Walmart and FedEx are teaming up this holiday season to try to take the sting out of the returns process.

Now, everyone knows that feeling of opening a gift from a well-meaning friend or relative and it’s just not something you want or need. You think to yourself that “it’s fine, I’ll just return it”. Then you remember what the returns process entails, especially in the days and weeks following the holidays: long lines, busy stores with no parking, and a lot of hassle. When you add the threat posed by COVID-19 to those pre-existing factors, returning a gift starts to sound even less appealing than getting no gift at all.

Now, Walmart and FedEx are trying to change all of that. The service is called “Carrier Pickup by FedEx,” and here’s how it works. Customers initiate the return process on Walmart’s website or app, schedule a date for pickup and print a label. Then it’s simply picked up by a FedEx employee.

For those that don’t have a printer, like myself, customers can also make a return at any of the roughly 2,000 US FedEx Office locations by getting a QR code from Walmart’s website and a FedEx employee will print a free return label and ship it back.

“No matter how customers buy items, we want the returns experience to be easy, safe and seamless,” said Linne Fulcher, vice president for customer strategy, science and journeys at Walmart U.S. He went on to say that this service would continue on beyond the holiday season.

What’s important to note here is Walmart recognizing a pain-point in the customer experience and doing their best to remedy it. The process still has its friction points, but this option feels much better to me than the alternative.

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