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Push for ecommerce anti-fraud legislature

 5:37 am on Oct 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I normally don't post 'call to action' threads and it's not really allowed but this is such a no-brainer someone has to start it somewhere, anti-fraud measures need to happen, and hopefully it'll be allowed to stay.

I'm in CA and we're pushing internet sales tax measures back and forth in Sacramento so I decided to drop in on one of my local representatives the other morning. A couple of times a month he has a little gathering in some local cafe in our county so I though this week was time to get up early and go represent online merchants.

Keeping it simple, something easy, a real no-brainer.

I said since CA wants taxes, they should give the merchants something as well, make it more of a fair exchange that we get a little anti-fraud help.

I asked him to try to do a simple anti-fraud measure which is if the consumer waives signing for a package and allows it to just be 'left at the door' that they waive their right to do a chargeback unless they actually have the product and can physically return it to the vendor.

Surprisingly, he agreed that it made perfect sense that the consumer is at fault and not the vendor if the package goes missing after being dropped at the door.

Well duh, like I said, a real no-brainer! :)

Maybe if you all wrote to your respective legislators, senators, etc. we could get this common sense problem solved where the onus of such actions are put back on the consumer where it belongs and not on the merchant.

I have other ideas as well, like require pictures with signatures so people can't deny they signed, that it was someone else. The delivery guy could easily take a picture these days with all the cameras in smart phones, but I didn't want to suggest anything that would get push back from USPS, UPS, FEDEX, etc and take years to implement. I just wanted to keep it stupid simple and actually make it something that required nothing new to implement, simplicity at it's best.

My guy seemed to think it was a good idea, we shall see if he does anything.

Noting ventured, nothing gained, we complain a lot to each other about this all the time so lets complain to the right people for a change and see if it makes a difference!

What say you?

Make some noise!

Spread the word.



 12:16 pm on Oct 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

if the consumer waives signing for a package and allows it to just be 'left at the door'

How that will be implemented you think? Is it going to be when the consumer buys something online via a checkbox say? And if the person isn't legit he will not accept responsibility anyways. He will always claim he never clicked the button. So somehow the waiver selection during checkout has to go through and recorded via the bank or payment processor etc. And that involves few more entities apart of state, merchant and consumer.

Would be great if they drop sales tax in CA altogether and use the income tax to balance it. That would be a no-brainer and help commerce a lot.


 1:36 pm on Oct 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

What about bar-codes of the order number/ID. When you place an order, print out the bar code and tape it to your door on the day you expect delivery. When the delivery man comes, they simply scan it like they do a package. This way there's a solid loop with a built in check.


 1:41 pm on Oct 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bill, you know politicians will tell you anything right? :).

My kid showed me a youtube video last night of what looked to be a UK political debate. Some guy in the audience had the comment/question: "First one on the panel to speak is an ###hole'. It didn't take long before one of them spoke up anyway.

I suspect that the need isn't wide enough to go grassroots as you're attempting. More likely you'd need a big lobby behind you to get something done. I just don't see a politician leading this charge of their own volition.


 1:48 pm on Oct 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sounds to me like this could easily be handled by UPS, FedEx, etc as a value added chargeback service.

That brown pad thingy they make people sign with could easily have a small digital camera installed, where the delivery agent snaps a quick photo of the package at the door, proving it was left there.

On the ecom side... "Picture in Lieu of Signature" proves delivery if you prefer not to have to sign for delivery.

On the shipping agent side, $1 added fee for the picture on top of normal fees (passed to the consumer, choosing the picture-sig versus physical)

Sounds easy enough and might even create a job or two...



 5:26 pm on Oct 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm talking about when the first delivery attempt fails and the delivery service leaves the notice on the door and the customer checks that box on the notice "leave at door" and signs it.

Basically, if the customer waives the right to accept it in person, they should lose the right to do a chargeback if it disappears.

No new implementation of anything anywhere, this is how it works today except the consumer has the right to do a chargeback if they don't get the merchandise and I'm trying to get rid of that right when they are the ones that opt to put the merchandise in peril by telling the delivery company to leave it at the door.


 2:47 pm on Oct 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a parcel delivery box (UK) with a label saying that recording the unique reference number on the box constitutes a receipt. No carrier will use it with or without receipt being required and the postman leaves packages on top rather than inside! I almost had a dispute with a company that I had purchased from earlier this year because the carrier didn't bother to leave a "you were out" note and they had not stated that receipt would be required (it wasn't for my previous 2 orders).

On both sides of the Atlantic there is clearly a need for a legaly recognised and universally accepted means of acknowledging delivery in the householder's absence.


 9:02 pm on Oct 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

...where the delivery agent snaps a quick photo of the package at the door, proving it was left there.



 10:06 pm on Oct 9, 2011 (gmt 0)


That would not definitively prove that the package was left there, it would only prove that the package was at the door while the picture was taken.


 11:39 am on Oct 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

True. The UPS driver might also have emptied and resealed the box. Or swiped it after his shift ended. Or switched labels. Or used a different doorstep.

Lots of definitive scenarios.

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