Ap­ple Slashes Re­fund Time in On­line Push

The Economic Times - - Business Of Brands - REUTERS

Ap­ple has cut in half the time it takes to give re­funds to on­line store cus­tomers who want to re­turn their iPhones and other gad­gets, a small but cru­cial step to try to get more people to buy di­rect from its web­site. The move could pay off in the long run if the com­pany can lure on­line cus­tomers away from re­tail­ers such as Ama­zon and Best Buy, in­dus­try ex­perts say.

Ac­cord­ing to re­tail-in­tel­li­gence firm Stel­laSer­vice, cus­tomers who buy a prod­uct from Ap­ple’s on­line store can get a re­fund in un­der a week, ver­sus 10 days pre­vi­ously. Ap­ple is pro­cess­ing re­funds at a faster rate be­cause it now uses an ex­pe­dited ser­vice, FedEx 2Day, to let cus­tomers ship re­turned items with pre­paid la­bels to its ware­house in three days. Ri­val Ama­zon of­fers in­stant re­funds in some cases. How­ever, this puts the firm at risk for fraud, as some cus­tomers may not re­turn the item. By cut­ting down on the days an item is in tran­sit, Ap­ple can of­fer a speed­ier re­fund and avoid fraud.

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