A driver for Amazon stole a customer's puppy in shocking stunt that highlights one of the biggest dangers facing the tech giant
- A stolen dog was found at the home of a driver contracted by Amazon to deliver packages in the UK.
- News events like this one could affect the willingness of people to use services like Amazon Key.
- Amazon Key has built-in safeguards, but it ultimately still allows a stranger to enter your home.
- Most customers already don't trust services like Amazon Key, according to a recent survey.
An Amazon customer in the UK finally got his dog back after the company tracked it down to the home of a driver who had recently made a delivery to the customer's home.
The driver, who was not an Amazon employee, allegedly entered the customer's home unauthorized through an unlocked door, the dog's owner told Buzzfeed. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos intervened to help bring the stolen dog home after he received an email from its owner.Amazon said there was no excuse for the incident. "This is inexcusable and does not reflect the high standards we have for our delivery partners," a spokesman told Business Insider.
Granted, it's a small and isolated incident, but even one is likely too many for a company that is asking for more and more trust from its customers. It also isn't the first time we've heard of Amazon-contracted delivery people walking around in customers' homes uninvited.
Customers are still unsure about Amazon's in-home delivery services
The biggest trust ask Amazon has made lately is with its Amazon Key service, which involves customers buying equipment like smart locks and a camera to let the company deliver packages directly into a customer's home, safe from both the elements and potential thieves.
It has several safeguards in place, like a camera that records automatically during delivery, and a special app that verifies everything is correct, locking and unlocking the door. However, a flaw was discovered in the Key camera's software that would theoretically enable a hacker to turn it off. The flaw was quickly fixed, but the fact that it was there in the first place leaves customers to wonder.
Amazon says on its website that its delivery personnel are "thoroughly vetted, with comprehensive background checks and motor vehicle records reviews."Still, many consumers are not yet comfortable enough with the service to use it. The immediate reaction on Twitter was not inspiring, with many making jokes about how foolish it could be to trust a company with a key to your house.
According to a survey by technology provider Ooma, 87% of customers aren't yet comfortable with in-home delivery services like Amazon Key.
Customers who use Amazon Key likely aren't in danger of having their beloved dog stolen, as the company does not recommend the program to people who have pets loose in their home. But, it does bring up other concerns.
"It certainly raises privacy concerns, an unknown person coming into your home," Joel Reidenberg, a professor of law at Fordham University School of Law and the director of the school's center on law and information privacy, told Business Insider. "It's a trade-off: which is worse, the porch pirate or the risk that the delivery person might do something in the house?"
If something does occur, Amazon's service comes with "Happiness Guarantee," with a dedicated help center that would assist if a customer was not satisfied with an in-home delivery, or if something was damaged in the course of delivery. The company gives customers 30 days to file a complaint within the dedicated Amazon Key app.
Amazon recently expanded its Key service to include in-car delivery for owners of certain models with Volvo On Call or OnStar subscription services. Time will tell if that sees a higher adoption rate than Key's in-home delivery.