Uber is looking to help with a much-dreaded chore: returning packages.
The rideshare giant unveiled a new product update Wednesday that takes some of the pain points out of the return process, allowing users to request an Uber to specifically drop off their e-commerce packages at a local post office, FedEx or UPS outpost.
The new feature is aimed at helping the large number of online shoppers who need to return purchases but hate the process of doing so. Nearly half of consumers would prefer to sit in rush-hour traffic than make a return via mail, according to a February study from the National Retail Federation (NRF) cited by Uber, with 79% of under-30 shoppers describing mail returns as “somewhat or very annoying.” But returns are an unfortunate part of consumers’ lives, with an average 16.5% of retail sales returned, the NRF reported in December.
Uber’s newest tool aimed at tackling the problem is part of Uber Connect, the company’s existing service that lets users send items for day-of local delivery. With just a tap of the button in either Uber or Uber Eats, customers can now call a courier to collect as many as five pre-paid, sealed packages to be driven to the nearest needed shipping venue, be it a post office or a location for another shipper.
Live tracking of couriers is also available, giving users of the service the ability to watch their package’s journey all the way to the post office.
Packages sent via Uber must be valued at under $100 and weigh in at under 30 pounds, according to the company. All packages will be returned for a flat fee of $5, the company said, though Uber One members get a discount as part of their subscription benefits.