California Start-up Tries to End Holiday Package Theft

The service will deliver packages to your door only when you are home.

— -- A California startup company says it may have solved the problem of holiday package theft.

Every year, packages delivered to unattended doorsteps are stolen. And this problem becomes worse during the holiday season.

"The tracking number said it was delivered," one victim of holiday package theft told ABC News' San Francisco station KGO-TV. "But I never got the package."

The Post Office and shipping carriers leave packages outside unattended doors if nobody is home to receive the shipment. These deliveries are usually made during the day, regular business hours for delivery companies but also a time when most people are at work.

Doorman, a startup founded by Pixar and IBM alums, will allow people to receive their packages when they're home from work.

"I always felt like I was being punished by the current delivery system for having a full time job," Zander Adell, Doorman's co-founder, told KGO-TV. "And the question was why can't this be delivered when I'm actually home?"

Customers have their packages shipped to Doorman's package depot. Then, they use an app to schedule a time for Doorman to deliver the package to their home anytime until midnight, seven days a week, Adell explained.

The service costs $4 a package, or $20 a month and is so far only available in San Francisco.

Doorman is not the first company to try to fix the last obstacle for seamless online shopping.

Amazon allows customers to use lockers in public spaces to pick up packages.

Two companies called Outbox and Sixdoors both tried to bring evening home delivery services but failed.

"You've got to have a big workforce of delivery people and so I think that that's very ambitious, that's very tough," Anthony Ha, a writer for TechCrunch, told KGO-TV.

But Doorman doesn't hire full time delivery people. Copying Uber's hiring model, they use contractors who can deliver packages in their extra time.

"They may have day jobs, this is an opportunity for them to make extra cash during holidays or other times," Doorman co-founder Kapil Israni told KGO-TV.