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Study: Online retailers tardy with refunds


New York – Taking money is one thing, but e-retailers aren’t always so great at giving it back. In a study of the refunds performance of 40 of the largest online retailers, analysis firm StellaService found that the majority of retailers evaluated aren’t meeting consumer expectations.

For orders placed in fourth quarter 2014, the average speed to receive a refund from the companies evaluated was 9.5 days. The majority of consumers said they expect a refund in seven days or less.

StellaService analysts ordered the same product from each retailer to be delivered to four separate regions – East, West, Midwest and South. They then returned the product, tracking metrics such as the presence of a prepaid, adhesive return label, total time to receive a return authorization and refund speed. The following retailers issued refunds in an average of five days or less:

• Amazon: 2.1 days in 2014; 1.3 days in Q4 2014

• Wayfair: 3 days in 2014; 3.4 days in Q4 2014

• HP: 3.4 days in 2014; 4.7 days in Q4 2014

• Apple: 5 days in 2014; 4.9 days in Q4 2014

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