Apple Inc.'s Returns Management Practices

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER097
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2000-2011
Organization : Apple Inc
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : US
Industry : Consumer Electronics

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs (Jobs), Stephen Gary Wozniak (Wozniak), and Ronald Gerald Wayne (Wayne), on April 1, 1976. Working in Jobs’s garage they designed a personal computer (PC) that was sold as Apple I...

Returns Management @ Apple

Apple always considered reverse logistics and returns management very seriously. In the early 2000s, the company started to put structures, people, technology, and processes in place to manage reverse logistics and returns management, because it had identified...

Genius Bar

Apple’s Genius Bar was cited by experts as a good example of how to manage returns effectively. Ron Johnson, the Senior Vice President for Retail of Apple, referred to the Genius Bars as the “heart and soul of Apple’s stores.” Employees were specially trained and certified at the Genius Bar and their role was to help customers with Apple hardware and software. All in-store repairs of Apple products were carried out by "Geniuses"...

Return and Refunds

Apple followed two different return processes – one for direct purchase from Apple and the other for purchase from retailers like Best Buy (Refer to Box II for Apple’s return process). If the purchase was made from the Apple Store, the product could be brought back to the place where it was bought within two weeks for a refund.If the purchase had been done online from Apple, it was mandatory to call Apple to get authorization for the return...

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