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(The Consumerist)   Choose your own adventure: You order one iPad as a gift. The big box store sends you five. What do you do with the extra iPads? Tag is for actual outcome   (consumerist.com) divider line 159
    More: Sappy, Choose Your Own Adventure, iPads, Best Buy, proof without words, internet research, gifts  
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17173 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Dec 2012 at 10:06 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



159 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-12-06 10:08:13 AM
I once ordered a coat and received two, so I went to the store and told them what happened and said that I just wanted to give one of them back. The sales girl had no protocol for that so she just pretended it was a return and I got a coat for free.
 
2012-12-06 10:08:25 AM
It saddens me that someone doing the right thing is:

a) treated like an unparalleled hero OR

b) mocked for her "stupidity"
 
2012-12-06 10:09:10 AM
Just do what Apple would do, whatever it takes to make money...
Sorry I had to.
Of course you resell them. This is a no brainer. Extra 2 grand in your pocket at Christmas time.
 
2012-12-06 10:12:50 AM

umrdyldo: Just do what Apple would do, whatever it takes to make money...
Sorry I had to.
Of course you resell them. This is a no brainer. Extra 2 grand in your pocket at Christmas time.


for used iPads? doubtful
 
2012-12-06 10:13:01 AM
I had a similar situation with Roku. I ordered one, I got 2. I gave one to my dad.
 
2012-12-06 10:13:11 AM
That's a no-brainer...

www.mikehaywardcollection.com
 
2012-12-06 10:13:20 AM
OK, Best Buy's response kind of made them go up a notch or two in my estimation.
Of course, there was nowhere to go but up...
 
2012-12-06 10:14:04 AM
I would first attempt to take them to the local Best Buy to exchange them for something useful.

As noted in the article, if they ship it to you - it's yours. You might find yourself meeting a legal challenge if the screwup is exceptionally expensive but generally that rule holds true.
 
2012-12-06 10:14:25 AM
 
2012-12-06 10:14:59 AM

kvinesknows: umrdyldo: Just do what Apple would do, whatever it takes to make money...
Sorry I had to.
Of course you resell them. This is a no brainer. Extra 2 grand in your pocket at Christmas time.

for used iPads? doubtful


Used? They weren't used. They were brand new in boxes....
 
2012-12-06 10:15:31 AM
Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief
 
2012-12-06 10:16:00 AM
Well the Consumerist should know that the proposition that "anything shipped to your home is yours" is not actually a legal doctrine. While it is true that under the rules of contract/restitution, you are under no obligation to pay for the mistakenly sent items - which is to prevent old scams wherein someone would send you, say, a tie in the mail and then charge you $50 - if best buy or whomever asked that you sent the merch back, you are under a legal obligation to do so (unless you reasonably changed position such that the disgorgement would work harm upon you - think accidentally spending money mistakenly placed in your bank account because you legitimately believed it was a bonus or some such). Now they have to pay for the shipping and all - but you cant just reply "nope, mine now"

/Fun fact: except for abandoned goods and the law of salvage in admiralty - finders keepers is also not a valid doctrine.
 
2012-12-06 10:16:21 AM
Best Buy did right because they were contacted by consumerist. If not they would have hounded her to get them back.
 
2012-12-06 10:17:00 AM
Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone.

They will now that you told the whole world, dumbass.
 
2012-12-06 10:17:04 AM

stonelotus: If You Didn't Order It, You Don't Have To Pay For It


There is, however, a distinction between purposefully sent items and mistakes.
 
2012-12-06 10:17:16 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: try calling. u shiathead thief


www.troll.me
 
2012-12-06 10:18:39 AM

Teiritzamna: stonelotus: If You Didn't Order It, You Don't Have To Pay For It

There is, however, a distinction between purposefully sent items and mistakes.


Wait, are we talking about iPads or pregnancies?
 
2012-12-06 10:19:09 AM
I see about 1/4 of the respondents agreed with my choice of "give them to family and friends". In the case of unexpected good mojo like this, it seems cheap to simply reap profit from it.

I would truly enjoy being able to surprise folks with an iPad!
 
2012-12-06 10:19:26 AM
i thought in the USA that if you got something in your mailbox that you didn't order, it is considered yours.
 
2012-12-06 10:19:43 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: try calling. u shiathead thief


Why waste their time for Best Buy's mistake? If really want to return it, do as the poll posits: Put them on the Customer Service counter at a Best Buy and leave. (But that only works when a Best Buy is convenient -- nearest one might be hundreds of miles away)
Actually, they got Consumerist to do the work for them. :)
 
2012-12-06 10:20:27 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief


Best Buy would probably prefer an email to their support address, it costs them less than a customer support call.
 
gja [TotalFark]
2012-12-06 10:21:41 AM
I was able to smile slightly from that accounting of the incident.
Sometimes, mind you not terribly often, I have some real hope that all big businesses are not heartless, unfeeling, uncaring, shiatholes.
And I hang on to those little snippets of hope because I try so much to not let this world wear down my belief people are basically good.

Nice story:
The Best Buy not 1 mile from my apartment is busy as hell, mobbed like mad nearly all the time, and understaffed woefully. BUT....there are at least 6 younger folks working there I am convinced are doing their job like they OWN the place. So I keep shopping there because dealing with polite, truthful and knowledgeable sales staff is better than saving 5 or 6 bucks.
 
2012-12-06 10:21:52 AM
Yeah, my guess is no one knew what to do with the product if it were returned, or no one could be arsed to go through the paperwork. I recently ordered something rather large and bulky and was sent the wrong item (cost was ~$250). The sender acknowledged the error and sent me the correct one, but the CSR couldn't figure out how to get the erroneous one back. I spent about an hour of time between multiple phone calls to get them their product back, but finally the CSR just threw in the towel and told me to keep it. Irritating because I have absolutely no use for it while somewhere, someone does. Just plain wasteful, but that's the consequence of today's global supply chain automation - errors are a biatch to correct.
 
2012-12-06 10:22:08 AM

dopekitty74: kvinesknows: umrdyldo: Just do what Apple would do, whatever it takes to make money...
Sorry I had to.
Of course you resell them. This is a no brainer. Extra 2 grand in your pocket at Christmas time.

for used iPads? doubtful

Used? They weren't used. They were brand new in boxes....


and you can prove that how? if it aint from a store... you aint getting retail
 
2012-12-06 10:22:12 AM

kvinesknows: umrdyldo: Just do what Apple would do, whatever it takes to make money...
Sorry I had to.
Of course you resell them. This is a no brainer. Extra 2 grand in your pocket at Christmas time.

for used iPads? doubtful


Used? New in box, never even been powered on. This isn't like a car dealership where the moment it leaves the lot it loses half its value.

4 extra iPads, normally going anywhere from $399 to $799 each depending on how much memory, which model, and if it has 3G or 4G capability or now.

Yeah, making an extra $2000 is plausible, depending on the model of the iPads.
 
2012-12-06 10:22:44 AM
I don't know which page to turn to, subby.
 
2012-12-06 10:23:35 AM
She should have exchanged one for some Monster Cables.

/got nothing
 
2012-12-06 10:23:40 AM
The thought of giving iPads to people "in need" cracks me up, because there are zero people who need iPads.
 
2012-12-06 10:24:47 AM
A few years ago, ordered a set of Tommy Armour irons from Woot.

Weeks later, there's a knock on the door and the guy delivers a nice set of irons. Thanks!

A few hours later, a different guy delivers a nice set of irons... Thanks?!

I drop Woot an email and they never reply.

THANKS! Now I have a set for my wife.
 
2012-12-06 10:25:34 AM
Ok, the first part of the headline instantly reminds me of the ermergerd girl.
 
2012-12-06 10:25:44 AM
Find an orphanage or similar facility that cares for teens 13 & up without parents or in situations where they can't live with their parents (they're druggies or locked up or similar). These kids get no breaks. They don't get adopted. They don't get hugged or cuddled. They don't get surprises, and nobody donates toys they'd be interested in. They don't get treated like their special, and they feel like forgotten refuse. They get the basics and have being completely on their own to look forward to once they turn 18.

Find a place that cares for these kids, and get them to point you to 4 smart, fairly together teens that would each really appreciate an iPad. Feel good about yourself for the rest of the holiday season.

Seriously; we went shopping for a bunch of stuff to send to a place like this and their self-written Christmas lists were the saddest things ever. Jeans. School supplies. Books. New, non-charity clothes. Something like that would knock their socks off.
 
2012-12-06 10:25:46 AM
I'd totally get the extended warranty on all 5.
 
2012-12-06 10:25:57 AM
meh. I'd have handed out the extra iPads to friends and family as christmas presents, no problem.

Personally, I lurve my iPad. sometimes, when I hold it close, I imagine I can hear the weeping and crying of the chinese slave workers who built it for me.
 
2012-12-06 10:26:21 AM
"Give them to people in need"? Who's in need of an iPad? Oh I know, the Welfare and Medicaid recipients who are "too poor" to pay for food and medical insurance, but buy Coach purses for themselves and iPads for their 5 kids at Christmas.
 
2012-12-06 10:26:30 AM

Public Savant: Teiritzamna: stonelotus: If You Didn't Order It, You Don't Have To Pay For It

There is, however, a distinction between purposefully sent items and mistakes.

Wait, are we talking about iPads or pregnancies?


yes
 
2012-12-06 10:27:31 AM

Teiritzamna: Well the Consumerist should know that the proposition that "anything shipped to your home is yours" is not actually a legal doctrine.


Yeah, saw that line and facepalmed. At least it turned out well.
 
2012-12-06 10:28:38 AM

Teiritzamna: /Fun fact: except for abandoned goods and the law of salvage in admiralty - finders keepers is also not a valid doctrine.


Not so - Finders v. Losers is enshrined in Pierson v. Post. :P
 
2012-12-06 10:29:03 AM
How do I let them know about my charity, the fyrewede Technology Assistance Fund

/donations in the form of cash, checks, credit cards, and money orders are also welcome
//as is PayPal
 
2012-12-06 10:29:59 AM
I wonder if the other side of this story is that somewhere, someone who ordered 5 ipads got a box with one, and was charged for 5, and is going apeshiat with Best Buy.
 
2012-12-06 10:30:56 AM

Theaetetus: Teiritzamna: /Fun fact: except for abandoned goods and the law of salvage in admiralty - finders keepers is also not a valid doctrine.

Not so - Finders v. Losers is enshrined in Pierson v. Post. :P


Ahem - if i recall, Pierson v. Post stands for the principle that whomever whacks-off a fox, gets to keep that fox. "Stacy's mom has got it going on" rule
 
2012-12-06 10:31:16 AM

Zasteva: Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief

Best Buy would probably prefer an email to their support address, it costs them less than a customer support call.


now that's thinking like a criminal
 
2012-12-06 10:31:21 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief


She didn't screw up the order, why should she have to subject herself to the time and aggravation that is the Best Buy "Customer Service" hotline? Somehow her time is less valuable and the impetus is on her to waste it on a hotline drone who most likely can't do jack shiat anyway?

/Yes, I'm speaking from personal experience
 
2012-12-06 10:31:58 AM

Silverstaff: kvinesknows: umrdyldo: Just do what Apple would do, whatever it takes to make money...
Sorry I had to.
Of course you resell them. This is a no brainer. Extra 2 grand in your pocket at Christmas time.

for used iPads? doubtful

Used? New in box, never even been powered on. This isn't like a car dealership where the moment it leaves the lot it loses half its value.

4 extra iPads, normally going anywhere from $399 to $799 each depending on how much memory, which model, and if it has 3G or 4G capability or now.

Yeah, making an extra $2000 is plausible, depending on the model of the iPads.


no warranty? 16GB version? meh.. $1600 at most.
 
2012-12-06 10:32:17 AM

IamSoSmart_S_M_R_T: Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief

She didn't screw up the order, why should she have to subject herself to the time and aggravation that is the Best Buy "Customer Service" hotline? Somehow her time is less valuable and the impetus is on her to waste it on a hotline drone who most likely can't do jack shiat anyway?

/Yes, I'm speaking from personal experience


time is money and everything. but thEYRE OPEN ON THE F*CKING WEEKEND
 
2012-12-06 10:32:46 AM
FTA: "Best Buy looks generous, nobody gets fired (we hope), Alexa's conscience gets to rest, we get to post wacky photos of a huge retail screwup, and some deserving person will get four free iPads."

Oh, I'm sure someone is jobless for the holidays... Accident or not, whoever did this is getting sacked. If they didn't, you'd see a lot more "Oopsie, I just sent my buddy a crate of laptops instead of just the one he ordered".
 
db2
2012-12-06 10:33:01 AM
Strictly speaking, yes, it's legal to keep the merchandise. However, in addition to the law, there are concepts of 'good faith', 'bad faith', and 'being a dick wad'. If the company is obviously not trying to grift you, and simply made an operational error, I'd at least have the decency to contact them about it, and let them decide what they want to do. And in this case, it looks like that's what happened.

I had something kind of like this happen with an ebay purchase recently. They sent the wrong item (the part numbers were extremely similar). I told them about it, they sent the right item, included a return label for the wrong one, and I sent it back.

It's like the "scanner" law here in Michigan - if an item is rung up for the wrong amount, you are technically entitled to both the correct price, and a refund of ten times the amount of the error, up to $5. But I know mistakes happen, so I won't call them on the second part of it unless they're being huge dicks, or obviously trying to rip off customers (fortunately, I haven't had to do this once yet). Generally, I'm content with the store just honoring the advertised price.

Oh, but I'm not paying for the extra merchandise or the return shipping, though. They can have the stuff back, but they're going to have to send me a shipping label, or arrange for pickup. Unless they tell me to keep it, in which case I will.
 
2012-12-06 10:33:01 AM
Legally, anything that is shipped to your home is yours to keep. This is in order to prevent companies from shipping you merchandise that you never asked for, then hounding you for the money.

I think today is the first time ever I was glad I clicked a Consumerist article. I learned something useful today. But I don't get the sappy tag. I was expecting the extra 4 to be donated to some inner city school, or battered housewives or something. Instead the "sappy" ending was this lady got to keep them? Whoopdy-doo.
 
2012-12-06 10:33:09 AM

GregInIndy: Find an orphanage or similar facility that cares for teens 13 & up without parents or in situations where they can't live with their parents (they're druggies or locked up or similar). These kids get no breaks. They don't get adopted. They don't get hugged or cuddled. They don't get surprises, and nobody donates toys they'd be interested in. They don't get treated like their special, and they feel like forgotten refuse. They get the basics and have being completely on their own to look forward to once they turn 18.

Find a place that cares for these kids, and get them to point you to 4 smart, fairly together teens that would each really appreciate an iPad. Feel good about yourself for the rest of the holiday season.

Seriously; we went shopping for a bunch of stuff to send to a place like this and their self-written Christmas lists were the saddest things ever. Jeans. School supplies. Books. New, non-charity clothes. Something like that would knock their socks off.


Well said, sad and true. I recommend The Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago as a charity to assist for anyone who wants to help out older kids.
 
2012-12-06 10:33:12 AM
It's not that anything shipped to your home is yours; that's silly. It's that you're not under any encumberance at all to do anything to return something sent to your home that you didn't ask for. They literally need to come and retrieve it from you, or convince you to send it back to them. Which is usually too much of a pain for them to do, so they let you keep it.
 
2012-12-06 10:33:30 AM
I've gone to checkout at Trader Joe's before and they rang me up for a single box of cereal when it was clear that I was buying 4. They're careless at random hours for no apparent reason and I don't catch it until I walk out of the store.

Guess that makes me a theif but hell why not drop a roll of 20s in my bag, wait until I get home and call the cops saying I stole from the register too?
 
2012-12-06 10:33:36 AM

Teiritzamna: Well the Consumerist should know that the proposition that "anything shipped to your home is yours" is not actually a legal doctrine. While it is true that under the rules of contract/restitution, you are under no obligation to pay for the mistakenly sent items - which is to prevent old scams wherein someone would send you, say, a tie in the mail and then charge you $50 - if best buy or whomever asked that you sent the merch back, you are under a legal obligation to do so (unless you reasonably changed position such that the disgorgement would work harm upon you - think accidentally spending money mistakenly placed in your bank account because you legitimately believed it was a bonus or some such). Now they have to pay for the shipping and all - but you cant just reply "nope, mine now"


Do you have any citations for that? I'm not convinced that having the "seller" pay for return shipping is enough to prevent companies from trying to run the scam you described. Also, they would have to prove that (a) it was a mistake and not intentional and (b) they're aware they made the mistake (and somehow did it anyway).
 
2012-12-06 10:34:04 AM

iron_city_ap: She should have exchanged one for some one Monster Cables.

/got nothing


Let's be honest here
 
2012-12-06 10:35:41 AM

stonelotus: If You Didn't Order It, You Don't Have To Pay For It


Then how come when an ATM accidentally gives you a giant wad of cash that isn't yours, you get prosecuted if you don't give it back?
 
2012-12-06 10:35:46 AM

Theaetetus: Teiritzamna: Well the Consumerist should know that the proposition that "anything shipped to your home is yours" is not actually a legal doctrine.

Yeah, saw that line and facepalmed. At least it turned out well.


Well, the Federal Trade Commission seems to think otherwise, and gives out that advice on their website: Link
 
2012-12-06 10:35:56 AM
Foster kids.

/dnrtfa
 
2012-12-06 10:36:34 AM

Jon iz teh kewl:

time is money and everything. but thEYRE OPEN ON THE F*CKING WEEKEND


So she is supposed to waste her time and gas driving to the store when it's BB's fault? I know I like to spend my weekends correcting errors that others make.

/Which is why I'm a weekend Grammar Nazi
 
2012-12-06 10:37:09 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief


Since we have been talking about trolls this a.m. (another thread), take note Fark, this is a great example (for educational puposes).
 
2012-12-06 10:38:13 AM
I'd send all 5 back and get a refund for the one. Who the hell needs an iPad?

Somewhere, there are four hipsters crying over their iPad-less Christmas.
 
2012-12-06 10:38:40 AM

Teiritzamna: Theaetetus: Teiritzamna: /Fun fact: except for abandoned goods and the law of salvage in admiralty - finders keepers is also not a valid doctrine.

Not so - Finders v. Losers is enshrined in Pierson v. Post. :P

Ahem - if i recall, Pierson v. Post stands for the principle that whomever whacks-off a fox, gets to keep that fox. "Stacy's mom has got it going on" rule


No, no - it's if you lose sight of your fox and someone else finds it and kills it, then let it go man, 'cause it's gone.
 
2012-12-06 10:40:52 AM

Nightenstaff: Oh, I'm sure someone is jobless for the holidays... Accident or not, whoever did this is getting sacked.


If they fired someone over every screwup of this magnitude, there'd be no one left in the American workplace. I know I have personally cocked up to the tune of five figures, and I've never been fired from a job. Mistakes happen. Moreover, in the modern work environment, there are so many points of failure that the finger-pointing would make a web of fingers all pointing at other, smaller fingers.

/fingers all the way down
 
2012-12-06 10:40:54 AM

Silverstaff: Theaetetus: Teiritzamna: Well the Consumerist should know that the proposition that "anything shipped to your home is yours" is not actually a legal doctrine.

Yeah, saw that line and facepalmed. At least it turned out well.

Well, the Federal Trade Commission seems to think otherwise, and gives out that advice on their website: Link


The FTC advice applies in cases where you have no business dealings with the shipper. If someone randomly sends a case of wine to your house, then you can consider it a gift. If, on the other hand, you order wine and they send a non-conforming shipment, you don't get to say "ha, ha, wine's mine, jackass."
What you can say is, "I reject this shipment of wine, and I'll hold it for 30 days with reasonable corkage storage fees for you to send me a shipping label. Then I'll dispose of it."
 
2012-12-06 10:40:57 AM
I like how even this they got the best possible outcome from Best Buy, Consumerist still tries their best to vilify BB...

"Sure, it probably helps that the eyes of Consumerist's readership were on Best Buy here..."

Yeah if your retarded readers weren't aware, I'm sure BB would have sent goons to this lady's house to retrieve the extra iPads, rape her, and then set her house on fire.

Consumerist = asshats.
 
2012-12-06 10:41:13 AM

HindiDiscoMonster: Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief

Since we have been talking about trolls this a.m. (another thread), take note Fark, this is a great example (for educational puposes).


i'm not a troll. most places have a call-back option instead of waiting on the phone
 
2012-12-06 10:41:23 AM
This isn't "generosity" on Best Buy's part; they don't have a legal leg to stand on and they know it.
 
2012-12-06 10:41:48 AM
If Apple and Best Buy weren't trying to dick you over in everything you buy I would say to return the items, but being that both companies can go to hell I would rather give them to family and friends for gifts.
 
2012-12-06 10:41:55 AM

Nem Wan: stonelotus: If You Didn't Order It, You Don't Have To Pay For It

Then how come when an ATM accidentally gives you a giant wad of cash that isn't yours, you get prosecuted if you don't give it back?


Because the intent here is to keep companies from shipping you stuff you didn't ask for, then billing you for it later, when you never ordered it in the first place.

When an ATM dispenses a huge wad of money, you know that money isn't yours, you're taking it from the ATM knowing you aren't supposed to have it. You are taking the effort to remove it from the ATM and walk off, when you could just leave it at the machine (or immediately deposit it back on the spot, with a note written on the deposit slip that it was dispensed in error)

In this case, somebody ordered 1 iPad. They got shipped 5. The idea is to shield the consumer from suddenly being hit with a bill for $2000+.

The FTC suggests writing them to notify them of this situation and asking them to take the items back within 30 days, and that you'll keep the items after that time. . .but it also notes that response is not strictly necessary.
 
2012-12-06 10:42:03 AM

mccallcl: Nightenstaff: Oh, I'm sure someone is jobless for the holidays... Accident or not, whoever did this is getting sacked.

If they fired someone over every screwup of this magnitude, there'd be no one left in the American workplace. I know I have personally cocked up to the tune of five figures, and I've never been fired from a job. Mistakes happen. Moreover, in the modern work environment, there are so many points of failure that the finger-pointing would make a web of fingers all pointing at other, smaller fingers.

/fingers all the way down


us.cdn1.123rf.com
 
2012-12-06 10:43:58 AM

Silverstaff: Well, the Federal Trade Commission seems to think otherwise, and gives out that advice on their website: Link


Once again - there is a world of difference between purposeful mailing you crap and then demanding payment, and accidentally shipping you something and then asking for it back. The FTC site is discussing the fact that you are under no legal obligation to pay for such goods - which is true. But in the case of a mistake if they demand the merch back, you dont have a legal right to possession.

Now it is true that the party requesting the goods bears the burden of actually showing that it was a mistake, however in cases such as this it seems like its not too hard a threshold for BB to show that they are not involved in a crazy scam to send people $1-2k in unwanted apple products in the hope that someone will pay them for it.

The trick with the law is it is not magic - by that i mean it is rarely a formalist recanting of facts and scenarios without any mind to the circumstances - which alas is the general lay understanding of it. It is generally focused instead upon fairness and reason. I think its pretty fair and reasonable to say that if you mistakenly send someone something they dont just get to keep it, just as it is fair to say that if you purposefully send someone something without request in the hopes that they pay for it, they are under no obligation to pay you.
 
2012-12-06 10:44:04 AM
One for herself, the other four are the dinner plates for the world's most post-modern table setting.
 
2012-12-06 10:44:13 AM
Looks like someone at Best Buy has a brain. As in one person, at Best Buy, has a brain. One person.
 
2012-12-06 10:44:15 AM

Silverstaff: Because the intent here is to keep companies from shipping you stuff you didn't ask for, then billing you for it later, when you never ordered it in the first place.


Note the distinction. Errors in amounts are not the same as "didn't ask for, never ordered in the first place".
 
db2
2012-12-06 10:44:42 AM

kbronsito: i thought in the USA that if you got something in your mailbox that you didn't order, it is considered yours.


Correct. The statute in question is Title 39 USC Section 3009 (disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor paralegal).

Receipt of Unsolicited Merchandise

A key point here is that this is for unsolicited/unordered merchandise. You can't place an order, get the merchandise, and tell the vendor "LOL GET REKT SKRUB". But if you've got a clearly marked and paid invoice for one piece, and receive five pieces, those other four would be unsolicited. In cases where a magazine publisher appears to send you an unsolicited book, and tells you to either pay for it or return it, check your subscription agreement carefully to make sure you haven't agreed to this. If you are confident you haven't, print this page, stuff it in their invoice envelope, and send it back.

Now, I don't know if this legislation applies specifically to USPS, or other delivery services as well (FedEx, UPS, etc.) I'm guessing it does, but I wouldn't base any major decisions on that assumption without getting a second opinion.
 
2012-12-06 10:46:41 AM
i wonder what iTunes would do if you attempted plugging in 5 of them at the same time?? crap out? or continue working.
 
2012-12-06 10:46:56 AM
It's not really an ethical dilemma if, you know, you actually have ethics. The company made a mistake. Send them back and stop trying to get over.
 
2012-12-06 10:49:50 AM

kbronsito: i thought in the USA that if you got something in your mailbox that you didn't order, it is considered yours.


i46.tinypic.com

Now if they just deliver her, no questions asked, I'm golden.
 
2012-12-06 10:51:32 AM
A couple of years ago, I cancelled my service with a dsl based ISP (Acanac you suck). Horrible customer service by the way (part of the story). I had rented the modem so I had to send it back to get my deposit. I sent the modem in, and they sent me a cheque. A signed blank cheque. I could have written in any amount I wanted, and cashed it. Being the nice person that I am I called company "A" and told them their mistake. Their attitude was they couldn't have cared less. Finally, I called the issuing bank, told them about the companies mistake and told them they had 24 hours to correct it, or I'd fill in an amount I thought represented my time and effort to complete the transaction. Company "A" couriered me a cheque the next day and picked up the old one. Only after being contacted by the bank. No "hey, were sorry, we f*cked up". No, "jeez Mr. R, let me fix this right away".

.
..
...
I was going to post a photocopy of the cheque but that's probably not a good idea on Fark.
 
2012-12-06 10:52:19 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: Zasteva: Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief

Best Buy would probably prefer an email to their support address, it costs them less than a customer support call.

now that's thinking like a criminal


I've helped build technical support infrastructure for 2 large high tech companies. It's how they think. If you want to call them criminal for thinking like that....

Also, under law, she is entitled to keep the free merchandise shipped to her.

/sounds criminal to me
 
2012-12-06 10:53:48 AM

db2: kbronsito: i thought in the USA that if you got something in your mailbox that you didn't order, it is considered yours.

Correct. The statute in question is Title 39 USC Section 3009 (disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor paralegal).

Receipt of Unsolicited Merchandise

A key point here is that this is for unsolicited/unordered merchandise. You can't place an order, get the merchandise, and tell the vendor "LOL GET REKT SKRUB". But if you've got a clearly marked and paid invoice for one piece, and receive five pieces, those other four would be unsolicited.


No, the other 4 are a requested shipment that is non-conforming as to a term (number of items).

39 USC 3009(d) states: "For the purposes of this section, "unordered merchandise" means merchandise mailed without the prior expressed request or consent of the recipient." It doesn't make a distinction between number of items, but rather the merchandise in general.

Instead, the relevant laws would be (as modified or accepted by the state in question) under the UCC:
UCC § 2-601. Buyer's Rights on Improper Delivery.
Subject to the provisions of this Article on breach in installment contracts (Section 2-612) and unless otherwise agreed under the sections on contractual limitations of remedy (Sections 2-718 and 2-719), if the goods or the tender of delivery fail in any respect to conform to the contract, the buyer may
(a) reject the whole; or
(b) accept the whole; or
(c) accept any commercial unit or units and reject the rest.

and
§ 2-604. Buyer's Options as to Salvage of Rightfully Rejected Goods.

Subject to the provisions of the immediately preceding section on perishables if the seller gives no instructions within a reasonable time after notification of rejection the buyer may store the rejected goods for the seller's account or reship them to him or resell them for the seller's account with reimbursement as provided in the preceding section. Such action is not acceptance or conversion.
 
2012-12-06 10:55:00 AM
I would sell the 4 ipods, buy a couple ounces of blow, and snort that shiat off the 5th biatches!
 
2012-12-06 10:57:22 AM

DubyaHater: "Give them to people in need"? Who's in need of an iPad? Oh I know, the Welfare and Medicaid recipients who are "too poor" to pay for food and medical insurance, but buy Coach purses for themselves and iPads for their 5 kids at Christmas.


ಠ_ಠ
 
2012-12-06 10:57:43 AM
I ordered a K&N air filter, 8 iridium spark plugs and 4 sets of brake pads for my Lexus from an online store, stuff wasn't cheap, totaled about $300 for all of it.

They sent it all to me and then the next day I got a duplicate order, but was only billed once.

I called, they said keep it all. That's usually what these places do.

Sure, I'd prefer 4 "spare" iPads, but having all the parts for the next service on the car was nice, especially stuff that really doesn't have a shelf life.
 
2012-12-06 10:59:33 AM
When Madden 2008 (that last version for pc!) dropped down to $10, I used a $5 reward from my Best Buy credit card to buy 1 copy.

They sent me 2 in 2 different packages but I was only charged for 1.


I CAN TOTALLY RELATE TO THIS STORY.
 
2012-12-06 11:01:14 AM
CSB

Had something similar happen last year.

My Grandma ordered my wife and I one Nook Color. Two of them showed up. On the outside of both of the boxes was our address, but the second one had a receipt for someone else inside.

We contacted Barnes and Noble and told them about the mistake. They kept thinking we wanted a refund. We said it was shipped to us in error, but they couldn't understand. They said if we wanted to return it we would have to pay for return postage. We did talk to someone who said they would send us a pre-paid sticker, but it never showed.

After 90 days, I just opened it and have been using it ever since. Rooted NC for the win.

\csb
 
2012-12-06 11:02:30 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: HindiDiscoMonster: Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief

Since we have been talking about trolls this a.m. (another thread), take note Fark, this is a great example (for educational puposes).

i'm not a troll. most places have a call-back option instead of waiting on the phone


And most people don't feel they have to go above and beyond by contacting the press to help them return expensive items that were sent by mistake.... except thieves (according to you)...
 
2012-12-06 11:03:16 AM

stonelotus: If You Didn't Order It, You Don't Have To Pay For It


Doesn't apply here. He ordered it. They just sent too many.
 
2012-12-06 11:05:27 AM

Theaetetus: db2: kbronsito: i thought in the USA that if you got something in your mailbox that you didn't order, it is considered yours.

Correct. The statute in question is Title 39 USC Section 3009 (disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor paralegal).

Receipt of Unsolicited Merchandise

A key point here is that this is for unsolicited/unordered merchandise. You can't place an order, get the merchandise, and tell the vendor "LOL GET REKT SKRUB". But if you've got a clearly marked and paid invoice for one piece, and receive five pieces, those other four would be unsolicited.

No, the other 4 are a requested shipment that is non-conforming as to a term (number of items).

39 USC 3009(d) states: "For the purposes of this section, "unordered merchandise" means merchandise mailed without the prior expressed request or consent of the recipient." It doesn't make a distinction between number of items, but rather the merchandise in general.

Instead, the relevant laws would be (as modified or accepted by the state in question) under the UCC:
UCC § 2-601. Buyer's Rights on Improper Delivery.
Subject to the provisions of this Article on breach in installment contracts (Section 2-612) and unless otherwise agreed under the sections on contractual limitations of remedy (Sections 2-718 and 2-719), if the goods or the tender of delivery fail in any respect to conform to the contract, the buyer may
(a) reject the whole; or
(b) accept the whole; or
(c) accept any commercial unit or units and reject the rest.
and
§ 2-604. Buyer's Options as to Salvage of Rightfully Rejected Goods.

Subject to the provisions of the immediately preceding section on perishables if the seller gives no instructions within a reasonable time after notification of rejection the buyer may store the rejected goods for the seller's account or reship them to him or resell them for the seller's account with reimbursement as provided in the preceding section. Such action is not acceptance or conversion.


Yup - the point of 39 USC § 3009 is to prevent something akin to mail fraud - it is a postal statute designed to prevent people from sending you tons of crap and then suing you when you do not pay. It is unlawful to do this. It is not unlawful to screw up an order - and, while the people who end up getting the screwed -up order are under no obligation to pay for it, or even be greatly inconvenienced - they also dont have a legal right to the windfall without more.
 
2012-12-06 11:07:00 AM
I don't care what the law says, I'm keeping this kilo of cocaine.
 
2012-12-06 11:08:14 AM

Teiritzamna: Silverstaff: Well, the Federal Trade Commission seems to think otherwise, and gives out that advice on their website: Link

Once again - there is a world of difference between purposeful mailing you crap and then demanding payment, and accidentally shipping you something and then asking for it back. The FTC site is discussing the fact that you are under no legal obligation to pay for such goods - which is true. But in the case of a mistake if they demand the merch back, you dont have a legal right to possession.

Now it is true that the party requesting the goods bears the burden of actually showing that it was a mistake, however in cases such as this it seems like its not too hard a threshold for BB to show that they are not involved in a crazy scam to send people $1-2k in unwanted apple products in the hope that someone will pay them for it.

The trick with the law is it is not magic - by that i mean it is rarely a formalist recanting of facts and scenarios without any mind to the circumstances - which alas is the general lay understanding of it. It is generally focused instead upon fairness and reason. I think its pretty fair and reasonable to say that if you mistakenly send someone something they dont just get to keep it, just as it is fair to say that if you purposefully send someone something without request in the hopes that they pay for it, they are under no obligation to pay you.


On the other hand, as the recipient of unordered good, you are under no legal obligation to spend your time and money compensating for their mistake.

Contacting them to let them know of the mistake is the ethical thing to do. But the burden should be on them to fix that mistake if they care to -- making arrangements with you to collect the merchandise.

IANAL, but if you are going to take a fairness and reason approach then asking their customer to fix the company's mistake doesn't really meet that bar.

It's bad business practice too. The company is very likely to recuperate their losses from future sales to the now very happy and loyal customer, not to mention the value of all the free advertising they are going to get.

See did the right thing, they did the right thing, so where's the fire?
 
2012-12-06 11:10:54 AM
I want to at least TRY to do the right thing. Call Best Buy and try to straighten it out. If I fail to do so after a few hours of work, max, I exercise my right as a postal customer to keep them (sell them).
 
2012-12-06 11:14:12 AM
And once this story is passed around on Facebook, Best Buy will have a rush of ipad orders, with the purchaser crossing their fingers hoping for the same "mis"-fortune.

So, Best Buy will make up those extra units.
 
2012-12-06 11:17:17 AM

Zasteva: Teiritzamna: Silverstaff: Well, the Federal Trade Commission seems to think otherwise, and gives out that advice on their website: Link

Once again - there is a world of difference between purposeful mailing you crap and then demanding payment, and accidentally shipping you something and then asking for it back. The FTC site is discussing the fact that you are under no legal obligation to pay for such goods - which is true. But in the case of a mistake if they demand the merch back, you dont have a legal right to possession.

Now it is true that the party requesting the goods bears the burden of actually showing that it was a mistake, however in cases such as this it seems like its not too hard a threshold for BB to show that they are not involved in a crazy scam to send people $1-2k in unwanted apple products in the hope that someone will pay them for it.

The trick with the law is it is not magic - by that i mean it is rarely a formalist recanting of facts and scenarios without any mind to the circumstances - which alas is the general lay understanding of it. It is generally focused instead upon fairness and reason. I think its pretty fair and reasonable to say that if you mistakenly send someone something they dont just get to keep it, just as it is fair to say that if you purposefully send someone something without request in the hopes that they pay for it, they are under no obligation to pay you.

On the other hand, as the recipient of unordered good, you are under no legal obligation to spend your time and money compensating for their mistake.

Contacting them to let them know of the mistake is the ethical thing to do. But the burden should be on them to fix that mistake if they care to -- making arrangements with you to collect the merchandise.

IANAL, but if you are going to take a fairness and reason approach then asking their customer to fix the company's mistake doesn't really meet that bar.

It's bad business practice too. The company is very likely ...


If you look at my posts - that is exactly what i said. The law doesnt seek to fark over the guy who made a mistake, but it bends over backwards to prevent the recipient - who literally did nothing wrong - from being put out. Under restitution, if the recipients honestly thought they got 5 iPads in the mail legitimately, and gave them away, only to then be contacted by the mistaken business, the law will say "too bad, so sad" because the recipient has, to use the jargon, "changed position."

Generally what happens, if they want the merch back is they send you labels and a box and you put the merch in it and they send a UPS guy to get it.

Now, from a PR perspective - given the mistake in this case and who called them on it, BB did the smart thing and wrote off the error. My beef was with the statement in the article that "Legally, anything that is shipped to your home is yours to keep." You know how standard geeks will get bent out of shape if they hear someone making a stupid statement w/r/t say star wars ("Luke skywalker is a powerful practitioner of magic, known as a sith")? Well it is 10x worse for lawyers and incorrect statements of the law.

/as a lawyer geek its is the worst when someone misstates the law of star wars.
 
2012-12-06 11:17:40 AM
Sappy? I didn't know a shipping error in your favor was considered sappy.

My kitchen is actually clean right now. Lots of paint fumes, but there's no onion or dust in my eyes right now. Now if she had given it to a disadvantaged youth (as suggested earlier in the thread), yeah, that'd be sappy.

But that's cool, I guess.
 
2012-12-06 11:18:58 AM
Some one did a full-case pick instead of an each pick at fulfillment. Usually, the carton ID and shipping ID are matched prior to hitting the shipping sorter. My last company did this because an eCom facility we did had an issue with valid shipping labels being applied to wrong carton IDs. We added a scan tunnel after print & apply to error these cartons out.

Best Buy's logistics be whack.
 
2012-12-06 11:19:31 AM
CSB - Last year I ordered some an American Girl doll accessories for my niece. When the package showed up, the wrong stuff was in the box - duplicates of a previous order I had placed. I called American Girl and expected them to tell me to drop it off at the local store or ship it back, but they told me they would send the correct order ASAP stuff and to please donate the duplicate items to a children's hospital or charity in their name.
 
2012-12-06 11:19:47 AM

bv2112: The thought of giving iPads to people "in need" cracks me up, because there are zero people who need iPads.


Software developers targeting that platform.
 
2012-12-06 11:21:14 AM

clyph: bv2112: The thought of giving iPads to people "in need" cracks me up, because there are zero people who need iPads.

Software developers targeting that platform.


From what I've been told, they are being used heavily in schools...so donate them to schools.
 
2012-12-06 11:29:23 AM

Cupajo: OK, Best Buy's response kind of made them go up a notch or two in my estimation.
Of course, there was nowhere to go but up...


It was the only move to make. Federal law is on her side regarding unsolicited mail. They did the smart thing and publicly announced that she could keep them "in the spirit of the holiday season."

They took a bad situation and spiced it up with PR.
 
2012-12-06 11:31:29 AM

Teiritzamna: /as a lawyer geek its is the worst when someone misstates the law of star wars.


That the so-called 'rebellion' was really a terrorist insurgency against a democratic republic, funded by a constitutional monarchy on a planet with quite literally the biggest income inequality in the galaxy?

/the terrorists also caused a large flying vehicle to crash into a giant structure in which lots of people lived and worked
 
2012-12-06 11:31:45 AM

jfivealive: I would sell the 4 ipods, buy a couple ounces of blow, and snort that shiat off the 5th biatches!


Charlie Sheen, you post on Fark?
 
2012-12-06 11:35:35 AM

RidgeRunner5: Cupajo: OK, Best Buy's response kind of made them go up a notch or two in my estimation.
Of course, there was nowhere to go but up...

It was the only move to make. Federal law is on her side regarding unsolicited mail.


I'm not sure if you could call that unsolicited mail. The person had placed an order with Best Buy. When fulfilling the order, Best Buy made a mistake. There was a business transaction that took place between these two parties. So it was hardly unsolicited.
 
2012-12-06 11:38:04 AM
Well, I'm in need of money. So if this happened, I'd try to return it, but if they let me keep them, I just return them to the nearest cooperative store, or failing that, sell them at a discount.
 
2012-12-06 11:47:49 AM

Theaetetus: Teiritzamna: /as a lawyer geek its is the worst when someone misstates the law of star wars.

That the so-called 'rebellion' was really a terrorist insurgency against a democratic republic, funded by a constitutional monarchy on a planet with quite literally the biggest income inequality in the galaxy?

/the terrorists also caused a large flying vehicle to crash into a giant structure in which lots of people lived and worked


A democratic republic?

The Galactic Empire abandoned any pretense of being a Republic with the Declaration of A New Order in 19 BBY.

Read the text of it, it makes it clear that the Empire was ruled by one man, and his word was absolute.

Then read the "Suspension of the Imperial Senate", the flimsy pretense to abolish the Senate and the last vestige of Republic rule.

Thanks to the Tarkin Doctrine, the entire plan was to use fear to rule the galaxy. They accepted the power of the Empire to begin with thanks to fear of the Jedi, and fear of Separatists, and then if they had any problems with the power they had already accepted, they would have to deal with fear of the overwhelming Imperial military, with the Death Star as an ultimate symbol of it.

When that weapons platform had just killed 2 billion people as a simple demonstration of force, the extrajudicial killing of billions, it became a matter of self defense for all people in the galaxy to destroy it. Nobody, anywhere could be safe from the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, and it could kill billions, or theoretically a trillion (if aimed at Coruscant) in a single action.

I'm kinda curious as to your idea of Alderaan having the biggest income inequality in the galaxy. Look at Coruscant. You've got the likes of Xixor, for example, who not only owns the largest shipping company in the galaxy, but is also the crime boss of one of the largest criminal syndicate besides the Hutt Clans, a man to whom money is no object. . .and you have transients in the undercity without a single credit to their name basically living in near-feral conditions.
 
2012-12-06 11:52:30 AM
Sure, it probably helps that the eyes of Consumerist's readership were on Best Buy here,

Ah, there's the self-absorption we've come to know and love.
 
2012-12-06 11:55:00 AM

Silverstaff: A democratic republic?

The Galactic Empire abandoned any pretense of being a Republic with the Declaration of A New Order in 19 BBY.

Read the text of it, it makes it clear that the Empire was ruled by one man, and his word was absolute.

Then read the "Suspension of the Imperial Senate", the flimsy pretense to abolish the Senate and the last vestige of Republic rule.

Thanks to the Tarkin Doctrine, the entire plan was to use fear to rule the galaxy. They accepted the power of the Empire to begin with thanks to fear of the Jedi, and fear of Separatists, and then if they had any problems with the power they had already accepted, they would have to deal with fear of the overwhelming Imperial military, with the Death Star as an ultimate symbol of it.

When that weapons platform had just killed 2 billion people as a simple demonstration of force, the extrajudicial killing of billions, it became a matter of self defense for all people in the galaxy to destroy it. Nobody, anywhere could be safe from the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, and it could kill billions, or theoretically a trillion (if aimed at Coruscant) in a single action.

I'm kinda curious as to your idea of Alderaan having the biggest income inequality in the galaxy. Look at Coruscant. You've got the likes of Xixor, for example, who not only owns the largest shipping company in the galaxy, but is also the crime boss of one of the largest criminal syndicate besides the Hutt Clans, a man to whom money is no object. . .and you have transients in the undercity without a single credit to their name basically living in near-feral conditions.


I love my people (geeks i mean)
 
2012-12-06 11:56:54 AM
Personally I would donate 3 to the program that gives iPads to autistic children and children with communication disabilities.
 
2012-12-06 12:02:38 PM

Silverstaff: I'm kinda curious as to your idea of Alderaan having the biggest income inequality in the galaxy.


I was referring to Naboo. :P
 
2012-12-06 12:13:05 PM

Teiritzamna: Silverstaff: A democratic republic?

The Galactic Empire abandoned any pretense of being a Republic with the Declaration of A New Order in 19 BBY.

Read the text of it, it makes it clear that the Empire was ruled by one man, and his word was absolute.

Then read the "Suspension of the Imperial Senate", the flimsy pretense to abolish the Senate and the last vestige of Republic rule.

Thanks to the Tarkin Doctrine, the entire plan was to use fear to rule the galaxy. They accepted the power of the Empire to begin with thanks to fear of the Jedi, and fear of Separatists, and then if they had any problems with the power they had already accepted, they would have to deal with fear of the overwhelming Imperial military, with the Death Star as an ultimate symbol of it.

When that weapons platform had just killed 2 billion people as a simple demonstration of force, the extrajudicial killing of billions, it became a matter of self defense for all people in the galaxy to destroy it. Nobody, anywhere could be safe from the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, and it could kill billions, or theoretically a trillion (if aimed at Coruscant) in a single action.

I'm kinda curious as to your idea of Alderaan having the biggest income inequality in the galaxy. Look at Coruscant. You've got the likes of Xixor, for example, who not only owns the largest shipping company in the galaxy, but is also the crime boss of one of the largest criminal syndicate besides the Hutt Clans, a man to whom money is no object. . .and you have transients in the undercity without a single credit to their name basically living in near-feral conditions.

I love my people (geeks i mean)


Wow you guys are really into Star Trek
 
2012-12-06 12:16:27 PM
Even if you think that taking from a big-box store and giving to a Consumerist reader is a net good, what if someone at the Best Buy warehouse is eventually held responsible for the four missing iPads? Could you use them or count your stacks of cash without feeling guilty?

Yes. Yes I could. Or rather, yes I would.
 
2012-12-06 12:19:08 PM
When I was in college a package arrived at our apt addressed to "Resident". Inside we found two dozen ceramic spice jars that looked like little houses. My roommate and I were confused, but figured, "what the hell" and put them in the kitchen. No bill ever arrived; no one ever contacted us.
 
2012-12-06 12:19:10 PM

Theaetetus: Silverstaff: I'm kinda curious as to your idea of Alderaan having the biggest income inequality in the galaxy.

I was referring to Naboo. :P


You said it was the planet that was funding the rebellion, the initial funding of the Alliance to Restore the Republic came from Bail Organa and the wealth of the House of Organa. 

The Corellian Treaty, which founded the Alliance, was signed by four parties.

House Organa, as represented by Bail Organa and his adoptive daughter Leia. They provided the capitol funding, and to a much lesser extent some manpower and ships. A major noble house of a Core World would certainly have the money to fund a small military.

Kota's Militia, lead by Jedi Master Rahm Kota. A Jedi Master who refused to work with clone troops and raised an army of non-cloned soldiers, they became renegades when the Empire was founded and survived on the fringes of the galaxy for 17 years. They provided most of the raw manpower and firepower for the early days of the Rebellion, especially before the Mon Calamari joined and brought their shipyards along with them. General Kota was also supposed to provide the benefits of having a Jedi Master to the rebellion, but he died shortly after the founding, killed in a duel with Palpatine.

Senator Mon Mothma. The respected elder Senator from Chandrilla who had long been a political adversary of Palpatine and had been speaking out against him from the beginning. She didn't have vast wealth or firepower, but she had remarkable leadership and administrative skills, and her charisma and public speaking ability let her be a good public face/figurehead for the movement.

Senator Garm Bel Iblis. The firebrand Senator from Corellia. His politics of independence from higher authority for the Corellian worlds clashed with the encroaching power of the Galactic Empire. When Imperial assassins killed his family to intimidate him into silence, he instead left the Senate to found an armed resistance movement. Not as large as Kota's Militia, but Senator Bel Iblis had the sentiments and loyalty of Corellians throughout the galaxy.
 
2012-12-06 12:21:33 PM

jfivealive: Teiritzamna: Silverstaff: A democratic republic?

The Galactic Empire abandoned any pretense of being a Republic with the Declaration of A New Order in 19 BBY.

Read the text of it, it makes it clear that the Empire was ruled by one man, and his word was absolute.

Then read the "Suspension of the Imperial Senate", the flimsy pretense to abolish the Senate and the last vestige of Republic rule.

Thanks to the Tarkin Doctrine, the entire plan was to use fear to rule the galaxy. They accepted the power of the Empire to begin with thanks to fear of the Jedi, and fear of Separatists, and then if they had any problems with the power they had already accepted, they would have to deal with fear of the overwhelming Imperial military, with the Death Star as an ultimate symbol of it.

When that weapons platform had just killed 2 billion people as a simple demonstration of force, the extrajudicial killing of billions, it became a matter of self defense for all people in the galaxy to destroy it. Nobody, anywhere could be safe from the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, and it could kill billions, or theoretically a trillion (if aimed at Coruscant) in a single action.

I'm kinda curious as to your idea of Alderaan having the biggest income inequality in the galaxy. Look at Coruscant. You've got the likes of Xixor, for example, who not only owns the largest shipping company in the galaxy, but is also the crime boss of one of the largest criminal syndicate besides the Hutt Clans, a man to whom money is no object. . .and you have transients in the undercity without a single credit to their name basically living in near-feral conditions.

I love my people (geeks i mean)

Wow you guys are really into Star Trek


Wow - I thought that was from Battlestar Gattaca. What do I know?
 
2012-12-06 12:22:08 PM

bv2112: The thought of giving iPads to people "in need" cracks me up, because there are zero people who need iPads.


There are autistic children who need them for use in their therapy, so actually, there are people in need of iPads.
 
2012-12-06 12:23:47 PM

Theaetetus: UCC § 2-601


All correct in regards to transactions in goods between commercial entities, but don't forget to check out § 2-102, to wit:

"nor does this Article impair or repeal any statute regulating sales to consumers, farmers or other specified classes of buyers."

So, where there are different rules regarding retail sales (which there are), UCC doesn't impair.
 
2012-12-06 12:24:42 PM

CFitzsimmons: When I was in college a package arrived at our apt addressed to "Resident". Inside we found two dozen ceramic spice jars that looked like little houses. My roommate and I were confused, but figured, "what the hell" and put them in the kitchen. No bill ever arrived; no one ever contacted us.


4.bp.blogspot.com

Wants his jars back.
 
2012-12-06 12:31:32 PM

Cupajo: OK, Best Buy's response kind of made them go up a notch or two in my estimation.
Of course, there was nowhere to go but up...


Which is why I believe this was a deliberate marketing plant on BB's part.
 
2012-12-06 12:35:08 PM

HindiDiscoMonster: Jon iz teh kewl: HindiDiscoMonster: Jon iz teh kewl: Alexa's boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas from his mother. Well, that's not quite true. His mother ordered one iPad, and had it shipped to him. What arrived on their doorstep was a very large and heavy box that was big enough to hold five iPads. Because it did.
At the core of this story is an ethical dilemma. Best Buy wasn't calling Alexa's boyfriend or his mother to find out where the iPads had gone. The average customer service call-center rep probably doesn't have instructions for this situation in their binder of scripts. Alexa sent off an e-mail, but received no response.

try calling. u shiathead thief

Since we have been talking about trolls this a.m. (another thread), take note Fark, this is a great example (for educational puposes).

i'm not a troll. most places have a call-back option instead of waiting on the phone

And most people don't feel they have to go above and beyond by contacting the press to help them return expensive items that were sent by mistake.... except thieves (according to you)...


I'm not gay. So I wouldn't have told the press. That's what *I* would have done.
 
2012-12-06 12:52:03 PM

stonelotus: If You Didn't Order It, You Don't Have To Pay For It


Yeah, but you have to give it back. Didn't your momma tell you if you take what's not yours you're a thief?

You don't have to accept an improper delivery, but once you do accept it, yeah---you do have to pay for it.
If you reject the mdse you have to hang onto it for a reasonable amount of time so the owner can come get it.

The normal thing to do is to send a letter saying just that "I didn't order XYZ. I'm going to hang onto it for 30 days; if you want to come get it, contact me and we'll set something up. After that, I will treat it as a gift."

If they sent it by USPS, then you can legally treat it as a gift and it ends there. But in the case of a clear error from the vendor, the ethical thing to do would be to contact them. But only if they mailed it. Likely that big box wasn't mailed.
the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970...makes the mailing of unordered merchandise unfair methods of competition and unfair trade practices under the law.

In the more general case:
§ 2-601. Buyer's Rights on Improper Delivery
§ 2-602. Manner and Effect of Rightful Rejection
§ 2-606. What Constitutes Acceptance of Goods
§ 2-607. Effect of Acceptance
 
2012-12-06 12:54:35 PM
Do the right thing and send it back, obvious mistake

oh wait, you only whine about the bad mistakes not the good ones--those you exploit.. got it
 
2012-12-06 12:55:39 PM
i hope the big box store takes them to small claims court, files a class action law suit so other business dont sell to this guy and maybe get the FCC involved

link to change.org coming soon
 
2012-12-06 01:22:48 PM

Teiritzamna: Zasteva: On the other hand, as the recipient of unordered good, you are under no legal obligation to spend your time and money compensating for their mistake.

Contacting them to let them know of the mistake is the ethical thing to do. But the burden should be on them to fix that mistake if they care to -- making arrangements with you to collect the merchandise.

IANAL, but if you are going to take a fairness and reason approach then asking their customer to fix the company's mistake doesn't really meet that bar.

It's bad business practice too. The company is very likely ...

Teiritzamna: If you look at my posts - that is exactly what i said. The law doesnt seek to fark over the guy who made a mistake, but it bends over backwards to prevent the recipient - who literally did nothing wrong - from being put out. Under restitution, if the recipients honestly thought they got 5 iPads in the mail legitimately, and gave them away, only to then be contacted by the mistaken business, the law will say "too bad, so sad" because the recipient has, to use the jargon, "changed position."

Generally what happens, if they want the merch back is they send you labels and a box and you put the merch in it and they send a UPS guy to get it.

Now, from a PR perspective - given the mistake in this case and who called them on it, BB did the smart thing and wrote off the error. My beef was with the statement in the article that "Legally, anything that is shipped to your home is yours to keep." You know how standard geeks will get bent out of shape if they hear someone making a stupid statement w/r/t say star wars ("Luke skywalker is a powerful practitioner of magic, known as a sith")? Well it is 10x worse for lawyers and incorrect statements of the law.


Yep. You are right. I misunderstood your argument, and at one point upthread I made a similarly overstated claim about her being entitled to keep the merchandise. Thanks for correcting my misunderstanding.

/as a lawyer geek its is the worst when someone misstates the law of star wars.

:-)
 
2012-12-06 01:27:01 PM
Seems what happened here is:

1) Apple ships iPads to Best Buy's warehouse in 5-unit shipping boxes
2) Customer orders 1 iPad
3) Warehouse drone doesn't realize he needs to open the shipping box and take 1 iPad out to fulfill the order, instead slaps a shipping label on the whole thing and sends it out
4) Customer makes minimum good faith effort to rectify the mistake
5) Best Buy figures out what happened, tells customer to give away extra units to people in needs, writes off $2000 shrinkage as "charitable donation"
6) Consumerist.com strains its back fellating itself over being the hero of the story
 
2012-12-06 01:33:35 PM

Priapetic: Theaetetus: UCC § 2-601

All correct in regards to transactions in goods between commercial entities, but don't forget to check out § 2-102, to wit:

"nor does this Article impair or repeal any statute regulating sales to consumers, farmers or other specified classes of buyers."

So, where there are different rules regarding retail sales (which there are), UCC doesn't impair.


The UCC most assuredly applies to consumers. The point of 2-102 is that it doesn't impair or repeal other consumer protection statutes (such as MGL 93A here in Mass).

The postal statute mentioned above doesn't apply, because this wasn't an unsolicited order... it was a non-conforming order. Hence, it doesn't preempt the UCC and the provisions I mentioned are still active.
 
2012-12-06 01:38:18 PM

karlandtanya: stonelotus: If You Didn't Order It, You Don't Have To Pay For It

Yeah, but you have to give it back. Didn't your momma tell you if you take what's not yours you're a thief?

You don't have to accept an improper delivery, but once you do accept it, yeah---you do have to pay for it.
If you reject the mdse you have to hang onto it for a reasonable amount of time so the owner can come get it.

The normal thing to do is to send a letter saying just that "I didn't order XYZ. I'm going to hang onto it for 30 days; if you want to come get it, contact me and we'll set something up. After that, I will treat it as a gift."

If they sent it by USPS, then you can legally treat it as a gift and it ends there. But in the case of a clear error from the vendor, the ethical thing to do would be to contact them. But only if they mailed it. Likely that big box wasn't mailed.
the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970...makes the mailing of unordered merchandise unfair methods of competition and unfair trade practices under the law.

In the more general case:
§ 2-601. Buyer's Rights on Improper Delivery
§ 2-602. Manner and Effect of Rightful Rejection
§ 2-606. What Constitutes Acceptance of Goods
§ 2-607. Effect of Acceptance


For all of you rolling out UCC Article 2 citations, please remember the UCC treats non-merchants (consumers) different from merchants, and holds merchants to a higher standard. So, if this situation had happened between two merchants, Article 2 would clearly control, but since this was a merchant and non-merchant, maybe not so much.

§ 2-102 "nor does this Article impair or repeal any statute regulating sales to consumers,"

http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/2/article2.htm#s2-102
 
2012-12-06 01:47:37 PM

Rapmaster2000: I once ordered a coat and received two, so I went to the store and told them what happened and said that I just wanted to give one of them back. The sales girl had no protocol for that so she just pretended it was a return and I got a coat for free.


FTFA "We, here at Best Buy, acknowledge that we obviously made a mistake, but in the spirit of the holidays, we encourage you to keep the additional iPads and give them to people in need - friends, family, a local school or charity."

This is cheap advertising of the best kind.

Back when we had an apartment, my wife ordered a $300 "flight cage" for her budgies from Fosters & Smith. It was about 80 lbs of steel cage and arrived damaged (but usable). She called the company and they sent a 2nd one for free that arrived two days later. THAT generated a LOT of repeat business.

There is a women's clothing mail order company called Drapers & Damons that has a fanatical customer base. Why? The have an "eternity, no questions asked" return policy. I had heard that someone returned in 1975 a cocktail dress purchased in 1933 and worn once.
 
2012-12-06 01:52:39 PM

Priapetic: For all of you rolling out UCC Article 2 citations, please remember the UCC treats non-merchants (consumers) different from merchants, and holds merchants to a higher standard. So, if this situation had happened between two merchants, Article 2 would clearly control, but since this was a merchant and non-merchant, maybe not so much.


For all of you poo-pooing UCC Article 2 citations, please remember that the UCC applies to both non-merchants and merchants, and has explicit provisions about where merchants are held to higher standards (see, for example, 2-207(2) which has additional provisions for when a transaction is between merchants; 2-201(2) which has provisions for unilateral creation of contracts if the parties are merchants; 2-209(2) which has a caveat for modification between merchants; etc.) . Article 2 controls because they're goods. The fact that the recipient is not a merchant merely means that the provisions for "between merchants" don't apply. The rest of the UCC still does.
 
2012-12-06 01:56:02 PM

Theaetetus: Priapetic: Theaetetus: UCC § 2-601

All correct in regards to transactions in goods between commercial entities, but don't forget to check out § 2-102, to wit:

"nor does this Article impair or repeal any statute regulating sales to consumers, farmers or other specified classes of buyers."

So, where there are different rules regarding retail sales (which there are), UCC doesn't impair.

The UCC most assuredly applies to consumers. The point of 2-102 is that it doesn't impair or repeal other consumer protection statutes (such as MGL 93A here in Mass).

The postal statute mentioned above doesn't apply, because this wasn't an unsolicited order... it was a non-conforming order. Hence, it doesn't preempt the UCC and the provisions I mentioned are still active.


The additional iPads could be considered "non-conforming" or they could be considered "unordered". The FTC does answer the question of honest error, but their guidance instructs you to contact the seller and give reasonable time for them to cure the situation (at their cost), but to keep the goods if the time passes. It's not clear from their website if that is a requirement of the law or a suggestion.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro15.shtm

My point is that the UCC is very controlling on its own when it comes to transactions between merchants, but there are many, many consumer protection laws that also have to be considered before arriving at the answer. Pointing to the UCC and saying "them's the rules" is not sufficient when dealing with consumer transactions.
 
2012-12-06 02:03:20 PM

Priapetic: The additional iPads could be considered "non-conforming" or they could be considered "unordered".


Under the UCC's perfect tender rule, it's the entire shipment that is considered non-conforming if it differs from what was ordered. Since the order was for 1 iPad and they got 5, that's non-conforming... If you could magically claim that anything non-conforming was "not ordered" and therefore a gift, you'd be gutting that rule.

The FTC does answer the question of honest error, but their guidance instructs you to contact the seller and give reasonable time for them to cure the situation (at their cost), but to keep the goods if the time passes. It's not clear from their website if that is a requirement of the law or a suggestion.

As noted above, the FTC's suggestions are regarding unsolicited orders. This wasn't unsolicited.

My point is that the UCC is very controlling on its own when it comes to transactions between merchants, but there are many, many consumer protection laws that also have to be considered before arriving at the answer. Pointing to the UCC and saying "them's the rules" is not sufficient when dealing with consumer transactions.

Similarly, you can't point to the UCC's 2-102 and say "the recipient's not a merchant, so the UCC doesn't apply". Rather, all 2-102 says is that state consumer protection laws are not preempted.
 
2012-12-06 02:03:49 PM

Theaetetus: Priapetic: For all of you rolling out UCC Article 2 citations, please remember the UCC treats non-merchants (consumers) different from merchants, and holds merchants to a higher standard. So, if this situation had happened between two merchants, Article 2 would clearly control, but since this was a merchant and non-merchant, maybe not so much.

For all of you poo-pooing UCC Article 2 citations, please remember that the UCC applies to both non-merchants and merchants, and has explicit provisions about where merchants are held to higher standards (see, for example, 2-207(2) which has additional provisions for when a transaction is between merchants; 2-201(2) which has provisions for unilateral creation of contracts if the parties are merchants; 2-209(2) which has a caveat for modification between merchants; etc.) . Article 2 controls because they're goods. The fact that the recipient is not a merchant merely means that the provisions for "between merchants" don't apply. The rest of the UCC still does.


I'm not poo-poo'ing UCC Article 2, and didn't suggest 2-102 means UCC doesn't apply to sales to consumers, I agree it does. I'm just pointing out that it explicitly leaves room for additional consumer protection measures when merchants are dealing with consumers, so sources of law other than the UCC need to be considered, such as the FTC rules. It's not purely an Article 2 question, so the answer isn't as cut-and-dried.
 
2012-12-06 02:05:29 PM

Theaetetus: Similarly, you can't point to the UCC's 2-102 and say "the recipient's not a merchant, so the UCC doesn't apply".


I never did. I just pointed out the UCC is not the only source of law, and may take a back seat if there are other consumer protection statutes.
 
2012-12-06 02:11:28 PM

Priapetic: Theaetetus: Similarly, you can't point to the UCC's 2-102 and say "the recipient's not a merchant, so the UCC doesn't apply".

I never did. I just pointed out the UCC is not the only source of law, and may take a back seat if there are other consumer protection statutes.


Yep, but that would be up to the relevant state law, specifically. The postal statute doesn't apply, nor would it preempt the provisions of 2-601, since the former is talking about unsolicited goods, while the latter is talking about solicited-but-non-conforming shipments.

In short, the FTC is right if a box arrives at your door with stuff inside and you have no idea why. They're wrong if you order something and get something different than what you ordered. It's not suddenly a gift.
 
2012-12-06 02:12:20 PM

Theaetetus: They're wrong


(or rather, they're actually not talking about this situation... they're only talking about the type of fraudulent ship-then-bill shenanigans that were going on).
 
2012-12-06 02:13:43 PM
I was stationed in Iceland about 10 years ago and we ordered 10 fiber optic NICs. A few weeks later the supply guy tells me to stop by and pick them up. I go down to his office and find they sent us 10 boxes with 20 NICs in each box. The company didn't want them back since they didn't want to pick up the shipping. So we ended up paying $2000 for $40K worth of NICs because the company didn't want to spend $400 to ship them back.
 
2012-12-06 02:25:07 PM

Theaetetus: Priapetic: Theaetetus: Similarly, you can't point to the UCC's 2-102 and say "the recipient's not a merchant, so the UCC doesn't apply".

Yep, but that would be up to the relevant state law, specifically. The postal statute doesn't apply, nor would it preempt the provisions of 2-601, since the former is talking about unsolicited goods, while the latter is talking about solicited-but-non-conforming shipments.

In short, the FTC is right if a box arrives at your door with stuff inside and you have no idea why. They're wrong if you order something and get something different than what you ordered. It's not suddenly a gift.


I agree the unsolicited goods shennanigans was the reason for the FTC rules, but the FTC's guidance on their website seems to indicate there's more going on than just UCC rules:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro15.shtm

Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?

A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.

That guidance isn't quite UCC, and isn't pure FTC. So I suspect there are other rules in play. And of course there may be state rules as well.
 
2012-12-06 02:27:10 PM
I choose to attack the dragon...
 
2012-12-06 02:30:27 PM

Iceman_Cometh: I was stationed in Iceland about 10 years ago and we ordered 10 fiber optic NICs. A few weeks later the supply guy tells me to stop by and pick them up. I go down to his office and find they sent us 10 boxes with 20 NICs in each box. The company didn't want them back since they didn't want to pick up the shipping. So we ended up paying $2000 for $40K worth of NICs because the company didn't want to spend $400 to ship them back.


And that's how Keflavik base housing suddenly became a Mecca for DoD LAN parties and P2P file-sharing hubs. =D
 
2012-12-06 02:31:30 PM

Priapetic: That guidance isn't quite UCC


No, that is UCC - check out 2-604 above:
... if the seller gives no instructions within a reasonable time after notification of rejection the buyer may store the rejected goods for the seller's account or reship them to him or resell them for the seller's account with reimbursement as provided in the preceding section. Such action is not acceptance or conversion.

You have to notify the seller, give them a reasonable time, and can store or reship them at the seller's expense, or otherwise dispose of them after the reasonable time.
 
2012-12-06 02:37:06 PM

Theaetetus: Priapetic: That guidance isn't quite UCC

No, that is UCC - check out 2-604 above:
... if the seller gives no instructions within a reasonable time after notification of rejection the buyer may store the rejected goods for the seller's account or reship them to him or resell them for the seller's account with reimbursement as provided in the preceding section. Such action is not acceptance or conversion.

You have to notify the seller, give them a reasonable time, and can store or reship them at the seller's expense, or otherwise dispose of them after the reasonable time.


Yes, but note 2-604 says you can store for the seller's account or resell for the seller's account, or re-ship. UCC 2-604 never says you can keep the goods. The FTC guidance says you can keep the goods.
 
2012-12-06 02:39:08 PM
We in-store ordered a video camera from Best Buy that they did not have in stock, but they were going to ship it directly to our house.,Two of them showed up on our doorstep. Cue the white angel on one side of the shoulder, red devil on the other.... After a few dealings with brain-dead drones, we finally spoke with a manager that listened and looked things up. Yup, we only were charged for one. He volunteered to come to our house to pick up the other one, and for our honesty he gave us a $20 Best Buy gift card.

I'm a firm believer in Karma. Always do the right thing, regardless of your urges to do the wrong. Karma can be your friend or foe, and in our case since we practice only positive Karma we get mostly positive Karma back.
 
2012-12-06 02:40:27 PM
"You enter the 10' by 10' stone floored room. There are four torches -- one in each corner-- that cast a flickering orange light over the pile of iPads sitting suspiciously in the middle of the room on a small pedastal. Exits are North and South. Do you:

a) Walk towards the pile of iPads? (turn to 86)
b) Take the North exit? (turn to 12)
c) Turn around and go South? (turn to 123)"
 
2012-12-06 02:45:13 PM

Priapetic: Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?

A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.

That guidance isn't quite UCC, and isn't pure FTC. So I suspect there are other rules in play. And of course there may be state rules as well.


My thought is that the general rules of restitution/unjust enrichment apply as a background rule. To make it clearer, note that there are really three possible outcomes here:

1) Alice intentionally sends Bob a widget in the hopes that she can then trick Bob into paying for it. The postal rule, state law, and the common law all would stand for the proposition that Bob is under no obligation to send Alice payment or the widget back. It is basically made a free sample by action of law, regardless of what Alice thinks.

2) Bob orders one (1) widget from Alice. Alice mistakenly sends Bob ten (10) widgets due to a clerical error. Under the UCC - while Bob is under no obligation to purchase or pay for these extra widgets, he does need to let Alice know that he is not accepting them and give Alice an opportunity to pick them back up.

3) Bob orders one (1) widget from Alice. Alice sends that widget to Carl due to a shipping error. Now, note, Carl did not request a widget at all. However, this is not unsolicited merch - because the statute focuses upon the sender, not the recipient. The merchandise was solicited, but it was not solicited by Carl. Here, it is likely that the traditional rules of restitution apply. If you get an item and think you did so because of a mistake, it behooves you to contact someone to find out. because if you reasonably believed that this was mistakenly transmitted merchandise, you likely cannot be forced to pay for it (which would be an action in conversion), but you may be forced to disgorge it or its value to you (restitution). Generally there is no windfall principle that says that if you know someone made a mistake you can just keep the stuff. This is the majority rule and may be informing the guidance.
 
2012-12-06 03:11:51 PM

Teiritzamna: My thought is that the general rules of restitution/unjust enrichment apply as a background rule.


Generally I'd agree, particularly for merchant transactions. But since consumer protection laws generally assume the seller has disproportionate resources (i.e. lawyers, collection agencies, etc.), knowledge, incentive, and greater ability to withstand loss, the desire to protect the consumer, coupled with practicality may trump restitution/unjust enrichment.
 
2012-12-06 03:48:03 PM

Thurston Howell: Iceman_Cometh: I was stationed in Iceland about 10 years ago and we ordered 10 fiber optic NICs. A few weeks later the supply guy tells me to stop by and pick them up. I go down to his office and find they sent us 10 boxes with 20 NICs in each box. The company didn't want them back since they didn't want to pick up the shipping. So we ended up paying $2000 for $40K worth of NICs because the company didn't want to spend $400 to ship them back.

And that's how Keflavik base housing suddenly became a Mecca for DoD LAN parties and P2P file-sharing hubs. =D


I can neither confirm nor deny that happened.

Actually I used them to trade for different things around the base from the other organizations. If I needed some fiber I'd trade the AF guys NICs for them to pull fiber in the building.
 
2012-12-06 03:54:54 PM
I'd sell four of them because I need the money. Then I'd look at the fifth one, think, What the fark do I need an ipad for? I don't even have any money! and sell it too.
 
2012-12-06 04:06:51 PM
If it's a big corporation, I'd say the burden of proof is on them. If they asked, I'd say I didn't know that they were talking about and leave it at that. Yes, I'd lie, because you can bet your ass Best Buy lies to consumers as company policy, whether it be with their "optimization" or their tendency to say things aren't in stock if you reject the warranty. They lie, and so I feel that I'd be in a karmic safe zone if they screwed up like this and I told them "nope, I don't have them" if they ever asked about it.

But the law is also on my side in this one, so really, it's all moot. BB has no legal angle here, and so really they'll just end up sweeping through the warehouse and kicking someone's ass out the door... And the person who does this-- ships boxes full of iPads when they're supposed to be shipping ONE iPad?-- That person DESERVES to lose their job because they suck at it.

Again, no karma issues here.

Now, if this were a mom and pop store, I'd return the extras. No question. But Best Buy? F♥ck em.
 
2012-12-06 04:12:58 PM

Teiritzamna: Priapetic: Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?

A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.

That guidance isn't quite UCC, and isn't pure FTC. So I suspect there are other rules in play. And of course there may be state rules as well.

My thought is that the general rules of restitution/unjust enrichment apply as a background rule. To make it clearer, note that there are really three possible outcomes here:

1) Alice intentionally sends Bob a widget in the hopes that she can then trick Bob into paying for it. The postal rule, state law, and the common law all would stand for the proposition that Bob is under no obligation to send Alice payment or the widget back. It is basically made a free sample by action of law, regardless of what Alice thinks.

2) Bob orders one (1) widget from Alice. Alice mistakenly sends Bob ten (10) widgets due to a clerical error. Under the UCC - while Bob is under no obligation to purchase or pay for these extra widgets, he does need to let Alice know that he is not accepting them and give Alice an opportunity to pick them back up.

3) Bob orders one (1) widget from Alice. Alice sends that widget to Carl due to a shipping error. Now, note, Carl did not request a widget at all. However, this is not unsolicited merch - because the statute focuses upon the sender, not the recipient. The merchandise was solicited, but it was not solicited by Carl. Here, it is likely that the traditional rules of restitution apply. If you get an item and think you did so because of a mistake, it behooves you to contact someone to find out. because if y ...



BUT, as far as I can see, the burden of proof is on the shipper. They have to prove you received the amount they say you received, and they're stuck if their shipping manifest or packing slip says "quantity: 1", because they can't search your home to prove they shipped more. So if you say, "Nope, Alice, I only got the one widget." Alice is basically going to have to accept your answer and take the loss. Nobody's going to look around your house to find the extras, and you're not going to be given a polygraph to prove you're telling the truth.

So it really comes down to the receiver. If they want to keep the stuff, and the packing slip says only one item is present when there are more in the box, the receiver can either tell the truth or withhold the truth, and act accordingly. There are no thought police yet, and it would be tough for Alice, Inc. to prove that the other items weren't already in your possession. In short, Alice, Inc. needs to hire smarter warehouse workers.
 
2012-12-06 04:15:22 PM

Priapetic: Generally I'd agree, particularly for merchant transactions. But since consumer protection laws generally assume the seller has disproportionate resources (i.e. lawyers, collection agencies, etc.), knowledge, incentive, and greater ability to withstand loss, the desire to protect the consumer, coupled with practicality may trump restitution/unjust enrichment.


Oh it wouldnt trump those remedies, but they are already incorporated within the standard restitutionary analysis. (sorry, pedantry powers activate!) Essential to a claim of unjust enrichment is that it be "unjust," and this analysis, even when seeking legal remedies, acts much more like equity. Hence the guidance that it is best to just give the company a heads up so you as the recipient are basically ironclad, because if you are a big company in order to prevail in a case in restitution against the little guy is to hope the recipient acts with massively unclean hands and pisses off the court:

ZeroCorpse: They lie, and so I feel that I'd be in a karmic safe zone if they screwed up like this and I told them "nope, I don't have them" if they ever asked about it.

But the law is also on my side in this one, so really, it's all moot. BB has no legal angle here, and so really they'll just end up sweeping through the warehouse and kicking someone's ass out the door... And the person who does this-- ships boxes full of iPads when they're supposed to be shipping ONE iPad?-- That person DESERVES to lose their job because they suck at it.

Again, no karma issues here.

Now, if this were a mom and pop store, I'd return the extras. No question. But Best Buy? F♥ck em.


Yeah - like this guy here. 

/was taught restitution by the reporter of the restatement (third) of restitution, so kicks are being disgorged to me . . .
 
2012-12-06 04:22:04 PM
You're right, it doesn't trump those remedies - poor choice of words on my part.

Teiritzamna: if you are a big company in order to prevail in a case in restitution against the little guy is to hope the recipient acts with massively unclean hands and pisses off the court:


Exactly. And if you're a big company up against a little, little guy (i.e. consumer) who is almost by definition ill-suited to bear the costs of litigation, you better tread very cautiously in pursuing recovery. It better be a big deal to you financially (i.e. hugely expensive merchandise like luxury cars, etc., not a couple grand in iPads) or you'll be the one pissing off the court.
 
2012-12-06 04:43:03 PM

Priapetic: You're right, it doesn't trump those remedies - poor choice of words on my part.


NP, i hope my response wasn't too snarky - I have this annoying need to educate people against their will. It is 95% of the time good-natured (as it was in your case) but it is hard to convey tone on the internet.

Teiritzamna: if you are a big company in order to prevail in a case in restitution against the little guy is to hope the recipient acts with massively unclean hands and pisses off the court:

Exactly. And if you're a big company up against a little, little guy (i.e. consumer) who is almost by definition ill-suited to bear the costs of litigation, you better tread very cautiously in pursuing recovery. It better be a big deal to you financially (i.e. hugely expensive merchandise like luxury cars, etc., not a couple grand in iPads) or you'll be the one pissing off the court.


Yuppers - as I said, in this case it appears that everyone (shocker for a fark story) was a good actor. The recipients did everything right - up to and including thinking of charity for thier windfall. BB acted just like you want a big corporation to - they basically said "it was our bad - happy holidays." What caused my law talking powers to activate was merely the consumerist's facepalmy statement that under the law, anything mailed to your house is yours 100%.

/it does make me think that we should open a service to just randomly mail people hazardous waste as a way of getting rid of it. Sorry, you are on the hook for that Methylethylketone, it was mailed to your house.
 
2012-12-06 04:50:37 PM

Teiritzamna: [...] What caused my law talking powers to activate was merely the consumerist's facepalmy statement that under the law, anything mailed to your house is yours 100%.

/it does make me think that we should open a service to just randomly mail people hazardous waste as a way of getting rid of it. Sorry, you are on the hook for that Methylethylketone, it was mailed to your house.


Cut, jib, etc. Your newsletter, I would like to subscribe to it.

Wait! No I wouldn't... You'll just mail me some toxic junk.
 
2012-12-06 05:43:38 PM

ObscureNameHere: "You enter the 10' by 10' stone floored room. There are four torches -- one in each corner-- that cast a flickering orange light over the pile of iPads sitting suspiciously in the middle of the room on a small pedastal. Exits are North and South. Do you:

a) Walk towards the pile of iPads? (turn to 86)
b) Take the North exit? (turn to 12)
c) Turn around and go South? (turn to 123)"


d) set a bomb near the west wall and try to take out as many Like Likes as possible.
 
2012-12-06 05:53:10 PM
1.bp.blogspot.com


/hot like Brazil in summer.
 
2012-12-06 05:59:48 PM
Got my TV this way, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies...

<CSB>About 10 years ago, a friend's dad orders her a 42-inch flat screen TV. (This is when those ran about $3000). Two TVs show up: a 42-inch and a 36-inch. After spending a month or so trying to get them to come pick up the extra they said "fark it", used it (in box) as a baby gate for a while and then gave it to me and my wife when we bought our house.</CSB>
 
2012-12-06 06:52:19 PM
My wife and I chatted about this last night and what we would do. We concluded that we would make a call or two, drop an email or two and let them figure it out. If they were going to be difficult about it and not make it easy for me to return the superfluous 4 iPads, I would fall back on Federal Law saying that what is shipped to me is fair game and mine now.

I remember a few years ago, my sister ordered some clothing online from Victoria's Secret and instead of sending her the 3 bras, 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants that she ordered, they sent her an entire boxes of each item. So she ended up getting something like 40 of each type of bra, 50 or so of each shirt and 30 of each type of pant. She basically ended up with several thousand dollars worth of stuff.

She called customer service and they would not believe her that they sent this stuff to her. She emailed pictures and they were at a loss on what to do. They refused to send her new shipping labels to send this stuff back...So she called up the closest store and spoke with GM and told her about all this stuff. My sister was told that she could not bring the stuff to the store and that she needed to ship the stuff back on her dime. Then they told her that she could take some items to one store and some items to another store and only ship some back...all very confusing.

My sister was obviously pissed at this point and simply wanted the stuff gone. She was trying to do the right thing and send the stuff back, even though she legally did not have to. I do not know how, but over the course of about a week and call after call, email after email, my sister finally got a hold of some regional VP and laid him the fark out and told him that he had one day to fix this situation, get all the shiat out of her apartment, or she was going to sell all this stuff on Craigslist, eBay, burn it, send it to charity, etc.

The next morning some District Manager showed up at her apartment, apologizing profusely for the hoops she had to jump through to do the right thing. He got all the boxes out of her apartment and on to his truck - there were something like 25+ boxes all together. He refunded her purchase and she got to keep the stuff she originally paid for and he gave her a $1000 gift card too!

Amazing how much effort it took to do the right thing. My sister said never again, she will simply keep the items and do as she pleases.
 
2012-12-06 07:50:03 PM

jonny_q: Teiritzamna: Well the Consumerist should know that the proposition that "anything shipped to your home is yours" is not actually a legal doctrine. While it is true that under the rules of contract/restitution, you are under no obligation to pay for the mistakenly sent items - which is to prevent old scams wherein someone would send you, say, a tie in the mail and then charge you $50 - if best buy or whomever asked that you sent the merch back, you are under a legal obligation to do so (unless you reasonably changed position such that the disgorgement would work harm upon you - think accidentally spending money mistakenly placed in your bank account because you legitimately believed it was a bonus or some such). Now they have to pay for the shipping and all - but you cant just reply "nope, mine now"

Do you have any citations for that? I'm not convinced that having the "seller" pay for return shipping is enough to prevent companies from trying to run the scam you described. Also, they would have to prove that (a) it was a mistake and not intentional and (b) they're aware they made the mistake (and somehow did it anyway).


Federal Trade Commission: Link

Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?

A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.
 
2012-12-06 08:17:29 PM

Teiritzamna: /it does make me think that we should open a service to just randomly mail people hazardous waste as a way of getting rid of it. Sorry, you are on the hook for that Methylethylketone, it was mailed to your house.


Back in the day I heard stories of fly by night companies (probably mob) filling up warehouses with toxic waste, and letting the mortgages default. Imagine how surprised (and sad) foreclosing banks were to discover that, due to how messed up our toxic waste laws are, that it was now their problem.
 
2012-12-06 11:59:47 PM

Silverstaff: When an ATM dispenses a huge wad of money, you know that money isn't yours, you're taking it from the ATM knowing you aren't supposed to have it. You are taking the effort to remove it from the ATM and walk off, when you could just leave it at the machine (or immediately deposit it back on the spot, with a note written on the deposit slip that it was dispensed in error)


My bank doesn't use deposit slips anymore. If I deposited it the money would just go back into my account with no paper trail.

And trying to explain that to them would be an exercise in frustration.
 
2012-12-07 12:02:08 AM

Teiritzamna: Once again - there is a world of difference between purposeful mailing you crap and then demanding payment, and accidentally shipping you something and then asking for it back. The FTC site is discussing the fact that you are under no legal obligation to pay for such goods - which is true. But in the case of a mistake if they demand the merch back, you dont have a legal right to possession.


In this case how would they know? The invoice said one so one is what was shipped to you.
 
2012-12-07 02:16:54 AM

saturn badger: The invoice said one so one is what was shipped to you.


The shipping manifest also said the box was five times the normal size of what you ordered, and weighed five times as much.
 
2012-12-07 12:31:58 PM

db2: Strictly speaking, yes, it's legal to keep the merchandise. However, in addition to the law, there are concepts of 'good faith', 'bad faith', and 'being a dick wad'. If the company is obviously not trying to grift you, and simply made an operational error, I'd at least have the decency to contact them about it, and let them decide what they want to do. And in this case, it looks like that's what happened.

I had something kind of like this happen with an ebay purchase recently. They sent the wrong item (the part numbers were extremely similar). I told them about it, they sent the right item, included a return label for the wrong one, and I sent it back.

It's like the "scanner" law here in Michigan - if an item is rung up for the wrong amount, you are technically entitled to both the correct price, and a refund of ten times the amount of the error, up to $5. But I know mistakes happen, so I won't call them on the second part of it unless they're being huge dicks, or obviously trying to rip off customers (fortunately, I haven't had to do this once yet). Generally, I'm content with the store just honoring the advertised price.

Oh, but I'm not paying for the extra merchandise or the return shipping, though. They can have the stuff back, but they're going to have to send me a shipping label, or arrange for pickup. Unless they tell me to keep it, in which case I will.


Most Farkers are not decent people. Just FYI.
 
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