Delivery drivers say they are being “harassed” and “shamed” by customers who have Ring doorbells — and use the gadgets to heckle workers and even embarrass them publicly by posting videos on social media, according to a report.
Ring owners are using the high-tech Amazon doorbells to indulge in “boss behavior,” using their speech feature to barrage delivery drivers with instructions and complaints — whether they’re from FedEx, UPS, DoorDash, UberEats — or Amazon itself, according to a report by the research firm Data & Society.
In one case, a Ring user captured a video of an Amazon delivery driver appearing to have a mental breakdown last year, shouting “S–t” repeatedly before driving off yelling. The homeowner posted the video to TikTok, which racked up over 1.3 million views and over 8,000 comments.
“Why should you put someone on social media?” one driver told Data & Society. “That’s like an invasion of privacy, too, and it doesn’t end up well. You can imagine how the family of that driver feels when they see that footage.”
Many viral Ring videos have captured delivery drivers abusing packages by throwing them, kicking them, or leaving them unreasonably far from the door. One clip last year even captured a delivery worker driving his UPS truck over a home’s freshly sodded front lawn in order to turn around on the street.
Still, the Data & Society report concluded that while the doorbells allow for added security and home protection, many people use them for unnecessary surveillance. Drivers, meanwhile gripe that they don’t deserve to be publicly shamed.
“Why don’t you just report directly to Amazon, and maybe they can deal with it?” a driver told the research firm. “I feel like those types of things are an invasion of privacy, to be honest.”
One driver from Lakewood, Florida said, “I don’t like the whole camera thing…but what choice do I have? There is no choice. If I don’t like it, then I got to go work at the supermarket for 12 dollars an hour. So I have no choice.”