I recently ordered a backpack from Wandrd, an independent company that makes bags for travel and photography. Wandrd does not offer free shipping. I ended up paying $10 for shipping. The backpack arrived in about a week. Although it was a nice backpack, when I saw it in person I realized it wasn’t for me.
I checked the Wandrd return policy page, where I was prompted to fill out a form. Wandrd responded the next day asking me to fill out another form with substantially the same information I had already supplied. They said they would respond within 48 hours. The next day they sent me a shipping address in Utah and asked me to me email them the tracking information.
I put the backpack back in the box with the return authorization email and took it to the Post Office. The postage cost $43.30. I debated just keeping the backpack because of the high shipping cost but I decided to send it back because I didn’t like it. When I got home I emailed Wandrd the tracking information. This is a lot of steps and friction for a simple return.
Had I purchased a backpack from Amazon, as a Prime member the backpack would probably have reached me in one or two days. To return the backpack, I could have immediately printed out a return label and taken the box to a UPS store or an Amazon locker at Whole Foods. I probably would not have paid return shipping and if I did have to pay return shipping it would not have cost more than $40.
Amazon’s obsession with customer service is hard to compete with. I think I had started taking Amazon’s customer service for granted.