How does Walmart replace a stolen shipment

If you like to scold parcel delivery in Germany, you can be assured: Even in the American Silicon Valley, the problem of the last mile has not yet been solved, even if numerous companies are working on solutions here. The dilemma in Mountain View is the same as in Memmingen: Online shopping is great as long as the parcel from the delivery driver's car actually ends up in the buyer's hands. So the problem with the last mile is more like one of the last meters. Here and there.

However, the way in which this problem is dealt with is completely different: In Germany, the deliverers usually take the parcel back with them when the recipient is not at home. That may be the rule, but for the customer it is the worst result. Anyone who has to pick up their parcel from the post office can also go shopping right away. In America, the top concern of mail carriers and internet stores is making customers uncomfortable. So the parcels always land on the doorstep, it will be fine.

The thieves are called porch pirates

In the Bay Area, i.e. the metropolitan area of ​​San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and Silicon Valley, this means that waist-high parcel towers stand in front of many houses until the evening. On the one hand, except for the avocados and pomegranates, which they like to buy on the weekend while strolling through the farmers' market, the people here take care of every errand on the Internet. On the other hand, hardly anyone is at home during the day because somehow the crazy rents have to be paid.

But that with the last mile would probably not be called a "problem" if these parcel towers in front of the front doors were a solution. On the one hand there is the rain, on the other hand there are thieves. They are now commonly known as "Porch Pirates", meaning veranda pirates.

There are no official figures because the statistics do not distinguish piracy from other thefts. However, nowhere in the US is the word combination "Amazon parcel stolen" googled as often as in the Bay Area. So one can assume that the problem is particularly big here. This is also supported by the fact that the police in Silicon Valley regularly provide lock packets with GPS transmitters in order to track the thieves. According to various surveys, every fourth customer, some say: every third customer, has already been robbed.

Local neighborhood forums on the internet are full of reports of stolen packages. People post pictures of the thieves they took with surveillance cameras. The cameras wouldn't help, one writes: "They don't scare off and the only thing they'll bring you is a photo of the pirate." Others report of thieves following the delivery truck to strike once the package has been dropped. And users exchange tips on how to protect themselves. One of the most popular: Stop ordering expensive products online.

This makes things a real problem for internet retailers. It would not be a good development for them if customers order toilet paper and mineral water for fear of veranda pirates, but go back to stores for laptops and jewelry. This is probably one of the reasons why Amazon is working feverishly on solutions to the problem - from smart door locks that allow suppliers access to the house to delivery in the customers' cars.

Until then, the big internet retailers in particular, Amazon and Walmart, will usually replace the stolen goods without any problems, even if they are not obliged to do so. Numbers don't mention either, but the cost of this customer service is likely to be horrendous.

Goodwill, in turn, is a problem for smaller retailers who sell their goods via Amazon's Marketplace. Because customers automatically expect the same service from them as from Amazon itself. Lawyers and management consultants are already offering help in defending themselves.

More and more often, fraudulent customers are claiming that a package was stolen even though they found it on their doorstep. This is then again a form of piracy in its own right.