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New Amazon service lets delivery people unlock front doors

Online retailer is introducing the service in 37 U.S. cities next month

Will consumers let a stranger in their house to drop off a package? Amazon hopes so.

The online retailer said Wednesday it would launch a service next month called Amazon Key that would allow delivery people to walk into a shopper’s home and drop off a box when they’re not there.

Those who want to use the service would need to be an Amazon Prime member and would have to buy a camera and a Wi-Fi-connected lock from the Seattle-based company that starts at $250. Shoppers would then be able to select in-home delivery on the Amazon app.

When the delivery person showed up, they would knock first, scan the package and Amazon would make sure the delivery person is at the right home and unlock the door. No codes are needed and the indoor camera would record the in-home delivery.

Walmart is testing a similar service in California’s Silicon Valley, which lets delivery people drop off packages or stock the fridge with groceries bought from Walmart.com. The delivery person is given a one-time code to open the door and Walmart said customers will get an alert on their smartphones when someone enters.

Amazon said its service would be available Nov. 8 in 37 cities including Atlanta, Cleveland and Denver. The company said the smart lock could also be used to let in housekeepers to scrub the kitchen, dog walkers to take your furry friend for a walk or out-of-town guests who want to make themselves at home.

The company said its in-home delivery service was covered by the Amazon Key Happiness Guarantee, which covers delivery issues, property damage or theft. And Amazon said the deliveries are carried out by drivers who are vetted with background checks and driving record reviews.

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