Maybe you think Jeff Bezos is an ass. Maybe you refuse the siren song of Amazon Prime and solely support small businesses instead. But more than likely, at one point or another, you've probably purchased something from Amazon. And if you've purchased something from Amazon, you've probably also returned something from Amazon, especially since the one thing Prime members can all agree on is that the retailer has always had decent return policies. It has almost always provided customers with free returns and subsequent refunds. But as all good things must come to an end, so must Amazon's free returns — well, some of them.
Amazon now charging fees to return to a UPS Store. Used to be free.— Matthew Hertz (@mattahertz) April 11, 2023
Only dropping at a drop box (or carrier pick up) had a fee. pic.twitter.com/x8zBjlx4UU
What started as an online bookseller is now a pharmacy, eye doctor, medical clinic, streaming service, grocery store — we're waiting for Earth to be renamed Planet Amazon at this point. Still, the retail behemoth has been steadily implementing cost-cutting endeavors. Rather than slowing its roll on acquiring new services to sling to its members, Amazon has resorted to dramatically slashing its workforce and is now charging members for some returns made through The UPS Store.
So, what's the caveat? If a shopper wants to return an item and a free return location — Amazon Fresh, Kohl's, or Whole Foods — is the same distance or closer to their delivery address than a UPS location, they will be charged a $1 fee. While the fee itself isn't a bank-breaker, the charge is likely also meant to drive shoppers to one of Amazon's bricks-and-mortar partners to inevitably tool around the store and spend more money.
You won't catch Amazon acknowledging the inconvenience brought on by the charge because they "always offer a free option for customers to return their item," said Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly in a statement — as long as that free option works to Amazon's benefit rather than the customer's, of course.