3,563 Reviews

3.3
3,563 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,479 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development (in 101 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 306 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 540 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 125 reviews)

More Highlights

404 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 12 people found this helpful  

    Do Your Homework - Don't make the same mistake

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager, Senior Vendor Management  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Manager, Senior Vendor Management in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Will get you e-commerce on the resume if that's what you are after. Experience will hold weight elsewhere. Seattle has it's benefits other than weather.

    Cons

    To be transparent - I was an experienced hire, left a decent job for promises of greener pastures and financial rewards, and have an MBA from a top 5 school. I didn't last long. Biggest mistake of my life. Here is what you need to know: (1) call it what you want, but if you are on the retail side, you are a buyer at a retailer - and one of many buyers. You're not taking on the worlds problems and conquering. You'll be a data junkie and moonlight learning programming code and systems language. (2) vast majority of people at this place are miserable. The ones who are not? Those individuals who've made smarter decisions than you, been there for 7+ years, and are millionaires with all their stock rewards. While they may not necessarily be happy, they can get motivated solely based upon financial ramifications and the fact they've found a place where being adversarial is encouraged. If you are looking for higher purpose at your place of employment, you really want to look elsewhere. (3) The culture is awful. It's an adversarial culture and encouraged/rewarded. People talk about all the hours they are working as if it's some kind of badge of honor. As if their impressing you or in some kind of unsustainable competition. While at work, people have their headphones on and nose in their computers. Don't look for friends or interaction - the place is littered with the socially awkward, incredibly smart people you've encountered in your journey through life. They've just found solace that there's a company full of like-people. I asked someone who reported to me how their kids were and what they did on the weekend, and they said "nobody's ever asked me that here before." Sad. I could go on, but you should get it. Talk to people who are there and certainly talk to those who left to get a real picture of life here. Don't repeat a mistake you don't have to. It's not what you're hoping it is. There was an article written about Jeff Bezos and the Amazon culture in winter of 2013 - find it, read it, and know it's spot on. I think it was from yahoo business, business week, forbes - one of those.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management really isn't going to care what I say here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Don't go

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    From outsider's perspective Amazon seems to be an innovative company focusingon improving customer experience and offering more affordable products.

    Cons

    1) unrealistic business targets
    2) inexperienced middle management
    3) no support to remove roadblocks and, as a result, no work life balance
    4) sometimes no respect in communication
    5) relatively uncompetitive salary, the stock compensation is a joke given 3-4 year vesting period and 1 year employee retention

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    in 2-3 years it will be challenging to attract talent, if such a trend continues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 11 people found this helpful  

    Poor Treatment of Employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on interesting, cutting-edge projects. Generally highly competent, intelligent colleagues. Good 'name' for your resume to leverage for another position.

    Cons

    One of Bezos' fundamental values is 'frugality' and boy do they ever mean it at Amazon! Double-sided print jobs (for those awful memos you have to prepare and discuss in excruciating detail before doing anything) and stays in unsafe, sketchy hotels during business travel will be your life. No free phones here (although you may get a free IMDB Pro account, which is unintentional comedy at its finest). This emphasis on frugality is not shocking given the company barely breaks even but Jeff and his 'S' team doesn't pay the price - rank and file employees do. In an environment in which competition for talent - especially tech talent - has never been higher you would think they would at least pretend to care about their employees. Not so. When Microsoft looks great by comparison on this basis, then you know you have some work to do.

    They even went after a former colleague of mine, suing him for leaving for Google, even though he moved to California and they don't enforce non-competes there, which Amazon knows. They did this just to screw with him and to send a message to current employees who may be thinking of leaving (which is everyone below Level 8, at least). Cutthroat and awful place to be. Life is short - why spend it at a place that despises you? When my options vest shortly, I am gone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Though you don't believe it, there are other important constituents and causes besides customers. Like employees...shareholders...partners...charities. We were not all put on this Earth to maximize Bezos' personal wealth accumulation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Management is horrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Support Engineer
    Current Employee - IT Support Engineer

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I really enjoyed leading projects with lots of moving parts. You had to coordinate with many teams and moved at blinding speed.

    Cons

    Management is often incompetent they are unable to make a decision. And blow hundreds of thousands with making poor decisions then redoing it all over. The processes are often changed before they ever get settled in and with the quick turn around of managers they keep going back to an old drawing board.

    I had a vindictive manager who went out of his way to create issue with all of his employees he was a inexperienced, forgetful, piece of scum. And the worst part is hr backed him on all his make believe stories.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make a decision before your contractors are locked into a contractual agreement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very bad, no real upward mobility, purposely have very high turnover rate, backbreaking work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker  in  Lexington-Fayette, KY
    Former Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker in Lexington-Fayette, KY

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Pay per hour is relatively high in comparison to other readily available jobs in local areas.
    If you are full-time and permanent, your total hours a week is average around 38+ hours a week
    Your health insurance bi-weekly premium is cheap.
    You can take your personal time off without much hassle because it is consider pretty much considered pre-approved.
    After you been there over one year, you can quickly accumulate vacation time on monthly basis.

    Cons

    You have begin working through temp agency which means you can be fired anytime for bogus reasons.
    They purposely have high turnover rate among both temp and full-time workers to keep wages low.
    When checking for transfer opportunities, you are stuck in area where you work currently, in other words, if you work in warehouse, then you can not really transfer to computer tech or office clerk because they made requirements very difficult to meet.
    They stated clearly that they are not willing to train employees if they transfer to completely different jobs.
    Top managers including its CEO had stated publicly that employees are not important because there are many people looking for jobs so employees are easily replaceable.
    They disregard employees' long term consequence of severely straining physical body of employees by requiring to meet outrageous very high numbers for processing products/items per minute.
    They are not getting any inputs from medical doctors when they determine various work requirements.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to consult inputs from medical doctors on determining various requirements.
    You also need to be willing to transfer employees to completely different departments.
    When employees transfer into completely new departments, you need to be able to train them on-the-job trainings for several weeks or months.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    Soul Sucking Poor Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The potential upside of the stock payout in 4 years. Lots of really enthusiastic people (well initially anyway)

    Cons

    Soul crushing work hours. Expected to be available 24/7. Some of the poorest management skills I have seen. Benefits for medical are average and the 401(k) is a joke. You don't vest for 3 years on the company match. Just another handcuff. The Anytime Feedback tool is a passive aggressive way of feedback for any employee to spew frustrations without any justification whatsoever. Oh, and you can spend your lifetime writing white papers that often go nowhere. How archaic in the only way to present or discuss an idea. I don't know how many trees are killed to print on paper (heaven forbid a soft copy) and then to sit all together in a room to read and discuss. Time killing and brain numbing exercise.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think of ways to be more innovative. Dump those terrible managers. This is not a place to tolerate such poor behavior. be more flexible and provide better work environments.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    A duplicitous and scurrilous employer which will crush your soul and drain your human capital.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Scientist II  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Research Scientist II in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The only reason to work here is that it will improve your future prospects of getting a better job elsewhere. Recruiters know that Amazon has a high hiring bar and employees are motivated to leave. In rare cases and for rare individuals, you will have the opportunity to build something awesome; for everyone else, it is duct tape and bailing wire to survive Christmas.

    Cons

    If you can work somewhere else, you most likely should.

    To start with, the work environment is soul crushing and more stressful than working in an airport terminal. The noise level is so great that you will need to wear headphones throughout the day. I worked in buildings which were so overcrowded that you often had to wait for three elevators to find one you could squeeze onto. I am sure that they were in violation of the fire code.

    For scientists, you will drain your human capital and have little opportunity to learn new skills or deepen your knowledge. Don't even ask about getting Amazon to pay for journal subscription -- you are expected to scrounge papers from friends still in academia or off the Internet. The "mentors" I had were largely useless and it is virtually impossible to earn a promotion without superhuman efforts, i.e., having no work-live balance. In addition, there is a culture of micromanagement which comes down from the top. This attitude makes it difficult to research and to solve important problems which are costing the company millions. And, this is not limited to a single manger -- I had five in two years, all of whom were worse than any manager I had in my 25-year career prior to Amazon.

    When you attempt to make changes, it can take six months or more of politicking and fighting the Agile/scrum schedule to launch your improvement into production. Amazon takes the leadership principles seriously, but "Deliver Results" and "Bias for Action" trump everything, even correctness. No one seems to remember who made $50MM mistakes, but they do remember who didn't deliver the XYZ feature on time by giving up endless evenings and weekends.

    Next, read the fine print on everything you sign. Amazon has many pernicious ways of clawing back money from you when you leave, e.g., you must stay two years to avoid repaying relocation expenses and you will only receive matching contributions to your 401(k) if you stay three years.

    In addition, the infrastructure is "frugal" and often unreliable. If you work in retail and need to run a query in Q4, it can take a day or more to run.

    Finally, when the market turns against Amazon -- and it will -- the stock will take a major haircut because of the insane P/E ratio.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees are stakeholders, too -- investing in them should payoff. Most of the MBAs I encountered make the work environment worse and are huge waste of salary: they could easily be replaced, in most cases, by software and B-grade undergraduates, who at least would know how to write SQL.

    During my exit interview, the HR contact asked me why turnover was so high and what could be done to improve retention -- she was utterly clueless!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    A nightmare called Amazon Web Services

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Manager  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Let us start with Amazon first and then with AWS. Amazon has this unique method of hiring. When there is a fire at Amazon and a dire need to hire, you will be immediately called for interviews and the whole interview process is expedited within weeks and you will also get an offer the next day you are interviewed. After applying for 4 years consistently I got my first call and then got called onsite right away and then an offer within 24 hours. I understood they needed a person on board very badly. Because it is Amazon, you will take the offer right away without thinking and plus the offer is so lucrative that you will just take it. Don’t be fooled with the stock options they offer as a part of the hiring package. Ask for more base salary or joining bonus. Average tenure at amazon for an employee is 1.5 years and stock options mature in 3rd and 4th year and hence you don’t see a single penny of it. Amazon pays you high but takes away your personal and family life. It is a place where everyone tries to prove they are right, even at the cost of other colleagues. So it is a rat race, where everyone tries to outsmart other at any cost. In the end people are very exhausted and look for other options. The office politics gets to you if you believe that hard work is the only means to progress in your career. Not many people know that amazon has this unique culture of laying off 10% of the work force every year irrespective of what you put in. So your relationship with your manager and other managers also will matter when it comes to review. Also, at amazon, anyone can write a review about you at any time, which will count towards your final performance review. So you have to watch your back constantly and have to be people smart and also work smart. This is not easy because even if you put in 120% you may not be in the best books with others because you did company’s good and in doing so, you stepped over someone in some way, who will write a review about you and to which you have no visibility to. So what you will see in your review will always be a surprise. If a decision is made to let you go per the 10% lay off rule, then they will give you 100 excuses and reasons of not performing. Except if you join in the last 3 months of the year, you are in for a review. I joined in September and in 15th week of my service, I was told that I am a part of the performance improvement program, which is a sophisticated name for the 10% people, who are walked off on any day the manager wants. The guard comes with a box and takes your tag and computer and you walk with an embarrassment. The culture is so rough that you hardly make any good friends at work because everyone is constantly thinking you are being nice but not sure if you will write a decent review.

    Cons

    Coming to AWS supply chain group. This group is nothing but laid off/struggling workforce of Dell, who have pulled each other into AWS. The whole group is a big mess as people come and leave in few months. Here the work culture is even worst that the amazon retail groups. The team is small, the work is loads, the ups and downs in business are huge because of which planning almost always goes wrong and you never know how that bad planning affects your work and you are made a scape goat of the events that were beyond your control. Someone somewhere is constantly counting the strikes against you and you will see that in your review or some other way when you finally walk off from AWS. The whole company runs on excel sheets with no ERP system that is strong enough to give visibility to people. So there is constant guessing and errors in what you communicate. Even if this is happening, you should be able to prove that you are smart and good at all times. There is a culture of writing a white paper. Any time something goes wrong you write a 1 pager and publish to the group. The management believes in churning papers, which no one really reads in future but you need to write them for proving your point or to cover of the mess that happened for no fault of yours but may be held against you. These papers take your office time and then you have meetings that never end and the work will start after 5.00pm. They actually have hired someone to help you write these papers. Amazon does not believe in ppt but believes in word documents. They are so frugal that they do not have a color printer on every floor. You may have to go 10 floors up or down to get that 1 colored copy. The seating space is so cramped up and they call it high density seating. You can actually touch 3-4 people if you stretch ur hand on both sides. There is a wait list for 2 years for parking in the building. So you eventually take a bus every day. All I would say is it is a big mess in AWS supply chain group. Which company hires and fires people in a period of 1 year, just because someone wrote something against you. The trust and healthy work culture does not exist. You will lose your health and hair in return of wealth that you cannot enjoy. It is not easy to survive in this place if you are not work smart, diplomatic, very fast paced and consistently vigilant to watch your back. Everyone leaves with a bitter taste. It is very common that on a Monday morning, your very next seat colleague is not at his seat because he worked his last on Friday and nobody knew it till he did not show up. Eventually you will learn he was recycled. Above all, there is no severance package and amazon takes every penny of your joining bonus and relocation back even if they lay you off and you did not resign out of your own will. So do not spend that money you get on something you like, because you never know how long you will be at AWS before you are long forgotten because the show must go on and there are lot of qualified people in the world that this company can afford to recycle. I never had experienced and never believed that a company has a culture that can ruin you, but there exists such a company- Amazon

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My management changed every month. Had 4 managers in my 10 month service period. Overall advice to the very senior management- though employees are resources, they are humans and not cattle.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Horrible Leaders & no work life balance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Vendor Manager  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Vendor Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The company is full of very smart people. Many of them coming straight out of MBA school.

    Cons

    Most leadership has little to no experience leading a wide variety of talent. The training is non existent and if you don't fit an exact mold, they will claim that you are not performing. There is also a high level of favoritism. This can be seen by managers drilling and requesting additional work from only certain members of the team.

    Besides bad management, work life balance is non existent. If you have kids, say good bye to being part of their life. Management will look at your kids as a weakness and will penalize you come review time. Your family life, health, and overall well being will suffer working here.

    The turnover at this place is a clear example on how things are broken with management. Not to mention that the company regularly offers $3-$6K referral, yet continues to post job openings in almost every department. Also keep in mind that your total compensation package is much smaller since you will probably be working 50-100% more hours vs your current job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have all of your Sr. Management take basic leadership classes. Most members of our team hated working for the Category Leader. The team members had little to no respect for this person. Due to the fact that this person was completely inconsiderate with the way they treated employees. From denying people time off during family births to calling maternity leave out as a negative during annual reviews.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Definitely work hard, hope to make history, but no fun, at all.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Compensation is great. Signing bonuses great.

    Cons

    Atmosphere of fear breeds resentment and mistrust. It is an unpleasant and sometimes hostile work environment. I would not recommend to a friend. Expect to get huge amounts of pressure, work late, and have unrealistic schedules to deliver results. I would not recommend this place to a friend.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lighten up. Professionals do not need to be treated as children. Talent will leave, as I plan to.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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