Have you ever been a victim of "porch thieves" AKA "porch pirates" AKA "porch robbers"? You know the type; they roam neighborhood streets and steal delivered packages off a home's front door or porch.
It's a growing epidemic and a real concern for online shoppers. In fact, a report from Package Guard claims that 11 million U.S. homeowners have had packages stolen from their doorsteps in the last year.
With the holiday shopping frenzy looming, expect these numbers to go up, as this will leave plenty of opportunities for these thieves to scope out items left by delivery services like UPS, FedEx, and the USPS.
To help combat such dastardly deeds, Amazon is set to launch a new service that lets delivery people into your house and drop off your package inside.
This new delivery service is called Amazon Key and it will officially launch on November 8 in 37 U.S. cities. First, it requires customers to get the $249.99 Amazon Key In-Home Kit, which includes the new Amazon Cloud Cam, a compatible smart lock from Kwikset or Yale, and free installation.
The kit is now available for preorder but the Amazon Key service is strictly for Amazon Prime members only.
How it works
Here's how Amazon Key lets delivery people into your home:
- Place an Amazon order then select "FREE in-home delivery" at checkout. On delivery day, you'll receive a phone notification in the morning and another one when the delivery person arrives at your address.
- The delivery person will always knock at your door first, then requests access by scanning the barcode, sending the unlock request to Amazon's servers.
- Amazon verifies the delivery person's identity, turns on the Cloud Cam to record then opens your door to grant access. (At this point, you can also watch the whole delivery process live.)
- The delivery person will then drop your package just inside your front door. Once the drop-off is complete, another request is sent to relock your door.
- Once the delivery person confirms that your door is locked, Amazon will send you a notification that the delivery is complete. Wow, sounds so simple!
More than just for deliveries
Amazon said the service will also allow you to unlock your door remotely for friends and family.
Not only that, in the next few months, Amazon will also be launching professional services like home cleaning, pet sitting and dog walking. Amazon Key will provide customers with a convenient way to let these service providers into your home unattended.
However, Amazon does not recommend the service if you have a pet that has access to your front door on delivery day.
The service will also be handled by Amazon's own delivery team for now but the company said that it may expand to third-party delivery services in the future.
And as usual, countless Twitter skeptics are already on Amazon's case:
*Calls Customer Service*
Hi. I used the Amazon Key service and now my Xbox is missing. Also, they let my cat out. I’d like to cancel.
— (@KevinPlantz) October 25, 2017
Amazon Key allows delivery people to have access to your home. So... this is a joke, right?
— Seth Goldfox (@SethGoldfox) October 25, 2017
Amazon Key is a new service that lets Amazon release your pets into the yard. https://t.co/EJ6dMMdWk3
— Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire) October 25, 2017
Humorous but quite legitimate concerns, I would say.
What do you think? Is Amazon Key a service you'd be interested in? Drop us a comment!
Another retail giant wants to deliver your groceries straight to your fridge!
And it's not just Amazon wanting that key to your front door. This other retail giant wants to access your refrigerator with groceries for you, even when you are not at home! Click here to read more about this other service.
Note: Psst! Another way to keep an eye on your front door is via SimpliSafe's home security system. SimpliSafe's customizable home security packages got even better with the addition of its wireless cameras, the SimpliCam. For a limited time, Komando fans can save 10% on their SimpliSafe system by clicking here!