Amazon can put your impulse purchases directly into your Volvo now
This fall, Amazon freaked everyone out by offering a new set of services call Amazon Key that allowed customers to remotely give people and services access to their homes–including package deliveries. Now the online retail giant is finding even stranger ways to infiltrate our lives with their products, this time by offering a service called Amazon Key In-Car, which allows customers to get packages delivered to their trunk.
Some customers, featured in the Amazon promotional video below, are citing great reasons for the service to exist. Urban dwellers see a way to get packages safely delivered without having them stolen from their porch or apartment lobbies. Business owners say it’s a good way to separate their company purchases from their personal packages. One parent said it was a good option to hide birthday presents from loved ones, while another said it was a great option to get packages delivered without worrying her kids would wake up from their nap. Another Amazon promo features a woman getting a shirt delivered during work so that she can make an event that night without going home first.
On the other hand, some customers are voicing concerns about the service, from the idea of giving a stranger access to your car, to how in the world anyone would be able to fit a package in your trunk among the empty coffee cups, Good Will bags, dry cleaning, kids’ sports equipment and ubiquitous layer of Cheerio dust. Others were worried that the packages could cause car break-ins, while still others had the very real concern of putting black delivery employees in danger by having them accessing strange vehicles on the street.
Twitter was a little concerned in a few ways:
Here’s how the service works: you order your Amazon products, making sure on the product page that they qualify for in-car delivery. Amazon gives you a four-hour delivery window, and in turn, you give Amazon a general location of your car. On the day of delivery, the Amazon delivery person will find your car using a description of the vehicle and a GPS locator. He or she will then place your package in the trunk using the Amazon Key app and the car’s online service, which allows one-time access to your car or truck. The service, with Prime membership, is free.
Before you get too excited about the new service and turn your car into your new mailbox, there are some parameters to be able to participate. Like, a lot of parameters:
- You have to be an Amazon Prime member. And no, you can’t just use your mom’s account.
- You also have to download the Amazon Key App.
- The service is currently only available in 37 cities.
- You have to have a very specific type of vehicle: a GM or Volvo that’s make 2015 and newer, with active OnStar and Volvo on Call accounts. No, your sensible 2008 Toyota Camary with manual roll-down windows doesn’t qualify.
- You can’t get packages delivered that require a signature, weigh over 50 pounds, are larger than 26 x 21 x 16 inches, are valued over $1,300, or come from a third-party seller.
According to The Verge, GM, Volvo, and Amazon have penned a two-year deal for Amazon Key In-Car as an exploratory trial period — and none of the companies plan on making money from the venture at this point.
Everyone, from the companies to the customers, is wondering how successful the service will be — which might depend on how badly people need to use their cars as a second delivery address, to how open people are to strangers getting a gander at the inner workings of their trunk.
Either way, there have already been a few missed opportunities.
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