Shopping online is great, isn’t it? Select, click and voila! Your purchases arrive directly at your door. Currently figures show that Australians spend more than $30 million AUD online, and this is predicted to rise annually by 6.2%.* But sadly, this increase in our love of virtual buying has led to a rise in another, rather more grimy, pastime; That of the so-called ‘porch pirate’.
These shady characters are either opportunistic, seeing a parcel outside a door and taking the chance to snaffle a free gift, or – more worryingly – are criminals who deliberately scout neighbourhoods looking for such prizes.
Thankfully, a few simple steps can dramatically reduce the chances of falling foul to this very 21st century act of criminality.
- Select a tracked, signed for method of delivery: For a purchase of any value at all this really is a no-brainer. In fact, if a vendor doesn’t offer the option for your parcel to be tracked and to require a signature on delivery you might want to consider purchasing from a different provider altogether.
- Use a parcel locker: There are over 330 locations around the country provided by Australia Post that will place your parcel in a secure locker and send you an SMS and email so you know it’s ready for collection. One it’s arrived you have 48 hours to pick it up. Sign up for a ‘MyPost’ account to get started. Other similar options are available from Amazon and ParcelPoint pick up locations.
- Choose a ‘safe place’ for your parcel to be left: But not by putting a note on the front door for all and sundry to read. Many online shopping providers ask you for your preferred location if you’re not in when the courier arrives. This could be your shed, garage, a box in the garden or with a neighbour. Be sure to keep your preferences updated should your circumstances change.
- Install CCTV: A camera at the front door is not only a visible deterrent to any potential dodgy characters, but you can also have a camera that alerts you when it detects motion. That way you’ll know when your parcel has been delivered and, hopefully, make arrangements for a friend or neighbour to take it in for you.
- Out of town? Put regular deliveries on hold: From that sustainable veggie box to your monthly delivery of cosmetics, if you’re going to be away for a while then put your delivery on hold. Not only do you not want your parcel to get pinched, but a package sitting on your doorstep for an extended period of time is a blatant advert that no one’s at home. And the last thing you need to come home to is a burglary.
- Ship to an alternative address: If you work at the same location each day, consider having your packages delivered there. Or perhaps you have a kind neighbour, friend or family member who works from home and wouldn’t mind taking parcels in for you. Be sure to thank them, of course – thoughtful gifts such as a homemade cake or bottle of wine once in a while will always be appreciated.
Some of the worst times for parcel thefts are around the holidays or during sales periods. If the worst should happen and, despite all your efforts, you think your shopping has fallen victim to one of these porch pirates you have a few options:
- Contact the seller: Reputable sellers will want to put such a problem right, and may offer a replacement or a refund. Your rights when you shop online are the same as when you visit a location to make a purchase, and good sellers are keen to adhere to these. **
- Speak to the courier company: Or whoever is responsible for shipping your goods. You will be in a far stronger position if you have a tracked, signed for method of delivery, which further instills how important it is to ensure this.
- Check your credit card provider or PayPal: In some cases they will provide insurance should your goods go astray.
For advice on how the addition of external CCTV cameras could not only deter would-be thieves of your parcels, but also increase the security of your home, the security experts at Crown Security will be happy to discuss your needs. Based in Perth, they’ve been providing security solutions for private residents and businesses for over 25 years, and are a trusted name in the city and surrounding regions. Give our friendly team a call on 08 9400 6000 for a no-obligation chat.
- Posted by admin
- On 26/07/2019