questionshonesty test: if a company accidentally sends…

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Probably depends on the item. I've gotten a duplicate of a cheap item from Woot! and didn't bother to say anything since shipping would have been more than the value.

I'm tempted to say that companies that can't handle ops and logistics deserve what they get, but guilt would probably win out and I would contact them as well.

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Cheap items usually not...though I did get an double shipment on an expensive laser printer ($1600) for work. I called the company. They had me send it back AND sent me 2 free toners ($89 each).

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Ummmmm I got 2 of an item that cost $4.84. I did not mention it. Now I feel bad 'cause I consider myself an "honest" person. Ugggh! Question to self: Is there a monetary lower/upper limit on your so-called honesty?
:-| Ponder.

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This has happened to me with Monoprice.

I sent the other item back return to sender and also let them know through their live chat. About three weeks later I received an e-mail from a manager asking why I returned the product. I replied stating I received two.

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I would ask the company, but expect them to reimburse me for return shipping. When Woot doubled an order, I asked, and they told me to keep the item, but it was relatively inexpensive, and I would be surprised if they would do that on an expensive item. I also asked my fellow wooters:
http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/41963f2a-ce73-4528-8b3a-c54ae33bce11/if-a-company-doubled-your-order-but-charged-you-once-what-would-you-do#23

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@pickypickypicky: I knew this topic sounded familiar! I can't believe that was months ago.

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I once ordered something that was "guaranteed" to arrive by a certain day.. and I paid extra for it to do so. When it didn't arrive that day, and they couldn't tell me where it was, they overnighted me another one and refunded the extra shipping I paid for. The CS rep did tell me they mark it as "lost in mail" or something.

I got the overnighted one the next day, and the other one arrived a few days after. I called and the rep said it was marked "lost in mail" so has been handled on their end already.

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If it was an expensive item, yes. If it was something at any value that I could put in my mailbox with "return to sender" written on it, yes. If it was and inexpensive item and was too big for my mailbox or was shipped via a different delivery service, then frankly the company isn't paying me for the time and gasoline to box it back up and take it across town to be shipped.

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I'm honest, but if it is a $20 or less item, I'm not calling because it will cost me more in billable time than it benefits them. If it is more than $20 I'll call, and even tape the box back up. But they will arrange the ship back and pay for it. If arranging the pick up and shipping is too much bother, they don't want it back.

Same rules apply if they ship the wrong item. Wrong item means I never got what I ordered.

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If it was worth significantly more than the shipping (by 2-3x), I'd try to contact the company. Otherwise, it's not worth my time.

My closest story is when I bought an optical mouse years ago, it had trouble on wood grain surfaces (the cursor jumped seemingly randomly). I told the company over e-mail. They sent out a replacement, told me to write "field destroy" on the box for the "faulty" device, and throw it out. I kept it, and switched to using a mouse pad for the first time. I think I would've been satisfied by hearing "use a mouse pad" as the answer to my first e-mail.

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I once ordered two pairs of a hard-to-find sneaker from an online store. (Adidas Supernova Classics during one of their cancellation periods.) The store had some mix up in stocking levels or such, and called to say they couldn't ship it, and then called the next day to say they found it, and that they were sending it out. It turns out they had shipped two the first day and failed to note that, and then shipped another two the second day.

So ... this is where it gets interesting... I contacted them and even talked to the owner of the store, he was convinced IT COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED with their system, and that I must have been billed for both and that the charge was just late appearing. He said I had the option to ship one of the sets of shoes back and he'd refund me for them, but he was certain I was properly charged for all of them and he considered the matter closed.

No such second charge ever showed up. So, I wound up with 4 pairs for the price of two, despite my efforts.

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I had that happen to me once with an Amazon order. I purchased a videogame and the tracking said that it was delivered- but I never got it. I called UPS who told me to contact the retailer directly (I didnt think it was Amazon's problem to deal with). Amazon sent me another copy next day air. About week later the original game showed up in my mailbox. I did tell Amazon (kinda hoping they would just tell me to keep it)but they were appreciative in their email and gave me a label to ship it back...

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I think it depends on the company....or maybe I've gotten more ethical over the years.

A few years back a site accidentally sent me double the dog food that I ordered and I said nothing and kept it.

More recently, woot accidentally sent me two shirts instead of one and I asked them if they would like me to return it. They said I should keep it.

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I got lucky for being honest.

Three years ago, I bought ONE Michael Kors dress shirt at Overstock.com (obviously still not cheap). For whatever reason, they sent me one full wholesale BOX (20 of them).

I emailed them, and told them they just sent me $1,500 worth of dress shirts...and someone called me, thanked me for the honesty and..."well, it's the last box we have, do you have enough closet space? If so, why don't you keep it?" It was nice.

I kept it, sold 15 of them on Ebay...

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I give back incorrect change at the supermarket :) More often than not, with a duplicate item, unless its high value - the retailer just says keep it... but i always call, as long as they pay the return.

Only once did i keep the item and decide not to say anything. I ordered something directly from HP (a printer) and got billed once a day for 6 consecutive days... my order was stuck in some loop, and they drained my account for almost 2,000.00 (purchased it on a debit, since i didn't have a credit card at the time)

I read them the riot act, and all the orders were cancelled. It took 2 weeks to get back my money, and i didn't have a lot of float back then - so i needed to scrounge, beg, and call in some favors to make my bills that month. maybe a month after that (6-8 weeks afterward) i got a box with the printer i had ordered.

I considered it an apology and didn't bother saying a word to HP. Felt a little guilty, but then re-lived the stress for that month, and got over it.

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This happened to me a year or so ago. I noticed the company sent me two Fedex tracking emails with different tracking numbers. I repeatedly called and emailed to verify they didn't ship duplicate items but received no response. Finally a received one item and then the second item within a week. Again, I called and emailed but received no response. I figured they didn't want it back. Now I have two Sonos home music systems.

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I was accidentally sent 4 shirts from shirt.woot. I contacted the staff, and let them know of the error. They got back to me a day later and let me keep all 4 shirts. I'd have been happy to return the three that weren't part of my order. They told me to keep them all. It always pays to be honest, even if it doesn't work in your favor.

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I've had some extra shipments from woot. A couple I reported and sent back, some that I didn't notice that I received but never ordered (or paid for), but kept them since somtimes I don't get all my mail deliveries.

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The only time this happened I contacted CS and they told me to keep it.

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Honestly? Not any more. I always seem to get extra things or items that are higher value than the ones I ordered. And every single time I try to email or call to explain that I received more/better than I ordered, it becomes a big hassle for me. Or they insist they didn't make a mistake.

Best Buy - ordered monitor wipes and got a 2 pack instead. Bed Bath Beyond - ordered a kitchen knife set with wood block and got DOUBLE the number of knives. Soap.com - ordered Swiffer pads and got a rechargeable Swiffer floor Sweeper instead. The Childrens Place -ordered 2 pair khaki boys pants and got 4. Amazon - ordered 6 pack of high quality furnace filters and they shipped twice but only charged me once.

Lucky? Maybe. If only that luck would rub off at the ATM machine. Double my cash would be cool.

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i contact them just to feel honest, though most companies let you keep the second item. If they dont thats mean, but morally id rather give back the second

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Man I must not be honest at all. I wouldn't send it back or contact the seller. If said company is so bad that they can't manage to take an order and fill it correctly they get what they deserve.

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This has happened to me on a couple of occasions. Once with a video game. I called the company and they told me to keep the extra one.

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@rooopert2002: Video games are small, light, and expensive, so it probably saved them money to get it back. It sucks when they don't let you keep the extras!

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@gmwhit: Your personal question is very relevant not just to this thread, but probably to all of human history.

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Legally, if you receive something in the mail you did not order, you can keep it for free. I wouldn't PAY money to return an item, but if they wanted to pay for shipping and wanted it back I would send it.

Years ago, I ordered 4 one meg (yes meg) simms for a PC upgrade (at 50 bucks each.) I received 4 4 meg simms. (which were selling for like $250 each at the time!) I called them up and said I needed to send them back because they sent me the wrong memory. The person gave me attitude and said they didn't accept returns. I told them what they sent me, and they almost choked. Gee, and they took them back too!

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Long story: I had a disabled son, who couldn't climb stairs. He slept in our dining room. I wanted a trundle bed/desk unit that could be closed so as not to be so obvious. I found a nice one on ebay, for around $900 shipped. Not wanting to risk such a large purchase on ebay, I called the store directly and used my credit card. (Smart!) Six weeks later I still didn't have it. I called a couple of times and they finally said it was shipped. It arrived, and I opened the box to find they had shipped me the wrong bed! Not as nice at all. Cheap pine instead of oak, etc. I called immediately and told them I didn't want it. They said "no returns." I told them it wasn't what I ordered, and they LIED to my face (over the phone) and said I had authorized them to send the different model because the one I ordered was discontinued. I protested it on my credit card. Long story less long, I got my money back, and they refused to pick it up, so I got the bed for free.

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@tcayer: if they would've been snippy with me on no returns I would've hung up and been whatever and sold them myself

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i ordered cereal once from amazon and then send me 8 boxes in stead of 4 o.O i had alot of cereal that month.
i did call amazon and since it was food they told me to keep it :D

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I'm always honest with individuals. I once sold a puppy, realized the buyers had paid me too much after they left, and called them back to refund the overpayment.

Since it's perfectly legal to keep something you receive in the mail didn't order, then yes, I'd keep any item a company sent me in error, if they don't notice it themselves.

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I once received an order from a company that had the correct address label on the inside but the wrong movies and packing slip inside. I called and informed them that although I did receive a delivery from them, it was not what I ordered. Since it was a week before Christmas, I offered to give them the information off the packing slip so that they could ship the correct items to that customer in time for the holiday. They informed me that they could not reship until they received the items back from me. I tried to give them my email address so they could send me a shipping label. The Customer Rep said that would not happen and "what you need to do is stop by one of our stores and return the item". I told him that I was not going to bring it into the store (which was notorious for incompetent staff), as they would have no clue what to do with it and I would not spend the time explaining it to them. They never sent the label, I never returned the movies. I did get my order later.

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I have only had this happen once with a wireless N USB adapter. I bought one when it was on sale for $35 from $70, this was about two and a half years ago or longer. I contacted the company and offered to send it back, but they said to just keep it. I was glad they did as the one I was using died about three weeks later, but it resurrected itself about a month later so I still have two and use them today.

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This happened recently with a well priced 1-year Xbox Live card from Buy.com. I snagged one, and after several weeks it never arrived and the tracking number didn't show any changes. I sent them an email and they overnighted or two dayed (cool, a new word!) it to me. Right after I got the replacement, the original one's tracking number magically started moving along again, and I got it a few days later. I figured I'd keep it and be set for a long time.

After a couple days, Buy.com sent me an email saying that they noticed that the first one got to me, and that I could either send it back (at their cost), or I could keep it and they'd charge me for it. Figured it was too good to be true, and let them know I'd send it back. Well, the shipping label they sent to me didn't work, the link resulted in some error that I don't even remember now. I emailed them to let them know it didn't work, could they resend etc. Never heard back, so...oh well!

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I ordered three metal wall hangings. Two arrived and after a few days I called the company who rushed the third one to me. A couple days later the original third one showed up. I called and they said to return it, but when I mentioned I wasn't paying shipping, they told me to keep it.

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I've had a near identical experience to @rooopert2002 with amazon, only the product I ordered wasn't a video game.

It wasn't a big deal for me to return the item since at the time I lived across the street from a UPS store. Now, it'd take over half an hour just to drop off a package where I live and although I'd like to think that I'd still do the same, I can't say for certain that i would. [Honestly, I wouldn't feel good about keeping it, but would I feel bad enough to take the extra time and effort to return the item (given my schedule)? I don't know.]

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Jeez this is a tough one - but a good one. If you were "honest" you would have to do the right thing 100% of the time - you can't be "innocent with an explanation". Limit 4 sodas at the sales price - ever send your spouse back into the store to get another 4? I have. Not an honest thing to do. Get two items when you paid for one? Call them company, explain the situation & let them figure it out - most of the time they do the right thing and business smart thing.

I once ordered an expensive carburetor from a parts company. They sent me the carb, but also sent a manifold that went with it. A $250 bonus. I called them and asked them what they wanted me to do - and they asked if I wanted it (hell yeah!) so they said keep it on one condition - I had to get on the phone with their warehouse people during a Monday morning session & tell them what problems their error caused me (time, calls and a little nervousness to speak to 50 people!). I was glad they turned it into a teachable moment...

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In the United States, if they send you extra of something, and don't ask for it back, then it's considered and "unsolicited gift," and you're free to keep it. If, however, IN ANY WAY, they make mention of sending you an extra item, or even an extra package (by way of email tracking number, or voice conversation, etc), then it wasn't unsolicited and you're obligated by law to give it back (at their expense, never yours, of course).

That's the law. How you treat it morally is up to you.

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Dpends on value & company.But to be totaly honest as bad as times are now, I would have too say Iwould most likely keep it. SORRY to say that!

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I always call, and on the rare instances where they want it back, I always insist they pay shipping and have it picked up at my home, its their mistake, not mine. Never had a company not agree.

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No, but they better pay for the return shipping.

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I ALWAYS let them know! One time they gave me my item for free! I don't expect anything in return for doing the right thing!

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Honestly this has never happened to me, gut feel is it would depend on the items i received twice what I woudl do

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I would call the company and offer to ship the product back. The company must minimize my inconvenience by providing packaging, prepaid return shipping and pickup at my door. Otherwise I will donate the product to a worthy charity.

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Absolutely contact in all cases.

This is not entirely like the situation posed, but back in late June 2007, my brother's practically new XBox360 Red-RODded, and he sent it in for repairs. It came back with a copy of Rainbow Six: Vegas. I thought it was his until I found his copy in another box. I called to let them know about the mistake and proceeded to be on hold for about an hour before getting to someone. This being now early July, customer service had started processing the massive swarm of people taking advantage of the three-year warranty extension. They eventually said that getting the disc back to its owner was practically impossible, but because of my honesty, they would send a copy of Project Gotham 3 our way.

Insert Neil Patrick Harris.

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Several months after we moved into our house, a package arrived for the previous tenant.

I kept it on the floor for a couple weeks, undisturbed. I mean, she knew where the house was, she could have come by at any point, rung the doorbell, and said "Hi, I used to live here, and I think I had something shipped here by accident. Do you still have it?" If she wanted to call us, she could get our number from the previous owner, who was her landlord.

After a couple weeks had gone by, I opened the box, to see if there was a free return shipping label I could use. There was a return label, but I would've had to pay for shipping myself, so I just gave up.

Goodwill says "thanks", Lane Bryant.

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Hell Yes its free stuff why wouldnt you

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My mom just had this happen to her. She picked up a set of dishes and was shipped 4 sets instead. Now keep in mind these boxes are about 3'x2'x2'. She called the company and they said they would send someone out to pick it up on Monday. 2 Mondays have come and gone since the phone call. Should she start the wrapping process now? I figure since it's $50 plus just to have these shipped back it might just be worth it for the company to eat the shipping. Plus, the dishes are really nice and she's already said she will regift them to the kids if they don't pick up. How long should you wait after the phone call before you figure they aren't picking them up?

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@zapp brannigan: ever hear of the golden rule, do unto others . . . ? I am sure the "keepers" would also contact the company if they ordered 2 and only got 1. Mistakes happen. As long as they reimburse for the return shipping or provide a shipping label, why not contact them? I think your responsibility ends after contacting them and asking how they want to handle this mistake. How difficult is it to make a phone call or send an email?

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@joslynmsu: She shouldn't ship it back (that is the shipper's responsibility), but she also needs to follow-up to make sure they want or don't want them back. They can, ultimately, charge her for them if they arrange for return shipping and she does not provide them.

It's called "theft by taking". It's the same if a company accidentally deposits too much money into your checking account. Just because its there, it doesn't mean its yours. They have a right to recall it without your permission.