Two labels, one box
October 22, 2020 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Can I *really* put two different UPS return shipping labels on the same box, as [clothing company]'s customer service has assured me I can?

I accidentally initiated a return for only item #1 of two items in an order. I contacted customer service and they sent me a second UPS return label that reflected only item #2. I asked if it would be possible to send item #1 and #2 in the same return.

They said: "Unfortunately, I cannot put them togheter in the same label. And of course you can send them both, with the respectives labels, in the same box, okay?"

I replied: "Are you saying I should put both shipping labels on one box? Or should I put one shipping label on the box and include both packing slips inside the box?"

They replied: "Yeah, please put both labels on the box."

This seems like it could potentially cause problems, and I don't want to mess up the return. I'd also like to save myself a second trip to UPS if this isn't going to work. But since she confirmed that she wants me to put two labels on one box twice now, I'm not sure what else to do.

This is an international company based in Brazil (although their US returns are sent to New Jersey), and the customer service agent addressed me in Portuguese before her English responses, which makes me think she's in Brazil as well. I say this not because I think something's getting lost in translation, but to make sure that this isn't something that's okay in Brazil but not the US.
posted by quiet coyote to Shopping (10 answers total)
The only way I would put two labels on one box is if the UPS tracking number was identical. Sometimes vendors put extra information on the bottom of the label to use internally for item tracking. If the vendor gave you two labels with the same tracking number (starting with 1Z likely), but different extra info at the bottom of the label, I'd do it.

Otherwise, two labels on one box sounds like at best they would be double-charged for the return, and at worse the item would get misrouted.

Although I'll admit this is a bit blunt, I would send both items in one box and randomly pick one of the labels. I'd put any return information you have and the second label inside the box. If both returns aren't accounted for, I'd contact them once and if they refused to refund, I'd simply issue a credit card chargeback.
posted by saeculorum at 9:08 AM on October 22, 2020

I do a lot of international RMAs with vendors and it's very common to combine multiples in the same box. Most companies will ask you to mark both RMA numbers on the outside of the box. I've never been asked to attach two separate UPS shipping labels, though. For high ticket items, I have to make sure to fill out the acompanying paperwork correctly to avoid extra taxes at borders.

Are you certain she is asking you to attach two shipping labels and not two return/RMA numbers? That wouldn't be normal in my experience.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 9:14 AM on October 22, 2020

i worked at UPS a long time ago, for about three years. I don't think I ever saw a box with two labels side by side. If a box had labels on different sides I wouldn't even notice after finding the first label -- I had to sort/scan it as soon as possible.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:36 AM on October 22, 2020

Stick one label on the box and put the other one inside.

It’s possible the distinction between “in” and “on” is getting lost in translation — they’re the same word in Portuguese.
posted by mekily at 9:50 AM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

The tracking number for both labels is different. I'll put one label on the box and the other inside, and write both RMAs on the box. I'm a bit concerned that they'll refuse to refund given that I'm not following their instructions, but I can try for a chargeback if they don't
posted by quiet coyote at 10:02 AM on October 22, 2020

I would absolutely not send a single box. Even if it gets delivered with no hitches, I would be surprised if it gets processed correctly. As noted above, returns are not a place where high-quality work is done. They're a cost center, because they involve money going away from the company and back to customers. Just send two boxes.
posted by wnissen at 10:33 AM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

No, no, no -- the exact same thing just happened to me. I foolishly trotted off to the UPS Store and they were all "lol, no." In my corona quarantine confusion and just wanting to be out of the shop, I tore off one label and sent it off. Which meant I didn't get a refund for that second item for months. Don't do it. (Also, I had both RMAs inside the box, and wrote in big letters ITEMS FROM 2 RETURNS on the paper. Clearly it just confused the hell out of them.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:17 AM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just send them in separate boxes with their own labels. Anything else will go wrong.
posted by fritley at 2:34 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Put them in separate boxes. One label per box.
posted by Julnyes at 2:37 PM on October 22, 2020

Nope, I'd forget about saving them money and send them back in two boxes, each with their own label.
posted by summerstorm at 6:51 PM on October 22, 2020

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