By switching to expedited shipping for customer returns, Apple has cut the amount of time needed to process online order refunds from 10 days to under a week. The change, according to customer service analysis firm StellaService, comes on Apple's switch to using FedEx 2Day shipping, which gets the returns back to Apple faster than other retailers.
Apple has taken the #2 online retailer position, second behind only Amazon.com. While the bid to reduce refund turn-around times is cast as an attempt to woo customers to buy their Apple products directly from Apple, most customers aren't the type that worry about the refund time when making a purchase.
Regardless, the move by Apple took place back in November, which StellaService considered to merely be a temporary holiday season measure. Except that it never ended. Switching to FedEx 2Day is costing Apple more, though the cost isn't being passed on to customers. It's about customer service and experience. Besides, when you have $150+ billion in the bank, what's a little extra for faster return shipping?
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.