American’s waste a lot of money on many thing, but nothing more than convenience. To some extent, efficiency ought to be praised and we are the pinnacle of the civilized world for having such a handle on the mundane tasks. Sometimes however, we allow it to go too far. The latest example? Wal-Mart delivery to your fridge (not your door).
Wal-Mart hopes to one up Amazon by offering automated grocery delivery from the store, straight to your refrigerator, even when you’re not home! Grocery shopping can be mundane and time consuming fighting against crowds and bargain hunting, but at what cost? Is this “luxurious” new service, really something we should want? What about our privacy? Is the fact that it’s new and innovative throwing off our common sense? Or, are we just happy to have one more aspect of life taken out of our hands? Remember the old saying, “Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.”Wal-Mart executive Sloan Eddleston attempted to front run our fears when he explained the Wal-Mart delivery service: “As the homeowner, I’m in control of the experience the entire time.” How? He further explains that “I’m watching the entire process from start to finish from my home security cameras.” While that seems to be a great idea, Sloan fails to take into account that in order for this to be successful we all need to have or purchase high quality security devices such as cameras and automatic door locks. That’s not cheap. This service is not a catch all explains Eddleston “This may not be for everyone, but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests.” Tests? What happens if the test fails? We’re not trying to be alarmists, but come on! This idea, while a nice thought, seems to be like communism. It sounds really good in theory, but when we apply the human dynamic, it all seems to fall apart. What keeps our cameras or security systems from being hacked? We’ve basically invited the threat into our home. There’s no fear-mongering here, people ought to think about where they draw the line and the risk/reward ratio. Is what we’re getting really worth the risk we’re putting on ourselves? We get it: It sounds cool. But what about how this will affect homeowners insurance or our pets? What if Sparky bites this employee? There are so many different variables that are left without definitive answers. While we go through changes as a country, we must ask ourselves, is this really worth the time or hassle saved? Grocery delivery is a great idea and it works wonderfully. But having someone actually stock your fridge for you has the potential to take it to a dangerous level where both parties can be held liable for damages in any scenario. Can we just accept that putting groceries into our pantry or refrigerator is something that we ought to keep doing? We can’t be that lazy as a country, can we? Here's a funny delivery that we covered a while back, but it still proves our point of security.
Some may argue that Uber, Lyft and AirBnB are already stepping this type of commerce up because they have specific practices put in place to ensure the owner, operator and customer have a mutually beneficial transaction. The risk assumed in these other industries is far less than the risk of this Wal-Mart venture. Uber and AirBnB are great, but even they have problems sometimes. If two systems are this well set up, with a track record of success and transparency, yet they still have issues, what kind of stories can we expect from this delivery service? We’re all for innovation and breaking molds, this just seems to stretch it a bit too far. Bottomline: Wal-Mart delivery is good initiative, but bad judgement.Beyond the actual implementation of it, what does this teach our children? How can we expect our children not to be lazy when we’re setting this type of example? It’s an emotional plea, but it’s relevant. Learned behavior is a real thing and we simply cannot afford to keep letting things slip by the wayside in favor of convenience and Wal-Mart delivery is a great example of this.