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YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

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YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Old 08-17-15, 09:59 AM
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YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/te...pgtype=article

What struck me about this lengthy article from yesterday's New York Times was how the Amazon managers who were "permitted to speak" (by Amazon) all sound like robots or cultists.

The technocrats have taken over.
Old 08-17-15, 10:01 AM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Awe man. Just posted this in the other Amazon thread.

It's nothing new that they get a lot of crap about how they treat employees. While I like Amazon, their low prices, and their fast shipping - I'd be hesitant to support their business.

It's a bad marriage - like Wal-Mart, Amazon devalues consumer products. The push an entire line of suppliers to work on little-to-no profits. From raw materials, to manufacturers, to inbound and outbound transportation. And then that trickles down into the way their suppliers handle their businesses. The businesses that support Amazon on the back end are not really making money. And that has a negative impact on our economy. And Amazon is really really big. To put it in perspective - Amazon sells $120B a year. Our GDP is $17T a year. That means that, for every $100 dollars the USA spends on anything-anywhere in the USA, approximately $.007 is spent at Amazon.Com. [Edit: Wrong initial calculation. But it's still a lot.]

There may be some elite, forward-thinking premise to their low costs. And I understand that there are many different considerations. But, on the surface, it appears that we're being driven into third-world conditions.

Last edited by Troy Stiffler; 08-17-15 at 12:51 PM.
Old 08-17-15, 10:19 AM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Whenever I read about how hard Amazon pushes its workers, it always comes off as weird because Amazon is such a shitty company.

I'm thinking that instead of playing around drones to deliver packages, they put some work on how they package regular orders. I won't order anything from them that I don't want to get beat to shit in the mail because they stuck my $100 blu-ray boxed set in a fucking bubble mailer.

But it goes beyond that.

Their website is a shitty, jumbled mess. I do a search for a movie, and I have to sort through various download options, DVD options (make sure I don't accidentally order the R4 one that's listed above the R1 release!).

Even though they tout their fast shipping, it's still really slow.

The Kindles suck. The last Fire I used was slow and a pain in the ass to use and pretty much pushed me to get an iPad.
Old 08-17-15, 10:39 AM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
The push an entire line of suppliers to work on little-to-no profits. From raw materials, to manufacturers, to inbound and outbound transportation. And then that trickles down into the way their suppliers handle their businesses. The businesses that support Amazon on the back end are not really making money.
To be fair, Amazon doesn't really make much in the way of profits, either.
Old 08-17-15, 10:53 AM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Their website is a shitty, jumbled mess. I do a search for a movie, and I have to sort through various download options, DVD options (make sure I don't accidentally order the R4 one that's listed above the R1 release!).
I imagine the shitty design has to be on purpose. They must have done some research out something to show what ever obvious flaws we see actually results in higher sales somehow. Because my mind cannot fathom how a company with their resources can't get something as simple as sort by price to work.
Old 08-17-15, 10:56 AM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I'm thinking that instead of playing around drones to deliver packages, they put some work on how they package regular orders. I won't order anything from them that I don't want to get beat to shit in the mail because they stuck my $100 blu-ray boxed set in a fucking bubble mailer.

...

Their website is a shitty, jumbled mess. I do a search for a movie, and I have to sort through various download options, DVD options (make sure I don't accidentally order the R4 one that's listed above the R1 release!).
I can address these.

Amazon's packaging IS terrible. I've sold many items through their fulfillment system. They would ship heavy wrenches, and the wrenches punch out through the side of the box. It happened a few times. So aggravating! And they don't care about my small business' losses. It's all part of their third-world system.

They also break your "consigned" stuff. A LOT. And they don't return it. If the item was listed at $1000, they refund you a maximum of $25. If you send them a receipt from the OEM, they'll refund the full cost. But I'm in the "surplus/overstock" business, and don't have those kind of receipts.

And, from a "feedback" perspective, their system is just as broken and volatile as Ebay's.

Next up - yes - their catalog sucks now. I had approximately 1000 items for sale. I sent them a list of 7000(!) duplicates. And they refused to "merge" the listings. See, what happens, is that all of these "junk dropshipper" companies go in, manipulate EAN (barcode) #'s, part #'s, etc. - all so they can have "their own" listing. They add prefixes and suffixes to the numbers. If I had the money, I wanted to get lawyers and the OEM's involved, and start labeling those listings as "counterfeit" items. But I didn't have the funding to move forward.

So what you're left with, is a really ugly catalog, miscategorized products, duplicate listings, etc. And that doesn't matter to a 'junk dropshipper' with millions of products for sale. It matters to the guys like me, who specialize in specific products. I addressed this honestly and directly with Amazon, and they said there's nothing they can do about it. It was really frustrating.
Old 08-17-15, 11:05 AM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by WallyOPD View Post
To be fair, Amazon doesn't really make much in the way of profits, either.
Yea. But that's the point. They set low standards, and sell as low as possible.

I'll put this in perspective... I deal with a local retail tool shop all the time. Their standard for me is a 15% markup. For retail items on the shelves, it's closer to 50%. What sucks about companies like Amazon, is that their target is somewhere around 4%. So if an item costs them $200, they want to sell it for $208. And that's a third-world mentality. Lower standards and work for as cheap as possible.

And then consumers buy more products, lower quality, and lower supply chain infrastructure.

It's the same thing that people harp on Wal Mart about. But people don't realize that Amazon is just as sub-standard as Wal Mart. Wal Mart got a Pixar movie made about them. Amazon sneaks past.

That's my point of view. I am aware of the other point of view, which revolves around the idea that mainly revolves around "trickle down economics". And I can respect that idea, that they're providing jobs and so-forth.
Old 08-17-15, 11:48 AM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
Yea. But that's the point. They set low standards, and sell as low as possible.

I'll put this in perspective... I deal with a local retail tool shop all the time. Their standard for me is a 15% markup. For retail items on the shelves, it's closer to 50%. What sucks about companies like Amazon, is that their target is somewhere around 4%. So if an item costs them $200, they want to sell it for $208. And that's a third-world mentality. Lower standards and work for as cheap as possible.

And then consumers buy more products, lower quality, and lower supply chain infrastructure.

It's the same thing that people harp on Wal Mart about. But people don't realize that Amazon is just as sub-standard as Wal Mart. Wal Mart got a Pixar movie made about them. Amazon sneaks past.
At the end of the day it's the consumer that makes the decision to buy.

The barriers to entry selling what are essentially commodity goods are very high, price is really the only thing to differentiate yourself from competitors.

Amazon's dumbassed work environment has been known for a long time. They always want to hire me but their pay also sucks.
Old 08-17-15, 12:09 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
It's the same thing that people harp on Wal Mart about. But people don't realize that Amazon is just as sub-standard as Wal Mart. Wal Mart got a Pixar movie made about them. Amazon sneaks past.
What movie was that? I remember a South Park episode, but nothing from Pixar about them.
Old 08-17-15, 12:30 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
What movie was that? I remember a South Park episode, but nothing from Pixar about them.
I believe he's referring to the Buy-N-Large company from WALL-E.
Old 08-17-15, 12:32 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Read about this. I couldn't work there, but know some guys that do. Either way, Amazon looks great on a resume because they know you can work.
Old 08-17-15, 12:33 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/te...pgtype=article

What struck me about this lengthy article from yesterday's New York Times was how the Amazon managers who were "permitted to speak" (by Amazon) all sound like robots or cultists.

The technocrats have taken over.
Amazon is starting to sound eerily similar to Scientology.

Instead of asking you to donate money to their cult religion, Amazon wants you to donate most (if not all) of your time.
Old 08-17-15, 12:34 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

The interesting thing about this article is that it focuses on the office workers rather than the warehouse workers that came out a few years ago.

Bottom line is that Amazon treats its customers (notwithstanding Troy Stiffler's issues above) a lot better than its workers. For the latter, they figure they can cycle through people and always have a line of new people who want to step in. And like any big company, they like inexperienced people who work for cheap.

The thing is, alternate shopping choices are not always easy. I've diverted my book and comic purchases to smaller stores, but if I want a CD, where can I go?
Old 08-17-15, 12:38 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

I had a friend who worked at Amazon Web Services. He enjoyed his time there, but said he would never go back.
Old 08-17-15, 12:38 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Whenever I read about how hard Amazon pushes its workers, it always comes off as weird because Amazon is such a shitty company.

I'm thinking that instead of playing around drones to deliver packages, they put some work on how they package regular orders. I won't order anything from them that I don't want to get beat to shit in the mail because they stuck my $100 blu-ray boxed set in a fucking bubble mailer.

But it goes beyond that.

Their website is a shitty, jumbled mess. I do a search for a movie, and I have to sort through various download options, DVD options (make sure I don't accidentally order the R4 one that's listed above the R1 release!).

Even though they tout their fast shipping, it's still really slow.

The Kindles suck. The last Fire I used was slow and a pain in the ass to use and pretty much pushed me to get an iPad.
I disagree about that. If you don't know how to do searches involving keywords then it will be difficult. I work with searches of many different kinds on daily basis and when worst comes to worst I use Amazon. They do invest heavily on an efficient search design method.
Old 08-17-15, 12:39 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

BTW, this is a negative look at Amazon right?

Paging zyzzle!
Old 08-17-15, 12:44 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
Awe man. Just posted this in the other Amazon thread.

It's nothing new that they get a lot of crap about how they treat employees. While I like Amazon, their low prices, and their fast shipping - I'd be hesitant to support their business.

It's a bad marriage - like Wal-Mart, Amazon devalues consumer products. The push an entire line of suppliers to work on little-to-no profits. From raw materials, to manufacturers, to inbound and outbound transportation. And then that trickles down into the way their suppliers handle their businesses. The businesses that support Amazon on the back end are not really making money. And that has a negative impact on our economy. And Amazon is really really big. To put it in perspective - Amazon sells $120B a year. Our GDP is $17T a year. That means that, for every $100 dollars the USA spends on anything-anywhere in the USA, approximately $.07 is spent at Amazon.Com.

There may be some elite, forward-thinking premise to their low costs. And I understand that there are many different considerations. But, on the surface, it appears that we're being driven into third-world conditions.
So what you're saying is, I'm getting a great deal at Amazon?
Old 08-17-15, 12:51 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

From a current Amazon Employee:

An Amazonian's response to "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace"

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/amazo...romSplash=true

Last edited by stingermck; 08-17-15 at 01:00 PM.
Old 08-17-15, 12:52 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

For the end user, yea.

I guess it's just two different ways of thinking. Two ends of the market.

I like to buy quality stuff, not a lot of it, and don't mind paying the price. The cheapest handyman isn't the best handyman. So I try to be conscious of the goods and services I pay for.

On the other hand, you have the mindset that "I want as much as possible for as little as possible". And that's the target market for places like Wal Mart and Amazon.
Old 08-17-15, 12:58 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Not a single thing interesting or surprising.

I worked in retail for more years than I care to remember. I was not fun, exciting or fulfilling. I have heard all these stories before.

Retail is the lowest common denominator driven by a business model that is trying to deliver the best for the least. How are Walmart or McDonalds any different? Do you think the people at Alibaba are thrilled to have their jobs?

The only thing surprising here is that anyone is surprised. As for paying for faster free delivery, well perhaps it is those customers that should be questioning how they got sucked in.
Old 08-17-15, 01:04 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by stingermck View Post
From a current Amazon Employee:

An Amazonian's response to "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace"

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/amazo...romSplash=true
It's an interesting response for sure, but it's from one person who's worked there 18 months in a couple different groups. There could be many different realities, and as with many jobs, it depends a lot on your group and your manager.

Originally Posted by Brian Shannon View Post
Not a single thing interesting or surprising.

I worked in retail for more years than I care to remember. I was not fun, exciting or fulfilling. I have heard all these stories before.

Retail is the lowest common denominator driven by a business model that is trying to deliver the best for the least. How are Walmart or McDonalds any different? Do you think the people at Alibaba are thrilled to have their jobs?

The only thing surprising here is that anyone is surprised. As for paying for faster free delivery, well perhaps it is those customers that should be questioning how they got sucked in.
To be fair, working retail at Amazon isn't like working retail on the floor at Walmart. It's a technology desk job unless you're in the warehouse.
Old 08-17-15, 01:23 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Never quite understand the giant retailer bashing phenomenon. When I go to a retail store, I pay $10 and get $10 worth of product in exchange. If the retailer is willing to sell me $11 worth of product for $10, hey more power to you. I couldn't care the least bit how the retailer is able to provide $11 worth of product nor do I care. I don't understand the logic that people feel entitled to dictate how their $10 should be spent and allocated by the retailer. Oh, $5 should go to the manufactures, $2 should go to costs of B&M, $3 should go to the worker. Where do you get off your high-horse to make that determination? You got your $10 worth of product in exchange already, shut your big trap. Oh, I won't shop at Walmart because they treat their workers like shit. I shop at Target because I'm all for helping the environment and empowering the retail workers. Wake up! Cost structures are the same whether you're buying from Walmart or Target. If the retail workers are really being treated like shit, they will quit. They're not idiots. They don't need some high-horse 6 figure salaried journalists to point it out. Given that most of these workers don't have any other viable technical skills, yes, Walmart is their best options. Let's all blame it on the giant evil corporations because one of items on their business plan is to set out and intentionally, as the article puts it, EXPLOIT the workers.
Old 08-17-15, 01:55 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

I have no problem with how businesses are run or how they try to "softball" their image with consumers. I simply don't think Amazon has been particularly well run over the past decade despite having a massive advantage over Internet retailers. All I care about is how they deliver goods and services to consumers. In that regard, for a company that has barely turned a profit in the past decade, I think they have squandered the opportunity to completely transform the retail space.

Their brand is quickly earning a reputation it doesn't want. Ask Microsoft how that turns out.
Old 08-17-15, 02:12 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by SuperJim88 View Post
Never quite understand the giant retailer bashing phenomenon. When I go to a retail store, I pay $10 and get $10 worth of product in exchange. If the retailer is willing to sell me $11 worth of product for $10, hey more power to you. I couldn't care the least bit how the retailer is able to provide $11 worth of product nor do I care. I don't understand the logic that people feel entitled to dictate how their $10 should be spent and allocated by the retailer. Oh, $5 should go to the manufactures, $2 should go to costs of B&M, $3 should go to the worker. Where do you get off your high-horse to make that determination? You got your $10 worth of product in exchange already, shut your big trap. Oh, I won't shop at Walmart because they treat their workers like shit. I shop at Target because I'm all for helping the environment and empowering the retail workers. Wake up! Cost structures are the same whether you're buying from Walmart or Target. If the retail workers are really being treated like shit, they will quit. They're not idiots. They don't need some high-horse 6 figure salaried journalists to point it out. Given that most of these workers don't have any other viable technical skills, yes, Walmart is their best options. Let's all blame it on the giant evil corporations because one of items on their business plan is to set out and intentionally, as the article puts it, EXPLOIT the workers.
All companies look to make a profit and make money off the work on their employees.. that's how companies are run. These articles usually try to make it sound like people are donating their time because they care so much about Amazon - and look what Amazon is doing to them! Truth be told they apply for a job, they get paid, and they can leave whenever they want. Every company tried to maximize their employee base and squeeze the most they can get out of it - and the bigger the company the more people there are to bitch about it.

Also this is the internet. A long piece about how nice it is to work at Amazon would be been completely ignored.
Old 08-17-15, 02:37 PM
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Re: YAAT: Amazon.com exploits its workers...

Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
Truth be told they apply for a job, they get paid, and they can leave whenever they want. Every company tried to maximize their employee base and squeeze the most they can get out of it - and the bigger the company the more people there are to bitch about it.
I'd say it's a little more complicated than that. What if someone is working a job they love, in a field they love, in the city they want to live in, and getting a good salary for it to support their family, but the working environment sucks. You'd say "Boo hoo, go find another job"?

A lot of people interviewed DID leave.

Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
Also this is the internet. A long piece about how nice it is to work at Amazon would be been completely ignored.
See six posts above yours.

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