Amazon isn’t the only company looking to come into your home, literally, when you aren’t there. Walmart also has announced what they have nicknamed “in-fridge delivery”, a service where their employee, nicknamed a “Deliv driver” (seriously, Walmart, who is coming up with these things?) comes into your home to make deliveries, when you’re not home, even putting your groceries away in the fridge for you. To which we say not only “no”, but “hell no!”
In a blog post announcement a few weeks ago, which flew largely under the radar (at least ours), Walmart VP of eCommerce Strategy & Business Operations, Sloan Eddleston, explains that the new service, which is now testing in Silicon Valley (where else?) is a partnership between Walmart and August Home, which is providing the smart door locks required for the nice Walmart delivery person to enter your home and
take what they want stock your refrigerator.
Explains Eddleston, “So we asked the question: what if Walmart could help busy families like mine ensure my fridge was always well-stocked? What if we created a service that not only did my grocery shopping and brought everything to my home, but even went so far as to put it directly into my fridge? And, what if it was even more convenient because this “in-fridge delivery” happened while I was at work or off doing other things?”
Walmart’s service is essentially identical to Amazon’s Amazon Key service, which we have described here. In order to get the service, you must also get the special smart lock, and the security cameras, from them.
Both Walmart’s and Amazon’s announcements of these new in-home-while-you’re-not services talk up the convenience of having someone unknown to you come into your home while you’re not there to make deliveries, and they at least allude obliquely to the security aspect of the service by explaining that you can watch on the security camera to make sure that the delivery person (or ‘Deliv person’ if from Walmart) has locked the door behind them.
What neither of them mention, however, let alone address, is what those people can do while they are in your home. Nor do they mention what happens if something goes wrong (such as the delivery person leaving a window in your home unlocked so that their accomplice can come in later and rob you blind). Exactly what is Amazon’s or Walmart’s liability here? We’re betting that it’s very little, but you won’t know that because it will be buried in a multi-page Terms of Service to which you will have to agree (perhaps without even realizing that you’ve agreed to it).
Thanks Walmart and Amazon, but no thanks. We’re fine with carrying in our packages from our stoop when we arrive home.
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