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Wed Oct 4 2017 20:08:59

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

By: Ina Steiner

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Claims of non-delivery (Item Not Received, in eBay parlance) are at the top of sellers' list of pet peeves and can actually be costly and harmful to marketplace sellers. Amazon has created a practice called AMZL Photo on Delivery - but could it help reduce such claims?

In the help page describing AMZL Photo on Delivery, Amazon explains its own delivery drivers may take a photo on delivery when a package is left unattended. The explanation indicates reasons why Amazon launched the service:

- To help customers see that their package was safely delivered and where. 

- To help Amazon Customer Service troubleshoot what happened to a package in the event of a problem.

- To help Amazon audit the quality of their delivery drivers.

It could also help Amazon customers find where the driver left their package if it's not clear (we've read of some strange places where drivers have left packages).

Note the Amazon help page states, "For orders shipped to an address marked confidential, such as a Wish List or Registry address, Amazon won't post a delivery photo on the order in order to protect the privacy of the recipient."

Two years ago we wrote about Amazon Flex, the company's Uber-like service using gig-workers. This news video (via PostalNews.com) shows Amazon Flex drivers delivering packages and reports that they are instructed to take photos when they leave packages on customers doorsteps. It also shows that some customers are unsettled when they see "ordinary" people taking pictures of their homes.

A CBS affiliate also covered the Amazon Photo on Delivery service recently and wrote, "The customer then gets an email with the photo, confirming the delivery."

Do you think this practice might help reduce claims of non-delivery for online sellers? And what do you think of the practice as an online buyer? Helpful, but creepy?

Comments (33) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Wed Oct 4 21:05:05 2017

I like the idea and I think would help the seller with proof of delivery, BUT it still wouldn't prevent porch pirates or unscrupulous delivery drivers from taking the package. About the only other way to help prove or disprove delivery is if you also have your own security cameras set up monitoring your homes delivery area. Really sad days we live in when we have to take such measures.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: dmg61 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 4 22:43:20 2017

I've had this done with a couple of my parcels. It could help. However, they also need to train their drivers to knock on the door or ring the doorbell to let me know the parcel has arrived. They did neither, I happened to open the door to get the mail when I found the parcel.........

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Oct 5 00:39:16 2017

Drones are now or will be photographing parcels left on porches?

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: menco This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 01:04:03 2017

Great idea. More info = less risk for sellers.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 01:35:55 2017

if they won't believe it was delivered with delivery confirmation why would this make a difference?  so no, i am sure that amazon will still hold sellers liable for stolen packages.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Oct 5 01:47:12 2017

I wonder what June Cleaver would have thought of this service.  

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 01:52:37 2017

No it will not help. We just read they replaced two watches before even the original watch was delivered.  

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu Oct 5 03:02:40 2017

It (photos upon delivery) will reduce claims of non-receipt for the company who owns the merchandise, and would be a beneficial security measure.

Still do not believe small third party sellers would be able to use this evidence of delivery to win an A-Z or INR claim.

Who knows? Maybe someday a microcamera placed inside the box will photograph the recipient who opens it. Just like a ''GoPro for packages''. The short motion picture would then be sent through the cloud to Amazon / eBay or in an e-mail to the 3P seller.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 04:51:18 2017

Great idea.  Does anybody know how much these flex drivers get paid?  In my city they rent Uhaul cars to make deliveries and I was wondering if they get reimbursed for the rentals?  Seems that AMZ is going through a great shipping expense (paying drivers) to deliver packages....but it's a rich company, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Oct 5 06:35:23 2017

My question is why does any package deliverer leave a package unsecured--on a porch?  A porch is not a delivery box.   Leave a package in an unsecured location? Expect it to be stolen.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 06:48:45 2017

@ Rexford - until recently it was safe to leave packages.  But it's the responsibility of the (dummie) buyer to have the package rerouted to their job address, or to UPS for pickup, or someone's house who is at home. Especially if it's expensive (computers, watches, high-end clothing)  Package theft is on the rise and if the buyer hasn't gotten the message yet, then shame on them.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: Two Southerndivas This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Oct 5 07:47:31 2017

no!/  In fact, it promotes fraud.  I had ordered something from Amazon, they reported that it had been delivered and included a picture of an Amazon box on my front porch, but nothing was left, I reported this to Amazon, Three days later my item arrived via USPS!!

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: Two Southerndivas This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Oct 5 07:51:53 2017

Not not at all!  Last summer I made a purchase from Amazon, got a notification that it had been delivered with a picture of an Amazon box on my front bench.  But nothing had been left, we checked right away.  contacted Amazon about this, two days later the item arrived  via USPS!

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 08:08:23 2017

Well if they'd ring the bell or knock maybe I could grab it before it gets stolen??

Secondly if they'd stop sending free replacements to the same person 100 times they wouldn't have so many problems. (maybe once it goes to 3X they could mark that customer SIGNATURE DELIVERY ONLY)

Recommend that ALL SELLERS shipping over $100.00 value insure for the extra. It's getting worse and worse, scumbags following UPS trucks, etc.  The items that go priority are already insured for $100. So get a signature this holiday or buy insurance.  

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Oct 5 08:29:04 2017

For this to have any chance of working, the USPS needs to start requiring an address plate close to the door so it can be in the frame of the photo.  Although I'd echo eXtinctBay's concern - Scamazon will bend over backwards to reward a scammer so buried somewhere in the TOS will be a line that you still need a signature or Scamazon can refund for any reason if they feel like it.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 09:02:24 2017

Everybody's mail box is designed different.  I've seen mailboxes by the road.  I've seen "slots" on the door.  Maybe there needs to be a universal mailbox at each house.  In any case, they all seem to be open to theft.  The best thing to do is have the package rerouted to a UPS store, a neighbor who's  home, a work address.  
As for the $1Million theft lawsuit, I'm surprised the sellers haven't mounted a class action against AMZ -- did AMZ refund to the sellers the moneys they had refunded?

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 10:03:14 2017

Fab idea... no signature ? A photo is the affidavit. And, any "buyer" who has a pkg "stolen" should file a Police Report, then, get a secure point of delivery set up.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Oct 5 10:28:57 2017

While I have never had a problem with not receiving an Amazon package that was shipped via Amazon's shipping service, I don't see how this will solve any problem.  If Amazon has fraudulent delivery drivers, what's going to stop them from putting the package on the porch, taking a picture, and then taking the package back?  It's seems like a simple enough measure to outsmart.  Also, if the issue is not the delivery people, but customers claiming they didn't get something that the did get, they could use the same argument mentioned above in a hypothetical case.  A photo proves nothing.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 5 10:39:58 2017

Pointless feature, appealing to buyers or sellers who haven't thought this through, right up there with people who video themselves packing boxes or opening them up later.

All the photo proves is that the package was sitting on the porch at the moment the photo was taken. What happened after that would be anyone's guess. We already have Delivery Confirmation; this adds nothing further.

Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?   Could Front Porch Photos Reduce Claims of Non-Delivery?

by: Crafteme This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Oct 5 10:47:20 2017

Unfortunately, it may actually hurt the honest customer.  I live in the inner city and even though common sense should say don't leave the package in plain view on the steps delivery personnel do it all the time.  I've been lucky but neighbors have not been.  I'm just waiting my turn.  BUT as a seller it's a good thing.  Unfortunately the few bad hurt us all!

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