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Amazon Package Not Received: The Dreaded Flex Notification

If you’ve been Flexing for any length of time it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get that dreaded “customer complaint” email. You can’t help but roll your eyes because you know what’s coming, the dreaded “Amazon package not received” claim. You know you delivered it. You double checked the address. You even took a picture of...

If you’ve been Flexing for any length of time it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get that dreaded “customer complaint” email.

You can’t help but roll your eyes because you know what’s coming, the dreaded “Amazon package not received” claim. You know you delivered it. You double checked the address. You even took a picture of the package, what more do they want?

Disclosure: Ridester.com is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

It’s easy to get defensive when you get these emails because a majority of the time, you feel as though Amazon is accusing you of thievery. BUT… these emails are not meant to be personal, they’re just business.

Amazon Package Not Received: Common Causes

A common “Amazon package not received” email from support

If you happen to get an email like this, it’s helpful to know the date of the delivery. You can look back at your records and see the area to which you delivered.

From that point forward you’ll know to be extra vigilant in that area the next time you roll into town with your lanyard and safety vest.

So what causes this dreaded delivery message, and what can you do about it?

Let’s take a deep dive into why this may happen, and what to do about it if you find yourself on the receiving end of an Amazon package not received email.

Related: Amazon Flex: The Definitive Guide for 2017

Porch Pirates

There are many ways packages go missing after delivery but the most common and likely culprit is the “porch pirate.”

These thieves are best described as crafty and opportunistic. They drive around in neighborhoods preying on unsuspecting packages waiting happily for residents to arrive.

Person or persons who steal packages off of unsuspecting customers porches or front door areas.Urban Dictionary

Higher end apartment complexes are favorite haunts for porch pirates. When these thieves spot a package, they’ll usually drive a short distance down and drop off a passenger who nonchalantly walks along the sidewalk. Then, once they reach the package, they’ll snatch it up and, just as smoothly, dive into that same vehicle.

Stolen packages are an important issue to address, especially now since peak is approaching. Peak is a thief’s favorite time of year, packages are abundant and the colder temperatures keep people indoors, making the thief less likely to be caught.

Expect to see more reports of porch pirates in the news and at your DC.


If these thieves see any opportunity, they’ll take it and that includes following you while making your deliveries. This is more common with marked delivery vehicles like UPS or FedEx but it could just as easily happen to a Flexer.

Some of these porch pirates have made a thriving business using merchandise they’ve stolen off porches. The items appear on Offer up, Let it go, Facebook, and maybe even as a third party seller on Amazon. It’s very hard to determine from pictures an item stolen from a porch or a personal belonging of the seller.

So, it’s not a crime easily solved unless the thief is caught red handed. If caught, the penalties are quite lax so there’s very little deterrent to not continue stealing packages. Some penalties can be described as a minor hassle.

In truth, the penalties for a driver, no matter which type of warehouse they drive for, with too many “Amazon package not received” complaints are more significant than the penalties for the thief.

Some customers have taken it upon themselves to defend against porch pirates by leaving “bait packages” out specifically for an unwitting thief to take. These packages are usually filled with some terrible prize such as dog feces or dead mice. A few crafty customers have managed to rig the package to spray the contents all over the thief.

Police will also leave “bait packages” with some random item in it so the thief doesn’t suspect it may be bait but inside the item will be a GPS tracker.

Wrong Location

Another way packages go missing is a mistaken address. We all hate to admit mistakes, but sometimes they happen.

You may not even realize you’ve made a mistake and sometimes it’s really not your fault. The GPS pin may be in the wrong location or the customer didn’t provide the entire address.

That said, it’s always in your best interest to double check and if you’re unsure, look up the address on Google or call the customer. In addition, use a reliable GPS like Google Maps or Waze.

Dishonest Customers

Then there’s probably the most frustrating and angering reason a package goes missing, a dishonest customer. In May 2017, three people from Indiana were accused of scamming Amazon out of 1.2 million dollars worth of products which they sold on the black market.

Dishonest customers will claim the package was never received but in truth, they just want a replacement for free – two for the price of one! There’s usually no consequence for the customer unless it becomes a pattern but for the Flex driver, the consequence may be deactivation.

Your Best Defenses

man doing karate kick in front of yellow background - Amazon package not received

Vigilance

Your first line of defense against “Amazon package not received” complaints is to be aware of your surroundings. If you consistently see the same vehicle passing you, and it’s not another Flex driver (it happens), you might consider retracing your steps to see if packages have, in fact, gone missing.

If you notice there are packages missing, and you’re rather certain it has not been received by the customer, report it to the police. To aid in their investigation, give the authorities any pictures or dash cam footage of suspicious vehicles.

If you’re unable to retrace your steps and you notice a suspicious vehicle, take a quick lunch break. Porch pirates get bored easily and will likely not be willing to wait out your meal.

Considering porch pirates will follow delivery vehicles, don’t make it obvious you’re delivering packages. If you have signage marking your vehicle, you may want to consider only using that for routes where you feel it is safe.

Delivery Site

The best way to defend against porch pirates, wrong addresses, and dishonest customers is to hand deliver the package to the customer. It’s not always possible but definitely recommended.

If the customer is not present, your responsibility is to do your best to make the package less noticeable to porch pirates. That may require some degree of creativity.

Smaller envelopes easily fit under doormats. Boxes can be wedged behind planters or decorations. Even putting a package under a bush can be a reasonable alternative to setting a package in a place where a thief gets an easy score. Disguising packages in a white trash bag is also an interesting way to prevent packages from being stolen. Thieves rarely will take the time to investigate trash bags on a porch.

If the back door is easily accessible, you might have the option of leaving a package there. If you choose this option, be sure there are no dogs or other hazards that would make it unsafe to deliver to the back door. If there are “no trespassing signs” or locks present on gates, never enter a customer’s back yard.

Apartments require the most time and work to prevent packages from going missing and you’ll inevitably have returns when delivering to apartments. Some apartments have private entrances away from view of the street. Package thieves usually stay away from those complexes. Thieves also want easy access and an easy getaway so third floor apartments are usually safe deliveries provided the others on that floor are honest.

If you have a package to deliver to an apartment that will obviously be visible to anyone walking or driving by then it’s best you bring the package to the leasing office. Not all complexes accept packages on behalf of tenants, but many do.

You might even call in advance to see if the office accepts packages or keep a list of “package friendly” apartment complexes. Some complexes have package lockers to help prevent package theft. If you deliver to a locker or the office, be sure to leave a note on the tenant’s door letting them know where their package is.

If the package will not be safe at the door of the residence and the leasing office will not accept the delivery, you’ll have no other option than to return the package to the DC.

There are times where you can take a chance but too many “Amazon package not received” complaints will result in deactivation.

Signature Confirmation

You also have the option to use signature confirmation for delivering packages. To activate this feature, just select “Doorman or Receptionist”. You’ll enter the name of the person receiving the package and require a signature.

This is a great way to defend against the dishonest customer.

Deactivation for “Amazon Package not received” complaints

yellow background with blue sad face in foreground. Amazon package not received illustration

If you find yourself deactivated for getting too many package not received complaints, there’s a few things you need to know.

Keep Records

This is one thing that cannot be stressed enough, keep your own records. You can track records any way you like… I personally keep a notebook in my vehicle.

If you have any strange delivery issues, write it down. If a certain area seems more shady than normal, make note of it. If the family dog has absconded with the package, call support to let them know and record the occurrence in your notebook. (Yes, that has happened.)

Keeping records ensures that you have accurate, reliable information to fall back on to make your case stronger that you actually delivered the package. This is essential for Amazon Flex reactivation.

Appeal

If you get an “Amazon package not received” complaint and it coincides with one of your records, provide the information to support.

Providing essential information increases the changes that they may remove the complaint from your record. It’s always worth a shot. Many people have reported having these complaints removed from their summary.

If you’re deactivated for too many “package not received” complaints, submit a respectful and detailed appeal using your personal records and any additional information that may be helpful to your case.

These complaints are only counted for the previous 500 deliveries. If it is a recurrent issue and continues even after winning a deactivation appeal, there will be very little you can do.

What do you think the best way to avoid an Amazon package not received notification is? Let us know by dropping your thoughts below!


Brett Helling

Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.

9 Comments

Here’s the opposite side of the issue – Flex drivers marking ‘Delivered’ when they are not and customers spending hours with -yes hours – with customer service (because of how much of an excruciating mess they’ve become)) – to find out the driver ‘miss scanned’ and will be delivered late the next day (costly for some businesses). In this weekend’s example – the delivery was set for an actual Amazon location for pick-up; so they know it’s not there. It’s been happening at an alarming rate in LA. Creates too much uncertainty for Amazon deliveries – which FYI – compromises the program for drivers who actually do things right. At the end of the day- the article correctly notes to keep track of things. Similarly, I hope Amazon holds accountable drivers who ‘miss scan’ things regularly as it’s been a major issue. And lastly – Amazon should take accountability for offering delivery times they can’t fulfill if they don’t have a reliable force to do so; they should clearly communicate so customers can plan better.

The one thing that isn’t addresed is the manner in which UPS & USPS and other delivery companies deliver their packages. They drop theirs wherever in plain view of porch pirates thus being the bait to our packages.

The one thing that isn’t addresed is the manner in which UPS & USPS and other delivery companies deliver their packages. They drop theirs wherever in plain view of porch pirates thus being the bait to our packages.

I delivered all my packages, but still got 3 emails about customer complaints. I was deactivated, filed an appeal, but this didn’t reverse their decision. Once you are deactivate your chances are slim or next to none to reactivate

I delivered all my packages, but still got 3 emails about customer complaints. I was deactivated, filed an appeal, but this didn’t reverse their decision. Once you are deactivate your chances are slim or next to none to reactivate

Just got a “Amazon Package NOT Received” by email. Only one after hundredth of packages delivered. Even after many kind email explaining what might happened, the attitude of the email sender was no matter what the mark I got was not going to change. And the customer’s complaint was going to remain confidential. So other than the area of town, how could I remember which house may not have received the package. Unless they keep hiring new delivery persons, these package not received will eventually catch up to any Flexers. I looked at cases involving other drivers and it seems consistent. Before that happens, I suggest move onto something better where they treat you more with trust…

Just got a “Amazon Package NOT Received” by email. Only one after hundredth of packages delivered. Even after many kind email explaining what might happened, the attitude of the email sender was no matter what the mark I got was not going to change. And the customer’s complaint was going to remain confidential. So other than the area of town, how could I remember which house may not have received the package. Unless they keep hiring new delivery persons, these package not received will eventually catch up to any Flexers. I looked at cases involving other drivers and it seems consistent. Before that happens, I suggest move onto something better where they treat you more with trust…

I think it’s a 50/50 between dishonest consumers and thieves. I’ve had heard of a driver in Washington state that was caught marking packages delivered and then taking them – he got caught from a customer’s video camera on the porch. But that’s not me! And as I was getting ready for my block this morning, I got an e-mail that a customer complained about a delivery from last week. Nope. I double check EVERY package. I’ve called CS 3-4 times EACH block because of non-existent addresses or whatever. I delivered that package. And there’s no recourse for me. There is absolutely NO way to avoid being a victim of liars and thieves. And it will just get more prevalent. What about the same address that claims packages weren’t delivered? Do those customers get banned from Amazon? I’m sick about this. And have just canceled my block today, two days before Christmas, because I can’t take being labeled incompetent, or a party to thievery and dishonesty.

I think it’s a 50/50 between dishonest consumers and thieves. I’ve had heard of a driver in Washington state that was caught marking packages delivered and then taking them – he got caught from a customer’s video camera on the porch. But that’s not me! And as I was getting ready for my block this morning, I got an e-mail that a customer complained about a delivery from last week. Nope. I double check EVERY package. I’ve called CS 3-4 times EACH block because of non-existent addresses or whatever. I delivered that package. And there’s no recourse for me. There is absolutely NO way to avoid being a victim of liars and thieves. And it will just get more prevalent. What about the same address that claims packages weren’t delivered? Do those customers get banned from Amazon? I’m sick about this. And have just canceled my block today, two days before Christmas, because I can’t take being labeled incompetent, or a party to thievery and dishonesty.