Mini rant: Amazon delivery addresses.

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 I occasionally buy friends presents though Amazon.  Mostly I have stuff sent directly to them because a) they get it sooner and b) it saves the postal service the extra trip.
When I send someone a present this way I have to put in their address. This is normally a bit of a faff – people move, and if I’m yet to visit their house then I have to text them and suspiciously ask for the their address (which ruins surprises).
…and then I have to work out what happens if there is nobody to take delivery. The last thing I want is for one of my friends to take a half day off work to head down and pick up a package from the sorting office – particularly if it turns out that the only reason they had to go to all that effort was because I sent them a comedy keyring.
You know what particularly annoys me about this?
AMAZON ALREADY HAS THEIR ADDRESS
Ebay does to. There’s a reasonable chance that Etsy does.   So where is the:
This is a present for another Amazon customer
box?   I’d tick the box and Amazon would ask me for the person’s email address, I’d put it in and my bit would be finished.
At the other end of the transaction, my friend would get a email like this:
From: Amazon
Subject: You have been bought a present! 
 
Someone has purchased you a present on Amazon.  We’re planning on delivering it to address: 
 
XXXXX
XXXXX
XXXXX
XXXXX
 
on the 12th of August.  if you’d like to change this destination or time, please click here. 
That’s if I wanted it to be a secret.  I’d like their to be a non-secret option so my friend could click the “Actually I already have this book/equipment/thing” link and save me some money (it would also be nice for their to be a anonymous option so that I get the credit.
It seems like such an obvious thing, why doesn’t it exist? It makes it easier to spend money, gives customers a better experience, and, interestingly, means that we can protect our addresses better from people if we want to keep them private.
Indeed – why do any websites have my address? How about I give my address to the Royal Mail (I live in the UK), tell them my email address (and some authentication) and whenever I order a package I can say “tell the Royal Mail it’s for joe.reddington@gmail.com”.  I’d get more privacy (within a certain pricing code), and less effort of typing my address in forever. Indeed, I’d pay extra for a service that homed in on my phone and handed the package to me personally….
What’s particularly annoying (as pointed out on reddit, where I trialed this post) is that this is nearly possible, if you’ve jumped though a few hoops first.  If you’ve connected to them on Facebook (likely) and you’ve both connected Facebook to Amazon (considerably less likely) then you can do a (fairly complex) setup (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_v4_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201108090) that lets it happen.  But come on! All you need is the email that they use for their Amazon account!

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