Friday, March 2, 2018

Amazon snaps photos of deliveries at customers' doors

Online shopping can be extremely convenient, but then you have to deal with the small issue of actually receiving the goods. In the US, Amazon is testing a new system that snaps a photo of the packages left at the customer's door to prove they have been delivered.

In Portugal, receiving bulky parcels at home is a major nuisance for anyone who works and has no one at home during the day. The process usually goes like this: you get home at the end of the day, find a "attempted delivery" notice in your mail box, and then have take time to go to the nearest post office (during working hours) to pick up the parcel - a situation that makes most people (if they can) to use their work address to receive deliveries or use the address of a family member or friend who is usually at home during the day. In the US (at least in some places) deliveries are a lot simpler (though riskier) left at the door of the recipients. And now Amazon is adding photographic proof of the delivery.

When this happens, the customer receives a notification with the package at this door (having the option of opting out of future snapshots if he/she so chooses). Although this doesn't prevent a package from being stolen later on (or even right away, should a malevolent delivery guy snap the picture and then taking it away immediately) at least it gives an additional assurance that the order was physically at the customer's door - eliminating the suspicion of delivery men marking packages as delivered without even going to the place.

... Unless their photoshop skills start improving to create fake front porches photos, this is a a very nice feature to have. And it also helps understand why Amazon paid more than a billion dollars for Ring and its smart camera doorbells - as it will allow them to automate this process even further.

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