We finally got around to trying the new Amazon Returns service at Kohl’s in Lebanon, and wanted to share our impressions.
First things first, let’s address the $881 billion elephant in the room: If you’re like me, you might have some concerns about the size and scope of the Jeff Bezos-led company. Market research has shown that an overwhelming 92% of Americans have shopped at Amazon.com. Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world. This probably nags at you, too. But at the same time—have you made the ethical decision yet to stop using the world’s biggest online store? (If you have, we’d love to hear from you. Find a contact form at the bottom of this post.)
We get it. Amazon is not really the type of company we want to be promoting on LebTown, and neither is Kohl’s really. But we also recognize that these stores have become integral to many in Lebanon County. Furthermore, real people work for these companies (or at least contract for them, in the case of Amazon). They are our friends and neighbors.
As such, we wanted to share our experience trying the new Amazon Returns service at the North Cornwall Township department store, located at 1261 Quentin Rd.
The experience, in short, is very easy and cost-effective compared to historical options. With no Amazon Lockers or Amazon Hubs in Lebanon County, return options up until this summer had been limited to UPS dropoffs/pickup. This summer though, Amazon changed course, and created a free/no-box return option at UPS Stores while also adding a similar program to Kohl’s stores nationwide.
The Kohl’s option is not available on all Amazon items, though, with size and other restrictions that may result in you not seeing the Kohl’s Dropoff option when returning a given item.
To use this service, all you have to do is initiate a return as you would normally using Amazon.com or the Amazon app.
After doing so, you’ll be shown a QR code that can be used to process the return. Our recommendation is to download the app, so you’ll be able to access the QR code on a screen that looks something like this. (You can also print it out if that’s easier.)
Next up, motor on over to Kohl’s on Route 72/Quentin Road and head inside. When we visited last month, Amazon signage was posted over the entryway, indicating what a big deal this is for Kohl’s. In fact, Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass called it their “single biggest initiative of the year.”
Once inside, you’ll enter and take a left at the first intersection you encounter. We’re headed to Customer Service.
Customer Service representatives have been equipped with paired-up handheld devices and printers. Once you arrive, you’ll mention to the employee that you’re there to return an Amazon package, and they’ll ask you for the QR code. No worries if you’re returning multiple items at once, they are fine with that (as your correspondent can attest to personally from having to go through a number of dog harnesses to find one that fit his favorite oddly-proportioned pooch).
As part of the returns process, you’ll get asked if anything was damaged with the item. In this case, we were returning a USB hub. Was anything wrong with it? Not at all… but therein lies the allure of Amazon’s perhaps overly generous returns policy.
After the return is process, you’ll receive a receipt that includes a coupon for a purchase made in the next week.
In July, Kohl’s CEO Gass told the New York Times that bringing younger customers into the store was a key goal for the project, and the coupon is obviously meant to help drive store traffic.
The plan to drive further purchases didn’t work for me this time though, needing to get to an appointment elsewhere in Lebanon. But was the experience nice as far as chores go? You bet. The Kohl’s employees we encountered were very pleasant and seemed to be happy with how the Amazon program was going so far.
That’s all for now. Is this the most important journalism we’ll produce this week? Not even close. But our goal with LebTown is to bring you news that makes life better for everyone in Lebanon County, and we think this program counts for that.
Do you have thoughts on Amazon? Other feedback for us? Get in touch using the form below.
This article was updated to indicate that there are restrictions on which items can be returned at Kohl’s.