Walmart backs off extra charge for APO/FPO shipping
By MARK PATTON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 19, 2009
PREVIOUS STORY: Some retailers inflating costs to ship to APO addresses
WIESBADEN, Germany — Retail giant Walmart is no longer charging extra shipping fees to U.S. military customers living overseas.
A discrepancy between shipping rates charged to stateside customers and to military customers overseas was highlighted in a recent Stars and Stripes article. For example, the shipping costs for a $120 order shipped from Walmart to an APO address were nearly five times the cost of the same order sent to a stateside address.
Military postal officials said shipping costs to an APO address are no higher than shipping to a domestic U.S. address, because the military bears the added expense of transporting the goods overseas.
Other retailers are charging the same as stateside shipping, or less, to ship items to APO addresses. Target, for example, was offering free shipping to APO/FPO addresses for the holidays on orders more than $50. And the company’s regular shipping fees were lower for APOs and FPOs than for stateside addresses.
Walmart has not granted repeated requests for an interview on the issue. But an e-mail sent to Stars and Stripes on Thursday evening said the company has changed its APO shipping rates.
“Effective immediately, we have modified our APO shipping charges,” Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said in the e-mail. “They are now the same as shipping to homes and businesses in the continental U.S. This change is currently reflected on our site as our customers select and purchase their merchandise.”