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Amazon is photographing deliveries to show where they've been left

By midian182 · 36 replies
Mar 2, 2018
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  1. Amazon’s speedy delivery service is great, but we can’t always be at home to receive our packages. To improve its service, the company has been rolling out a new system that involves taking photos to show where a delivery has been placed on a person's property.

    The system allows couriers to leave packages in safe places where they’re less likely to be spotted by thieves. Taking a photo of the location for the owner will probably be easier than having to explain its whereabouts. Additionally, it can also be used as proof that the items were dropped off at a person’s address. The image is included in the notice of delivery received by customers.

    According to USA Today, the program, called Amazon Logistics Photo on Delivery, has been around for six months but the delivery device and app has only just been updated so all drivers can take photos. It’s currently available in select markets, including Oregon, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, and the Northern Virginia metro areas.

    “Amazon Logistics Photo On Delivery provides visual delivery confirmation — it shows customers that their package was safely delivered and where, and it’s one of many delivery innovations we’re working on to improve convenience for customers,” said an Amazon spokesperson, Kristen Kish.

    There have been several occasions where I’ve struggled to find my Amazon parcel from a description that simply read “in backyard.” I’ve also had delivery confirmations stating a package went to my home when in reality it arrived at a different address, so I can see the advantages of such a system. But there will be those who aren’t happy about having their properties photographed; thankfully, users can opt out of the system. And it’s definitely less invasive than allowing a courier into your empty home.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,448   +2,902

    It might be less evasive but if that database gets hacked with your picture of your house, address and history of purchases it would be a great "how to, when to, where to" for every burglar out there. I hope some intelligent judge throws the book at Amazon the first time it happens ....
    kombu likes this.
  3. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Maniac Posts: 269   +174

    #1 I'm not letting Amazon into my house when I'm not home.

    #2 Drone deliveries ain't happening any time soon.

    #3 The most logical thing to do is have 24/7 delivery services - even if you need to make use of UBER cars - so that I can accept a delivery physically round the clock.

    Back up 24-7 delivery services with a mobile app chat that lets me coordinate with the deliverer and there's no way it can go wrong or my package can be intercepted by theft.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,559   +671

    Uhh... that is creepy. Residential parcel deliveries should only be allowed to be dropped off at or near the front door, no further than say 3 meters. If you don't have a inconspicuous location for packets to be out of sight from the street then that is unfortunate, better invest in a security camera if thieves are a problem in your area.
  5. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Addict Posts: 115   +78

    They've been doing this locally for about a year. Interestingly they Amazon drivers have never taken a picture of my packages and they've always left it in the wrong place or a public place. Plus they say they delivered the package when they haven't and then it shows up an hour later (after their delivery window ended at 8pm). A coworker says she likes it because she knows which neighbor's house they actually delivered it to.
    Tanstar and drjekelmrhyde like this.
  6. You all know USPS does this on all of their trucks, right? The only difference here is that Amazon is forwarding you the picture instead of keeping it secret.
    drjekelmrhyde and lostinlodos like this.
  7. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,279   +310

    As Jeff said, Amazon has been doing this in my area for some time. Strangely, it doesn't happen with every delivery, only every 3rd one or so. In the order tracking screen, a photo is given, and I can give feedback on the quality.

    It doesn't necessarily bother me -- they only take a picture of the packages themselves and the labels aren't legible, so the most anyone sees is the color of my door and a bit of cement -- but it is a strange move. Who is this benefitting? I guess it does serve to cover the delivery driver in the event that a package is stolen, but I'm at a loss beyond that.
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,128   +2,558

    There is one more downside to this. A dishonest delivery person may take a picture and then take the parcel back with him, and then later use the photo to prove he delivered the parcel.
    techcurious likes this.
  9. silence911

    silence911 TS Rookie

    I've been driving for Amazon Flex for over half a year all over the LA metro area. I've been taking pictures since day one, so I'm not sure why this is new news now . . . and customers have been able to view these picture for as long as I can remember.
    drjekelmrhyde and BSim500 like this.
  10. Guillermo Belli

    Guillermo Belli TS Member Posts: 25   +19

    Exactly what I was thinking.
  11. Jewelz

    Jewelz TS Rookie

    I am an honest, Amazon courier. The photos are taken to assist the customer in locating the package, as well as Amazon logistics verifying the package went to the correct house. Say a dishonest driver, does take a picture, and take the package. If you contact Amazon, your package has the drivers name on it through the barcode number. And when talking about hackers, the only way these photos would be useful to them, is for that specific package. Couriers have no odea what we are delivering and there is absolutely no purchase or payment history attached to the app. It literally has the customers name, address, how many packages and any customer notes you leave.

    Im a person who doesnt work for shiesty companies. I can tell you with 100% certainty, that Amazon cares about your packages and their secure delivery, as much as the couriers do.

    If a courier puts the package in an unsafe place, or a package is stolen, THE DRIVER recieves a demerit. After so many, you get suspended. I promise you, 95% of these drivers are just trying to make an honest living.
  12. Jewelz

    Jewelz TS Rookie

    Saaaaaaaame....idk why theyre acting like this is brand new. Amazon Flex has been in affect for nearly 2 years, and im still treated like im trying to steal children, or rob a house, or that im the FBI staking out some ladies house (all real accusations)
    Tanstar likes this.
  13. Jewelz

    Jewelz TS Rookie

    24/7 delivery would be beneficial, only problem is, delivery drivers have a set route of between 30 (part time) and 330(max full time) parcels a day to deliver. The only way to coordinate with the driver is through customer notes. And even then you arent guaranteed a sucessful delivery. For example, a customer says not to deliver until after 630pm. Say that delivery driver gets done with route at 530. They will swing by the residence to see if the customers home, and if not, it goes back to warehouse to be shipped the next day. You cant expect Amazon couriers to personalize every delivery for every customer. We do the best we can do, with what we are given.
  14. LordFox

    LordFox TS Rookie

    Yea was great to see a picture of someone else's house in the picture they sent, made it easier to figure out they left my package at the neighbors house. No joking there is a serious problem with how deliveries are far too often not taken to the right address. But who do we blame the ppl in a hurry to make 100's of deliveries in short amount of time or the companies who take no responsibility in losing your package UPS/FED EX ???

    as time goes more and more ppl will find themselves trying to get refunds or find where their purchases went ....
    Tanstar likes this.
  15. Jewelz

    Jewelz TS Rookie

    Youre absolutely right. But this is where it gets technical. Couriers have a different contract with Amazon then UPS/FEDEX and then theres also a different contract for USPS. I, personally, would rather have a courier deliver. Couriers arent allowed to mishandle packages, and are allowed to return them to the warehouse if your property has no safe hiding area. USPS on the other hand, ISNT ALLOWED TO RETURN PARCELS TO THEIR WAREHOUSE. which means they will leave packages in open daylight, or legitimately throw them over your fence.
  16. Jewelz

    Jewelz TS Rookie

    Also, youre absolutely right about our navigational systems. They...are...HORRIBLE...and our routes are created half a country away, so they dont know what we will actually face during the route.
  17. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 453   +298

    "thankfully, users can opt out of the system"

    Umm, how about users are automatically OPT OUT??? Why do all of these companies just add us to a bunch of crap we don't want? Kind of like companies automatically blasting us with spam with a purchase? Ridiculous.
  18. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Addict Posts: 203   +80

    This is just to save their own butts. This does nothing for the consumer
    wiyosaya likes this.
  19. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,073   +1,548

    USPS and FedEx both have "signature required" - if you are not there, they take the package back to the local post office, or FedEx location, leave a note that they tried to deliver it with a phone number you can call to either have them redeliver - if you sign their note - or arrange to pick it up. The catch - it costs more.
    This ^
  20. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 128   +88

    That assumes that the USPS carrier would actually attempt to deliver the parcel. Best I've ever gotten was a little note in the mailbox to go get it at the post office.
  21. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,834   +193

    I am FedEx and the packages are left at the door unless you request them to be signed. Once they leave the truck it's up to customer to take control. Only if the package is damage or leaking then we're take action. If the package can't be delivered then you have to make arrangements to come to the nearest warehouse in your area to pick up your packages. Amazon is just doing it seeking take pictures see your packages are there and when you get home their not there. Then someone else has taken your packages. Should Amazon be liable yes or no? Good question? Always read the fine print...
  22. RealNeil

    RealNeil TS Member Posts: 22   +16

    This just gives them proof of delivery. It doesn't bother me at all.
    Tanstar likes this.
  23. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,073   +1,548

    You got your package, right?

    What would you have been more displeased at - not getting your package because it got stolen off your front step or having to go to the post office to get it? Sure, going to the post office is inconvenient, but not getting your package after it was delivered to your door and not being able to claim insurance is something that I think you would have been more displeased with.

    The whole point here is that crapAzon is playing cover its a$$ because they delivered your package and it got stolen from your doorstep. crapAzon is only in the game to make money, and they do not care if your package gets stolen off your doorstep because it would cost them extra to make an additional delivery attempt where FedEx and the Post Office will do so if you request them to do so.

    I've sold some things on e-bay that were expensive and shipped them signature required. It costs a whole $1.00 extra, but it ensures that it gets into the hands of the rightful recipient.
  24. quadibloc

    quadibloc TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +14

    Leaving the parcels outside means that they will be stolen. Period. So taking pictures should not be viewed as a way to be allowed to get away with dumping stuff.
  25. lostinlodos

    lostinlodos TS Booster Posts: 138   +24

    I’m all for this. Really, your house is ALREADY on public display to begin with. There’s no invasion of privacy issue here.
    On the other hand I’ve had deliveries that literally took near an hour to find, though from UPS, not Amazon. The box is In the bushes? We have a few of those. WHICH bush. Numb-nuts.
    I also get neighbors mail all the time! CORRECT address, wrong house. Some of these are (look) important like tax companies, memberships, etc. If a typo can happen on guarded items like that, who knows where that missing package is!
    Photos are definitely useful!

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