Amazon.com Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
3,503 Reviews
3.3
3,503 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,427 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

846 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    1 person needs to do 5 persons Job

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot.

    Cons

    Random decisions, bad planning, adhoc work and immense work load.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Work-From-Home -- It's Not What You Think

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Work-From-Home Seasonal Part-Time Customer Service Associate  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Work-From-Home Seasonal Part-Time Customer Service Associate in Seattle, WA

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

    Pros

    Home office, no commute, paid full-time training.

    Cons

    Barely above minimum-wage pay, and the company also seems to value negative behavioral reinforcement towards employees (rather than positive), cynicism, and self-serving ideals. They are very much for-profit rather than people driven, despite their "treat the customer like a friend," customer-centric processes. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes customer bashing by the management that was disturbing to me at the forefront. In training, frequent loss-of-job threats involving late completion of training materials were sent out globally, regardless if they were applicable or not. The training process itself was based on a "survival of the fittest" premise , and there was little mercy for the fallen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Positive reinforcement solves more problems than negative, especially when dealing with problematic employees. This environment was toxic for me. Though I had no issues there, the assumption that every worker must be a villain was a huge deterrent, and final dealbreaker, for me.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Brilliant people and no life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Engineer I  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Engineer I in Cambridge, MA

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

    Pros

    Amazon will teach you a lot. You'll be around brilliant people all day and are bound to learn something new from them, even if you pick it up by osmosis.

    The things you do are likely to ship. Not everything does; as with every company, some projects get canned or put on hold indefinitely, but most things move pretty quickly. Even if your particular project never sees the light of day, it's likely that some of the things you did will get repurposed.

    You'll have a pretty good idea of where you fit into the machine based on your job title and the people around you. This isn't the sort of place where you're going it alone and everyone is siloed off; there are literally thousands of people who can answer questions or collaborate.

    If you meet or exceed "the bar", you will be recognised to a degree. In most cases, effort in equals reward out.

    Being so process-heavy can actually be a blessing in disguise as resources are always available for any problems you might run into and things are fairly well-documented.

    Amazon gets things done and one of the key values is having a backbone -- you're expected to stand your ground if you disagree. This lends itself extremely well to things like eliminating code debt and keeping things moving; there's no groupthink. It can sometimes become a little bit adversarial, but it's not a big issue and is a small price to pay for the advantage it gives the organisation. For a huge company, it's outright nimble.

    Everything is data-driven, which I'll also mention in the Cons section. As a pro, though, if you have the data to back it up, you'll be able to get what you want. Additionally, your performance is measured with data-driven metrics, so your review shouldn't come as a surprise -- good or bad.

    Cons

    I hope you took pictures of your work-life balance while you had it, because it's gone the second you step in the door. If you're not in the office until 2 in the morning some nights, you're probably not meeting the bar. This is an unfortunate fact.

    Salary is average, perks are nil, and bureaucracy is outrageous (though you have to expect the latter in a company of 89,000 people).

    "The bar" is either something you stand on or it hangs over your head. Not "raising the bar" means you're toast eventually. Amazon has a monumental turnover rate; most people will give up after a year.

    Office politics happen, largely in the form of needing to suck up to the right people in order to be heard and having to manipulate colleagues to get them on your side. Again, fairly common in an organisation this big.

    Everything is data-driven. You can't go on instinct or gut feeling; if you don't have the data, you don't have an argument. Your experience means nothing if you don't have data to back it up.

    If something comes down from Jeff, people drop everything in order to kowtow -- which would be fine if it wasn't completely inconsistent with Amazon's stated values. You might lose your job for daring to argue with the decisions of a hypercompetent genius from Mars, but if you want to be consistent with having backbone, that's a chance you have to take. The fabled "question mark emails" mean someone's not sleeping for the next two weeks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I know Jeff is a visionary-slash-juggernaut, but he is not omniscient and sometimes questioning his judgment is a good thing, even if it's just to suss out why something is being done a certain way.

    Your people are people, not cogs. Your turnover rate is abysmal; start with fixing the work-life balance and you'll see your turnover rate improve.

    Treat your warehouse employees better; if they collapse, you collapse.

    Offices that aren't Seattle shouldn't be second-class citizens. Give them the same or similar perks where it's possible; otherwise you start to breed resentment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Machine Learning

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Amazon is a well oiled machine and you'll learn a lot if you have the stomach to stay plugged in.

    Cons

    Negatives outweigh the positives - long hours, politics, unreasonable demands, and disconnect from leadership principles and from employees make it an environment better suited for robots.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Stretch, learn, work, work and work

    • 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 5 years

    Pros

    Opportunities abound. Innovative new work being done all day every day. Rapid growth company. Environment that encourages creativity. Autonomy is granted if you know your stuff. Dogs allowed in the office. Casual dress environment. Learned more about business and process efficiency in 4 years at Amazon than I did in 10 years in my prior jobs.

    Cons

    Chronically understaffed. No work life balance and HR Is not seeking to implement it. Churn and burn environment. Arrogant attitude of SVPs with little or no value of employee and employee contributions - i.e. "you're lucky to work here" . Compensation structure is heavily equity based, such that at best salaries are at mid of market requiring sales of shares to meet competitive market salary--leadership principle of "ownership" is a farce. Stock compensation is heavily taxed resulting in a lower overall total compensation package. Benefits are beyond skimpy. Tools, and systems for non-customer facing infrastructure work are fragile and require much manual work to prevent failures.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Values and leadership principles are good. Improve benefits, change compensation structure to more appropriately compensate top talent that work hard to contribute to the company's success.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very peculiar

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon is indeed a very peculiar place to work. There are a lot of opportunities to move around, intelligent people, there is never a dull moment and diverse culturally. My experience has been positive so far, but it differs from team to team. I've known people who left the company due to a bad experience with management. They either left at their own or were fired. The relocation package is very generous and the hiring team does an excellent job of recruiting talents.

    Cons

    Be ready to work long hours, have little work-life balance, bad health benefits, no career guidance, lack of processes, still runs as a start up, little teamwork, raises are miniscule and I wish they were as obsessed with their internal customers as they are with external ones.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in really developing your people. Be more transparent with your employees and develop more ways to reward good performance. Teamwork has actually proven to be a good practice and I think everyone could benefit from it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good company but..

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

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

    Pros

    Working with great talented set of people, opportunities for cool projects

    Cons

    Career growth, salaries (!?, yes, really). If you are in operations, that's hectic job as well. Work-life-balance is not so great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize the employee's work more effectively

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    It's a job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate  in  Breinigsville, PA
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate in Breinigsville, PA

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

    Pros

    - Office staff was present 24/7
    - The company was definitely moving to make things better for employees at the time I left
    - Decent hours (I prefer the extra days off to having a shorter workday)
    - One of the few companies still hiring for general labor while most are/were cutting back

    Cons

    - Poor compensation (benefits, salary, etc.)
    - Not many transferable skills learned/taught
    - Mediocre promotion availability (to be expected when you work in a warehouse with 2300 employees)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep giving the employees a voice in how to change things and improving the workplace as a whole.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Good company to work for.

    Cons

    Work/life balance rough during peak season.

  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Pays lip service to putting employees first, doesn't deliver.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Manager  in  Huntington, WV
    Former Employee - Customer Service Manager in Huntington, WV

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Interesting work that was different all the time. Lots of interaction between different departments. Good benefits as far as Health Insurance was concerned.

    Cons

    Poor base compensation for position, relies too much on stock grants to make up pay. No work-life balance at all and if you are religious, you're frowned up (at least at the location I was at) if you as to have Sunday mornings free. Being moved out of areas of responsibility once you get really good at them and can add value.

    While they stress people are important, if you try to work with people if they have issues, your reprimanded about trying to help them. It seems like they would rather just get rid of them and hire someone else. No respect for experience and knowledge learned from other companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Customer Service starts with taking care of the internal customers that are not in Seattle also.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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