After many years of ordering from Amazon, I finally had a package stolen from me last week. While many people have their package stolen from them from their porch or front step, my package was stolen from me from the lobby mailroom in my apartment building.
I believe I’ve gone this long without having my Amazon packages stolen from me for a few reasons. First, in the before-times, when people still commuted to work, I had my packages delivered to work, at the studio. The studio has this very large mailroom operation, which graciously accepts packages on our behalf. It also has in place this formal process where the package is entered in a tracking system with all sorts of info, including the employee name. You then go down to the mailroom, show proof of identification, sign a form, and then the package is released to you. It’s convenient and safe.
Second, if I choose not to have my package delivered to work, say it’s too big or something to bring on public transit, I previously had it delivered to an Amazon pick-up point. In my case, the closest pick-up point is a Canada Post office, about a two minute walk from my lobby.
In both cases, the package is delivered to a secure location, and no one can just take my package because they need to prove their identity first.
Somewhere during the pandemic, I began switching delivery locations so that my packages came straight to my building. Once this happened, my packages began being delivered by contracted delivery services and/or Amazon’s own delivery service. These are the people you see so frequently now on residential streets, all with the same type of vans. On a rare occasion, some of these delivery people will actually buzz me and bring my package straight to my door. Sometimes, they’ll text me or call me so that I can come down to the lobby and get my package from them directly. Sometimes, they’ll just text me and say they left my package in my mailroom. And then there is what happened on last Friday evening, which is they delivered my package to the mailroom while I was out, around 8pm, and didn’t even contact me at all.
Since this wasn’t a critical package I was waiting for, I was not refreshing the order status every hour on the hour. In fact, I didn’t check the delivery status until Saturday evening. When I went down to the mailroom, the package was gone.
I understand if some of you will immediately point out that leaving a package unattended for twenty-four hours in a common mailroom is asking for trouble. Yeah, there’s definitely some truth to that but I have frequently seen packages that have been left for days in my mailroom. Maybe I just got unlucky?
What is lucky is that my package was worth less than $30, shipping and tax included. It was two bottles of Swiffer Wetjet liquid and a magnetic mesh screen door. It’s not the end of the world that I lost these items.
So, who stole my package? I don’t know at this point. Theft from apartment mailrooms is rampant. I often get calls to my phone from the intercom when I’m not expecting anyone. I feel like thieves sometimes randomly punch in numbers on the intercom, hoping someone is stupid enough to buzz them in. If that happens, they make a beeline to the mailroom, grab as many packages as they can, and leave. Or, maybe they just surfed in behind a resident as they entered the building. This is also common.
All of this reminds that my OLED TV was delivered in the summer by FedEx and somehow they got into the building without buzzing me, calling me, or texting me. Because my new TV was indeed a very important purchase to me, I was refreshing the delivery status frequently on the day it was supposed to arrive. Nevertheless, because they neglected to contact me when it was actually delivered and they also chose not to deliver it to me door, I discovered that they had delivered my new and not so cheap TV to my mailroom, and it had been sitting there for at least 30 minutes, if not more. I am so lucky that no one of disreputable morals happened upon my TV and just hauled it away.
So, I am going back to having my Amazon packages delivered to the Canada Post pick-up point. It is slightly less convenient because this delivery location must use Canada Post and sometimes they are slower than Amazon’s delivery service but it is more secure. A second alternative that will allow for quicker shipping but again trades that for some inconvenience is to have it delivered to an Amazon Hub Locker that is open 24 hours. There is a 7-11 about a 5-10 minute drive from where I live and that locker is open obviously 24 hours a day.