Amazon wants to deliver items to your car trunk and inside your house

By Shawn Knight ยท 18 replies
Oct 10, 2017
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  1. Amazon has more or less mastered the art of delivering products to your home in an affordable, timely fashion. In its quest for perfection, however, the e-commerce giant has inadvertently helped foster a band of thieves known as porch pirates.

    According to smart home device maker August, 11 million US homeowners had a package stolen in 2016. Furthermore, a survey from Shorr Packaging reveals that nearly one in three US shoppers have had a shipment swiped by thieves.

    It’s becoming quite the problem and not just for shoppers.

    Natalie Berg, an analyst at Planet Retail RNG, points out that in addition to the financial cost, failed delivery can impact a brand’s reputation and customer loyalty.

    In an effort to cut down on failed deliveries, Amazon is reportedly working with a company called Phrame which makes a license plate frame for your vehicle that doubles as a secure lock box. The idea is that delivery personnel could use Phrame to access a key to your car, open your trunk and place your package inside for safekeeping.

    Rumors surfaced late last month that Amazon was working with at least two connected security product manufacturers – August and Garageio – on an initiative that would grant delivery people temporary access to your home for the same purpose. Walmart announced a similar in-home service around the same time in partnership with August and Deliv.

    According to a recent report from CNBC, it appears as though Amazon has decided to develop its own smart doorbell device to achieve similar results. Presumably, it'd be a lot like Gate, a smart lock with a built-in video doorbell.

    While not confirmed, the report notes that Phrame products could be offered to Prime members free of charge. The doorbell may also be used for grocery delivery in regions where Amazon Fresh service is offered.

    Attempting to solve the last-mile delivery quandary isn’t a new venture as Amazon for years has experimented with private delivery lockers. There’s also Photo on Delivery, a service in which Amazon will take a picture of a delivered package and send it to the customer.

    Theft isn’t the only issue that online shoppers have to contend with. If left out in the elements, a sudden downpour can quickly ruin a package and its contents. Even something as simple as a gust of wind could send a lightweight package sailing.

    Of the two proposed options, vehicle trunk delivery seems to be the most practical. Personally, I’d rather gamble on someone stealing a package from my front door than let a stranger enter my home while I’m not there. Time will tell if the market is receptive to the idea.

    Lead image courtesy jlenda, 123RF

    Permalink to story.

  2. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 462   +804

    Outrageous suggestion : Have you thought about hiring a few competent delivery drivers that actually hand it to a person / trusted neighbor / make evening deliveries? Seems to work for literally every other mail-order firm except Amazon...
    MonsterZero likes this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 5,150   +4,223

    UPS, FedEx, and USPS are all falling victim to drop-and-run employees. It's actually become a bit of a problem in my area. Most don't even knock or ring the bell anymore.
    Reehahs, Tanman377, BlueDrake and 2 others like this.
  4. Godel

    Godel TS Booster Posts: 109   +47

    External insulated personal delivery lockers seem the best idea when space allows.

    You have a programmable key lock with different keys for different delivery companies.
  5. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +301

    Its a "morals" problem, and it seems to get worst with every generation. I see it at my work, statistically, the younger people just don't give a crap, and are more likely to steal. Its not a 100% of the time thing, but typically the younger the person, the less trustworthy it seems.

    In fact, my 17mo old girl already steals the TV remote, and my cellphone.
    Reehahs and davislane1 like this.
  6. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,216   +747

    Next story will read, "Amazon wants to wipe your butt."

    Thanks, but no thanks. Amazon is out of control!
    BSim500 likes this.
  7. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +112

    While it's nice.. what's to stop someone from stealing your vehicle (yes, it takes some crafty people.. with certain vehicles) or robbing your place with them having access to your home? It's nice to have easy access, when you can expect nobody will be there.

    I've had my package dropped off with no real notification, when nobody was there and it was just a simple $30 package. If that was something worth a few hundred dollars, I would be rather upset with them dropping off and leaving without warning. Yes I understand it's a hassle, having to make a second round trip.. what about having a second or third suggested drop-off point? That would just extend their work, so that's obviously out of the question.. (think of the workers, man!)

    If that was an option consider it, an extra charge or such to have alternate drop-off points. Provided they even check, with a lot of people usually don't often do. Much as I'd hate to ask.. what about the post office? They could use a small payment, as means to hold a package and it wouldn't go wandering off. Be within reason though for the sake of obscenely large packages that might get shipped.. but those are usually an exception. I'd be happy to have the post office hold it, even if it means making a trip up town. They are losing business slowly due to those like UPS, FedEx and the like making shipping even easier for businesses.

    A possible question for post offices, that are likely losing enough traction from regular citizens. Why not put an Amazon locker there, and they could be paid for renting the space to said lockers? It's where people usually go for picking up mail, and I'm sure they could use a means to not be closed out completely.
  8. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 5,150   +4,223

    Almost had this happen with a $700 monitor in retail packaging (product box, not the nondescript shipping box).
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,284   +4,188

    And I'm certain they don't have access to my car or home. So no it doesn't work for literally every other mail-order firm other than Amazon.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,717   +3,143

    Well, all of those entities have hand in creating "drop and run employees". With competition being as fierce as it is between dealers to keep offering free shipping at lower dollars purchase prices, the shipping companies are absorbing some of the costs, by pressuring drivers to make more stops a day. As everybody knows, sh!t rolls downhill.

    UPS has discontinued their, "3 tries at the front door policy", in favor of one try, and it goes to their, "access points". These can be a corner store, or lockers identical to those shown in the article, belonging to Amazon. (And boy are they a pain in the a**). There's sort of a joke about UPS' drivers, in that, "have you ever seen an old UPS guy"? I'm going to say, most likely not, since they run those guys pretty hard.

    The postal service has the fact that tampering with a package they've delivered, is a federal crime, still going for them. It's not much, but it's something.

    Amazon had a blurb on the TV news the other night, saying they're "going to photograph packages they've delivered", and tried to pass it off as though they will be doing you a favor.

    I haven't a clue how that's going to benefit the consumer, since now the won't have to replace stolen packages. But hang in there shoppers, they've got your best interests at heart. :eek:
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    Reehahs likes this.
  11. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 462   +804

    Is it really that bad in the USA? In the UK, it's still very much the norm to either 1. Attempt to redeliver the next day, or 2. Leave with a neighbor (then leave a "package delivered to neighbor #45" delivery note through the door so they can't claim they never received anything). (And we have some of the same couriers like UPS and DHL). And even those rare hostile neighbor disputes occur 1,000x less than leaving a $700 monitor in the middle of your garden and having it go "walkabout"...)

    Seriously, what's the problem with US courier firms knocking on a neighors door? It doesn't cost them more than it saves on a redelivery / refunding the retailer for stolen goods. All this money blown on absurd "experimentation" with its own problems when it sounds like the solution is simply better staff training. If a worker is bad enough that they can't be bothered to knock on a door, then it sounds like they're simply going to continue with the same pattern of behaviour with other tech, eg, using a drone to dump an item in the garden, not bothering to lock a lockbox, etc, and are pretty much the last people you want inside your house / going anywhere near your car anyway...
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,280

    "Amazon wants to deliver items to your car trunk and inside your house".
    I hope their delivery personnel have a good medical plan. There is absolutely no way I've ever give them authorisation to access my personal space.
  13. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,132   +132

    My car keys cost about $175 each. I have absolutely no plans to buy a spare, or for that matter a license plate frame hide-a-key, just so Amazon can make my deliveries more convenient. I'm also pretty sure that license plate frame would be illegal in my state as pictured.
    Reehahs and BSim500 like this.
  14. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,880   +909

    Depending on the area you live in, this could be a useful thing... For those living in upscale neighbourhoods in detached houses, this is more of an issue as these are becoming the targets of criminals.... Of course, the uber rich probably have someone at home 24/7 (butler, servant, etc) so they couldn't care less about this...

    If you live in an apartment building, then there is probably already a place to leave packages (a doorman, etc).

    But as people become more and more isolated, having a package delivered to a neighbour isn't an option.... once upon a time everyone knew their neighbours, and talked to them regularly. More and more often now, people see their neighbours infrequently and couldn't even give you their names - let alone trust them with a $1000 package...
  15. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,094   +2,585

    I'm wondering just how many people are already planning to have a bucket of fish delivered to their neighbors car trunk in the middle of July while he is on vacation? Got to admit, that is one business they could make a bundle over; "special delivery practical jokes" ....... patent pending.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,717   +3,143

    From the very little I've seen of shipping charges abroad, (mostly Thomann with musical instruments), "free shipping" doesn't seem to be as prevalent abroad , as it is here in the states. Perhaps the UK is more 'civilized' with respect to competition between sellers not affecting shippers.
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 2,738   +1,308

    Another overkill solution from crapAzon.

    USPS and FedEx both allow a package to be redirected, or held at a location just by entering the tracking number on their web sites. If other services allow that, too, I have no idea, but it would not surprise me.

    Problem solved!
  18. JaymondoGB

    JaymondoGB TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +12

    Thing is they will run out of customers as everyone will loose there jobs until these guys trade fairly like everyone else (exclude other tax dodgers here like Apple) has too. EU has finally fined them, if they refuse to pay, they should be removed from the European Market completely. Pay fair or get the feck out
  19. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +112

    Scary to hear. I can just see that kind of stuff happening, and yea if it's in a normal retail box it's likely going for a walk.. if nobody's around to stop or report it.

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