Apple knifes resellers to make a quick buck -

Being an Apple reseller is probably not the happiest job in the world, but it seems that Jobs' Mob has just moved to make their lives more miserable.

According to Reutersthe fruity cargo cult has decided to cut in half the time it takes to give refunds to online store customers who want to return their iPhones and other gadgets.

While this does not seem much, and will probably cost Apple a bomb, it is part of Jobs' Mobs moves to get more people to buy direct from its website. This will be taking online customers away from retailers such as Amazon.com and Best Buy.

According to retail-intelligence firm StellaService, customers who buy a product from Apple's online store can get a refund in under a week, versus 10 days previously.

Apple is using an expedited service, FedEx 2Day, to let customers ship returned items with prepaid labels to its warehouse in three days.

The move had been seen as early as December but many thought that it was just a temporary move for the busy holiday season. The company, which orders items from Apple's website several times a day for research purposes, also discovered that packages were stamped with FedEx 2Day, rather than a Newgistics prepaid label.

Last year it was estimated that Apple experienced a 24 percent increase in online sales to $18.3 billion.

While the Tame Apple Press is keen to say that it is all about Apple improving its service to help customers out, it is more likely to be Jobs' Mobs' policy of reluctantly giving its products to other people to sell. In this case, Amazon is one of its major online rivals.

Amazon offers instant refunds in some cases, but it has been at risk of fraudulent claims, as some customers may not actually return the item. Apple has avoided this by offering the faster return.