So there I was, in the middle of a UPS store parking lot in Lewiston, NY – opening parts boxes like it was Christmas in May. Wiper blades. Air filter. Spark plugs. Turbo hose. Coolant reservoir. Oil filler cap gasket. Engine mount. Strut mount nuts and washers. Other 2004 Volvo XC90 2.5T parts that warrant an Anderson Cooper eye roll from my wife. I should start making FCP Euro “haul” videos for my Volvo XC90 site. Maybe I will. But first, I’m going to review my first experience with the Lifetime Replacement Promise from FCP Euro.
Anyway, unlike Christmas, I took the wiper blades out of their Genuine Volvo parts boxes, installed the new parts on the XC90, and put the old parts back in their respective Genuine Volvo box. Then I used the big FCP Euro box that they shipped via UPS to ship the used Volvo parts back to
Santa FCP Euro for a refund.
List of items I sent back under the Lifetime Replacement Promise from FCP Euro
The list of items I sent back under the Lifetime Replacement Promise from FCP Euro wasn’t that long. In fact, there were only five items on it. But as well all know, five items can add up to some serious coin – especially when we’re talking about parts for a Volvo. Genuine Volvo parts to be exact.
In case you think this was some off-the-cuff endeavor that I just came up with, think again. I had been planning this trip for weeks and the receipt of the parts and subsequent return were all carefully orchestrated ahead of time for maximum ease and efficiency.
Easy Returns. No-as-easy Returns Form
With that being said, FCP Euro has a handy returns form that I’d really like to see improved. The form mentions the lifetime “fitment and quality” but doesn’t spell it out as the current “promise” that the company offers. Also, can I return a number of parts from multiple orders using one form? No clue. So I ended up using three of the forms just for the sake of clarity. The form also uses three different return types: New, Warranty & Defective and Core returns. None of these mentions the lifetime promise. I guessed that Lifetime Replacement Promise from FCP Euro fell under the Warranty Return category. But there’s only three lines in that section while there are eight for New Returns. It just felt odd.
Yes, I KNOW I can do some of the returns online, but I had returns from several different orders and one of the orders was made as a guest and it was slightly complicated.
I honestly didn’t feel comfortable with the form and created my own (click/tap to enlarge):
NOTE: FCP Euro, if you’re reading this, feel free to steal the form…just be sure to mention my site a few times somewhere – gracias!
My modified form, I think, outlined what was being returned for a lifetime replacement (translation: returned for a refund since I just bought the same parts) and what was being returned under traditional warranty terms or a store credit (since those purchases were past the 90-day period and I wasn’t actually replacing those parts with new ones.)
I packed everything up into the shipping box, used the packing paper*, and drove to the U.S. Post Office across the street to send the box back to Milford, Connecticut, where FCP Euro is located.
Looking at the box, and judging by the weight, I was a bit nervous at what it would cost me to ship this quasi-behemoth back to the motherland (I’m kind of from Connecticut). I was genuinely surprised when the cost was under $15USD and it would only take two days to get to Milford. And one of those two days was a Sunday.
FCP Euro must get their mail pretty early because, as of Monday around 0900 eastern time, they had already processed my return. That’s fast. I even took a look at their live webcam feed from their returns department, and I’m pretty sure I saw my wiper blade boxes on the shelf.
As for how the fiscal (money) side of the return was handled – I ran into a glitch, but I will say that the glitch was masterfully solved by Tiffany at FCP Euro. You see, some of my returns were simple warranty returns where I expected store credit, but other returns were clearly marked as Lifetime Promise returns, and I even stated the new order number that contained my replacement parts. However, ALL of my returns were given store credit.
No worries though – a quick phone call placed the right refund in the right place. Errors happen. Come on, it’s a Lifetime Promise that’s operated by humans – mistakes are inevitable. The important thing is that the mistake was fixed perfectly – and quickly. It’s almost not worth mentioning, but I am for the sake of transparency. Also, just a suggestion, if you’re planning on having FCP Euro be your main source for Volvo parts, do yourself a favor and create an account through their website.
I don’t even know if you can get store credit for returned parts outside of the Lifetime Replacement Promise from FCP Euro without an online account. Anyway, here’s me changing my air filter in a parking lot:
I won’t tell you what I received in refunds and store credits through FCP Euro’s Lifetime Promise, but I will say that I didn’t flinch at the return shipping cost. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the overall value of the FCP Lifetime Promise program. I can, however, see some larger, heavier items costing more to ship and possibly eroding some off the value of the program in some cases. However, in the vast majority of situations (I consider my purchase on this occasion to be very average) the Lifetime Promise from FCP Euro is the best deal around, and you simply won’t find a more cost-effective supply of parts for your car.
Bottom line on my experience: There will always be times when you need Volvo parts that you simply can’t wait for. I get it. I those cases, you buy from someone local while weighing the urgency of the need against the price. But if you plan your maintenance well, and don’t mind taking the time to package up and return your parts, there is no better deal than Lifetime Promise from FCP Euro.
*Just a quick thanks to FCP Euro for using paper to pack their shipping boxes. My mother-in-law used packing peanuts once to send us something. She sent the package over a year ago. I’m still vacuuming up parts of packing peanuts from my 2004 Volvo XC90.