Amazon patents quiet online return process

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Online retailer Amazon.com has now patented a process that will allow people to quietly return gifts from the website, before they ever receive them. Under the plan recipients would get an e-mail from Amazon telling them a gift is on the way.

You can reject a single gift, or choose to reject any gift from a particular person. Critics call the idea impolite and uncouth. Amazon says it would reduce the wasted time and other problems that come with returning unwanted gifts.

The new system could be ready by next Christmas.

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