A California man found himself engaged in a bitter standoff with Amazon for more than four days after a driver for the delivery giant abandoned a van in his driveway last Friday.
The man, who chronicled the bizarre saga on social media and asked to be identified by his Twitter handle ‘Captain Lou’ out of fear that his employer would frown upon a public dispute with the delivery giant, told online tech magazine Motherboard Tuesday that the ordeal began last week, when he ordered a 24-pack of toilet paper from the company’s website.
Days later, on Friday night, a white Sprinter van pulled up to his house and dropped off the toiletry.
However, 15 minutes later, the man, Lou, noticed that the delivery van was still parked in his driveway, with the driver struggling to start the vehicle.
According to the homeowner, last Friday night, a Sprinter van pulled up to his house in Danville and dropped off a 24-pack of toilet paper that he had ordered earlier that week – but also left the vehicle behind, with no explanation
‘Okay Twitter lawyers,’ the homeowner jokingly wrote the following day. ‘How much time needs to pass before I can try and start the @amazon delivery truck that was abandoned in my driveway last night or, when does it become mine?’
‘I asked the guy, the driver, if he was OK,’ Lou told Motherboard, a subsidiary of Vice.
The driver responded that he was fine, but that the vehicle had been giving him trouble over the course of the day during his deliveries.
Then, the delivery man, whose identity has not been released, then told Lou that the check-engine light was on, and that the van had given him problems in the past.
He subsequently assured the homeowner that he would figure the issue out and leave his property.
About an hour later, however, when Lou was leaving his domicile, located in Danville according to his Twitter bio, to pick up his daughter from a football game, he noticed the van still parked in his driveway, repositioned so that there was space for him to pull out.
The ordeal began last week, when the man ordered a 24-pack of toilet paper from Amazon’s website
‘The driver had repositioned the truck so I could get out of the driveway, which is great,’ Lou told the tech outlet Tuesday.
However, the driver was nowhere to be found, and the van, which was filled with packages during Lou’s brief encounter with the Amazon staffer, was completely empty.
What’s more, the vehicle was unlocked, with the keys still left inside.
‘After the initial contact, the driver didn’t say anything, didn’t leave a note at all,’ the peeved homeowner revealed Tuesday, adding that the van was still there four days later.
The day after the initial encounter with the delivery man, Lou took to Twitter to detail the experience, tagging Amazon in a public post.
Multiple Amazon reps responded to a series of complaints Lou posted to social media after discovering the abandoned car, but neither helped remedy the situation, the homeowner said
‘Okay Twitter lawyers,’ the homeowner jokingly wrote Saturday at 12:18 pm Pacific Time. ‘How much time needs to pass before I can try and start the @amazon delivery truck that was abandoned in my driveway last night or, when does it become mine?’
Earlier that morning, Lou’s daughter had come into his room and notified him that the truck was again parked in a different position, and had turned around in the middle of the night.
‘So, sure enough, about 8 o’clock in the morning, somebody came and started the truck and drove it out into the street,’ Lou told Motherboard.
‘Apparently, it was not capable of going anywhere, so they just put it right back into my driveway – but 180 degrees from where it was the night before.’
However, with that said, whoever re-parked the truck was not as considerate as the first driver, leaving the vehicle in a position where Lou could not pull out of his own driveway.
‘So I went and opened the door to the truck, and sure enough the keys are in the truck and I just moved it over about five feet,’ Lou then revealed.
On Monday, Day Three of the strange saga, Lou took to Twitter again to provide onlookers with an update to the situation, again tagging Amazon in the post
Social media user quickly became enthralled by Lou’s burgeoning predicament that Saturday.
One observer suggested Lou check the van’s glove box for papers that might identify the driver and charge the owner a parking fee.
‘Check glove box for papers,’ the user wrote. ‘Charge owner for storage. AMZN will have to cover this poor sap or face an onslaught. They don’t need this right now.’
Another joked: ‘If you sleep in it overnight, it becomes your property. But beware: the truck is haunted!’ tagging Amazon in the post.
Then Amazon stepped in.
‘We’re sorry to hear this happened,’ a customer service rep for the delivery giant wrote Saturday, hours after Lou’s initial posting.
‘Let’s look into this matter together,’ the staffer continued. ‘When you’ve got a moment, please get in contact with us here.’ The rep then left customer service link that led to a form where he could complain about packages and deliveries.
The van was left on Lou’s property for more than four days with the keys left inside, ad well as a form detailing repairs administered on the vehicle weeks earlier. The car was experiencing engine trouble when the unnamed Amazon driver left it behind
‘We can provide additional assistance,’ the rep, who signed the post as from ‘Nani,’ further promised.
Lou then responded to the rep’s tweet, telling them that Amazon is lucky that he did not report the incident to local police.
The rep responded again that day, asking if the issue had been resolved – in a typo-laden post.
‘We’re [sic] you able to contact us through the link previously provided? if not please contact us there for additional assitance [sic]. -Nani’
Lou responded: ‘Which “What help do you need” box covers “broken down delivery van in my driveway”?’
Shortly after, staffer Nani again responded, providing the peeved homeowner further instruction on how to reach someone from the company who could help.
‘We’re sorry for not clarifying. We advise selecting “Something else” as the option and then “I need more help” This will start the chat with us and allow you to provide more information,’ Nani wrote Saturday afternoon.
After four days, the car was still in the man’s driveway, with Amazon still not rectifying the situation
Another rep reached out to ask Lou if there was any damage to his property, ignoring the three-ton metal elephant in the room, or sitting in Lou’s driveway.
‘There’s no property damage,’ Lou responded. ‘It’s not a big deal. This truck was sort of left here.’
‘Geez,’ one stunned spectator wrote in response to the series of puzzling public posts, ‘just move the van Amazon.’
Later that day, another rep sent Lou a link to talk to someone immediately.
‘I clicked the link and was connected with someone in Cardholder Services,’ Lou revealed to Motherboard.
‘I spent 10 minutes with a very polite, but clearly befuddled offshore agent who had no idea how to route my call to the “Disabled Van Department.”
‘But I’m pretty sure I have an Amazon credit card now,’ Lou joked.
Lou has since told Motherboard – and Twitter – that the company has since failed to make good on their promises and has yet to resolve the issue, with the massive motor vehicle still parked in his driveway today.
Lou also added that the vehicle is not an Amazon-branded truck – just a white Sprinter van that is often used by third-party contractors.
The homeowner says that it belongs to a company called Rugear Logistics, an Amazon Delivery Service Partner based in California.
‘But it’s delivering Amazon goods,’ Lou said. ‘And it’s been in my driveway since Friday night fully unlocked with the keys in the console.’
On Monday, Day Three of the strange saga, Lou took to Twitter again to provide onlookers with an update to the situation, again tagging Amazon in the post.
‘The @Amazon (Rudgear Logistics) van is still here in my driveway,’ the homeowner wrote that afternoon, in an apparent huff.
‘Instead of charging you $100 per day @AmazonHelp , you’re going to make a donation to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano (https://foodbankccs.org). So far you owe them $300,’ he declared.
The next night, on November 16, the van was still there.
‘Dusk is settling in as we approach Day 4 of the L’Affaire du Sprinter,’ Lou wrote in yet another lighthearted post that featured a photo of the conspicuous automobile, again tagging the delivery company.
According to Lou, the only clue to the van’s engine issues came in the form of repair order sitting on the vehicle’s passenger seat.
Lou, who works in the automotive industry, said that the van had only 400 miles on the odometer when he looked, and was repaired about two weeks ago at a Mercedes dealership in Pleasanton.
He also added that the check-engine light was on when he first moved the vehicle.
According to the paperwork provided by the dealership, Mercedes-Benz of Pleasanton, Lou discerned that the van had an airflow problem restricting its horsepower and limiting its use.
‘It’s a lemon,’ Lou said.
Eventually Amazon contacted Lou and told him to call the authorities and have it towed.
At first, Lou balked at the company’s brazen proposal.
A series of tweets from the homeowner on Tuesday revealed that Amazon finally moved the vehicle off his property – after more than four days
‘That’s a terrible solution,’ Lou told Motherboard Tuesday. ‘I’m not going to have the vehicle towed. Amazon should be able to figure this out,’ adding that his stance was an act of defiance against the delivery company.
‘I also just kind of want to see what happens,’ he then admitted to the outlet.
‘How long is it gonna take them to figure out that they have a delivery truck that’s just sitting somewhere?’
Later that morning, Lou got his answer.
According to a series of tweets from the homeowner and a statement from Amazon, the delivery giant made good on their promise Tuesday evening, covering the costs of towing the vehicle off Lou’s property.
What’s more, the delivery company used the same dealership that administered the repairs to cart it off.
‘As annoying as it is when new characters are introduced in the third act, welcome to the party @MercedesBenz of Pleasanton!’ Lou wrote at 5:34 pm, scolding the bodyshop for its shoddy repairs that left the van barely running, spurring the unnamed driver to leave the vehicle on his property.
In addition to covering the $450 cost to move the vehicle, according to Lou, Amazon gifted the homeowner $200 in gift card credit for the entire inconvenient affair.
‘A letter from Amazon in my account messages! As a token for my inconvenience, they added $200 to my gift card balance. Which means I’ll be donating $200 to @foodbankccs tomorrow. And when coupled with my corporate match, $400 will be going to an organization that does good,’ Lou wrote last night, with the vehicle finally off his premises.
A spokesperson Amazon offered DailyMail.com this statement when asked for comment Wednesday:
‘We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused the customer and his family.’
The company then confirmed that the delivery van was no longer on Lou’s property.
‘We’ve reached out to the customer to make it right,’ the statement attests.