No time to return a package? Let Uber do it

(NEW YORK) — Uber announced Wednesday that it will now offer customers the option to request a courier to return packages for them.

The new offering is launching ahead of the upcoming holiday season in 52 metropolitan areas — including over 4,950 cities — across the U.S. from Boston to Honolulu, according to a press release. The service requires a $5 flat fee.

Uber says the service is as easy to use as tapping a couple of buttons on the Uber and Uber Eats apps and selecting the “Return a Package” option. Customers can choose where they want their packages to be delivered — a local post office, FedEx, or UPS facility — and up to five packages can be returned at one time. After a package has been dropped off, the Uber courier then sends a photo providing visual confirmation.

Uber customers who are paid Uber ONE members get a $2 discount on the flat fee rate and only need to pay $3 for the service. The new service follows other existing Uber features that let app users send a package and receive a package via an Uber driver.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers returned over 16% of purchases in 2022 and 2021.

Uber’s new feature comes after online retailers expanded their package return processes for customers in recent years. Companies like Amazon and Walmart now offer options like at-home pickups for some package returns.

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