Amazon racist doorbell: User locked out of devices

Onur Demirkol
Jun 14, 2023

After being accused of "racism" by a delivery driver, an Amazon customer who had built a smart home using their products and technology found himself locked out of all of his gadgets. He believes the delivery worker misheard the sound of his robotic doorbell.

Brandon Jackson, who is the protagonist of the story, explained the situation in a blog post. He revealed everything about how the way his home's most important features were locked down while Amazon looked into the racism complaint. Jackson said that the "lockdown" lasted around a week, and after that, he was finally allowed to access his devices again.

He said that the encounter had caused him to reevaluate his relationship with Amazon and that he was now thinking about taking some of the smart home's features apart.

Amazon racist doorbell
Getty Images

Amazon racist doorbell: Brandon Jackson locked out of his devices

An automated doorbell was mistakenly heard as "racism" by an Amazon delivery person, who then reported it. No one was at home. Before beginning its inquiry, Amazon switched off all the lights and turned off the smart house as a whole.

Brandon said in his post that the day after receiving delivery, he was locked out of his accounts and devices.

Related: Amazon settles for $30M in response to Ring and Alexa data privacy violations

In his blog post, "Here’s where things got even more baffling. First, I have multiple cameras recording everything that happens on my property. If the driver’s claims were accurate, I could easily verify them with video footage. Second, most delivery drivers in my area share the same race as me and my family. It seemed highly unlikely that we would make such remarks. Finally, when I asked what time the alleged incident occurred, I realized it was practically impossible for anyone in my house to have made those comments, as nobody was home around that time (approximately 6:05 PM)," said Jackson.

Apparently, no one was home,  but luckily, he had cameras all around the house. Jackson reviewed the footage and confirmed that no such comments had been made. " Instead, the Eufy doorbell had issued an automated response: “Excuse me, can I help you?” 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," he added.



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  1. Nameless said on June 16, 2023 at 11:26 pm

    That’s what happens when you put all your trust on the Cloud. You don’t really hold the keys to the door. You’re on the mercy of Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple. They can lock you out of your account any time they see anything wrong with your account and behavior.

  2. Sam said on June 15, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    So they shut him off on hearsay from a delivery driver, who they surely asked… ARE YOU SURE?!
    Someone’s losing their job.

  3. Mike said on June 14, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Sorry, not buying this one. It’s just too difficult to swallow. I mean I know literally the entire point of the cloud and connecting everything to the Internet is so that someone else on the other side of the world can disable my stuff whenever they want, for any reason. In fact I rant and complain about this fact nearly every single day. So I’m not contesting that aspect at all.

    But the reason I’m not buying this particular tale, is that there’s a difference between a vindictive company taking away your movies, video games, books, entertainment software, etc etc, and disrupting functionality in your private living space. That last one’s lawsuit territory, especially if a handicapped person lives there who relies upon those services. “NO” company wants headlines like that making the rounds, trust me on this.

    But hey, if I was the main character of this story, and it is in fact true, I would definitely sue them.

    1. Tom said on June 15, 2023 at 5:13 am


      You may hate what I have to say but Amazon did confirm this interaction.

      “ Amazon told in a statement: ‘We work hard to provide customers with a great experience while also ensuring drivers who deliver Amazon packages feel safe. In this case, we learned through our investigation that the customer did not act inappropriately, and we’re working directly with the customer to resolve their concerns while also looking at ways to prevent a similar situation from happening again.’ ” -DailyMail

      I am not sure about the policy on posting links to other websites but a quick google search with Daily Mail should get you the source.

      Needless to say, this incident did happen. It was not made up. But there are no grounds for a lawsuit unless you were in fact that handicapped person and suffered injury. As a home user of smart home products, we just need to learn to diversify and take this incidents as a teaching point to avoid it happening to us.

      1. Soinniton flamingo said on June 18, 2023 at 10:55 am

        ” As a home user of smart home products, we just need to learn to diversify and take this incidents as a teaching point to avoid it happening to us.”
        Im not sure if you are serious or not, but no one will tell me how i have to act in my home.

        Not using “smarthomes” is a choice. Nowadays “diversify” is a curseword for everything turning bad.

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