Amazon customer phone number anonymisation

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Amazon.com are to enable carriers to call US consumers via an Amazon customer phone number anonymisation service. These will be numbers with a temporary extension number which routes the call to the customer’s telephone number for use in instances where the courier needs to speak to the parcel recipient. Customer’s real phone numbers are no longer available to Amazon sellers. Amazon have removed access to these phone numbers to protect customer privacy.

This will be especially useful for sellers or large or bulky items where it’s essential to arrange delivery for when the consumer is at home, as well as for those using a courier which insists on a phone number. What it won’t be useful for is SMS delivery notifications which is why it’s essential to upload tracking information to Amazon as they will send notifications to the customer.

The aim of Amazon customer phone number anonymisation is to enable communication with consumers, purely for the purposes of performing the delivery, without revealing customer’s real telephone numbers. The temporary phone number, including the extension, will expire once the package is delivered.

Amazon are reminding merchants that they should only contact customers to fulfill an order. If you need to contact a customer for any reason other than package delivery then you should use the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Service and not contact them by telephone.

If you accept that you should never be telephoning an Amazon customer apart from to facilitate the delivery, then there aren’t many reasons to dislike this policy…. bar one. The one part that may prove trick to navigate is most couriers will enable you to enter a telephone number into their booking systems but many don’t have the facility to accept a PIN number or extension code. Quite how the extension numbers will be passed to couriers is the one part of the puzzle that doesn’t appear to have been worked out.

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