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Would you let an Amazon delivery driver into your home?

Amazon Key

‘Sorry we missed you!’ Four words that never fail to sour the contented feeling of getting home from work – so disappointing. But is Amazon Key the safe alternative?

That Blu-ray you ordered for a last-minute movie night, the new dress you wanted for the party at the weekend, the birthday present for your sister that had to arrive today or else. All those lovely things now reduced to a small piece of card with some hastily written information telling you they’re at your local depot.

Deflated and dejected you try and rearrange delivery, or consider the prospect of getting up before the sun does to visit your depot before work. But what if there was another way?

Amazon, always eager to push the boundaries of convenient delivery, has come up with a slightly mad, slightly risky approach to make sure you never miss a delivery again.

If you thought the one-click Amazon Dash service or drones dropping parcels into your back garden was out there, then how about a door that unlocks for delivery drivers, letting them deposit your purchase safely in your hallway?

Amazon Key

You need a few bits of smart tech for Amazon’s barmy solution to work. The Amazon Cloud Cam and smart lock make up the Amazon Key In-Home Kit. Once it’s installed you can start selecting in-home delivery when you place an order.

The delivery driver will always knock first and, if no one answers, Amazon will then verify the driver is indeed an Amazon employee and unlock the door. Your parcel can then be left safely inside your front door. When the door unlocks, the cloud cam starts recording so you can see what’s going on. You can also block access if you suddenly get squeamish about the idea of letting a stranger into your home.

It sounds safe in theory. The driver is an Amazon employee and they will need to be verified before the door to your home is unlocked. But what’s to stop a burglar from following that driver and gaining access to your valuables? Sure, there’s a camera trained on the doorway, but a balaclava will render that useless. This could potentially put delivery drivers at risk, too. As criminals get wise, what’s to stop them leaning on a driver and forcing them to provide access to the Amazon Key-equipped homes on their route?

Will you be using Amazon Key?

No, it doesn't sound very safe. (77%, 336 Votes)

I'll wait to see what people think about it. (15%, 65 Votes)

It's probably worth a try. (5%, 21 Votes)

Yes, it sounds extremely convenient. (4%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 438

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For now, only brave US Amazon Prime customers can opt to pay $250 dollars for Amazon Key and there are still many questions that need answering and fears that need to be allayed before the system arrives in the UK.

Is the inconvenience of missing a parcel enough for you have Amazon Key installed? Let us know your thoughts.

Comments

I suppose we’re lucky, since we already have a similar, albeit ‘unofficial’ arrangement with almost all our delivery agents. With some extremely rare exceptions, our agents know where they can leave parcels if we’re out.

But we certainly wouldn’t go the expense of having an Amazon Key installed, even were it ever to be offered to the UK, anyway, which seems rather doubtful at the moment, if for no other reason than the simple fact that Amazon don’t employ their own delivery agents, as far as I know. But busy people living in flats might well find something akin to the service to be very useful, perhaps.

Anthony A Gunby says:
19 January 2018

I agree amazon UK does not use its own delivery workers. It uses 3rd party white van drivers all over the UK. And as for some flats they would need to gain access to the building first. So I would not use it.

In my view, Amazon is too big, which makes competition difficult. When the supermarkets arrived, many local shops were forced out of business. For this and other reasons I rarely use Amazon, so I don’t need an Amazon Key.

bishbut says:
2 November 2017

I will take any parcels for all residents on our street many delivery drivers know this and if unable to deliver try my house .I keep an eye open for anyone trying to deliver when I know there might be no one at home .I am not at home all the time though but always like to help if I can

Delivery drivers usually try adjacent houses and we take in parcels for our neighbours. Why should I trust an Amazon employee anymore than anyone else I don’t know? I cant even trust Amazon to sell me safe goods 🙁
Our local newsagent now has an installation of Amazon orange lockers controlled by a touch screen that is presumably an automated click and collect. Why the staff can’t deal with it beats me; they already handle returns for M&S and others.

No, I will never get Amazon Key for the reasons given above.

It sounds horrendous and would almost definitely invalidate an insurance claim should the worst happen.

I expect Amazon will be dealing with all your insurance needs in future alfa. I’m surprised they haven’t entered the housing market.

Give it time malcolm, give it time……….

Unfortunately, as a dog owner this is definitely not an option. Even if I trusted the delivery person my dogs wouldn’t. However, I can see why this would be helpful for people who work away a lot or aren’t home much.

What first comes to mind is, no way, Jose. What next comes to mind after reading Martin’s convo is, no way, Jose. And after reading the convo contributions the conclusion is, no way, Jose.

Are all their delivery drivers Mexican, then? 🙂

Every single Amazon “enterprise ” in this direction has been hacked – 800,000 at the last one accounts comprised. Look I see where Which is coming from and as I have said many times I dont mind Which making money especially as its already involved with Amazon but people have to be realistic . I have a long list of hacked innovations by Amazon and this one is no different . I cant understand why at least the regulars here cant see that all those easy to use apps arent 100 % secure regardless of who is pushing them . The public will want this, as always , then – 1 year or less later -all my data has been stole/ or how tghey get mu y details ?? no not by magic but by intelligent hackers. I look forward to helping those in trouble with this in the future as I have details of hacking methods employed but dont ask me to post them. All the same its good future business for Which Convo. Bishbut has already said -dont trust the internet- he is right.

The whole idea is just beyond nuts. There are so many downsides.

Yes Ian there are lots of potential downsides. Can you see any upsides though?

When there are that many downsides, the upsides become irrelevant.

Is one of the “upsides ” drone delivery ? If so I hope its got better GPS than some I have heard about.No seriously I can see the upsides for the general public and as usually the case it will be heavily advertised on the national media , convenience being a major plus and I am sure 20 % of the UK will take it up but life isn’t that simple.

Three words: Invalidated. Home. Insurance.

It now appears that there is a minor flaw with the Amazon door access system.

Wow, what a surpise!!! 😲

It’s no doubt a good system where the house has a porch and an internal door with a normal mortice lock so deliveries can be left securely in the porch. I would not enable delivery drivers to actually enter our house. It’s not just what they might take but what they might see and come back for later. In a small country like the UK where distances from the delivery depots are not extensive and the vans are around every day I still think returning goods to the depot is the best policy. This will encourage carrriers to stick to the notified delivery day and invest in systems like DPD uses to track the van and predict the delivery time accurately.

Patrick Taylor says:
5 February 2018

And another flaw in Amazon’s idea. Seems to be that you can get plenty of exposure suggesting an idea but relatively little happens when the flaws are discovered.

Plainly put I would suggest Amazon do not really care about the customers and security but do care about maximising the efficiency of the delivery side.

theregister.co.uk/2018/02/05/amazon_key_hack/