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Amazon extends its U.S. returns window to May 31

Amazon extended its usual 30-day return window to May 31 for purchases made by U.S. customers since March 1, as the retailer continues to adjust its operations amid the outbreak of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.

“Most items ordered from Amazon or our Seller partners between March 1 and April 30, 2020 can now be returned until May 31, 2020,” Amazon said in a return policy update. In Amazon’s FAQ on orders and deliveries during the pandemic, the company confirmed that it was still processing returns.

A similar message was also posted on a forum for independent merchants on Amazon, with the company requesting the sellers to match the temporary return window extension “to give customers more time to return items in these challenging times.”

Amazon first implemented the extended returns window in Europe. Orders on the retailer’s U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Netherlands websites since February 15 may be returned until May 31, while orders on the Spain website may be returned up to 30 days after the government restores freedom of movement, according to Tamebay.

Amazon’s operations have undergone a major overhaul during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the prioritization of essential products such as household staples and medical supplies in its fulfillment centers until April 5.

“We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritize these products for customers,” Amazon told Digital Trends in mid-March.

Amazon announced this week that customers would no longer be able to purchase N95 face masks, as the online shopping giant moves to send shipments to hospitals in need.

Amazon also increased its pay rates for workers and ramped up hiring for full- and part-time positions in order to meet the demand for its services as people stay at home to avoid the coronavirus.

Some Amazon employees recently launched a strike to demand greater safety measures as several warehouse staff have tested positive for COVID-19, with the retailer responding by implementing additional safeguards against the disease such as daily temperature checks, the distribution of face masks, and extra paid time off.

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