Not at home? Amazon Key to allow delivery people leave packages inside your house

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 25.10.2017 17:43
Updated 25.10.2017 17:44
Worker sorts products at an Amazon Fulfilment Center in Wroclaw, Poland in this December 3, 2015, file photo. (REUTERS Photo)
Worker sorts products at an Amazon Fulfilment Center in Wroclaw, Poland in this December 3, 2015, file photo. (REUTERS Photo)

Would you let a stranger in your house to drop off a package? Amazon hopes so.

The online retailer will launch a service next month called Amazon Key that would allow delivery people walk into your home to drop off a box when you're not there.

Those that want the service would first have to buy a camera and a Wi-Fi connected lock from the Seattle company that starts at $250. Shoppers can then select in-home delivery on the Amazon app. When the delivery person shows up, the camera starts recording and the door unlocks, letting the customer remotely watch the in-home delivery take place. The deliverer won't be able to proceed with other trips until the home is again locked, Amazon said.

It is unclear if such protections will persuade customers that the service is safe to use.

Larsen said theft was "not something that happens in practice," based on early tests of the Amazon Key program.

He added that if a problem arises, "You can call customer service, file a claim and Amazon will work with you to make sure it's right," reimbursing customers in some cases.

The move, in the works for more than a year, may help Amazon capture sales from shoppers who could not make it home to receive an order in person, and did not want the package stolen from their doorstep. It also signals Amazon's ambitions in the growing market for home security devices, where Alphabet Inc's Nest Labs competes.

"This is not an experiment for us," said Peter Larsen, Amazon vice president of delivery technology, in an interview. "This is a core part of the Amazon shopping experience from this point forward."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Amazon's biggest retail rival, has similar plans. It said last month it would test delivering grocery items "straight into your fridge" with August Home, a smart lock business that Assa Abloy AB said it will acquire.

Amazon.com Inc. says its service will be available in 37 cities on Nov. 8. The "Cloud Cam" is also available by itself for purchase, it said.

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