Amazon To Solve the Package Theft Problem Once and For All?

by Prince Of Petworth October 6, 2016 at 2:45 pm 44 Comments


Thank to a reader for sending No more missed deliveries: Amazon trials technology that will let drivers leave parcels INSIDE your home:

“The retailer is reportedly planning to trial ‘home access’ deliveries, where drivers are given one-off access to a customer’s home to leave the package.

According to Endgadget, two companies close to Amazon are looking at developing smart locks which would provide delivery drivers with a code for a customer’s garage or hallway, where they could leave the package.”

Is this something you’d be comfortable doing? Of course you’ll still have to pay that sales tax

  • PettyShabazz

    I would consider it if I had a camera outside and inside my front door and there was a real time notification of when it was happening, even greater if there was the ability for me to accept/deny delivery/entry option.

  • BlueStreak

    Assuming the delivery people are bonded, I would absolutely sign up for this. I mean if something goes wrong it is completely traceable.

  • PettyShabazz

    Also would be super cool for those who have double entry ways where the package could be left after the first door without actually granting access to the main house

    • I think that’s what they’re implying by “hallway”. I can’t imagine this would apply to homes where you walk straight in.

  • Satinger

    The capital costs of this seem high. Why can’t we have Amazon Lockers in DC? Is this a regulatory issue? We had a package with worms stolen this week. WTF.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      The thieves don’t know what is in the package until after they steal it…

      • [rrrrr]

        That’s not true in my experience. Every time I have had one stolen, the box is left behind, having been ripped open and emptied. And we’ve had plenty that were ripped open and left when it turned out to be toilet paper or some such.

    • Lisa

      We couldn’t have Amazon lockers in DC because Amazon wasn’t collecting sales tax. Once they start collecting sales tax, we should hopefully be seeing some Lockers pop up.

      Sorry about your worms being stolen :(

      • Anon

        Amazon started collecting tax six days ago…

    • meh

      A few months ago, someone stole a 40 lb bag of cat litter. I hope they lugged it far away…I’d love to see the look on their face when they opened it.

  • Cleveland Park runner

    Not a chance.

  • yonas

    This is just ridiculous. It solves one security problem by creating a potentially larger one. No way in hell I would sign up for this.

    People who have a problem with package theft should only consider the following options as safe:

    1) Have it delivered to your office (if you have an office job).
    2) Get a PO Box at your nearest post office and have all packages delivered there.

    • oh2dc

      1. Feds don’t allow office delivery.
      2. Many retailers will not deliver to a PO Box

      • FridayGirl

        +1 to oh2dc.
        Before I had a front desk, I would just have UPS or FedEx hold my packages. USPS had a key to our building so they’d put packages inside, but of course, that doesn’t stop thefts if someone gets into the building…

      • MR

        oh2dc hits the nail on the head. Federal offices don’t allow you to receive personal items, and PO boxes will only work if it’s shipped via USPS.
        My solution has been to rent a mailbox at the UPS Store, because they receive all packages. It’s $28 per month, or less than a dollar per day, and I can pick up my boxes on my way home from work. It’s the best solution I could find.

        • distritera

          Just FYI for people who live/work in Adams Morgan or north Dupont: Base Camp, a great little shipping facility/graphic design shop on 18th & T, receives packages for about $2 each.

          • MR

            That’s great to know, thanks!

        • Ur wrong

          This is wrong. If you sign a form once, usps will accept from fedex, ups, etc. Usps on ga ave has been accepting fedex and ups at my PO box for YEARS.

        • On Capital Heels

          I think this info may be outdated, as USPS has changed its policy in the last few years. Now you can get a PO Box with real street addressing (i.e., your address is that of the post office, and you actual assigned box is treated like an apartment number , though you are NOT allowed to include the word apartment ). Also, you can have UPS and FedEx deliveries made to that PO Box.


    • JL

      There are also amazon lockers available nearby. There is one in the 7-11 near my work in Silver Spring, Maryland. Just hop over the state line and you can pick it up at one of those.

  • wdc

    1. That source is shit.
    2. Hell no.

  • Anon

    Haha, NOPE! I’d much rather risk stolen packages than being burgled. Say they don’t fully latch the door closed by accident … (not even thinking about intentional misdoings).

    • Anon

      Also to add: if I lose an Amazon package, they’ll ship me a replacement stat. I can’t imagine they’d write me checks for missing computers, etc just as easily. This is pretty dumb all around. But points for trying?

  • jim_ed

    I think I’d be okay with it, my dog once he sees a stranger coming into the house alone in the middle of the day however….

  • Tsar of Truxton

    Too hard with an alarm system.

    • anon

      Unless it’s one (like mine) that can be remotely armed and disarmed.

  • condoer

    I think this could work well for a lot of smaller condo buildings that have a common hallway but no fob’d entry (it’s my experience that UPS/USPS usually get a code so they have access to fob’d buildings).

    • FridayGirl

      But who would pay for or grant permission for that? Would it be the property owner? Or a renter who everyone else then free-rides off of?

    • Hill Denizen

      USPS had a key to a box that held the key to the front door of my old building (3 apartments). UPS and FedEx didn’t have one, but I never had anything stolen (we were on a somewhat busy street and packages were usually fairly well hidden by stone railing on our landing which was up quite a few steps).

    • condoer

      I assume the condo association would pay for the smart lock installation (unless amazon is offering to pay for it) and it could be used by all residents. I’m thinking about this for a converted row house condo with maybe 4-6 units.

  • Anony

    Absolutely NOT

  • OP Anon

    I think I figured out why Amazon starts to charge sales tax this week. They are probably about to launch the Amazon Prime Now delivery service, where you can get stuff delivered straight to your door – like a can of soda and rolls of toilet paper – in 2 hours or less. It works like the Uber model, where you need to meet the delivery man at your curb. My friends are already doing it in Los Angeles and they love it.
    So yeah, they probably need a central distribution center within the city to get it rolling out. If you look on the Prime Now site, you’ll see that DC is not listed (yet).

  • anon

    Solving package theft problem, creating everything else theft problem… interesting tradeoff!

  • EcceNerdo

    My biggest problem with this is Amazon’s tendency to hire sketchy expediting services. People that can’t get a job working for Uber because of bad driving/questionable backgrounds are delivering packages. More than once I’ve had them scan my package as delivered and never had it arrive. One had a deadline of 6 pm to deliver. He marked the package delivered and called me at 9 pm on a Friday to deliver the same package. I was tragically stuck at the office and couldn’t go down to actually confirm it was him. It was a whole big hassle. Until they have more trustworthy delivery services, I’m not signing up for it.

    • Anonymous

      This is a big issue. We had two boxes of shoes marked as delivered but never arrived on our doorstep. They magically showed up on our doorstep 5 days later without warning, after we had already reported them as stolen and received refunds. The whole system is just sketchy AF.

  • anon

    I already have a smart lock (and cameras inside and outside my home), and frequently let Postmates/Instacart/other people in remotely so they can stick things in my fridge or whatever. No qualms here.

    • jumpingjack

      Wait, Postmates/Instacart people will put things in your fridge when you’re not home? That seems mighty personal.

      • anon

        I try not to leave the unmentionables in the fridge those days.

        • textdoc


        • PettyShabazz


      • FridayGirl

        My thought, too! Hahaha! That’s too funny.
        I mean, if I was them I wouldn’t mind but I feel like my personal space is being invaded a little even when I ask friends to get things from the fridge…

    • James

      What type of smart lock do you have? I have been looking at some but didn’t get a chance to read reviews yet.

  • Karen

    I have a CONSPICUOUS camera, none of that hidden stuff. I have had one theft in 3 years since I got the camera, and promptly emailed the video to the police. I live off of H St. NE, where we have lots of thefts, and the police have contacted me a couple of times to see if I had things on my recording to help in an investigation of a theft. Works well. I got mine before they started giving rebates. Totally worth it now.

  • Cassie

    I would prefer to have a huge built-in chest on my porch that has a smart-lock that Amazon can open.


Subscribe to our mailing list