How Amazon Flex Drivers Get Deactivated From Amazon Flex
The on-demand economy is very different from a normal W-2 job. Workers are considered independent contractors, which means that companies don’t have to give a reason to terminate any independent contractor. However, removing a good contractor could be costly for the company since they will need to hire another one and give them time to learn about the job. For any company, its all about money so they need to balance between getting rid of bad contractors and keeping the good ones. This means that it is not in a company’s best interest to arbitrarily deactivate good contractors.
Everyone thinks that it is easy to work for an on-demand economy. It is true for a good majority of self-employed contractors. Many people wonder how you can get deactivated. There are many rules about various companies and it may be difficult to understand what you can do and what you can’t. For example, Uber will deactivate you if you accept and cancel too many trips. On the one hand, in the independent contractor agreement, it says we can carry out the job however we see fit. On the other hand, Uber has the right to terminate us at any time for any reason.
Rules and Guidelines for Amazon Flex Drivers
Like any job, there are rules and guidelines for the job. Amazon covers it in 17 videos, so the highlights can be lost in the middle of all those videos. Here are the highlights for primarily Prime Now warehouses and Restaurant deliveries:
- Don’t drop a block less than 45 minutes from the start of the block (shift)
- Don’t be more than 5 minutes late for the start of block
- You can be late for pickup but don’t deliver items late
- Always have an insulated bag when you pick up food from a restaurant
- Don’t abuse the “I’m at the location but my GPS isn’t working” feature by being too far away
How Amazon Flex Drivers Get Deactivated
From my time with Amazon, I know that there are typically two types of deactivations. One is temporary in that there is a good likelihood that you can get reactivated. The other one is permanent deactivation. The same goes with Uber and Lyft. Below are the different reasons why an Amazon Flex driver will be deactivated for and which category they fall into:
Temporary Deactivation (likely for reactivation)
- Not having Hot/cold bags for restaurant pickup and delivery
- Excessive late deliveries
- Deliveries that the customer does not receive
- Undeliverable packages/deliveries not returned to Amazon in a timely fashion
- Performing other jobs during Amazon Flex (Uber Eats, Postmates, Doordash, etc)
- Using the “I’m at the location but my GPS isn’t working” too often for starting the block
Permanent (not likely for reactivation):
- Missing blocks or shifts
- Being late for a block or shift
How Many Times Before You Get Deactivated?
There isn’t a specific numbers for each of these situations. I would guess that it would be a three strike rule. If you do any of the above things three times, expect a deactivation email from Amazon. There are ways to prevent this from happening, which I will cover in the next section.
Some Amazon Flex drivers claim that there is a minimum reliability rating (how many shifts you worked divided by the number of shifts you signed up for) to be 90% and this rating may be for the past 20 blocks. This means that you may be able to miss a block out of every 20, for example. Keep an eye on the reliability rating in your Amazon Weekly Summary.
How Can An Amazon Flex Driver Prevent Deactivation?
The best thing you can do is call Amazon Driver Support before it happens. Be proactive, not reactive. I use this tactic most often for late deliveries. Sometimes, there are things beyond my control to make my delivery late. Once, an order wasn’t put in until I arrived to pick it up. Another time, a restaurant was backed up and delayed me by about 10 minutes, with traffic delaying me another 20 minutes, so I delivered a few minutes late. Another time, there was an order that was late being fulfilled at the warehouse. It happens. Sometimes, you can explain why you were late for a shift or why you need to drop a shift, but most times it will go against your reliability rating.
I wouldn’t necessarily call every time I use “I’m at the location but my GPS isn’t working” button unless there was seriously something wrong with your GPS. Sometimes, my GPS has a lag of about 30 seconds, so I click that button after I waited about 10 seconds. I know I’m nearby, just that the GPS is a little slow. I typically use it a few times a day and sometimes you need that function to make all your deliveries on time. I wouldn’t do it to check in for your shift when you’re still a mile away.
How will Amazon Flex Deactivate You?
You will get an email from Amazon Flex and they will list a general reason why you were deactivated. They don’t go into specifics of when, but at least they tell you the reason. Here is what the email looks like (this was mines for hot/cold bags):
How Can An Amazon Flex Driver Reactivated?
There are a few things you need to do, but I will cover this in my next post.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course!