Let's debate the wisdom of allowing Amazon and others to access your home while you are not present

Some houses have that, or at least an enclosed porch, in which packages could be left.

Yes, it’s a critical difference.

When I lived in NYC, the mail carriers had keys to the building and that policy has been in place for forever.

I don’t think UPS and Fed-Ex did, but they should’ve……it would’ve made the building more secure. They had to rely on residents to buzz them in, and everyone’s going to buzz in the Fed-Ex guy, you don’t want to be the reason none of your neighbors could get their packages.

Hmmmmm……if the people at the Amazon returns center are that desperate to get rid of items, maybe that explains one of my delivery mysteries.

It’s happened twice, I got an inexpensive random item from Amazon that I didn’t order. It always happened in conjunction with a legitimate order for used item, which shipped from a return center.

It was just confounding……why did I get a shoe stretcher the day after I got my mini-fridge, why did my vacuum cleaner come with a workout poster? In both cases, the extra package had hand-markings (some sort of internal order number scrawled on the box) that matched up with the item I ordered.

People suggested it was a mistake, and that was the best answer, but it wasn’t a good answer. The small companies I worked for always had a slew of procedures that kept items from being shipped unless their was a corresponding order and invoice, and I found it hard to believe that their systems would allow them to make that mistake.

I said it felt like they were literally just sending me stuff because they had a bunch of stuff they didn’t know what to do with, and it was an easy way to get rid of it. Damn, now I think I may have been right.

It wasn’t a brushing scam, I keep track of my Amazon reviews. And many so-called brushing scams aren’t brushing scams anyway……the author of this Atlantic article investigated the “mystery seeds from China” thing and found that, for the most part, the people that received the seeds had ordered them - they were just thrown off by the fact that they came in unmarked or mismarked packages from China months after the order was placed. The one person they worked with that hadn’t ordered them belonged to a seed exchange club and they were ordered by other members of the club and sent to her.

I have a suspicion that at least some of these delivery people have a code to get in to the inner lobby of my building since it seems to get packages left in the inside mail room every day. Yes they could wait until someone lets them in (when I going out or coming in, I don’t see it as my job to prevent someone from entering) but I doubt they would take the time. Some packages are left in the outer lobby, but not many.

On the other hand, there is no way they are getting into my apartment.

If you have access to the building lobby, you have access to individual apartments (or storage units or items in shared facilities). That’s why apartment buildings tell you not to let people follow in behind you. Someone gets in and then things get stolen/people get hurt/both.

Giving Amazon a key is a horrible idea. I do not want random people walking around my building, claiming to be delivering (or picking up) packages. Maybe if there were a second locked door between the lobby and the residences that Amazon couldn’t get through - but with the apartment buildings/condos that I’ve lived in where once you’re in, you’re in - no.

A parcel locker for the building seems like a much better option.

The apartments in your building aren’t locked independently of the building itself? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

But the Amazon/UPS/FedEx/any other delivery person has exactly the same access when someone buzzes him or her into the lobby , so I’m not really sure what your issue is. If the people in your buildings have always gone all the way down to the lobby to meet the food/package delivery person, and never buzz in package delivery people who have packages for neighbors , that’s something I’ve never seen. Not to mention that a locked apartment door keeps people out of the apartment as well as my front door keeps people out of my house.

Admittedly, my experience is limited.

In my current place, I think there’s only been one attempted break in through the front door into the main building in over a decade. In contrast, about once or twice a year people have done a follow through and used access to break in through a locked apartment door, or into the storage areas, or to head to the garage and go through the cars.
Giving Amazon (and other companies) access multiplies the opportunities for an enterprising thief to follow suit. My neighbors, at least, have an incentive to not let criminals in the building even if they don’t always remember not to do so. Delivery people don’t; some may even see petty theft as a lucrative side hustle.

I’m also surprised that anyone in this day and age would buzz someone in for someone else. That’s just asking for trouble. And yes, I do meet delivery at the door - I see other people doing so as well. I don’t see people in delivery uniforms in the hallway. I assumed that was common practice so that the people in your building don’t get robbed.

There’s also the fact that many doors now unlock with a code. Some locks require you to press buttons, but others work by connecting to your phone which has the keycode stored in it.

Either way, once that code is in a database that can be accessed thru the internet, which is how that Amazon etc. person is going to get it, any enterprising hacker can get it.

I think these things can be setup with one-time-use codes.


I don’t have any doors connected to the internet, so it’s a moot point. If I did, I’d never let a stranger into my place when I’m not there. I don’t even like having the maintenance guys in my apartment when I’m not home. With them, I’m not really worried about theft. I am worried about them handling my antiques and collectables, misplacing and breaking them.

My apartment building is set up so that a group of 6 apartments share one entry way, hall, and laundry room. The outermost door does not lock. This gives the post office and delivery people access to the mailboxes and a dry place to leave packages. I have never met most of my neighbors. But, we have a pact. If we see a parcel in the entry room, we pick it up and put it inside the locked door to the hall. This prevents porch pirates.

I find that Amazon will deliver almost anything to the PO box I rent from the post office for reasons other than package delivery. Which is another option if you can’t get a “package foyer” for your residence (some of us live in apartments that don’t have lobbies, doormen, concierge, or other upscale stuff.)

Options are good, that’s my opinion.

Here in Taiwan, you can have things delivered to the closest convenience store, which in only a couple minutes away for most people.

I wouldn’t let people have access to my house, even with the security they outlined.

I would think that a successful global corporation like Amazon would not have an “inside your home” delivery service unless they made it bulletproof. For example, the delivery person wears a camera that is automatically activated once the person enters the one time code and deactivates once the person leaves. There are no manual buttons and garble garble technology ensures that the person is wearing it. It is immediately available for viewing in your Amazon account.

It would be the worst disaster ever for a company like Amazon to have a program whereby people are getting burglarized. They may be greedy, but not stupid.

ETA: And some people will still say “hell no” just like some people say no to a lot of new things like email and the internet when it first came out.

Not only would it be terrible PR but the victim would sue Amazon and the pain and suffering of having their trust violated would probably result in multimillion dollar settlements due to anti Amazon sentiment if nothing else.

I allow Amazon to deliver inside of my garage. I am notified on my phone when my garage door is opened for a delivery, most of the time I greet the driver as the door opens. For those times I am not home, there is a box marked as the place to leave the delivery along with a camera recording the delivery. What I have found out, almost all my deliveries are made by 2 different people and I have gotten to know them. This has worked out great so far and I do anticipate nothing will change in the future.

This is how it would generally work. I imagine most of the use of this will be in a garage, a building lobby or if someone has an enclosed porch or a foyer that has an additional door the separates it from the rest of the house. Someone could also have a large-ish locker at the front of the house that Amazon could access. Installing one of those would be a good business. Any hysteria over drivers entering your actual house is overblown.

Nope not even the garage, now granted we’ve had other deliveries when the garage door is up and they placed the package on the floor of the garage. Still I would not be cool with providing access to my locked garage. Simply a matter of trust, which Amazon etc etc has not earned.

We had a concrete driveway poured and one of the laborers asked some nosy questions about our property. Whatever? Fucking guy came back days later wandered around the house and went down to the lake, hung out then left. My daughter home alone was a bit freaked out about it, but he was leaving as I came home. Wtf dude!

Presumably you understand the difference between people not being interested in the internet because they eschew new technology simply because they eschew ‘new’ things and people not being interested in in-home deliveries, not because they’re new, but because of the inherent risks involved.

When my parents bought their current home (back when I was a teen and still living there), one of the movers commented on the alarm system. The person who lived there previously was a bit paranoid. Every single window had a break detector on it. Every single door, including every interior door, had a sensor to know if it was opened, there was a pressure pad under carpet AND and IR beam you’d break in front of the main bedroom door. The phones even had some type of anti-tapping device on them.
In any case, the mover commented on it and my dad replied that ADT guys were going to be here in a few hours to get it turned on.
When I later asked him about that, he told me we’re not turning it on, but he’d prefer if the person that knows the layout of our house, what’s in it and where everything is, to assume it’s being monitored.

Another issue that could crop up is that say the wife orders some things and thinks that the husband will be somewhere else but something happens that he is home. She doesn’t think to tell him. Then when he is on the couch and the Amazon dude comes barging through the door, the husband puts four holes in his chest.

Note that I am not saying that this is responsible gun ownership, but I could see someone reacting that way.