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Panel Questions

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

OK, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Roxanne, we've all been ordering more stuff than ever online, which is why many retailers are adopting what new return policy?

ROXANNE ROBERTS: No return policy? Like, you can't return it because...

SAGAL: No. No.

ROBERTS: No return - no. You're going to - I'm going to need a hint.

SAGAL: You even get to keep the bubble wrap.

ROBERTS: Oh, they don't want to pay for the shipping, so they tell you just to keep it.

SAGAL: Yeah. They say, just keep it.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Retailers like Amazon and Walmart are opting to let you just keep many of the products you want to return and get your money back anyway. I mean, Jeff Bezos is worth a hundred billion dollars. You think he's worried about eating $49.99 because you now regret buying that Hello Kitty electric blanket? Here, have 10 of them, peon.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Your gains and losses are meaningless to him, like a net to a leviathan. I'm just quoting from the Amazon return policy.

LUKE BURBANK: (Laughter).

ROBERTS: I remember getting two of the same book. They were, like, just keep it. And I was so stunned by that because somehow, it seemed like it was the beginning of sort of the fall of Western civilization.

SAGAL: Yeah.

NEGIN FARSAD: (Laughter).

ROBERTS: It had started to...

BURBANK: Wow.

FARSAD: (Laughter) Yes, at least for America.

BURBANK: And you were absolutely right, Roxanne. That's what led to the Capitol storming.

ROBERTS: (Laughter).

FARSAD: I've - and it's bigger items, too. I have a chair that had, like, a chip on it. And so they were going to send me another one, and then they just told me to keep the original chair. So now I have two of a chair. Like, it was a - like, it's a chair.

SAGAL: Right. Despite all this, online returns have actually jumped 70% from last year because we're buying all this stuff. And also, when you return something, you get to talk to customer service. And that's as close as we get these days to actual human contact.

FARSAD: I'm going to be honest with you guys. I, like, will take any opportunity to go to the supermarket, go to the coffee shop. Anyone standing in line with me is suddenly talking about the weather. I turn everyone into a conversation because I'm so deprived.

ROBERTS: Do you open the conversation by saying, guess what? I have two chairs?

(LAUGHTER)

BURBANK: Not to brag.

FARSAD: Every conversation starts that way, yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RETURN TO SENDER")

ELVIS PRESLEY: (Singing) Return to sender. Return to sender. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.