BALTIMORE, Md. - Amazon is offering a new level of customer service. Instead of delivery drivers bringing packages to your door, they're actually opening your front door and placing the package inside, all while you're not home.
It's called Amazon Key. The new service will launch in November 8 in 37 different cities, including here in Baltimore.
The system could be a solution for City residents who worry about porch pirates or the people who steal packages in front of homes.
“The delivery men would have an app, swipe on that they're there to deliver a package that you are expecting and then that triggers a service that they have embedded behind the cloud cam and keyless entry to let them in your door,” said Marie Yeh, an assistant professor of marketing at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business.
To use Amazon Key, you'll need the Amazon indoor security camera and compatible lock.
Once the courier arrives with your package, they knock then request to unlock your front door with their Amazon handheld scanner. The package is placed in the front entryway. The courier closes the door and requests to relock the door. A notification along with a video clip of the delivery is sent to your phone once the transaction is complete.
“They capture it all on video, so you would be concerned that you're letting a stranger into your home and that they could then go in and take other things or even just explore and be creepy about it, but they're being captured on-camera while they're doing that,” said Yeh.
She thinks Amazon Key is a well-thought-out idea, but there are security concerns.
“My concern wouldn't even be about Amazon's employees and whether or not they're trustworthy, but being able to have a system like that be hacked,” Yeh said.
Equifax, Yahoo, Target, Whole Foods have all had to deal with breaches, and the list goes on. Hackers are becoming more skilled. Cybersecurity is something Amazon and all online businesses will need to tackle, but in the meantime, consumers will have to decide whether they trust the workers and the system all for added convenience.
“Convenience is king in this day and age in marketing. People just want more and more convenience, time is money,” said Yeh.
According to Amazon’s site, all in-home drivers are thoroughly vetted, with comprehensive background checks and motor vehicle records reviews.
And it's not just Amazon experimenting with a new kind of delivery service.
“Walmart's grocery delivery – they talked about them not only bringing in the groceries but putting them away for you,” said Yeh.
Amazon Key will be working with other professional service providers to grant them access into your home as well as the people you trust through their app.
The package starts at $250. The service is only available to Prime members.