Grocery-delivery company Shipt along with several other tech companies have experienced large-scale service issues Wednesday due to an outage of Amazon.com Inc’s widely used cloud service, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The outage affected services from Roku to Flickr and company websites to software firms.
Some Twin Cities Shipt contract workers, who deliver groceries and other products to customers, say they have not been able to accept orders and have encountered additional problems on the busy shopping day before Thanksgiving.
“We are actively working to address the AWS outage and the impacts it is having on the Shipt shopper and customer apps,” said Danielle Schumann, a Shipt spokeswoman, in an e-mail midafternoon on Wednesday.
“While we are able to receive and process some orders, we are taking steps to manage capacity,” she said. “We have communicated with our retail partners and Shipt shoppers and will continue to update them as this situation develops. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide updates as soon as possible.”
Target-owned Shipt did not provide any other details. Earlier at noon, Shipt announced on Twitter it was experiencing “disrupted service.”
Some Shipt workers expressed frustration on social media as they dealt with widespread issues on a day that was expected to be busy with orders. More consumers have turned to grocery delivery services like Shipt and Instacart as the coronavirus pandemic has continued to discourage many from physically visiting stores.
Adding to the discontentment, many Shipt workers, who are independent contractors, were working Wednesday to earn cash bonuses from $50 to $300 that Shipt said it was giving to shoppers as an incentive based on workers’ number of shops completed between Wednesday and Cyber Monday.
“Shipt’s app had systemwide issues where no one could accept orders and many could not process orders,” said Twin Cities Shipt worker Kandy Halley, in an e-mail. “Many also unable to reach customers by phone due to issues. Many shoppers sitting and waiting for issues to get fixed. Lost wages. Possibly lost meeting bonus quotas. Customers also lose out. All when it’s super busy the day before Thanksgiving.”
Halley has been vocally critical of Shipt leadership saying Shipt’s Thanksgiving “bonuses” were not adequate for the amount of work to fill orders over the next few days and that a new payment algorithm that Shipt instituted across the country at the end of September has severely cut workers’ pay.
Shipt has said the new pay structure is supposed to more accurately pay workers based on effort such as making a delivery during high traffic times.
The AWS outage, besides affecting several companies, has also affected the ability to post updates to its service health dashboard, the company said.
“Kinesis has been experiencing increased error rates this morning in our US-East-1 Region that’s impacted some other AWS services. We are working toward resolution,” an AWS spokesperson said in a statement.
Amazon Kinesis — a part of the company’s cloud offerings — collects, processes and analyzes real-time data and offers insights.
Amazon’s cloud service business is thriving on higher demand from companies switching to virtual offices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sales from AWS, which sells data storage and computing power in the cloud, rose about 29% in the third quarter.
Includes reporting from Reuters