Service of Mi Casa es Tu Casa–Come on In!

June 17th, 2019

Categories: E-Commerce, Food, Hackers, Retail, Technology, Trust

Photo: tierrafina.com

Daily we hear of hacking that’s happened either to a friend, big corporation or organization. It’s a form of break-in. I think it may have inured the public to the normalcy of loss of privacy that gorges on volunteer personal intrusions. Think such smart speakers like Alexa and Amazon Echo.

Photo: wired.com

Maybe that’s why Walmart and Amazon have or are about to introduce a new wrinkle to their delivery services. In select markets, both will or do arrange for access to a customer’s home to put food in the fridges of the former and leave packages in a home, garage or car trunk in the latter.

Citizens of Kansas City, Mo., Pittsburgh and Vero Beach will be the first to officially invite Walmart delivery staff to put perishables in their refrigerators through a program slated for a fall launch called Walmart InHome. [The system was tested in New Jersey.]

Photo: commons.wikipedia.org

In “Walmart Wants to Put Groceries Into Your Fridge,” Sarah Nassauer wrote “The workers will wear a body cameras [sic] clipped to their chests, allowing customers to watch live streams of deliveries being made while they aren’t home.” She reported in her Wall Street Journal article that they’ll have access to homes via a smart lock that connects to the Internet allowing a door to unlock remotely. Wallmart sells the device.

Delivery staff for the service must have worked for the company for at minimum a year. “Not everyone embraces the concept at first, but just as people have gradually accepted renting out rooms in their homes through services like Airbnb Inc, ‘people are very quickly comfortable with it,’ said Marc Lore, head of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business.”

Photo: gate labs

The Amazon service, Key by Amazon, wrote Nassauer, is for Prime members in 50 cities. Fresh groceries aren’t involved. In another program Via Prime Now customers get orders from Amazon’s Whole Foods division on doorsteps.

Not every delivery business received the mega company’s stamp of approval. Sebastian Herrera reported last week in the Journal that Amazon is deep sixing its restaurant delivery service.

Would you be comfortable inviting strangers into your kitchen or your home, garage or car trunk when you’re not home? Do you think comfort level for this kind of trust may be higher in some parts of the country than others? Have privacy-breaking services like Alexa and Amazon Echo paved the way? What if you’re in a meeting or otherwise inaccessible when you need to unlock your front door remotely with no time to watch while the delivery person with body camera drops off your perishables? Do you think that this person—or the staffer who packs the order–will be trained to leave foods like tomatoes and bananas out of the refrigerator and on the counter?

Photo: orchardestates.com

 

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7 Responses to “Service of Mi Casa es Tu Casa–Come on In!”

  1. Martha Takayama Said:

    I am horrified at the prospect of services you describe. I cannot answer any of the questions you pose in a positive fashion. I shudder thinking of all the nightmarish possibilities this insane invasion of our personal space and dwellings involve. I also find the manipulative anti-trust structures of Amazon and Walmart objectionable and essentially question their legal basis. I use Amazon as little as possible and don’t shop ot Walmart. They both are also fraught with questionably legal and harmful and inhumane labor practices.

    These prospects make 1984 seem understated!.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    The New Jersey test must have gone well or Walmart wouldn’t have decided to launch the program for real in three markets. Lemmings anyone?

    The privacy issue lost me with the intro of the smart speakers that people willingly introduce to their homes to spy on them while turning on their lights or computer or radio or TV sets because clearly doing these things are far too onerous for the able bodied. If a quadriplegic person had a voice, such services would be invaluable. For anyone else, they are folly.

  3. ASK Said:

    I don’t have Alexa or Echo, and have no intention of using such a delivery service. The idea is appalling…how lazy have we become?

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    ASK,

    I agree with you.

    At the same time as this is happening millions are installing cameras to catch robbers on video. Why bother when you open your home to any old person?

    I watch too many police movies such as Blue Bloods and Endeavor–and other British series. I envision the approved delivery person trotting in to the kitchen while leaving open the front door. A partner sneaks in to other rooms in the house while the camera on the approved person captures him/her placing the order in the fridge. Jeepers. How naïve can a person be?

  5. BC Said:

    No strangers in my home. Ever!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    BC,

    I’m with you. The concept gives me the creeps. I don’t think it’s a big city thing either. What happened to neighbors? Can’t they keep a package or delivery for those who live in houses or in apartments without door staff?

  7. Lucrezia Said:

    Mi casa no es su casa — Period. Those rejoicing over the millions to be made over mishaps, are lawyers. The rest of us have chosen the wrong profession.

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