updated 10:43 am EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
May be attempt at keeping shoppers away from Amazon
For Americans, at least, Apple has slashed the time needed to process refunds at the online Apple store in half, Reuters reports. The newswire agency cites a retail intelligence firm, StellaService, which notes that people should now be able to get a refund in less than a week versus the previous 10 days. This is because the company has switched from Newgistics to two-day FedEx shipping for its prepaid return labels, at no extra cost to people seeking refunds.
The changeover is actually believed to have begun in November, but StellaService says it assumed the measure was temporary and meant to cope with holiday traffic. Apple may have instituted the policy to become more competitive with Amazon, which in some cases offers instant refunds, albeit at the risk of fraud. Two-day shipping is significantly more expensive for Apple but offers quick gratification to customers with less risk of fraud.
Vendors like Amazon and Best Buy will often sell the same products as Apple at cheaper prices. Apple though has rarely taken steps to make itself the more attractive option, beyond having the most stock of its own electronics.