by Timothy Brown, New York
What used to be more or less seamless delivery by professional delivery companies like the UPS and FedEx has become a mad house with numerous customers reporting missing packages as Amazon takes over delivery via private agencies.
Firstly the Amazon delivery system which appears not to have a name yet and goes under the abbreviation “TBA” or “To Be Announced” can only be internally tracked. So customers have lost the ability to share tracking information with friends, family or freight forwarders who they might be sending packages to. You have to be logged in to your Amazon account to use the “TBA” system.
Next, the courier guys who bring packages typically do not have a formal uniform. It’s sort of scary and wild seeing plainly dressed people running up and down stair cases all over town. Criminals can easily take advantage of this new introduced norm to run up people’s stairs and ring their bells with the people opening the door to strangers, assuming it is Amazon.
Next is the real mess. The missing packages. While the UPS, FedEx and other such agencies have a certain level of professional training and work based on fixed annual salaries, with Amazon TBA it appears to be all about numbers. The more numbers you hit the more money you make. Professionalism and efficiency goes out the door in the race for time and money.
The TBA guys literally run up and down stairs. Never waiting. Never hesitating. “Give those boxes!” “Get those dollars,” seems to be the slogan.
All they need to do is get to that doorstep and register in their GPS-location tracker that they reached the doorstep. So what happens when they are to accept signatures and no one opens the door? Or when they get to a company unloading dock and other trucks are waiting?
Witnesses have seen TBA delivery vans being unable to wait and driving off when there is a queue at the unloading dock and then registering the entire load of packages as “delivered,” with a made-up recipient signature. Some name they thought up that does not exist at the recipient location.
So they come to the door or dock. Unable to get a signature, they scan their arrival with their GPS device and then put any name as recipient signature and drive off. Apparently to ensure they get paid on time for that drive. This sometimes repeats itself severally over weeks. Then if you are lucky, 2 or 3 weeks later the truck comes at once and dumps off all those delayed packages when your dock is free and gets a real signature which they then update in the system as a “correction.” A company said this happened to it severally and then it receives 100 boxes at a time. 2 weeks of deliveries!
The below package spent a miraculous 2 weeks in the “out for delivery” stage
Amazon TBA tracking sometimes shows weird things, like a sudden change in recipient signature, or packages in transit for weeks. Phenomena unknown to shipping till largely unexperienced and untrained delivery hustlers took over.
An affected customer in 2019 vented his frustration to Amazon after finally receiving his packages
The other problem frequently encountered is packages delivered to wrong addresses. While this happened sparingly with the conventional UPS, FedEx and other old professional services, this is more common with Amazon in its quest for speed. When you are lucky, the neighbor or neighboring company returns your package. And when you are not, Amazon argues that it was dropped off at your address and if it is a Freight-forwarder’s address, they are unlikely to compensate. Start counting your loses to the new drop-off speed-hustle.
And with Amazon introducing its one-day delivery. The hustle to make benjamins for delivery-without-the-service can be expected to bump up another notch.