Republic Wireless needs to add the option to cancel an order before it ships

The fact that Republic Wireless doesn’t have a cancellation policy for orders that haven’t shipped is frankly embarrassing. I ordered a phone, found another on a different site that I wanted more, so wanted to cancel my initial order (note: this was less than an hour after the order was placed).
Now I have to pay for shipping for a phone I don’t want, wait for it to arrive, only so I can return it and waste even more resources, pollution, time, and money. This is absurd that I couldn’t just cancel the order before it shipped. This is a basic functionality feature in virtually every site you can order something from. RW has been around for far too long to not have this implemented. Upgrade your infrastructure and stop wasting your subscribers’ time, money, and polluting the environment.

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Hi @jjspaceman,

Thanks for your feedback. Our system is designed to process the order as quickly as possible so that there is no delay in shipping. For those who urgently need a replacement phone, this process is a big timesaver.

In order to create a cancellation option, we’d need to add a fake window of opportunity into the process, allowing some defined period of time before the order is actually sent to the fulfillment center. The problem then becomes deciding what that period of time needs to be. Do we allow you one hour to keep shopping around? Two hours? Five?

For each hour we add, we delay many orders by an entire day, because each order that isn’t processed and sent to the fulfillment center by 3:00 p.m. on weekdays becomes an order that doesn’t ship until the next day. If you were shopping on Thursday afternoon, desperately needed a replacement phone, placed your order with overnight shipping, and submitted at 2:30, only to discover we were giving you an hour-long “buyer’s remorse” period, you’d be asking us to remove the cancellation window, because that hour would mean your phone would arrive on Monday instead of Friday.

I understand that after 3:00 p.m. and on weekends it seems there’s a gap when orders ought to be able to be canceled, but all orders, regardless of when they are placed, process as quickly as possible so that those that can be fulfilled the same day, will. Once the order is sent to the fulfillment center, we can’t pull it back.

I know that’s not the answer you want to hear, and I’m sorry to see that you now find yourself in a position of needing to return an order. We’ll continue to look for opportunities to improve our shopping options over time, based on feedback such as yours.

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Possibly just need to add a buyers remorse option to the ordering process. Buyer selects no delay or a selectable #hours to delay when confirmed order.

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I was burned by not being able to cancel an order seconds after clicking ship. I received an RW Email on a deal added to the purchase by a 3rd party (maybe a free case) I don’t remember as it was on a Moto X1 or X2.
I lost a shipping cost but Now in 10 years RW has saved me about $10,000 dollars. What’s a small shipping fee-- Nothing!

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I don’t really find this a compelling response, because there was still ample time to cancel the order, and if getting the phone to the customer were a priority, the shipping would be a lot faster than it is. (I know it’s supposed to be 2-day shipping, but it’s taking way longer than 2 days to get it.) This also ignores the waste aspect to this, which is more troubling to me.

It’s more than the shipping fee that’s troubling to me.

How much quicker than leaving the fulfillment partner’s hands the same day for orders before 3p Eastern would you like? Short of a time machine, I don’t know how they could get them out faster than same day.

Hi @jjspaceman,

It’s understandable that my reply doesn’t strike you as compelling, but that may be in part due to your current perspective. You’re not in the position of needing a phone tomorrow and being told you should have ordered before 2:00 (or 1:00 or 11:00 am) for same-day fulfillment.

There’s a difference between processing an order and fulfilling an order. We process the order as quickly as possible. That means we complete the transaction and send the details of the order to the fulfillment center within a matter of minutes. Fulfillment is different. We partner with an excellent fulfillment center that ships orders on the same business day if they receive the order details by 3:00 p.m. They do not fulfill orders on weekends. We don’t own the fulfillment center and we don’t manage their systems. We can’t cancel an order once the details have been sent to fulfillment. So while it seems there was still ample time to cancel the order because it won’t ship until Monday, the order had already been fully processed on our end, making it past the point of cancellation. The order details had already been sent to fulfillment.

There’s an additional aspect to all of this that I did not mention. All orders are processed the same way: as quickly as possible. This includes shippable orders and non-shippable orders, like activations, plan upgrades, and data purchases. Adding in a fake delay would impact those orders as well.

You’re correct that I didn’t address the waste aspect, but only because it is a byproduct of the larger topic. We can’t reduce that waste without adding a fake delay. Shoppers could, however, reduce that waste by making sure they understand any company’s cancellation and return policy before placing an order, and in our case, that they have finished shopping around before making the purchase. Perhaps a statement near the final submit button warning that the order cannot be canceled would help with that.

I have a novel idea. How about people not be so impulsive and do a little research before deciding to buy something, not after the fact. Granted, deals always seem to come out the day after you just purchased something, but that’s life. Learn to do returns.

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First of all, this is getting way off track. I had a criticism and I was told to post it here, since RW doesn’t have a better system for customer feedback. Second, I ordered the phone Thursday night. It’s not scheduled to arrive until at least Tuesday. I get stuff from FedEx throughout the weekend.

Here’s a novel idea, accept humans are fallible and not all-knowing and things can change later on. Btw, @Republic Wireless, here’s another suggestion: have an actual suggestion or feedback mechanism, so people like me don’t have to suffer through all the judgmental naysayers because I have some ideas how you can improve your services and every contrarian can chime in about how I’m an idiot or should know everything or should perfectly know what to do all the time.

Hi @jjspaceman,

We don’t think you’re an idiot, and, as I indicated early on, we appreciate your feedback and suggestion. I was simply trying to provide additional context to illustrate why it’s not a simple fix without additional repercussions.

This is our feedback and suggestion mechanism, and your suggestion is in the right place, and we will look for every opportunity to make improvements based on your feedback.

There is no need for a fake delay. I don’t get that at all. However, idea shows that there are plenty of possible ways of dealing with the issue. Has no one here ever shopped online? This is exactly how places like just Amazon, Lowes, etc. work. There is an automated system, like every other online retailer, that gives you a cancel option before it fulfills/ships. If it’s not canceled in time, too bad, but at least there would be a mechanism capable of handling this rather than just revealing a critical lack of infrastructure.

Home Depot gives you 45 minutes to cancel an item or an entire order.

Perhaps the default could be a short delay, which could be overwritten by the purchaser.

“You have xx minutes to change or cancel this order. This may delay shipment of your order to the next business day. If you want your order to ship immediately, without the option to cancel, check the box below.” NOTE: If you choose to ship the order immediately, you may return the item under RW’s return policy (add link here)."

Yes, I really need my phone ASAP! Please ship immediately. I understand that once I place the order, it cannot be changed or canceled.

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@jjspaceman RW is not great for everyone! Maybe research and make sure RW will fit your needs. Having this much issue ordering & canceling a phone can give RW a bad taste in your mouth.

Are you absolutely sure the 3rd party phone will in fact be compatible with RW’s system? If it isn’t then you may still need the phone coming to the requested address.

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You’ve named companies that sell BILLIONS of dollars a year of product and spend more on fulfillment than Republic makes in revenue in a year (by 10x). You can’t make that comparison. A bit like me asking why you haven’t been to space. I mean Jeff Bezos is just a man right, and he’s been to space, seems reasonable to expect you to have been as well, especially with your screenname. Doesn’t seem that hard.

You’ve also named companies that do their own fulfillment, which again, Republic does not. Try some companies that are the same size and see how it works. Place an order with Ting Mobile, can you cancel it? How about Visible (who is even owned by Verizon), how about there? Mint Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Tello, H2O, US Mobile? Another big piles of no.

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I’m locking this topic because I believe @jjspaceman has done an excellent job of expressing his dissatisfaction with the way our ordering process currently works, has made a valuable suggestion toward improving our company, and has indicated that the negative feedback on his feedback is not appreciated.

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