Science

Amazon contract drivers hang cell phones in TREES near Whole Foods to snag deliveries before rivals 


Amazon’s contract drivers are hanging cell phones in TREES next to distribution stations and Whole Foods stores in Chicago so they can get notifications to pick up deliveries before rivals

  • Amazon Flex drivers are hanging phones in trees near a Whole Foods store 
  • The idea is to help them grab incoming orders in faster via the Amazon Flex app 
  • Sources said there is a coordinated group working together in the scheme 
  • The app alerts drivers closet to a store that a new delivery is up for grabs
  • The first person to accept can take the delivery and get paid to do so
  • By having multiple phones, the group hopes Amazon won’t  catch on to the plan

Amazon drivers have devised a plan to increases their chances of grabbing new delivery orders at a Whole Foods Store – hanging smartphones in trees.

Bloomberg spotted at least a dozen phones connected to branches outside a location in Chicago.

The devices belong to contractors of the Amazon Flex app, which chooses drivers to carry out deliveries based on proximity to the grocery store.

Drivers reportedly sync their own phone to one in the tree – giving them first dibs at a new order even if they’re not physically the closest person to the store.

There are a handful of drivers in on the scheme, as multiple devices will receive the same alert making it difficult for the tech giant to uncover the system, sources said.

Another person familiar with the matter said the setup is a work around for certain requirements, like having a drivers license – a Flex contractor will pay some one a small amount to take the route, while still taking a portion of the fee.

READ  Did you solve it? Cheese cube nibbles

A driver who has observed the phones hanging in trees said Amazon knows about it, ‘but does nothing.’

Amazon drivers have devised a plan to increases their chances of grabbing new delivery orders at a Whole Foods Store – hanging smartphones in trees. Bloomberg spotted at least a dozen phones connected to branches outside a location in Chicago

Amazon drivers have devised a plan to increases their chances of grabbing new delivery orders at a Whole Foods Store – hanging smartphones in trees. Bloomberg spotted at least a dozen phones connected to branches outside a location in Chicago

DailyMail.com has reached out to Amazon for comment and has yet to receive a response.

Some may look at this setup as cheating, but many drivers have been laid off as the coronavirus has kept Americans home for months – Uber laid off 3,700 in June alone.

And many have turned to Amazon Flex to generate an income.

Amazon advertises the job as an opportunity to ‘be your own boss’ with drivers able to clock on and off whenever they please – and drives can make $18 to $25 an hour.

The devices belong to contractors of the Amazon Flex app, which chooses drivers to carry out deliveries based on proximity to the grocery store – giving those with a device in the tree first dibs at a new order

The devices belong to contractors of the Amazon Flex app, which chooses drivers to carry out deliveries based on proximity to the grocery store – giving those with a device in the tree first dibs at a new order

Another person familiar with the matter said the setup is a work around for certain requirements, like having a drivers license - a Flex contractor will pay some one a small amount to take the route, while still taking a portion of the fee

Another person familiar with the matter said the setup is a work around for certain requirements, like having a drivers license – a Flex contractor will pay some one a small amount to take the route, while still taking a portion of the fee

Contractors wait for a new delivery to go through the app, accept it and deliver it to the customer’s destination within 14 to 45 minutes. 

This service, however requires them to accept the new order immediately or someone else may snatch it.

READ  Alaska will finally be connected to continental U.S. by 270-mile underground fiber optic network

Drivers told Bloomberg that the phones in the trees coordinate as one device that dispatches delivery routes to multiple drivers in the surrounding location.

These Amazon Flex workers who have seen the setup in the past believe there is someone acting as an intermediary between Amazon and the drivers, which is charging them a fee to obtain more deliveries – a process that is against Amazon’s policies.

Chetan Sharma, a wireless industry consultant, told Bloomberg that the ‘perpetrators’ are using these phones in the tree to spread around work to a number of Amazon Flex apps, in a bid to slide under Amazon’s radar.

‘They’re gaming the system in a way that makes it harder for Amazon to figure it out,’ Sharma said. ‘They’re just a step ahead of Amazon’s algorithm and its developers.’

A driver who has observed the phones hanging in trees said Amazon knows about it, 'but does nothing'

A driver who has observed the phones hanging in trees said Amazon knows about it, ‘but does nothing’

Contractors wait for a new delivery to go through the app, accept it and deliver it to the customer's destination withing 14 to 45 minutes. This service, however requires them to accept the new order immediately or someone else may snatch it.

Contractors wait for a new delivery to go through the app, accept it and deliver it to the customer’s destination withing 14 to 45 minutes. This service, however requires them to accept the new order immediately or someone else may snatch it.

A person familiar with the matter said that the plan helps those without a license still make deliveries and get paid doing so.

Those working for Amazon Flex typically make $18 hour, so someone else can pay a third person $10 an hour to take the route and still make a small profit on the side.

However, a Flex driver who has been observing the smartphone in the tree trick said Amazon is well aware of the activity, ‘but does nothing.’

READ  Mysterious 15th century manuscript which stumped Alan Turing decoded by Bristol academic



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply