Apple, UPS are using this oddly archaic and complex approach to ecommerce with iPhone XS shipments

Today, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, is the day that iPhone XS shipments start arriving — but why is Apple and UPS using printed release authorization forms in 2018?

  • Apple, who is using UPS for at least some iPhone XS shipments, began sending out email notifications, like the redacted one shown above, to customers Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.
  • As with its shipments done via FedEx in the past, Apple included a “pre-sign for delivery” link in its email.

  • Clicking this link leads to another page, hosted on Apple’s website that requires you to sign in and then click another, rather hidden, “pre-sign for delivery” link. This link is either more difficult to locate if the order was done through the iPhone Upgrade Program, which causes the return kit shipment information to be placed above it.
  • In turn, clicking this link leads you to another page that instructs you to print the form and “attach it to your door.”
  • You then need to check an “I accept the terms and conditions” box and click another button.

  • The next step — Apple’s website shows this “shipment release authorization” page.
  • While Apple does, thankfully, pre-fill the form with the tracking number, the page reads “This form is read only. Please print it before filling it out.”
  • As noted on the previous page, the customer then needs to print this, fill out personal information by hand, sign and date it and then attach it to a door at the delivery point.

  • It’s not clear if this process is required by all iPhone XS recipients.
  • UPS’s customer service team is tweeting that customers should see the option to electronically sign for delivery.
  • That option, however, was not made available to at least some iPhone XS customers.
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