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muhle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
71
9
Hi
I bought an iphone on apple.com last week and i wanted to return it and since the apple stores are closed i went on the website and started the return process. As you can see in the picture from apple.com there are 4 steps for the return.

Although I already shipped the item 2 days ago and Fedex.com tracking shows that it was delivered yesterday and signed for. When I go to apple.com it still shows "return started" "please send this item back to apple"

I posted a picture of the apple.com product return page and it doesn't show anything past the initial step which is in green color.

Anyone else had this happen to them?

IMG_20200512_153137376.jpg
 
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DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,365
4,353
Delaware
There's 10 days before it will be late.
Shipping, receiving, accepting, then completion. There's several parts of that process.
If your Fedex shipping says "arrived at destination" or something similar, and the Apple site says your package has been signed for - there is still some processing that goes on.
You have done your part...
Only 2 days after you started the process: that's pretty fast, so give it 3 or 4 more days before you decide to call to check. (You have permission to be patient for a few days. :cool: )
 

muhle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
71
9
There's 10 days before it will be late.
Shipping, receiving, accepting, then completion. There's several parts of that process.
If your Fedex shipping says "arrived at destination" or something similar, and the Apple site says your package has been signed for - there is still some processing that goes on.
You have done your part...
Only 2 days after you started the process: that's pretty fast, so give it 3 or 4 more days before you decide to call to check. (You have permission to be patient for a few days. :cool: )
The apple site doesn't say it was signed for. It still says "return started" send the package to apple. When i track the package with the Fedex tracking # it says it was delivered and signed for.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,365
4,353
Delaware
I was going by what you stated in your first post.
Apple has their own protocols that they follow when they receive an item.
There's some time involved. Give it another day or two, and I think you can expect to see updates on the status.

Are you waiting for a refund, or a replacement?
 

muhle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
71
9
I was going by what you stated in your first post.
Apple has their own protocols that they follow when they receive an item.
There's some time involved. Give it another day or two, and I think you can expect to see updates on the status.

Are you waiting for a refund, or a replacement?
refund
 

muhle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
71
9
I was going by what you stated in your first post.
Apple has their own protocols that they follow when they receive an item.
There's some time involved. Give it another day or two, and I think you can expect to see updates on the status.

Are you waiting for a refund, or a replacement?
I noticed i wrote wrong on my original post. I meant to say i checked fedex.com and saw it was delivered not apple.com. Sorry for the confusion.
 

jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
862
534
The apple site doesn't say it was signed for. It still says "return started" send the package to apple. When i track the package with the Fedex tracking # it says it was delivered and signed for.

With Apple stores closed, apple.com is probably overwhelmed with returns.

You have proof that you returned your phone within the return window. You will get your refund. In these difficult times, don't be surprised if it takes a few extra days - or a few extra weeks - until it happens.
 

DiCaprioAngel

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2013
589
422
New York
You need to give them extra time with what’s going on. There are more pressing factors than issuing refunds. They have to go through a lot of returns and processing. Give them time.
 

muhle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
71
9
Although i can understand that there are more returns/less workers right now due to whats going, i don't understand why the return status/progress bar has not changed because that's electronic and should get updated as soon as the Fedex scans the shipping label. Am i missing something?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,365
4,353
Delaware
Fedex task (shipping) is complete.
I doubt that Fedex has any control over Apple's refund protocols, other than providing (usually) prompt shipping.
Come back in two days for an update!
 

Matthewzilla

macrumors member
Sep 4, 2015
71
49
Texas
I had the same issue when I did a return to Apple a couple weeks ago. The tracking number that Apple has on their website did not match the one that was on the receipt Fedex gave me. I was a little worried since it looked like I hadn't even shipped it back on the Apple site but once it delivered, I got my return conformation and my refund and stuff that same afternoon. Hope this helps!
 

muhle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
71
9
I had the same issue when I did a return to Apple a couple weeks ago. The tracking number that Apple has on their website did not match the one that was on the receipt Fedex gave me. I was a little worried since it looked like I hadn't even shipped it back on the Apple site but once it delivered, I got my return conformation and my refund and stuff that same afternoon. Hope this helps!
My tracking number matches the label. When you go to your orders does the return progress bar shown in the picture above show "return complete" or what?
 

muhle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
71
9
Fedex task (shipping) is complete.
I doubt that Fedex has any control over Apple's refund protocols, other than providing (usually) prompt shipping.
Come back in two days for an update!
Then why is "Received by carrier" is listed on the return bar? What's the point of that if it's not going to get updated once the carrier receives the item?
 
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Shadowbech

macrumors G3
Oct 18, 2011
9,038
5,894
Don't worry, the apple site doesn't aways update as it goes. I returned my iPad Pro 2020 sent it via fedex. According to fedex, it was delivered and signed for at their warehouse, while apple.com remained unchanged.

Later in the evening, I got an e-mail that they have received and processed my return and will be getting a refund soon. They may be getting high volumes that it can take a day or two. I've had it were they received it and waited 4 days for them to actually get to my package and process the return, but apple.com has not changed.

I trust fedex more than apple.com in times like this. As long as it was delivered and signed by them, I would not worry.

Few years ago, I had to return the jet black iPhone 7 Plus and they received it, but after 4 days, I was getting worried, I contacted them, showed them the tracking number and they investigated and gave me a refund.
 
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compwiz1202

macrumors 604
May 20, 2010
7,389
5,739
Although i can understand that there are more returns/less workers right now due to whats going, i don't understand why the return status/progress bar has not changed because that's electronic and should get updated as soon as the Fedex scans the shipping label. Am i missing something?
Apple may still have to scan the return label and possibly even the device inside the package,
 

muhle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2014
71
9
I called them and while i was speaking to the rep the return progress bar "magically" started to move up to "return complete".
 
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DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,365
4,353
Delaware
Then why is "Received by carrier" is listed on the return bar? What's the point of that if it's not going to get updated once the carrier receives the item?
Hmm...? "carrier" is Fedex, not Apple.
"received by carrier" means that (at that time) Fedex has your shipment.
Glad to hear that you were patient enough to wait a few hours - finally seeing a successful completion :)
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
14,663
5,873
from experience with trade-ins, it is around 4-5 business days from receipt to you getting confirmation from Apple.
 

skinnysha13

macrumors newbie
Oct 20, 2020
1
0
---
What is the RETURN COMPLETED what does that mean I recently sent back my AirPods Pro and is says requested return and received by the carrier and received by apple only the first 2 are done and tomorrow the 3rd step will be done but what does RETURN COMPLETE mean does it mean I have gotten my refund?? And can you please explain to me what each one means this is literally the first time I have ever returned a product back to Apple
 

andrewsinclair

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2020
7
11
This thread is re-assuring. I sent two iPhone returns to Apple with their FedEx labels, at least one has been delivered per FedEx tracking, but that's not reflected on the Apple status page. The other has never been scanned by FedEx, which was causing me panic until I realized...

Every time you "view" your FedEx shipping label on the Apple website, a *new* label is created (i.e. new tracking number). I wonder if the Apple version of the FedEx status is showing only the latest create label and not the original one. That would explain why the Apple site doesn't show that the return was "received by carrier"; the *new* label hasn't even been printed, so of course not received by carrier.

I am looking for a way to find the *original* tracking number for my packages. I have one but not the other.
 
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Shadowbech

macrumors G3
Oct 18, 2011
9,038
5,894
This thread is re-assuring. I sent two iPhone returns to Apple with their FedEx labels, at least one has been delivered per FedEx tracking, but that's not reflected on the Apple status page. The other has never been scanned by FedEx, which was causing me panic until I realized...

Every time you "view" your FedEx shipping label on the Apple website, a *new* label is created (i.e. new tracking number). I wonder if the Apple version of the FedEx status is showing only the latest create label and not the original one. That would explain why the Apple site doesn't show that the return was "received by carrier"; the *new* label hasn't even been printed, so of course not received by carrier.

I am looking for a way to find the *original* tracking number for my packages. I have one but not the other.
If you have an account with Fedex, it should show up there for the one you actually used.
 

andrewsinclair

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2020
7
11
Okay - I learned some things:

* Every time you "view" your Apple generated FedEx label, a *new* label is created with a *new* tracking number. If you view your label and put the tracking number into the FedEx tracker, it will always show as though it hasn't been scanned into the FedEx system... because it hasn't.
* If you don't have the original tracking number on the package, one way to get it is to do a FedEx tracking search based on the *RMA* number. You will need the zip code of the recipient (which you can get by "viewing" a label on the Apple website) and the ship date (which in my case was the date the package was first scanned by FedEx, not the label creation date).
* By looking up the package with the RMA number, you can find the original tracking number. You can also see any other labels you've created. In my case, there are like 13 additional labels! I kept "viewing" my label to get the tracking number.
* Conjuncture: The return status page on Apple's website is using the *latest* created FedEx tracking number to check whether the return was "picked up by carrier" and delivered. If you've ever "viewed" your label a second time, Apple's tracker will be out of sync with FedEx's tracker, because Apple is pinging FedEx based on the *new* label that you probably didn't even print. Eventually, Apple will receive the return and identify it as received, which makes the tracking progress bar go to the end: "Return Complete". This is conjecture, but I think it's a more plausible explanation of the OP's situation than the idea that the pandemic was somehow slowing data sync between Apple and FedEx.
* Recommendation: Take pictures of your labels and make a video of yourself putting the box into the drop box (or drop off in person and get a receipt). For two days, I thought one of my two returns was never scanned by FedEx and was ready for a refund denial because "obviously, you never actually sent it".
 
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Shadowbech

macrumors G3
Oct 18, 2011
9,038
5,894
Okay - I learned some things:

* Every time you "view" your Apple generated FedEx label, a *new* label is created with a *new* tracking number. If you view your label and put the tracking number into the FedEx tracker, it will always show as though it hasn't been scanned into the FedEx system... because it hasn't.
* If you don't have the original tracking number on the package, one way to get it is to do a FedEx tracking search based on the *RMA* number. You will need the zip code of the recipient (which you can get by "viewing" a label on the Apple website) and the ship date (which in my case was the date the package was first scanned by FedEx, not the label creation date).
* By looking up the package with the RMA number, you can find the original tracking number. You can also see any other labels you've created. In my case, there are like 13 additional labels! I kept "viewing" my label to get the tracking number.
* Conjuncture: The return status page on Apple's website is using the *latest* created FedEx tracking number to check whether the return was "picked up by carrier" and delivered. If you've ever "viewed" your label a second time, Apple's tracker will be out of sync with FedEx's tracker, because Apple is pinging FedEx based on the *new* label that you probably didn't even print. Eventually, Apple will receive the return and identify it as received, which makes the tracking progress bar go to the end: "Return Complete". This is conjecture, but I think it's a more plausible explanation of the OP's situation than the idea that the pandemic was somehow slowing data sync between Apple and FedEx.
* Recommendation: Take pictures of your labels and make a video of yourself putting the box into the drop box (or drop off in person and get a receipt). For two days, I thought one of my two returns was never scanned by FedEx and was ready for a refund denial because "obviously, you never actually sent it".
Even if you printed the label once and use that and it's marked delivered, sometimes your order status won't change. Of all the returns I initiated in the past, I've noticed that it is a hit or miss for the apple status to change as your package travels back.

If you have Fedex account and have the correct address, you can easily view your tracking status under "Manage my Delivery" as it auto pops up there.

Normally it takes 2 days for Fedex to deliver your package to Apple. Once fedex delivers it, Apple does scan it into their system as received, however doesn't necessarily mean they are processing your returns, it can take couple of day to even a week for them to actually process your return.

Just like my MacBook Pro, when I returned it, Fedex says it was delivered to Apple on 10/27/2020 by around 11/4/2020 I was concerned as there was no movement in the status. I called Apple and they do in fact showed that they received it on 10/27/2020, I was told it can take up to 5-8 business days (Weekends are excluded here as they don't generally process returns on weekends). on 11/5/2020 I did get an e-mail that they processed the return and that I should expect a refund soon.

If you have an apple store nearby, it's better to return in person.
 

Zaft

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2009
4,550
4,026
Brooklyn, NY
I returned the 12pro and Apple.com was updated the same day they got it back and refund was issued.

I guess it depends.
 
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