Like Being Able To Return Gifts?

Earlier this week I returned a pair of indoor/outdoor heated slippers that I purchased online from a niche retailer as a Christmas present for my wife. The problem was that they resembled outdoor boots more than they did indoor slippers. As I started to search for the retailer’s policy on returns, I steeled myself for a time-consuming and costly process of perusing ambiguous and closely packed text and then undertaking the arduous and messy task of repackaging the item and engaging a shipper to return it. As it turned out, the return process was a breeze.

I began by viewing a three-minute online video on the retailer’s returns page, which clearly specified the steps I needed to take, beginning with printing out a prepaid FedEX shipping label. As instructed, I then repacked the item in the same two boxes that it was shipped to me in and affixed the prepaid shipping label to the shipping box. Both the gift box containing the slippers and the shipping box were deliberately constructed and sealed so that they were not mangled or otherwise damaged when they were initially opened. After entering my zip code on the webpage, I was shown 15 locations of FedEx “unstaffed” Express Drop Boxes and “staffed” Fedex Ship Centers and FedEx Onsite partners, including a Walgreens pharmacy, within a 3 mile radius of my home. I drove to a ship center less than two miles away and was back home within 45 minutes of starting the whole project. I did have to pay the shipping and handling charges but I was given the choice of free shipping if I accepted my refund in the form of a gift certificate for 110% of the purchase price of the returned item.

The ease with which I was able to return the product was not the result of a happy accident or the unique…

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