Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 28 August 2014
Updated 28 August 2014
3,563 Reviews

3.3
3,563 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,479 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development (in 101 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 306 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 540 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 125 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Work hard and Play hard - no joke

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager II  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Program Manager II in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    This is a fast moving company that allows you to think big and run with it if your ideas are sound, and can make a difference. There is plenty of support to grow and you are encouraged to work on projects and in areas that excite you.

    Cons

    There is no such thing as work life balance for most departments here. This is a 24/7 business and the delivering the best customer experience is demanding.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good company to work in

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    nice people, many activities, target projects, flexible time schedule, bring pets

    Cons

    large system, hard promotion, no free lunch, hard to park, pay to park.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    keeps you busy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    career opportunities, compensation, company values and quality of people who work there.

    Cons

    very high expectations, high time pressure, poor life-work balance

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Area Manager - think long and hard before you accept.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Area Manager
    Current Employee - Area Manager

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    monetary compensation (base salary, stock options, quarterly bonuses, sign on and retention bonuses)
    benefits (fairly generous time off, cheap health plans)
    company reputation
    10% employee discount
    ability to transfer after 12 months in a position

    Cons

    Where to begin...
    Everything you'll read in the previous reviews about the Area Manager job and Amazon are true. You'll think that with years of supervisory/management experience that you can handle the job. The base salary, bonuses, and stock options look so good on paper that you feel like an idiot if you don't take it. But the fact is, as previous reviews state, they are a trap (relocation and sign on have to repaid even if you're fired), the stock options are drawn out over four years. The majority of AM hires won't see four years, so think about that. The 401k match is the same. So much of that fancy number on the offer letter is tied to a length of time in the company you probably won't make.

    You are micromanaged into a fine dust everyday by your Ops Manager who is more than likely funneling down the same treatment that they're receiving from the Sr. Ops Manager. You will be called every 10 minutes to be asked about something you gave an update on the previous call 10 minutes earlier. The only way to get a temporary break from it is to take your lunches and breaks outside of the building. You will be called all the time, bathroom and all, to be asked 'what's going on in (insert department)'?

    Despite having 'manager' in your title you are a front-line grunt, that is it. Your years of industry or military experience don't mean squat. You WILL be explained the simplest concepts in-depth by Ops and Sr. Ops. You have no say-so in how the actual operation is run, EVERYTHING is run by an Ops Manager. You will run every single operational decision you want to make by the Ops Manager first. It may or may not be listened to. You will be asked to explain why your department failed to make plan or rate despite you having had ZERO say in staffing, labor allocation, planning, work flow, etc.

    Know that the hourly associates are treated with absolutely zero respect. They do not matter to senior management, at all. There is no attempt to make them feel as if Amazon is a place to make a career. They are required to do more and more every day. And if they don't or can't then they'll just bring in the next bunch of temps to take their place. Their performance is reviewed by the entire senior management team every week in what's called SPPR. Literally one bad day can put an associate on a written warning, one! Management attempts to appease them with things like a board to bring up complaints, ice cream every few months, or an annual picnic that less than a third will attend. And don't ever make the mistake of trying be an advocate for the hourly associates.

    When you apply you may be subject to a bait and switch. A position in a popular city may be posted, you'll apply to that position, only for the actual location to be another city when you're offered. They have to do this for the smaller (very small) cities like Campbellsville, KY, Fernley, NV, and Coffeyville, KS. They'll sell you on the ability to transfer after 12 months. What they don't tell you is that it's completely up to the senior management at your site to sign off on it. And if senior management has some site specific rule, such as minimum time in the building, or they aren't full of AM's, your transfer will be politely declined with a smile. And there is nothing you can do about that.

    The management team is a rotating door. Your associates (the ones that do actually care to talk to you) will tell you that you're at least the 25th manager they've had, depending on long how they've worked there. Yeah, I'll say that again, at least the 25th. Most Amazon sites have been open only since 2006. Let that sink in.

    Don't bother getting too close to the other AM's. The quickest way to move up to Ops is by throwing other AM's under the bus. You'll recognize these AM's because they will send by out bi-weekly emails to the entire management team calling out any mistakes that you've made and what they've done or are doing to fix it. They look for a weak link. And the only way to get it to stop is to do it back to that person. It creates unnecessary competition and distrust.

    3 days off sounds good...if it happens. Your shift will probably be called for mandatory OT at minimum once per month, and it will be at the last minute, and it MAY happen on a day that's not your scheduled OT day. Associates have to stay under 50 hours per week, even if they're called in for mandatory OT. That means you'll spend so much time being short because you have to send people home early.

    And lastly...you will be required to do physical labor. And not just throwing a couple boxes here and there or picking in the aisles a bit to help. You will do the job that your associates do...a lot! It doesn't sound so bad until you realize that you've spent a huge chunk of your day having to do it... in addition to the countless flavor of the day projects assigned to you or all of the admin duties. Every day. Again, there's nothing wrong with a little manual labor, but a highly compensated and experienced people manager shouldn't have to spend several HOURS of their day doing what hourly associates are being paid $12/hour to do. It's a waste of their skills and talents.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No need to give advice. Amazon knows how they treat Area Managers, and they're ok with that. For every person that quits there will be some sucker out there who thinks that everything in the above reviews won't happen to them....so why change?

    Jeff Bezos is either brilliant or he's pulling off one heck of a scam on investors. The company makes almost no money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    They won´t retain talent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Social Media  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Social Media in Seattle, WA (US)

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

    Pros

    - Their tough culture will make you strong
    - You will get a lot of offers after this experience

    Cons

    - No team culture
    - No perks
    - Bad management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Never-ending work with little or no opportunity to advance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA (US)

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    This was not an unpleasant company to work for. I was there for 8 years so something must have been good about it. The office culture was mostly great as you were encouraged to be casual, bring your dog to work, and interact with other employees, both on your team and on other teams. I did enjoy that. With the right manager, personal growth was a priority so that was a benefit.

    Cons

    On the other hand, I found myself constantly working. With the company proudly touting the word "Frugal" as the most important leadership principle, you can get the idea of what it was like. They give everyone a company laptop and silently encourage you to work from home after putting in a full day at the office. Well, maybe not so silently since many times meetings were with other teams in India or Japan or China making calls at odd hours of the day in Seattle.

    Pay scale was kinda strange. Being there as long as I was I would have expected higher base pay but that wasn't the case. Everyone around me who did reveal their salary to me was making more even for similar work with shorter time at the company. I did have greater stock awards then they did but even with selling those, my annual take home was much less.

    Amazon has this long list of leadership principles which, to most people, really make very little sense. It all sounds great on paper but applying to real life and real work situations it's almost impossible. Yes these principles show up everywhere especially in the lengthy annual performance reviews where you're asked to evaluate yourself, your manager and any peer reviews that requested based on these concepts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some consistency in your responses to situations and employees. Stop treating SDE and other developers like they matter more. There are other ways to innovate that don't involve computer code. Throw some support in that direction once in a while and stop treating the non-technical employees as disposable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Constant change which offers opportunity and challenges

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Exciting new products putting them into new categories, always looking for new people, you get to work with some great people.

    Cons

    There is never enough time to accomplish all management wants. Very focused on metrics, yet often do not look at what the metrics measure. Very little guidance for career path, often favor an outside candidate over an internal one.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The high degree of internal secrecy makes planning for anything beyond a month or two nearly impossible. For a company that claims to think long-term they are surprisingly focused on the short-term in evaluating employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    HIGH turnover, Some OT and maybe some unpaid voluntary time off

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Picker  in  Chester, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Picker in Chester, VA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You get to meet people who are from most age groups. If you can stay long enough you can try most anything at your skill level or lower. Pay is ok

    Cons

    Did I say High turnover? I'd say that 50 percent of all new hires leave after 30 days or less. The performance rate they want is hard to achieve considering the work flows they put on you are challenging at best. They WILL terminate you for not meeting rate. You might stay with one manager for about 6 months then either they promote move or leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to what your employees say about the atmosphere of the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Darwin walks the halls here - you'd think we were curing a major disease

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    1. Incredibly smart, driven and dedicated teams;
    2. Scope and responsibility like no where else you'll work;
    3. Likelihood of having one or more "Jeff" meetings is fairly high depending upon the team you join, which is mind-blowing the first time (then it's a slog);
    4. Leadership principles are practiced across all aspects of the business (hiring, meetings, talent management), which is more than I can say for other companies that hand-wave at similar tenets once or twice a year during reviews.

    Cons

    1. Pay (they don't tell you the full story when you're hired) and that signing bonus is a scam. The stock plan is designed to insure that you burnout before reaching the bulk of the $$$;
    2. Talent is not developed here ... at all;
    3. Amazon does fire people - they burn right through you;
    4. Leadership has NO backbone despite the leadership principle. No one disagrees with Jeff;
    5. At 18-months, I am considered a tenured employee in my org as most have left;
    6. I've worked more in the last two years than I did in the previous five combined, including multiple 100-hour weeks and 7am-1am days. Weekends are not off-limits by any means;
    7. If you're female, amplify all the above ^n.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in people. Amazon will find the bottom of the talent pool as you cannot sustain a 1.3 years turnover rate with 125K+ employees. The IP is walking right out the door.

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

    Amazon will be the Next Cisco

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Area Manager
    Current Employee - Area Manager

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay and benefiis are excellent

    Cons

    They expect 60+ hours a week. Hiring all MBAs and severly overpaying them. They lack people skills. Sr management does not want to listen. Band aid today and fix tomorrow later. Go, go, go. Engage your asociates and make the feel imporatnt... then hammer them when they don't perform.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen more and be open to reality. Everything that comes from seattle doesn't work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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