READER REPORTS: Two doorstep mysteries you might be able to help solve

Two from the WSB inbox. First – Thom reports what might, or might not, have been a case of package theft in the 6600 block of Admiral Way:

Just had an odd situation that might be a package/delivery theft. We ordered an Amazon Prime Now order with some groceries (a ribeye, butter, case of water, Epsom salts, etc) and got a notification at 11:32am that it was delivered. We never heard anyone knock, and the dog didn’t bark – although she usually does. It’s an apartment building so we checked in front of other doors, by the mailboxes, around the property, etc – but didn’t see it anywhere.

When we called Amazon customer support they said their system showed it was delivered to our address, per GPS and to wait until noon. If it had not shown up by then they’d refund the cost.

So, either someone snagged it immediately after delivery or it was delivered incorrectly to someone else, but we were asked to check with neighbors and look all around the property for it just in case it was delivered to the right property but the wrong door.

All searches were fruitless and we got a refund and placed a new order. There’s not enough information to tell if it was a delivery error or a package theft but I’m dropping a note in case anyone else in the neighborhood has anything missing today- or in the off chance someone is wondering why they got an unexpected delivery of a ribeye, case of water, butter, Epsom salts, etc.

Second, a door-to-door visitor reported last night by Erik:

Young woman came to my door (North Arbor Heights). Just now asking to sign an iPad about something to do with bees and Washington state laws. Asked for cc # or $. Just a heads up. I refused.

We checked here – no initiatives being circulated right now with anything related to bees. Remember that while charity/political solicitors don’t have to have sales licenses, you still have the right to ask for ID and any other proof of who they are and what they’re soliciting for.

20 Replies to "READER REPORTS: Two doorstep mysteries you might be able to help solve"

  • ces November 19, 2017 (1:47 pm)

    Re Amazon:

    They “lost” a $1500 item we ordered this week. They used their new in-house delivery system, and it vanished into thin air. They did refund the item, but this time we ordered it directly from the manufacturer.

  • k November 19, 2017 (2:22 pm)

    We’re a block away from you off Admiral in the middle of the block, and someone has left an orange Spin bike right in our path to the door this morning.  (Just happens to have some graffiti scrawl in he basket.) A strange place to leave the bike (yeah, I know, they’re cropping up all over). A coordinated getaway?

  • Mark November 19, 2017 (3:08 pm)

    Interesting, I was under the [incorrect?] assumption that the folks who deliver goods via Amazon Prime Now /must/ deliver them personally.  I’ve made well over two dozen Prime Now orders over the past year.  Roughly half of them needed an ID check but the other half didn’t and they still waited for me to answer the door, never just leaving the paper bags on my doorstep.  I suppose I might just be getting lucky.. 

    • Thom November 19, 2017 (3:56 pm)

      @Mark- That’s what we thought as well. We’ve gotten numerous Prime Now deliveries and this had never happened before, which is why we called Amazon customer service immediately. We were told that the order was supposed to have been  been delivered to a person directly, not left unattended. They suggested the delivery person might be “new”. 

      Which seems to have been the case, since some honest folks  (who got home hours later) knocked on our door to tell us they found our groceries inside their enclosed deck on the other side of the building. Since my wife and I hadn’t opened anyone’s doors, we had missed it when we looked around the property earlier. 

      Mystery solved.  Now I just need to call Amazon back and let them know what happened and settle up for the original order. 

    • AMD November 19, 2017 (4:02 pm)

      No, Amazon uses Uber drivers to deliver most of the Prime Now stuff.  I have a friend who works at a store that participates in Prime Now.  She’s been endlessly frustrated by the problems it creates on THEIR end–drivers showing up not knowing how to use the app to track pickup and delivery, asking HER how to use their app, customers calling the store and yelling because their stuff never showed or was mis-delivered.  If Amazon doesn’t get it together, people will stop participating due to complaints.

    • West Seattle since 1979 November 19, 2017 (5:44 pm)

      If you order non-perishable foodstuffs you can opt to have them leave it at the door. 

      • Scott A November 20, 2017 (9:27 am)

        I paid attention to the Prime app detail yesterday when I ordered some canned and bagged dog food from All the Best.  The app says someone has to be present to receive the delivery but I haven’t been present for several of the same All the Best deliveries over the past 6 months.  Even though it’s non-perishable there’s a note about having to be present for deliveries from “local stores”.  Maybe they ignore this rule because I wrote in the notes field that “I may not be home, please go ahead and leave on porch.”

  • onion November 19, 2017 (3:52 pm)

    Bee-related canvassers were working in front of Trader Joe’s in the past week. Might be the same people or group.

  • JFC November 19, 2017 (4:25 pm)

    I had a notice from UPS that my amazon package was delivered and “left on the porch”.  I don’t have a porch and there was no package to be found anywhere in my apartment complex.  I notified UPS and was told to wait 3 days to see if it showed up.  It was OTC meds that I needed so I contacted amazon. Amazon refunded the cost and then sent a new order in 2 days.   Excellent service!!!

    2 weeks later a neighbor from another complex a block away knocked on my door and brought me the package. It was left on her porch.  I told amazon that I now had 2 orders and I was told to keep both – no charge.  



  • Carole November 19, 2017 (5:33 pm)

    I use the secure Amazon delivery lockers…there are two nearby, at the Admiral and Jefferson Square Safeways, and a couple other WS locations.  Prior to that they would just drop outside our condo bldg, no buzzing the intercom, etc., and items were stolen.

  • TJ November 19, 2017 (7:03 pm)

    Bees? Washington State Laws, and wanting money? Obvious scam, and a dumb one to show up to a house in person wanting money. I assume we are talking about the insect bees, but someone shows up to my door with something that ridiculous sounding they are in for a demoralizing visit

    • Elle Nell November 19, 2017 (10:13 pm)

      An obvious scam..? Dumb one..? Your response is extremely ignorant, sorry. 

      This is a VERY important issue that we are facing. Not sure if you understand how important bees are to our survival but since you seem so well versed on what isn’t an issue, maybe you should educate yourself and find out facts before poo poo a very important issue. . Just a thought… 

  • HappyOnAlki November 19, 2017 (7:10 pm)

    I got a delivery a few days ago — and got a message with a picture of the pkg on my porch! Love that idea — it at least lets you know that it arrived.

  • TJ November 19, 2017 (10:37 pm)

    Oh I’ve heard about it Elle. Who knows what’s going on, but all insects are frail and easily successible to all kinds of things. Just was saying canvassers and wanting money for it seems out of place and a waste of time

    • WSB November 19, 2017 (10:51 pm)

      Bees are not “all insects.” Bees go, we’re in danger of following. But that wasn’t the point here. The person who e-mailed us just wondered if the solicitation was legit or not. So far, that mystery remains unsolved.

  • 22blades November 20, 2017 (8:10 am)

    Regarding solicitors;

    Per Supreme Court Opinion:  “The Court has traditionally respected the right of a householder to bar, by order or notice, solicitors, hawkers, and peddlers from his property.” 

    Granted, if they are unscrupulous, they’ll knock on your door anyway, but, they are on notice and if they are not a legitimate visitor they’ll noticed being out of place at best, trespassing at worst. I am not an attorney but this is my best “layman’s” understanding.

    We have a “No Solicitation” sign posted at the street view front door to cut down on the unwanted doorknockers. Many of us do not have 9 to 5 jobs and need our required sleep in the daytime hours. It even has legal ramifications for my profession.

  • waikikigirl November 20, 2017 (11:17 am)

    @K…we were just in Hawaii 5 weeks ago and they have a share bike program going on in their City and we didn’t see one bicycle left anywhere but back into the stations they have set up, I’m thinking  their program is “you use it, you bring it back where you got it”. ???

     I don’t understand or know “Seattle’s” regulations.


  • Brian November 20, 2017 (1:00 pm)

    Regarding Amazon:

    I’ve quite frequently had challenges with Amazon’s same-day delivery, which is now via contract drivers. I live in a code accessible building, but several times the drivers couldn’t follow the simple instructions. Most of the time I dealt with a similar situation as the reader report: I would receive notification of delivery, but nothing was in the mail room, in front of the building door, or at my unit door. I found out through talking with an Amazon Logistics supervisor that the source of this problem was drivers scanning ‘delivered’ on all their packages before actually delivering the package. The supervisor said Amazon attaches an exact GPS location to each scan and my account showed ‘delivered’ scans all over West Seattle.

    The fix: the Amazon Logistics supervisor built a geofence around my building. Drivers can only scan ‘delivered’ when they’re inside my building. I’ve had no delivery problems since then. I highly recommend this, especially if you have issues with packages delivered to nearby buildings or houses. 

Sorry, comment time is over.