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  #1  
Old 06-09-2011, 01:48 PM
K-MAN K-MAN is offline
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Can you open a delivered package, that you didn't order?

I've just received a package today that I didn't order, it was left on my door step!

  • It has somebody else's name on it, but my address.
  • Was delivered by UPS, and has a tracking number.
  • It's about 1ft by 1ft large, I don't know how somebody could miss it...

I've seen junk from from this name before, (which is on the package) which might have been from the previous person living there.
Not sure what to exactly do? I thought about opening it, or I suppose I could try to get it to the rightful owner...what do you think???
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2011, 01:52 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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The package is neither your property nor your responsibility.

Call UPS and they will come and pick it up. They will return it to the sender.
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2011, 01:54 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Seconded.
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2011, 02:07 PM
jacobsta811 jacobsta811 is offline
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I would probably hold it for a day or two and see if the person comes for it. My wife has done this twice, both well after we had moved, and she went back and checked with the new tenant and once got her stuff and once did not.
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2011, 02:10 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Call UPS and tell them to come pick up their package. Until it properly get's to the recipient, it's their responsibility.
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2011, 02:15 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Was it a cheesecake?
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  #7  
Old 06-09-2011, 02:31 PM
Dripping Dripping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-MAN View Post
I've just received a package today that I didn't order, it was left on my door step!

[LIST][*]It has somebody else's name on it, but my address.
I'd look up the tracking number online.

Re: UPS, they delivered it to the address printed on the package. They did their job.

The hell with it, I'd open it.
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2011, 02:41 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Do you owe anyone money? Could it be a subpoena?
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:08 PM
Dripping Dripping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Do you owe anyone money? Could it be a subpoena?
If it was, the OP could just deny ever having seen any package. This would not be a valid service.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:15 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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So did you open it?
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:30 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
Was it a cheesecake?
More likely a fruitcake that's been making the rounds since December.
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:38 PM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
Was it a cheesecake?
Ha!
I just watched that one last night.
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:40 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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Or it could be drugs that were sent to you to be picked up by a stranger. I would call UPS immediately. I might even just take it to them rather than risk keeping it.

http://nycrpd.org/?p=4238
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:42 PM
Morbo Morbo is offline
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Does anyone else remember a commercial from the 80's where a voice over said something like "If you get a package in the mail you didn't order, you get to keep it - that's the law!" For comedy they showed an Eskimo getting an electric fan, and saying "Thanks!" to the camera.

I don't remember if the commercial clarified whether it had to be addressed to you or not...
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:49 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dripping View Post
If it was, the OP could just deny ever having seen any package. This would not be a valid service.
True, but it's step one for a collector or sever. Seeing that package is opened and not returned.
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  #16  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:49 PM
K-MAN K-MAN is offline
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I haven't opened the package yet, I'm still at work...

Yes it is addressed to me, but the name is wrong (somebody else's name~weird).


I couldn't get in trouble for opening, could I?
How about keeping whatever is inside it???
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  #17  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:53 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbo View Post
Does anyone else remember a commercial from the 80's where a voice over said something like "If you get a package in the mail you didn't order, you get to keep it - that's the law!" For comedy they showed an Eskimo getting an electric fan, and saying "Thanks!" to the camera.

I don't remember if the commercial clarified whether it had to be addressed to you or not...
I haven't got a citation, but I would imagine this only applies if it's addressed to you. The idea is that someone willingly sent you something, so you're under no obligation to return it.

I don't know what the rules are regarding UPS packages, but without doing research I'd treat opening it as a felony, same as USPS, and proceed from there.
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  #18  
Old 06-09-2011, 03:54 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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We one time had a box delivered to us by mistake. We opened it because we were expecting a package. It was full of Mp3 players. I called UPS or FedEx (don't remember) and they started to give me directions on how I could take it to their central processing station. The guy was really put out when I insisted they come pick it up.
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  #19  
Old 06-09-2011, 04:00 PM
Dripping Dripping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
True, but it's step one for a collector or sever. Seeing that package is opened and not returned.
Well, they would have no way to "see" that it had been opened. Again, the OP can always say "what package"? No way to prove it hadn't been stolen off his front porch before he got home from work.
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  #20  
Old 06-09-2011, 04:01 PM
Dripping Dripping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-MAN View Post
I haven't opened the package yet, I'm still at work...

Yes it is addressed to me, but the name is wrong (somebody else's name~weird).


I couldn't get in trouble for opening, could I?
How about keeping whatever is inside it???
No, you'd be in no trouble and yes you are within your legal rights to keep it.

Why not plug in the tracking number and see what the history is?
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  #21  
Old 06-09-2011, 04:35 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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Good to know -- without giving too much away, my current apartment had a prior tenant who received a good many review copies of books. After consulting my landlord, who had told her previous tenant to make sure everything was forwarded, I just opened the packages and sold them (when I could). Not much different to TAs gaining perks by publishers.

Glad to hear I'm not de jure a criminal. Ethically, I think it was wrong, but at the time, I was hard up for cash, and I didn't see much problem, it having been an error in delivery and not malum in se. Didn't feel good about it, but my landlord didn't want to deal with forwarding the review copies to her former tenant, so I felt somewhat absolved.

I might be a bad man, but I can sleep at nights.

Last edited by Jaledin; 06-09-2011 at 04:39 PM..
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  #22  
Old 06-09-2011, 04:40 PM
Dripping Dripping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaledin View Post
Good to know -- without giving too much away, my current apartment had a prior tenant who received a good many review copies of books. After consulting my landlord, who had told her previous tenant to make sure everything was forwarded, I just opened the packages and sold them (when I could). Not much different to TAs gaining perks by publishers.
What are "review copies" and "TA"'s?
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  #23  
Old 06-09-2011, 04:50 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
More likely a fruitcake that's been making the rounds since December.
If so, you immediately have to start figuring out who you dislike enough to send a fruitcake to.
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  #24  
Old 06-09-2011, 04:50 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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TAs, or "teaching assistants" -- also associate or assistant or full-bird professors -- can frequently request copies of books they are considering for use in a class. Depends on the publisher, but most houses with titles commonly used by academics are happy to send copies for review, as well as desk copies (usually two of them) if ordered, to the offices of academics who are considering using these texts. "Review" doesn't mean that one is going to provide feedback to the publisher, in this case -- you're reviewing the text to see if it's suitable for your own purpose.

I gave a second desk copy of Clear And Simple As The Truth to a Frosh comp student who was kind of hard up at the time. Probably, that kind of thing is expected. Usually we had a number of these copies stockpiled over the years lined up in our offices, and it was de rigueur that anyone who wanted to check something out would just see us during office hours and check it out, if they wanted to use a text for their own courses.

Last edited by Jaledin; 06-09-2011 at 04:51 PM..
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  #25  
Old 06-09-2011, 04:53 PM
Giles Giles is offline
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Originally Posted by Dripping View Post
What are "review copies" and "TA"'s?
"Review copies" are copies of books sent to book reviewers to review for a publication, or to teachers to review for use in teaching. "TAs" are teaching assistants.
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  #26  
Old 06-09-2011, 04:58 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
Ha!
I just watched that one last night.
It's one of my favourites, with my all-time favourite line from Joey.
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  #27  
Old 06-09-2011, 05:06 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
I haven't got a citation, but I would imagine this only applies if it's addressed to you. The idea is that someone willingly sent you something, so you're under no obligation to return it.

I don't know what the rules are regarding UPS packages, but without doing research I'd treat opening it as a felony, same as USPS, and proceed from there.
Tampering with the mail is a federal offence because the USPS is a government agency. (United States Postal Service ... get it?) However, UPS and FedEx are not government agencies but rather private corporations, so I doubt very strongly that the OP could possible be charged with a felony.
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  #28  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:39 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Unordered Merchandise FAQs from the FTC.

You will note it refers to merchandise via via USPS and not a private carrier such as UPS. It would be wise to notify the seller of the error and let them decide what to do with it.
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  #29  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:47 PM
Sally Mander Sally Mander is offline
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Originally Posted by Dripping View Post
No, you'd be in no trouble and yes you are within your legal rights to keep it.
I don't think so. It came to his address, but had someone else's name on it, so in my opinion, it was not addressed to him. It sounds like it was sent to the OP's address in error. It's not his to open.

If it had been addressed to the OP (with his name on it, obviously), then sure, go ahead and open it and keep it. Otherwise, no.

Last edited by Sally Mander; 06-09-2011 at 09:48 PM..
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  #30  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:06 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoSaffBridge View Post
If it had been addressed to the OP (with his name on it, obviously), then sure, go ahead and open it and keep it. Otherwise, no.
OK, but what's one exactly supposed to do if this is not the case? Leave it outside for umpteen days before the carrier comes to pick it up? Throw it away? Contact the landlord for a change of address for a tenant who might have lived there before?

I say, toss it, but don't open it up, if you don't want to get in trouble. Trash gets thrown away at my place, especially on my porch.
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  #31  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:22 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Originally Posted by Jaledin View Post
OK, but what's one exactly supposed to do if this is not the case? Leave it outside for umpteen days before the carrier comes to pick it up? Throw it away? Contact the landlord for a change of address for a tenant who might have lived there before?....
Uh, no. Call UPS, which delivered it there by mistake. DCnDC got it in one.
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  #32  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:22 PM
ShelliBean ShelliBean is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
Was it a cheesecake?
My god, that was my first thought too!

Also, I brought my jacket fork.
__________________
There is no emoticon for what I am feeling!
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  #33  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:44 PM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Sometimes when a large Amazon package heads overseas, it's placed in a sack, apparently by the local Post Office. Not sure why, maybe to prevent books falling out of damaged boxes.

Anyway, once they incorrectly addressed the sack that I received, and the package inside was for somebody else entirely, even a different city. I had already opened it, and saw that the books inside were certainly not what I ordered.

But I managed to track her down online. Her name was uncommon enough for me to find that the address was her place of work, which matched up to a nearby home address in the phone book, my assumption being she possibly lived nearby.

I left her a message. She got back to me; she had also opened mine, and was equally dumbfounded. But we asked the Post Office to send them to each other's correct addresses, and they did it for free.
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  #34  
Old 06-10-2011, 03:47 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Originally Posted by Jaledin View Post
OK, but what's one exactly supposed to do if this is not the case? Leave it outside for umpteen days before the carrier comes to pick it up? Throw it away? Contact the landlord for a change of address for a tenant who might have lived there before? ...
If USPS, label it as "not at this address" and mail it back. If it's small enough, just drop it in a mailbox. If not, put it by wherever your incoming mail gets dropped. They'll take it back to the sender.

USPS etc. will do pickups, especially if you notify them that there's a refused package. We once inadvertently had a new iPod sent to Typo Knig's old office (the work address was on file and I didn't realize it until the order had been shipped). We asked them to refuse the shipment. Fedex simply returned it to Apple.

Anyway - it's a mild annoyance, but the right thing to do is to see that it's at least returned to the sender.
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  #35  
Old 06-10-2011, 04:02 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Sometimes when a large Amazon package heads overseas, it's placed in a sack, apparently by the local Post Office. Not sure why, maybe to prevent books falling out of damaged boxes.

Anyway, once they incorrectly addressed the sack that I received, and the package inside was for somebody else entirely, even a different city. I had already opened it, and saw that the books inside were certainly not what I ordered.

But I managed to track her down online. Her name was uncommon enough for me to find that the address was her place of work, which matched up to a nearby home address in the phone book, my assumption being she possibly lived nearby.

I left her a message. She got back to me; she had also opened mine, and was equally dumbfounded. But we asked the Post Office to send them to each other's correct addresses, and they did it for free.
I once received a package through USPS (addressed to me) that had a postcard for someone else jammed into a crevice. I took the postcard to a post office and explained what happened, and they took it.
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  #36  
Old 06-10-2011, 04:47 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
If USPS, label it as "not at this address" and mail it back. If it's small enough, just drop it in a mailbox. If not, put it by wherever your incoming mail gets dropped. They'll take it back to the sender.
Oh, I know about the USPS -- they're always (IME) very conscientious about this sort of thing. But private companies, sure, you could call them, leave the box on your porch inviting vagrancy and thievery, and maybe they'll come by in a few weeks or when they feel like it, or not. That's just been my experience. I know the drivers work hard, but I suspect they're not the ones making the decisions, ultimately.

If it's addressed to my address, delivered by a private company, and I don't have a super who wants to deal with it, then I think the only reasonable choice is to throw it away, give it away, or open it and do what you want with the goods. A special case where one might have a forwarding address for an old tenant is different, I think, for a good samaritan -- but once that option's been removed, there doesn't seem to be a lot anyone can do who doesn't have access or time to drive to the local distribution center.

Last edited by Jaledin; 06-10-2011 at 04:50 PM..
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