Amazon.com Reviews

Updated April 25, 2015
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  1. Helpful (2)

    Recently cut Manager Wages. Force ranking not based on performance.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Looks good on a resume.

    Cons

    There is NO training provided. New AM's spend a week talking about how awesome Amazaon is before being wisked away to their site. Once there they spend a week learning whats it's like to be an associate in lots of departments. After that you are handed a team and a computer. No training is given on the tools / metrics you need to do your job. No explanation of your department is provided.

    Amazon recently removed VCP (variable compensation pay) from managers. VCP is a bonus based on productivity. Annual raises are less than 1% even for top performers. 15ish% of your pay is given in stocks which do not vest for 2 years. Average AM's do not last more than 1.5 years, especially because of their system of "force Ranking" Managers.

    You could have met all your deliverable, and even improved year over, and still be force ranked into development needed, denied a raise, or stocks, or worse. Lose your job. Why? Because as part of Amazon.coms Leadership review process, a set percentage of managers working at a given site MUST be listed as development needed and denied a wage increase. Then begins the soul crushing experience of performance management. Managers at Amazon do not have enough time in their day to complete their deliverable as it is. The Manager to associate ratio is, in some cases 4-500 to 1. Performance management doubles the number of weekly / daily deliverable you have to complete, and it lasts as long as 3 months.

    Lastly, at Amazon the associate is king. Amazon associates are given a daily survey question about their manager. The results of which are used to determine your popularity. There are no expectations regarding conduct for associates. Associates blame managers for their own performance issues, and are allowed to verbally insult you without repercussion. I my self have been openly threatened in front of my manager, and hr staff and then coached on how I might have handled avoided upsetting the associate.

     I believe managers have an obligation to continue to find comfortable ways to discuss their associates performance with them... But a the end of the day, you are telling someone they're failing, and they should not be allowed to verbally abuse you, but here its tolerated.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people what they're worth in real time. Dont make managing hundreds of people a popularity contest. Right size the associate to manager ratio. Train managers in the tools they need to do their job.

  2. Helpful (1)

    It sucked!

    • 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    4 hour days...Too many spanish speaking individuals that did not understand english

    Cons

    4 hour days...Too many spanish people that spoke no english.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to communicate

  3. Helpful (8)

    AWS - Sr. Financial Analyst / Finance Manager - Stay away!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance Manager / Sr. Financial Analyst in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Finance Manager / Sr. Financial Analyst in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    None and I am completely serious. AWS is the leader in industry but this team is the worst team in Amazon, so dont let AWS name dupe you into accepting anything with AWS finance team. Overall Amazon as a company is really good and you can get an awesome experience learning in a growing environment. But AWS Finance is not worth wasting your career on as the people you will work with are some of the worst, most evil people you will ever come across in your professional life

    Cons

    AWS Finance team is the worst team at Amazon. Below are the facts:

    (1) Highest attrition rate at Amazon - There is ranking done every year by HR to check attrition in various teams. This team is always the worst ranked team in this ranking. Not the second or third from bottom but literally at the bottom. HR will never tell you that of course but you can check with former employees who left this group

    (2) Beyond worst team for girls - In 2014 when i was part of this team (left for much better opportunity now), i saw myself 8 girls leaving this team and the ones remaining were on the brink of collapse. Again email any former girls in this team to verify. Every single girl who left this team will tell you that it is a mental harassment to stay in this team

    (3) How you can verify above? - All positions in this team are always open from finance manager to financial analyst as they can't retain anyone, except if you are one of the sadist/psycho person yourself. Anyone good in this team is looking for job themselves desperately. The culture driven by management of this team is to use and throw the employees as they think Amazon name will let them hire again. This has changed now as they get known throughout Amazon now as a 'concentration camp'

    Here's why this team is worst -

    (1) No respect for their sub-ordinates - They consider them slaves esp. girls.

    (2) They will call you names. I was amazed the kind of language they use to abuse sub-ordinates. Makes one think why there never have been a lawsuit filed against this team

    (3) Team culture is driven by the mood of 2-3 senior people who have compete control over this team. HR or senior management cant see it or have decided to fully ignore it

    (4) Highly abusive - Mentally and verbally. I am being repetitive but this is extremely important

    (5) People love to take credit of your work in this team. Some people (2-3) literally don't do anything because they are protected by favoritism and just take every opportunity to take credit of your work

    (6) You will never get promoted in this team. Also you would never get a good rating from this team. - Amazon allows you to switch internally after a year if you have a good rating. This team will never allow that to happen. And the way they do it is by crushing your rating and along with that your spirit.

    I can't reveal any specific examples here to protect my anonymity but again if you have any doubts/questions on above shoot an email to a former member of this team (and i mean ANY who worked in 2013/14) and they would confirm everything said above. Any position in this team is not worth your time and effort.

    Finally, this is one team I would not recommend even my enemy to join! I hope that conveys the message.

    Advice to Management

    You are losing some of the best talent in this group at junior level. If you are actually smart you will figure out that the problem is at senior level i.e. at Senior Manager and Director level. You will take swift action else I am afraid you are ruining Amazon's name. Although, I have zero confidence that you will ever act. 80-90% attrition in a team would even make a fool think something is wrong but not AWS finance management / HR.

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  5. Helpful (10)

    Absolute sweatshop! Degrading and uncivilized!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fulfillment Associate in Coppell, TX
    Former Employee - Fulfillment Associate in Coppell, TX

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Weekly pay
    -Opportunities for overtime (although mandatory during peak season)
    -Co-workers and immediate supervisors were friendly (for the most part)

    Cons

    -Little to NO training (approximately 10 minutes in my case; the facilities are loud and the "trainer" had a very thick, foreign accent, so we could not hear her nor could we understand her)
    -Extremely physically laborious (my body ached at the end of my shift)
    -Employees are expendable (much like cattle herding)
    -I was written up on my 3rd day for not packing boxes fast enough (You are tracked and your stats are constantly being recorded, yet I was moved around from station to station for approximately 2 hours because the technology wasn't working at various stations; this threw my stats off, which was not taken into consideration
    -I was hired at the Haslet location (which is right by my home), yet I was sent to Coppell (which is 45 minutes away) at the last minute and given a shift and days off that I did not sign up for.
    -Zero work/life balance
    -Employees that are not management are not allowed to have cell phones on the floor. This is understandable, but when there are other employees (e.g. supervisors, facilities, etc) who are standing around watching you "slave" tirelessly, talking and texting on their own cell phones, wasting their own time, it is especially demeaning, is bad business, and reflects poor leadership/values).

    Advice to Management

    This was a set-up for failure. I graduated my university with full honors, have hours toward my Master's, am physically active and in excellent shape, and humbled myself greatly to take this job. I even had aspirations to stay and grow within the company and was excited about the possibilities. However, I left with an extremely poor image of the company and am hesitant to even do business with Amazon any longer, as a consumer.

    Management, you need to plan much more efficiently for peak season and train/develop your employees. People are not expendable.

  6. Helpful (5)

    Great place to work (not)

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The only really nice thing I can say about Amazon is that it's truly a global company where you get to work with very smart people from all over the world.

    Cons

    Employees are reduced to a data point by managers and HR.

    People are hired from the outside while very capable people on the inside are passed over for promotions because the promotion bar is so much higher than the hiring bar. Because of this capable people stay long enough to get their stock options, then leave for better opportunities. This creates incredible churn, much higher than industry norms. So many people leave, you get tired of saying goodbye. And nobody in upper management seems to care.

    Dogs everywhere! During working hours, South Lake Union probably has the highest concentration per urban block in the world. The dog owners treat bringing their dog to work as a right rather than a privilege. It's gross to see dozens of people just outside the front door picking up dog mess when you're going out to lunch.

    Advice to Management

    Have a heart. Make personal respect a leadership principle. Make promoting from within the norm rather than the exception. Make people pay for the privilege of bringing a dog to work just like they pay for parking.

  7. Helpful (21)

    Customer centric overgrown and inefficient startup, well tuned non-profit machine at the expense of its own employees

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you read previous reviews you will see several common themes:

    1) Interns or junior people with no or limited experience usually write about QUICK LEARNING. Yes, you learn quickly at Amazon, as the amount of work that a regular employee usually gets is 2-4X more than at other more employee-friendly companies. In other words, your learning process is a multiple of workload and time spent at work.

    In addition, you will have to catch things quicker because you will OWN your area of responsibilities, which is a good thing… if your previous experience and skillset qualify you to own that. Otherwise, it is usually trial and error learning, while Amazon does not tolerate any errors. In other words, you will learn something, but as soon as you make a mistake you will become HISTORY through the Performance Improvement Process (PIP) process.

    The question is why you would not learn at another company at a slower pace with manageable workload and at least some training support instead of self-learning through internal Wikipedia and waiting in long lines to Business Intelligence Office Hours or something similar?

    2) Some people write about “GOOD BENEFITS”… If Amazon is the only employer in small town, it is probably true. However, in terms of base compensation it is usually below average. The stock part of the compensation is deceptive, given that the average employee retention period is now less than a year and you will need to work several years to fully vest that amount. Even if you literally survive at Amazon all those years, the amount of stock is still below the cumulative amount of annual bonuses that you can earn at other companies that require to work 60-100 hours per week (e.g. investment banking and management consulting). There are NO other perks, because of the frugality principal.

    3) Some people also say hat it is good to have Amazon BRAND on their resume. Many people who have never heard stories of their friends and relatives working at Amazon believe that the company is as good to its employees as it is to its customers. Customer obsession is what drives recognition and appreciation of Amazon’s brand. However, whenever I speak with random people in Seattle, all of them tell me the same thing: “Amazon is the least popular employer in the area. It is famous for making its employees overwork and for its high turnover”. If you get an offer or you are in Seattle area for your interviews, go to a local grocery store or a coffee place and ask people there what they think about Amazon. I wish I did the same due diligence when I came to Seattle for my interviews.

    4) INNOVATIVE projects are something that some people also mentioned in previous reviews. Amazon is a laggard that usually does reverse engineering of consumer products that other more innovative companies pioneer. The “innovation” part is how to make those products cheaper by using cheaper materials or reducing functionality.

    5) All those SMART, type A personality people at Amazon is definitely a “bundle of joy”, in particular, when it comes of scarce promotion openings. The value proposition of working with smart people is not to compete with them, but to learn from them. You will unlikely have a chance to have a mentor or have decent team work to learn from your peers as Amazon culture is very individualistic, mainly, due to the ownership principle.

    Cons

    My key point here is that Amazon is not a SUSTAINABLE company as it is depleting (not disrupting) the fundamental levers of its business model:
    1) It is ERODING PRICES at the expense of its short-term profits and most importantly vendor’s margins. If you are a part of the company, you are also responsible for that consumer paradise bubble. In other words, if you don’t cut down trees in Amazon forest (the one in Latin America), you are still socially responsible.

    2) Amazon is DEPLETING TALENT, a key factor to drive company’s success. The retention rate at Amazon is most likely the lowest among all American and global companies. There is no retention policy, well-thought promotion programs, and succession planning. Moreover, the company is constantly hiring people to more senior roles from outside not only to support its double digit growth, but also to close A LOT of vacancies. I witnessed situations when my teammates quietly left on Friday and on Monday we found out that they had quit without saying any word to the rest of the team. It never happened to me at any other company I worked… The key question is when candidates start avoiding Amazon.

    The part of talent depletion is also a sexist attitude to women that is actually common among all technology companies. There are very few women in general management roles, including product management. Merchandising/Marketing, HR, design, and administrative assistance are traditional places for relatively few women who work at Amazon. Check it out on Linkedin by typing, for example, “Amazon Marketing”, and compare it with results of “Amazon Product Manager”. I personally joined as Product Manager hoping to develop new innovative products, but for some reason my hiring manager gave me Marketing/Merchandising type of responsibility without any prior consultation with me.

    I also felt that if I had children, it would be almost impossible to compete with my teammates, all of whom were married men with housewives taking care of their children. When I started having health issues after all-nighters, 100-hour work week, and stress, I was even punished for taking several hours off to see a doctor/spent time with the 911 team and missing the deadline for submitting a non-critical write-up of a SOP to my manager (same band as me) on Friday night for 15 min (12:15 am instead of 12:00 am)… while being officially on a sick leave... at a hospital. I could not imagine of being a working mother at Amazon and taking time off to attend a school event or staying at home to take care of my kids. It was a definitely the most inhuman, soul crashing experience that I have ever had in my +10 year career.

    Depleting talent also means a lack of trained managers. Although there are special trainings for new managers, there is no upward feedback system or evaluation to keep management skills at a certain level. Most of managers hired externally are usually young in their mid, late 20ies or early 30ies, so they don’t come with a lot of management experience. Moreover, the ownership principle relieves manager’s responsibility for subordinate’s failure to some extent, as Amazon’s “ownership” term is individual’s, not team’s attribute.

    3) Amazon’s internal operations are INEFFICIENT. The company is well known for counting seconds of associates’ movements and installing cutting edge robots in its warehouses to save pennies, while its internal management reporting system is far behind of company’s current state of development. There are a lot of disintegrated legacy databases and tools that require manual work. Imagine thousands of Amazonians writing the same SQL queries and waiting for hours to get them completed in internal data warehouses, instead of having dashboards with more frequently used queries and preloaded data that is available immediately. The data management system and subsequent decision making are the biggest weakness of Amazon. It is probably why many Amazonians work those crazy hours and where a significant part of Amazon’s profits invisibly drains.

    In addition, if you join Amazon, be ready with a lot of manual, routine work regardless of where you are (at a warehouse or at a global headquarters in Seattle) and what level of seniority you are at (associate/analyst or VP).

    Finally, Amazon will expect you to have bias for action that is often confused with a lack of prioritization. “Do it now, do it quickly”. As a result, there are less strategic priorities, well thought decisions, and higher probability of mistakes. Those mistakes can be very expensive and they also have a significant indirect impact on the above zero company’s profits.

    Finally, Amazon is obsessed with its customers, but it is a one-way street. The company adopted a very reactive approach to communicate with its customers. “We noticed [received one complaint from one single customer] that you overpaid for this item on promotion. Here is your money back”. However, when it comes to testing new product concepts, in other words, to adopt a more proactive communication approach with customers, Amazon fails miserably. It was one of my questions at my job interviews: “How do you test product concepts? Do you run focus groups at all?” I received a negative response. In the best case Amazon runs weblabs to see customers’ reaction to some marketing or merchandising initiatives. However, it does not seem that robust product testing is in place at the ideation stage. The sad stories of Fire Phone and Amazon private-label diapers are good examples to support that observation. Every write-off of such a failed product will have an impact of your illusive long-vesting stock.

    To sum up,
    1) run away from Amazon if you are working there;
    2) reply “Thanks, but no thanks” to your job offer letter or an invitation to a job interview;
    3) sleep tight and start imaging a logo of another company on your Linkedin profile, if you are considering to apply to Amazon;
    4) spread the word and keep your loved ones away from Amazon so that they can live a happy and long healthy life.

    Advice to Management

    No advice. You are heading in the direction that this company deserved. You are irresponsibly creating a consumer bubble at the expense of your vendors and employees. I don't see Amazon surviving another 20 years. Rest in piece!

  8. Helpful (4)

    Terrible Medical Compliance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Seasonal Pack AFE in Schertz, TX
    Former Employee - Seasonal Pack AFE in Schertz, TX

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Easy work, tolerable pay, nice people

    Cons

    Heat, Poor instruction, tolerable pay, wont work with employees to accommodate illnesses

  9. Helpful (13)

    Worst company I ever worked for!!!!

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The company is famous and will probably help you in getting your next job.

    Cons

    Every day will be painful and scary..absolutely no work-life balance..This company is a living example of hell..stay away..Unless you are a fresher, do not join this shithole of a company. Before joining this company I heard that it was very infamous but I never believed them. Wow, I was so wrong, this is even worse than what you can expect in your dreams.

    Advice to Management

    Look after your employees. In the long run, it does not help you if people keep quitting on you. Hiring from another city and paying moving cost, so that the employee gets stuck will probably force him to stay in this hell for a year but you wont be able to stop him from quitting.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Amazon was a great employer back when it first started but after 15 years w the company it has turned to crap.

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    not really very many pros working for them anymore. they have good benefits but monthly bonus and give aways and discount has dropped.

    Cons

    Upper management is usually fresh out of college. No chance of moving up w out degree

  11. Helpful (8)

    No Work Life Balance, No Recognition, No Leadership

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Definite leaders in customer satisfaction. Amazon has even surpassed Disney. If you are an Amazon customer, you can bear witness of this.

    Several opportunities and groups. People can make lateral moves with support from their superiors.
    Interesting approach of conducting meetings with no Power Point presentations, but rather having everyone spend 15 minutes reading a 6 page document, then everyone having a very productive 45 minute discussion.

    Purchases made at Amazon can be delivered at lockers under your building, which is very convenient. No employee discounts, though.

    Orca card can be useful, as parking is limited and super expensive in South Lake Union and downtown Seattle.

    Best interview experience in the sense that it was quick, very well organized and recruiter kept me very well informed from beginning to end (very hard interviews, though).

    Cons

    No work life balance: Long hours, several midnight launches scheduled even on major holidays and weekends, and no extra days off to compensate. On call 7 days a week every few weeks. Working from home even occasionally, is not well seen.

    Frugality is a company value, but they take it to the extreme. If you need a headset because your job requires several phone calls, you have to purchase it. I needed Visio because my job requires several diagrams, and I was told to draw them by hand instead. T&E below the industry, you end up putting money out of your pocket on business trips.

    Being self critical is another company value, but leadership understands it as only providing negative feedback, not acknowledging achievements, and disregarding wins. With time this becomes discouraging and frustrating.

    Following the example of many managers and directors, people tend to be confrontational and destructive. People confuse being professionally aggressive with being aggressive at each other. Never in 25 years I have heard so many people cursing in meetings and even worse, trying to publicly embarrass their peers when they disagree.

    Very high turnaround. In my group, 12 people have left in just five months. This increases the workload even more for the ones still left.

    Very hard for people who care about their families to succeed. Especially moms with young kids have a very hard time meeting their goals. If their kids get sick, they get whines for having to work from home. If you care about your family and dream of working in Amazon, think it twice. Seriously.

    Look in YouTube for the documentary the BBC produced with a hidden camera in the UK fulfilment center. You will get an idea of how little employees are valued in this company.

    Advice to Management

    Promote a culture of respect. People can be open, but should always be respectful. Eliminate this culture of bringing people down and of embarrassing the ones you disagree with instead of keeping a healthy dialogue. Be frugal, but not cheap. Realize your success is at the expense of many people who leave hurt and frustrated. Be more flexible with people who has to work from home, technology nowadays allows for a very productive telecommuting, as many companies have demonstrated.

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