We’ve all been there: Expecting an important package delivery only to arrive home to a UPS “we missed you, final notice” notification on the door. Or worse, spent countless hours trying to locate a missing shipment that a vendor claims was left on your front stoop— available for any passerby to scoop up.
We’re all shopping more online, so wranging packages has become the new normal. But the quest to receive a package has gotten so cumbersome and frustrating, people are opting to ship things to alternate addresses, like work, just to guarantee there’s someone there to accept delivery. It’s 2017, right? There has to be a better way.
Well, Amazon just introduced Amazon Key—and I’m curious to hear what you think. It’s a brand-new in-home delivery service that allows for secure and convenient deliveries for Prime members. By using the service, you allow a verified Amazon delivery person to come into your home and drop packages off… even if you’re not there.
There’s a $250 investment up front: In order to use the service, your home needs to be equipped with Amazon Key’s In-Home Kit, which includes the Amazon Cloud Cam indoor security camera and a compatible smart lock from Kwikset or Yale.
Once that’s installed, the Amazon Key system works to verify that the correct driver is at the door, activate an indoor home monitoring camera and unlock the door. From there, it records a video of your package being placed inside and the door being locked and shut. You’ll even get a confirmation that the delivery is complete, with the option to log in and watch the whole drop-off live.
Once you invest in Amazon Key, the same system used to unlock your door can provide keyless access to your home for family and friends, as well as service appointments like your dog walker or cleaning lady.
Another similar option—and proof this is becoming a trend— is an in-home delivery service provided by August and Walmart. Install the August Smart Lock Pro and Pro Connect for $279 and a delivery person uses a one-time code to securely drop packages inside when you’re not there, except that Walmart is testing out an additional concept: Fridge delivery for perishable groceries.
I’m on the fence on this one guys: I love the efficiency, but I’m unsure about giving even a verified stranger access to my home. Even if I can watch the play-by-play, imagine the horror of watching the delivery guy rummage around in your mail pile, or accidentally let your dog out the front door?
I feel like in-home delivery services are a next logical step for e-commerce, given all the packages we’re receiving these days. Personally, after a couple of package theft incidents, I’m gunshy about having anything of value delivered to my home. Luckily, I have a local UPS mailbox for my business, so I send more and more personal packages there because I know they’ll be safe until I can collect them… but that’s a pretty extreme (and expensive) option.
Also, I feel like I’d maybe rather let someone into my garage than my home… or maybe a package shed? Maybe a smart garage door opener should ultimately be part of the service for those of us who have garages?
What do you think? Would you try one of these services or is it too weird?
Photo from Rue Magazine