Amazon's unofficial delivery guy


To the editor:

This is a cautionary tale which should be of interest to many Riverdalians, given the increased number of Amazon deliveries in our neighborhood during the coronavirus pandemic.

Recently, while at my vacation home in rural upstate New York, I saw an Amazon delivery truck park in front of a mailbox down the road from my house. The driver looked at the address on the mailbox and walked a few feet up the easement road alongside my property.

However, instead of proceeding up the easement to the house, whose address is on the mailbox, he retraced his steps, turned toward my house, and dumped three packages on the road in front of my property.

I picked up the packages and saw they did not have my name or my address on the label.

I asked the driver why he had dumped the packages on the road in front of my house (he did not even bring them to my door), and he insisted that the packages were addressed to me.

“No, they are not mine, and you have the wrong address,” I replied — Do I not know my own name and address?

He said that I was lying, but he would pick up the packages, so I left the packages where he had dumped them, walked toward my house, and was astonished to see him run toward his truck and quickly drive away.

Taken aback, I called Amazon’s customer service hotline. The polite and “helpful” Amazon service person informed me that she could not identify the tracking number, nor could she trace the driver who had dumped the packages — although I could call the local fulfillment center (she did not have its location or phone number).

“What would you like me to do?” she asked.

“Send the driver or someone to pick up the packages and deliver them to the correct address,” I responded.

She could not do that until (maybe) tomorrow, she said, so I should leave the packages by the road.

“It’s going to rain tonight, plus the packages could be stolen,” I said.

She told me that she could not help (“our options are limited”), but that Amazon’s official policy for such situations offered me several choices. I could keep the contents of the packages, donate the contents to a charity of my choice, or throw the packages away.

I was dumbfounded by this instruction to steal my neighbors’ packages, and the realization that Amazon had no interest in, or capability of, tracking down the lazy, incompetent, and dishonest driver, and did not really give a damn if the packages reached their legitimate destination.

Now I know why my family and I have become unofficial Amazon delivery people, both upstate and in Riverdale.

Vivian Oleen

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Vivian Oleen,