Amazon shut off a man’s smart home devices for a week after a delivery driver falsely accused the customer of hurling a racial slur via a doorbell intercom, the tech giant confirmed Thursday.
According to the NYP, Brandon Jackson, who is black, said he found himself digitally exiled by the company on May 25 — less than 24 hours after an Amazon delivery driver dropped off a package at his home and reported him for being racist.
The homeowner, who detailed the saga in a Medium post, said he was informed of the unwarranted lockout after contacting Amazon when he realized he couldn’t interact with his smart home devices.
“I was told that the driver who had delivered my package reported receiving racist remarks from my ‘Ring doorbell’,” Jackson said.
Jackson, an engineer at Microsoft, was quick to point out flaws in the allegation — including that none of his family members were actually home when the package was dropped off.
He then reviewed footage from the various surveillance cameras set up outside his home and confirmed no such racial slur was uttered.
“Instead, the Eufy doorbell had issued an automated response: ‘Excuse me, can I help you?’” Jackson said.
“The driver, who was walking away and wearing headphones, must have misinterpreted the message. Nevertheless, by the following day, my Amazon account was locked, and all my Echo devices were logged out.”
Jackson insisted he supported Amazon taking extra precautions to protect delivery drivers, but questioned why he had to be locked out of his account for a week as an internal probe was carried out.
“Despite promptly submitting video evidence immediately upon learning of the issue, my account remained locked,” he said. Despite numerous calls and emails, the homeowner said his account wasn’t reinstated until May 31.
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