Amazon says bottles allegedly containing delivery drivers’ urine listed as energy drink on its website was a ‘crude stunt’ – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Amazon says bottles allegedly containing delivery drivers’ urine listed as energy drink on its website was a ‘crude stunt’

Oobah Butler said he listed Amazon drivers’ urine on the site.

Courtesy of Oobah Butler

Oobah Butler says he was able to list and sell Amazon drivers’ urine on the marketplace.
Butler said that he marketed the urine as a “bitter lemon” energy drink called “Release.”
An Amazon spokesperson called it a “crude stunt” and said no “genuine customer” bought the product.

Amazon allowed a user on its site to sell bottles of its drivers’ urine that were marketed as an energy drink, according to a Channel 4 documentary.

In the documentary “The Great American Heist,” filmmaker and past prankster Oobah Butler said he collected discarded bottles of Amazon drivers’ urine to sell on the ecommerce site and titled the drink “Release.” Butler said the drink became the top seller on Amazon’s “Bitter Lemon” category and the product was made from bottles or urine that he found discarded near Amazon fulfillment centers.

An Amazon spokesperson called Release a “crude stunt” and said no “genuine customer” bought the product.

“Safety is a top priority for Amazon and we require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations,” the spokesperson said. “We have industry-leading tools to prevent genuinely unsafe products being listed and we monitor our stores for genuine product safety concerns. Any sellers who circumvent these policies will face action.”

Butler told WIRED it was “surprisingly easy” to get the product listed on the site and Amazon’s algorithm moved the product into its drinks category on the site after he’d put it in the “Refillable Pump Dispenser” category. While Butler got some friends to purchase the product and never sold the item to any real customers, he told Insider he estimated that he had about 10 genuine customers who tried to buy the product on Amazon.

Release has since been taken off the Amazon marketplace.

Release was listed on Amazon, but has since been taken down.

WayBack Machine

“At the heart of Release Energy’s story lies a dedication to empowering Amazon delivery drivers, unsung heroes who face immense pressures navigating impossibly demanding schedules,” a portion of Release’s production description reads. “Tasked with impossibly tight deadlines, these drivers find themselves in a relentless race against time, often sacrificing their own needs to ensure packages reach their destinations. Release Energy was born from the desperation and determination of those Amazon delivery drivers who dared to have bodily movements over the course of their gruelling shifts, who found themselves faced with a choice between fulfilling their contractual obligations and finding a bathroom. Each Release Energy drink is entirely comprised of their urine, as it was found decanted into bottles and discarded by the side of the road.” 

Butler told Insider he decided to make the documentary and try to list the bottles on Amazon to help shed some light on the company’s impact on society, including on its workers who have said they’ve been forced to urinate in bottles to meet strict deadlines.

Butler said he even worked undercover at an Amazon facility in Coventry for three days before he was identified. He also spoke to workers who said they’d taken to urinating in bottles to meet Amazon’s delivery deadlines.

Insider has previously reported that urinating in bottles has become a common part of the job for Amazon delivery drivers. In the past, the company has denied its delivery drivers pee in bottles, but later admitted some of its drivers do urinate in bottles on the job.

On Monday, an Amazon spokesperson told Insider that drivers are given reminders to take breaks throughout the day.

“Channel 4 has presented a heavily distorted picture of our processes and operations that do not reflect the realities of shopping with or working for Amazon,” the spokesperson said. “We strive every day to create the most trusted experience for our customers and the safest environment for our colleagues – and we work fast to immediately fix anything falling below our high-standards.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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