This is where the phone tree comes. People have been seen holding phones in trees outside of Whole Foods and Amazon delivery stations in the Chicago suburbs. Drivers who are in the scheme sync their phones to devices installed in trees. Amazon’s dispatch system shows that tree phones are nearby and sends gig offers to those devices. The drivers may be away, but notification arrives on their phone, and they can accept the job before competitors.
Some believe that an individual or group may be behind the tree-phone plan. They can charge drives to secure more routes, which would be a violation of Amazon’s policies. Masterminds, or brains, can hang multiple devices from a given tree to avoid detection by Amazon. This would not be the first time drivers found a workaround in Amazon’s regulations.
In an email viewed by Bloomberg, Amazon said it would investigate but would not share the outcome of its investigation with delivery drivers. Amazon spokesman declined to provide Bloomberg A Comment.