- Uber now offers package returns through its same-day delivery service Uber Connect in nearly 5,000 cities throughout the U.S., the company announced last week.
- "With our new 'Return a Package' feature, you can have a courier pick up your prepaid and sealed packages — up to five at a time — and drop them off at a local post office, UPS, or FedEx," Uber said in its announcement.
- Uber offers the service for a $5 fee, or $3 for members of its Uber One program. Real-time tracking for the drop-off is available in the Uber app, and the courier will send a visual confirmation or photo of the receipt when the process is complete.
Uber has launched its package returns service in time for the peak holiday shipping season, an event that inevitably leads to many items being returned.
"Now we’re adding a new way to save you time and effort with a much-avoided chore: taking care of the packages you need to return but have been ignoring," Uber said in its announcement.
The service will help reduce delays on package returns by providing a more convenient option for customers, said Gordon Glazer, a senior consultant and USPS specialist at Shipware, in a LinkedIn post.
"It will be interesting to watch as this service matures over time," Glazer said. "I can see future enhancements like unwrapped returns, specialized retailer programs that may divert returns to reprocessing centers, charity or secure disposal."
Uber noted that monetary restrictions and weight limits are in place for packages sent using Uber Connect, including returns. Packages may not weigh more than 30 pounds and may not have a total value greater than $100, according to Uber Connect's terms and conditions.
DoorDash rolled out its own package pickup service during the busy post-holidays returns season in January. Like Uber, DoorDash can drop off up to five packages per order at UPS, FedEx or U.S. Postal Service locations for a flat $5 fee, or $3 for DashPass members.