A set of Amazon Lockers recently appeared outside Bennet Hall, offering a new way for students to receive and return Amazon packages. The lockers, centrally located near a number of freshmen, sophomore, and senior dorms, allow students to receive eligible items and forego the often-long package line in the basement of Usdan. The set of lockers is named “Helix.”
An item must weigh less than 20 lbs., be smaller than 19 x 12 x 14 inches, cost less than $5,000, and shipped from within the U.S. to be eligible for delivery at an Amazon Locker location. Shipping to a locker does not require fiddling with account settings or paying additional shipping costs; you just click “Search for a Pickup Point Location near you,” when selecting a shipping address and find the location closest to you. And once the package has been delivered, you enter a code or scan a barcode at the set of lockers to retrieve your package.
“Instead of delivering a package to your home or business address, you can select an Amazon Locker location and pick up your package at a time that’s convenient for you,” the Amazon website reads. “Once your package is delivered to the Amazon Locker, you’ll receive an e-mail notification with a unique pickup code that includes the address and opening times for your selected Locker location.”
All packages delivered through the Amazon Locker service must be picked up within three days, and one-day shipping, standard shipping, and free shipping services are unavailable at some locations.
Before the installation of the lockers on campus, the closest Amazon Lockers were in West Hartford and Mansfield. While these other lockers are open for limited hours, the lockers at the University can be accessed 24/7; however, they are off-limits to the greater-Middletown community.
Jesse Marley ’21, a freshman from Corvallis, Oregon, and a Bennet resident, uses Amazon two or three times a year and was unsure about whether or not he would use the lockers.
“I’m trying to decide whether I will take a moral stance against them because they’re excessive and ridiculous or whether I’ll cave and use them because they’re right outside the door,” Marley said. “I’ll probably still order to Usdan. I don’t order stuff enough to figure out how to use that thing.”
Marley has had positive experiences waiting in the package line in Usdan. One time, he had to wait five minutes to pick up a package, but another time, he did not have to wait at all. He found it amusing that Amazon has made the University its next target in its plot to monopolize retail.
“I think it’s pretty funny that we as students have made it financially lucrative for Amazon to make an Amazon-only spot, 300 meters from Usdan,” he said. “It’s pretty clear that they see a way to make it so that no Bennet residents could order from a site that’s not from Amazon. It would just make no sense.”
While he was unsure whether he would use the lockers, he was definitely not a fan of the design.
“They’re kinda ugly, not gonna lie,” he said. “I’m scared. It looks like a prison…like somewhere you would hide freshmen.”
William Halliday can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.