Online retailer Amazon has come up with a way of defeating dodgy postal systems. One of the company's biggest problems are packages that have to be refunded going missing.
In some countries, such as Italy, postal workers seem to supplement their income by taking home packages, particularly those which come from the US. So far 30 per cent of packages sent to our address have been nicked.
Amazon is testing a new package system and is installing Amazon Lockers in shops that accept packages for customers for a later pickup. The system was successfully tested in Seattle, New York state and near Washington, so the company is now ramping up the service. Locker sites are currently being installed in the San Francisco Bay area.
It means that people who are not home can be sure that they get their mail. But Amazon will also know if a package has been delivered. This means that people can't say that they never got their package and ask for a refund. If it does go missing then Amazon will know about it.
Fiona Dias, chief strategy officer for ShopRunner said home-delivery has always been an issue for e-commerce in Europe and Japan, and is growing in the U.S. People have been following UPS trucks around and to steal packages from doorsteps.
Customers who ship their item to a locker—typically in 7-Elevens, grocery or chain drugststores—are emailed a code after a package arrives that unlocks the door holding their merchandise. The lockers can hold only smaller items that weigh less than 10 pounds, such as books, DVDs or electronic devices like iPads. Users have several days to retrieve their merchandise.