Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 14 September 2014
Updated 14 September 2014
3,488 Reviews
3.3
3,488 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,417 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

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 10 people found this helpful  

    Customer Obsessed, Disposable Employees

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

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

    Pros

    You can learn a great deal about standing up AWS cloud based services, running various random agile dev methodologies, leading young teams of 5-8 devs and shipping software on a very fast basis. The systems for deploying services and the number of services deployed services are amazing. If you negotiate really hard on the way in, you can get almost $160K + a similar amount in monthly signing bonuses and/or stock grant for four years upon accepting. Just wait though, the catches to this Faustian bargain are baked into the culture -- it will get you.

    Cons

    Your odds of getting hired from an interview are about 1 in 10. Nobody ever gets more than $160K to start as that is the salary cap. While the year 1 and 2 signing bonuses can be nearly that much each, years three and four are entirely stock grants, while year five just base salary. The average tenure at Amazon is 12 months -- more than half do not make it to 1 year. Stack ranking (grading on the curve) guarantees purging of the ranks periodically. If you have a live service, you and your team are going to be on-call frequently and will have to carry a pager to you can provide day/night instant support. Most of the people in the South Lake Union offices are professional technical, and very annoyingly politically correct Seattleites with self-righteous liberal attitudes. Some parts of the company have HORRIBLE senior management that practices random public humiliation of attendees. Plus, you will likely be doing weeks long self-abasing "correction of error" documents anytime there is a problem with your software services. The Amazon Leadership principles generally seem like sound business practices, but make no mistake, you MUST drink the kool-aid and live every one of them or else. The employee culture is oppressive and soul crushing by design.
    Probably the worst part of Amazon culture is the unrelenting moral superiority of their practices. They actually believe they are "all that" in terms of software methodologies and that their rivals like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc. know nothing about software and can teach them nothing of value -- it verges on insufferable, myopic arrogance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    "Treat your employees like your best customer", not your idiot disposable minions. This it the missing Amazon leadership principle that will prevent Amazon from retaining talent beyond 12 month.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Overall I've had a great experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Fulfillment Associate  in  Whitestown, IN (US)
    Current Employee - Fulfillment Associate in Whitestown, IN (US)

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Training is offered in many roles as an associate. One can decide which role they would like to obtain. If desired after a year of employment amazon will pay 95% of tuition up to 3,000 a year. The benefits are very good,especially their insurance, 401K, discounts, and the people are always positive.

    Cons

    I would say the biggest downfall is communication within the company. Change is constant. Some say the "rate" of production is unreasonable, I find it easy to obtain if someone is willing to just do their job. Core values are not implemented on the floor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to spend more time with employees engaging their issues instead of advising them they will follow , which they do not. Personal growth is only utilized if you have a bachelors degree, which holds a lot of potential behind. Overall Amazon is a great place to work, I just wish the advancement opporutunities didn't end at entry level management without a 4 year degree

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    amazon

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hardware Support Engineer  in  Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
    Former Employee - Hardware Support Engineer in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)

    I worked at Amazon.com as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    there personal development plan for every engineer is excellent . the company is all surrounded by providing the best support to their staff to get the best quality out of their engineers

    Cons

    The interview process is very long but it is worth it if you get the position you appled for

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  5.  

    Sr. Product Manager

    • 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

    Pros

    Great experience for a fresh MBA grad

    Cons

    Getting promoted is very difficult, management doesn't plan for employees career path

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employee engagement

    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Challenge work but changing the world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    growth company
    Challenges - new./interesting stuff
    Customers
    Team - nice people, hard working

    Cons

    Long Hours
    Lots on to do list

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in more headcount

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Not good for real engineers

    • 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

    Pros

    They invented cloud computing. It's an amazing opportunity to see how things work.

    Cons

    This company has been co-opted by HR, sales, and legal types. There is no real engineering happening anymore... just boring navigation of the existing byzantine bureaucracy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Things that have worked for you when you were smaller are very obviously not scaling. Engineers go months without a desk, office, computer, or any equipment. You have the cash to make your engineers productive... why not make them productive? All of the worrying about licenses, source control, and technicalities in training are a waste of time. Give people the tools they need to be productive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 10 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
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Constant meetings

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

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

    Pros

    Pay is relatively good with great benefits.

    Cons

    Too big of a company. Work life balance is not recommended.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If management would tell you how well you're doing and encourage you to keep growing, career wise. Providing a little bit of mentorship would be greatly appreciated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Customers first employees last!

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great experience and brand value. Good set of responsibilities with little or no guidance. At management is always in meetings and works less than 40hrs a week while mid management and lower level employees work 60hrs a week.

    Cons

    Management is not willing to invest in team growth. All work and zero play for most part!

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

    Developing at a leader and in a winning company, but do expect sacrifices, and frustration of not a lot of reward

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director  in  Paris (France)
    Current Employee - Director in Paris (France)

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

    Pros

    Business model and top level vision. Winning and international environment. Strong culture for excellence, analytics, action and results, giving autonomy and material operational responsibilities quickly. High level of systems and processes. Very smart people and engagement levels of the teams. Ability to challenge status quo and constantly re-invent to improve. Learning and self development across all leadership, management and business operational areas. Fast pace and reactivity, capability to quickly correct course of actions to restore performance. International career opportunities (provided individual flexibility, mobility and acceptance of below par compensation though).

    Cons

    Below average compensation in regards of the demands during recruitment process. High workload expected and little work-life balance perks. Management by criticism vs valuation of successes or people efforts. Very centralized leadership in the US and final decision making power on decisions forcing to constantly justify when not working in headquarters. Extremely high friction in promotions, leadership leveling disjoints for similar roles between US and rest of the world. Overall not high consideration for people (expendable resource). High level feelings of frustration and attrition as outcome (people all secretely dream to leave after making enough years on their resume to make a career jump).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove once for all "frugality" as a leadership value statement used as an excuse to be in reality petty with employees on everything. Be more respectful of the people, reward internal loyalty and development more objectively on promotions vs political 360 degree assessment and constant fallback of external high bar benchmarking to staff leader positions. Stop taking advantage of Western Europe high unemployment rates to justify the below average compensation strategy.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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