Here are some tips for you.
First. Make sure that you have your house number clearly visible from the street. You can get large numbers at any big box hardware store that can fit whatever style exterior you have. If you live in an apartment, provide clear and precise instructions on where your unit is. If the driver can’t find you, they will mark the package as undeliverable and carry it back to the warehouse.
Second. If you have dogs, keep them tied up away from the pathway to your front door, or better yet, leave them inside. YOU many know that your dog is friendly, but if you knew how many drivers get bitten every single day, you’d shit yourself. If a driver approaches your home and there are dogs loose on the property, they will mark the package as undeliverable and carry it back to the warehouse.
Third. If you live in a gated community (apartments or singe-family homes) you need to put a valid and current access code to open the gate in the delivery instructions on your Amazon app. If the driver gets to the gate and there is no access code or the code is old and no longer valid, they will mark the package as undeliverable and carry it back to the warehouse.
Fourth. If you live in an extremely rural area with no street signs or other municipal indicators, please include precise instructions on how to get to your home. Yes, it is beautiful out in the country, but many times there is no cell service, thus no GPS. If the driver cannot find you, they will mark the package as undeliverable and carry it back to the warehouse.
Fifth. Keep your delivery area safe. Rickety stairs, rotten railings, ice or mud, and any other unsafe condition can and often do cause severe injuries. If a driver gets to your home and it is not safe to deliver the package, they will mark it as undeliverable and carry it back to the warehouse.
Does all this seem extreme?
Consider that Amazon drivers are not employees of Amazon. They are independent contractors using their private vehicles, pay for their own gas and repairs, and have to carry their own health insurance. They also have to follow explicit instructions by Amazon which includes completing their route in a set amount of hours or face sanctions which can include the termination of their contract.
The average route expectation for an Amazon driver is ten deliveries per hour. The average route is 4 hours, and this can include 40 stops or more. They do not have the time to drive around trying to find a house with no address on it, to deal with dogs, unsafe environments, access issues, or trying to find Green Acres without a GPS.
Do you see a trend here?
A Word About Food Delivery Apps
Much of this advice is applicable if you order food from UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, etc. As an added side note, if you do order food from these places, consider that these drivers are also independent contractors and are compensated a lot like servers in a restaurant are.
They rely heavily on tips and most of them will not accept an order if it pays less than a dollar a mile. So if you order $5.00 worth of food from a restaurant that is ten miles away and don’t tip appropriately, chances are pretty good that you either won’t get your food or it will arrive cold because it has been sitting at the restaurant for half an hour waiting for someone to come and pick it up and bring it to you.
Chances are the driver looked at the order on their phone and declined it because it’s not worth driving 30 minutes for five bucks. In most areas, a driver needs to clear at least $20 an hour to cover their pay and the cost of gas and wear / tear on their vehicle. Two orders for $5.00 ten miles away amount to $10 an hour. Not happening.
Do NOT “tip bait.” What is this, you ask? It’s when a customer orders food and adds a generous tip, then severely reduces or removes the tip after receiving their food. This costs your driver money, and often results in them actually paying out of their pocket to deliver your food. Not only is this deplorable and makes you a horrible person, but if you get reported (and you will) you can get your account deactivated. Just don’t do this. Seriously.
I hope this has been informative for you if you use these services. The people bringing you your packages and food work very hard and are under strict time constraints and just like most of you, they need a basic level of income to continue to serve you. If you take into consideration the information I have presented you, the likelihood of an unpleasant experience will be negligible.