Published: October 7, 2021
Amazon now allows its Prime members to send gifts using just a phone number or an email. However, note that you can use the service only on mobile devices. What’s more, the program is limited to the continental United States.
The retail giant has put in some safeguards. For instance, the gift-giver can’t see the recipient’s shipping address. That said, the feature might be abused by stalkers, scammers, and those who take pleasure in harassing people online.
Here’s how the feature works. First, the gift-sender wishes to impress the recipient with a present but does not have the recipient’s shipping address. That said, the sender has either the recipient’s phone number or email address.
Then, the gift-giver selects the gift on the Amazon mobile app. They then choose the “add gift receipt for easy return” option during check-out. The gift-giver will also be given an option to “let the recipient provide their address.” After that, the sender includes the recipient’s email address or phone number.
The sender’s card isn’t charged right away. Instead, a hold for the purchase amount is placed on their credit card. The recipient is then notified either by email or text message that there is a present from the gift-giver waiting for them.
The recipient has to have an Amazon account to receive the gift. That said, only the gift-sender must be a Prime member.
The recipient can open the Amazon notification to see what they got. They then can choose whether to decline the gift, accept it but change it to an Amazon gift card (the gift-giver won’t be notified) or just receive the gift.
If the gift is accepted, the gift-giver will then be charged. However, if the recipient disregards the gift notification, it will expire in several days. In that case, the gift-giver will get a refund.
The Verge has asked Amazon if users can opt out of the service. Unfortunately, according to the retailer, there is no such option. So, for now, users can only ignore the notification or decline the gift if they don’t want it.
Now, suppose someone starts spamming you with notifications. In that case, you might want to take it to Amazon customer service as such behavior violates the company’s community guidelines.