Amazon Returns is part of the Expat in Puerto Rico series.
Dear United States of America,
I don’t live in a foreign country. I don’t live in Costa Rica. I live in Puerto Rico. One great advantage of living in America is that I have Amazon Prime-ish. While there’s no Amazon Locker, packages are still shipped for free and arrive in a few days. The problem with Amazon here is returns. I used to be able to return items via USPS. That option no longer exists. Now, the only option is to go to the one UPS location for returns. It’s at the airport which is a 30-minute drive. That’s not the annoying part. The annoying part is that this is the only place to go for all things UPS. The wait can be nonexistent or it can be longer than the DMV. It makes me think twice each time I see an ad for the set it and forget it rotisserie.
Speaking of forget it, sometimes I am tempted to keep a product I don’t like to avoid dealing with UPS. Then my cheapness gets the better of me and I find myself scurrying off to UPS at the 11th hour.
And that’s where this feel-good story takes a turn for the worse. I went to the UPS location and showed the employee the barcode on my phone.
He said that the code only works at UPS Stores and there aren’t any UPS stores on the island. He instructed me to contact Amazon for the normal return paperwork. I used the chat feature on my mobile and received a stunning response: “You’ve missed the return window.” I replied that today was the last date to return the package. You won’t believe his response. It was, “The deadline was 11:43AM PDT.”
What in the bleep! Where in the terms does it say that it has to be turned in at a certain time like a final exam? I replied with many auto-correct errors about the absurdity of this policy. After all, had I known about the prohibition about bar codes, I would’ve requested the normal return label ahead of time. Without too much push-back, Amazon agreed to send me the return label.
But that’s not where the scam ends. Instead of receiving a full refund, I am only receiving 80% of the purchase price. Can anyone say Bachuwa Law? Can anyone say arbitration?
Absolutely ridiculous! You hear me Bezos?!