Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated November 21, 2014
Updated November 21, 2014
3,841 Reviews
3.4
3,841 Reviews
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Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,614 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 115 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 340 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 616 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 140 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 11 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 (more than an 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
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazon is a terrible place to work. Great effort and results are ignored if you are not a yes man.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    You get to say you worked at Amazon.com

    Cons

    Favoritism, Executives in Seattle are totally oblivious to what goes on in their fulfillment centers, especially with regards to their managers. I encountered discrimination, and saw people routinely judged on the basis of their orientation as opposed to the content of their character, effort and results. This was the worst experience I've ever had.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get eyes on the HR teams in your fulfillment centers managers are facing serious issues and HR is not interested in helping but rather "performance managing." Listen to your AM's and Ops and look at the turnover rate in amongst them, you can learn a lot.

  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    great company for consumers

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Talented people, downtown/near-downtown location.
    Different teams can feel very different. But overall they hold similar culture.
    If you are lucky and find a reasonable team, you might be able to enjoy it. But not so much for other teams.

    Cons

    it's better to be a customer than an employee.
    no work life balance. management expects you to work late.
    uncompetitive compensation.
    on-call.
    political issue. This can be nasty sometimes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    You'd do better to work for Walmart

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Salem, OR
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Salem, OR

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    You will meet some amazing coworkers from across the country. The pay was decent ($11 an hour) and you get benefits no matter if you're part time or full time. You have a guaranteed set amount of hours and a set schedule. They'll work around your college schedule

    Cons

    If you work in customer service, your job depends on your customers. Whether you follow policy or not, you could lose your job within a month. Even if you're a top performer and solved the customer's problem, you can be fired because the customer chose to give you a no. They want innovative ideas but every time you give them one, they shoot it down and approve it for someone else later on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn what will keep the good associates around rather than driving them to other companies. It'll be the demise of your company if you continue treating your associates like replaceable trash.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fulfillment Associate

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Pass the drug test you are hired, they put a lot of people in the system. They give you personal days to use at your discretion from day one. If you like wearing jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes you will love it at Amazon. The warehouse is climate controlled.

    Cons

    They profile people as to what job they will do, and how they promote. If you are young, white, preppy type you are way ahead of the game. Just look around at the people in management positions. Seasonal workers hire on making less money per hour then people with permanent positions, doing the same exact job. Seasonal workers don't get the monthly bonuses, even though they are needed to make the monthly quota. Their incentive is that one day they may become permanent and get these benefits. You will more then likely be let go before this happens and before your medical benefits kick in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Company concept is awesome, so sad it isn't available to all.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Disorganized, understaffed, politics over products (hardware division)

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

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    Seattle campus hires amazing, accomplished designers to work on device platform. The hiring process is thorough but appropriate and the talent level is great.

    Cons

    "frugality" as a corporate value gets interpreted in ways that are pushing ridiculous. The famous door desks are a good example, they are awful, if you need quiet or privacy to work in forget it, the open space is crowded and offices go only to vps. It's a battle to even get a decent dev/design kit setup. The comp package is totally whack (huge "signon" bonuses that extend over the two years before your stock vests, to make up for way lower base than google, ms, apple. And get taxed way higher). Recruiting process was brutal as they seem to outsource the same job to a thousand substandard contract staff. Great, great designers, but understaffed, encouraged to cut corners with some ridiculous cronyism and incompetence as you go up the food chain. You can see it in the current wave of product releases. The arrogance of longtime amazon staff in some divisions vs new hires is horrible and it's no surprise the median time spent there is 1 year. I quit and was contacted months later as to why and if I would consider coming back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dump the faux nobility of Frugality and treat employees better. Fix the parking situation in Seattle ) parking is 2-300 a month and the wait list for corporate spots is a year long. Hardware platform design division needs a serious re-org and process. Don't expect employees to work on 6 teams simultaneously with no air cover. Give clear career paths (getting promoted is near impossible)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    amazon.temp

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pasco, WA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pasco, WA

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

    Pros

    the benefits if u could become a permanent were good

    Cons

    the call center is a revolving door, many are fired or let go within 6 months, employee discount of only 10% off of things only sold through amazon itself is lame. Used to be a great place to work, but the site director and the constant stream of temp management "seasonal hires" fills the site with false promises and backstabbing. the internal software is buggy and non-secured. i wouldnt go back if u paid me double i spent a total of 3.5 years there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you give crummy treatment, youll get crummy employees. fire the site leader in pasco, wa and her minions for the love of God

    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Robotic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    * You will learn at an accelerated pace - I learnt more in 18 months than I would have gained in years elsewhere.
    * In general the other employees are a great bunch of people

    Cons

    * Very questionable leaders - they really only care about spreadsheets and results and not the person delivering them.
    * Extremely difficult to get promoted - your manager has to write a promo doc (up to 10,000 words) - I have know some managers to ask employees to write their own would you believe.
    * Work life balance is poor
    * FRUGAL FRUGAL FRUGAL - everything about the company is cheap, great for its customers, not so great that devote their work day to it.
    * Hiring is a joke - interviewers spend their time finding reasons not to hire people, plus decisions are made by committee so someone will always find a reason to say no. What happened to looking at talent and potential.
    * Payrises are rare and limited - entirely depends on the share price just before review.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    All about preventing unionization

    • 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

    Pros

    Salary, young employees, free coffee

    Cons

    Get around laws by working the managers like dogs. Offer no assistance except work harder. Like to hire military because they don't know better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You can suck up your time in a FC and wonder why you gave up years of your life or you could go somewhere else. One my lease was up I left, haven't looked back..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    An exercise in frustration

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Pay is very good for an internship.

    Projects are generally important, but relatively small (compared to full time employees) features or services. In general, they seem more important than projects interns at other companies talk about getting.

    Lots of opportunities and events hosted for interns to learn about other parts of the company or learn in general.

    Smart coworkers.

    Frequent events and talks on interesting subjects across the company.

    Cons

    Due to unique circumstances, I ended up being expected to complete a full-summer project in only half the time any other intern had, due to issues with my original project.

    Corporate housing can be very difficult, I ended up in a hotel without a way to do laundry or cook food (only a 1.3 cu ft. mini-fridge and a coffee pot) with a meal-plan for breakfast/dinner only that didn't fully cover the cost of food at that hotel (pricey, exclusive club hotel). Ended up spending quite a bit of money eating out to avoid eating the same 4 things from their menu all the time. Hotel offered dry-cleaning at $8/shirt and $10-16/pair of pants and no laundromat in the area. (Didn't know about the laundry until I arrived)

    Management frequently changed their minds on aspects of my 2nd project that prevented me from making progress at all for the first few weeks.

    No training for team-specific tools (on my team at least) and methods, only the general training for new employees which wasn't enough for either of my projects.

    Poor documentation of many of the existing systems, making it difficult to learn how they work and how to use them.

    Full-time employees frequently work weekends in addition to 50-60+ hour work weeks during normal working days.

    Seeing full-time employees on pager duty looks terrible (the hours they end up being in the office and woken up in the middle of the night/on weekends would eat up nearly 100% of anyone's spare time).

    Parking at the office is not free or paid for by the company. Parking costs quite a bit more than the amount you can file to have reimbursed every month. (I didn't bring a car to avoid this issue, in addition to parking at corporate housing not being paid for at all.)

    Pay is on a monthly basis, plan ahead for your start date if you don't have enough money going in to pay for food/parking/laundry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HR - pay closer attention to the hotels you choose; stranding an intern without a way to clean their clothes isn't cool (or at least inform them that laundry facilities aren't at their hotel when it is assigned so they can plan ahead)

    Managers - plan the project ahead of time, it gets very confusing to have things get changed on a daily basis for the first few weeks on the project because it wasn't planned out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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