Users who aren’t happy with something they purchased from Apple’s online store should be pleased to hear that Apple has significantly improved refund times in the U.S. to under a week, from the previous 10-day schedule. Reuters reports that, in a bid to convince even more buyers to purchase products directly from its online store rather than from Amazon or Best Buy, Apple is willing to pay more for expedited shipping, in order to return money to customers faster.
Apple is apparently using FedEx 2-day service to receive the returned goods from customers in three days. Apple has been using FedEx 2-day in its busy Christmas shopping season, StellaService noted, but it appears the company has now permanently moved to the quicker shipping method.
Customers who seek refunds don’t pay a dime to ship products back to Apple, as the company handles all shipping costs for refunds. A source familiar with the procedure confirmed that customers still won’t be charged for their returns moving forward.
“This is the first time we’re seeing an investment like this on the returns side,” StellaService’s vice president of research Kevon Hills told the publication.
“Speed is becoming a significant competitive weapon,” logistics and supply chain consulting firm MWPVL International president Marc Wulfraat said. “Returns are viewed as a hidden cost, so many e-commerce companies make the process very difficult. Returns are the first place to cut corners.”
Amazon offers in some cases instant refunds, although that procedure opens the door to fraud schemes, as some customers may end up not actually returning the item. Apple is apparently trying to refund unhappy customers as fast as possible, while preventing any fraud schemes in the process.