Ethical Quandary

Now, ethics go in GD, but I am simply asking for an ethical opinion from everybody, not a great philosophical discussion.

Here we go:

I ordered a DVD from Amazon. A manly movie-for-men-who-like-movies kind of movie (ok, it was My Fair Lady). I ordered this DVD for $15.99 + s&h.

I received the package today. The shipping slip inside says My Fair Lady. Except that the DVD inside the box is Ransom.

Now, the obvious thing to do is ship Ransom back and demand my Fair Lady. Except that Ransom is a decent movie which I do not own. Further, to purchase Ransom would cost $25.99 + s&h.

Ethical Quandary: Would it be wrong to keep Ransom and just re-order My Fair Lady?

Opinions, please? (And if this isn’t IMHO enough and needs to be moved, I understand.)

Nope. Once you place your order, you have zero control over what happens at the warehouse/shipping place/whatever. If they send you the wrong movie, it’s their fault, they absorb the costs.

Then again, you would also be completely within your rights to make a stink about it. You’re the customer. THEY’RE trying to please YOU, not the other way around. YOU have no responsibility towards them other than paying the costs that they tell you that you have to pay. You were told that you had to pay $15.99 (plus s&h), and that’s exactly what you payed.

I’ve had similar experiences at the local computer store… once, I picked out a game because the price it was labeled at was $30. At the checkout counter, the scanner said it was $40. I pointed out the price discrepancy, the teller apologized, and charged me $30.

Again, if they screw up, it’s their fault.

Keep it

Sounds perfectly placed to me!

::heroically restrains bad self from twitting obfus about manly, sweaty Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady::

Since it was Amazon’s screw up you could, I suppose, report the mistake and hope they’d say, “oops, our mistake, g’head and keep it.” They’ve never messed up an order for me so I don’t know how far to the wall they go to keep customers happy.

Me? I’d probably report it even though they’d never know, mostly because it’d eat at me until I did. (Hey, at least I’m not as bad as pluto who worries about giving Radio Shack a fake address for their corporate spam list.)

No, this is a topic best left to the peculiar, penetrating insights of fellow Dopers.

Retreating and shuddering,

Since you are posting this as an ethical dilemma, I assume your conscience is already nibbling at you some…ask yourself how much you’d enjoy watching the DVD you got by mistake. Would it bother you knowing how you obtained it? How would you feel if you overpaid for something and the company kept the money?

Personally, I’d send it back…it’s not what you ordered. But you’ll have to follow your own heart. It seems to me, you either want to do the right thing and are looking for people to say, “Dude, do the right thing–be a stand up guy,” (which is my position) or you want to keep it but wish to alleviate that twinge of guilt by having people agree with you to “stick it to the big sinaster corporation.” So…I guess that’s one lone vote for returning it.

Of course, this is just IMHO.

IMO, you are neither legally nor morally obligated to return the film. This is not “sticking it to the big corporation” – you did not deceive the company in any way. And look at it this way – they get a double benefit by selling you two DVDs (albeit one at a discount) where you originally were only planning to buy one.

However, you could spare a thought for the poor person, wherever he or she may be, who gets all geared up to watch Ransom, only to open the box and let out an anguished wail…

You couldn’t possibly doubt the manliness of a movie containing these words:

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historically fair;
Who when you win will always give your back a pat.
Why can’t a woman be like that?
Why does ev’ryone do what the others do?
Can’t a woman learn to use her head?
Why do they do everything their mothers do?
Why don’t they grow up like their father instead?
Why can’t a woman take after a man?
Men are so pleasant, so easy to please;
Whenever you’re with them, you’re always at ease…

I’ll take that over “Give me back my son!” any day. A sweet insult at the French (“The French never care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce in properly.”) is just a bonus.

I’ll also point out that my last DVD purchase was The Music Man and there is no man manlier than Robert Preston. The great disappointment of my time in library school was that there was no Marion (“the librarian”).

I rest assured that I have eased the difficulty with which you restrain your twitting of me.

Well, he did say he ordered the movie from Amazon! :smiley:

::: ducks labryses hurled by offended ladies :::

Think of the poor person who ordered Ransom and got *My Fair Lady *

The perfectly ethical response would be to report it to the company, they’d have to re-imburse you for your postage certainly to return it. Your time is (IMHO) also worth something as well.

I’ve reported errors like that (usually it was one thing that wasn’t ordered in a shipment of other stuff I did order) and was told to keep it. Once it was cause of some reason [sub] my very bad handwriting[/sub], and the company and I split the difference of the error.

You’re looking for just opinions, right? well, IMHO, I’ve never felt bad about doing the right thing. or at least so far.

*Originally posted by obfusciatrist *

::blinks owlishly::
Robert Preston?
Oh. Well, sure.
I guess.
Ah, who cares. I’m not about to argue with any man who finds librarians alluring.
You’re right and your taste is excellent!


Hey, no prob! There isn’t the tiniest little fizzle or yen toward twitting left. Gone. Kaput. I view you with sober and reverent eyes.

Actually my principles are sufficiently elastic that I’ll happily ditch intellectual honesty (Robert Preston?!)in honor of a man who actually had a crush on Marian the Librarian.

Wandering off blissfully,
(who’s a librarian IRL, for those who don’t get the joke)

Poly, my dear, one does not hurl a labrys. It is a thing to be wielded.

Now go run, screaming in terror.

Librarians are cool. Except for that one in my home town who seemed to think that touching the books was a mortal sin and that hair color was a thing to change as often as one’s socks.

Make Amazon pay the shipping and send it back.

Yes, Robert Preston! I mean, did you see him in The Last Starfighter? Why, if I were a gay man or a straight woman I woulda been all over him (metaphorically, of course)!

It’s in the blood, I think. My ex-wife is a librarian. My current wife is (technically, though non-practicing) a librarian. I am (technically, though non-practicing) a librarian. And besides, Shirley Jones wasn’t too bad on her own, but combine her with a librarian character, and woohoo!

Now if only I could find some of that librarian porn (porn involving librarians, not porn for librarians) that Will Manley assures us is out there somewhere.

“What can I do, my dear, to catch your ear
I love you madly, madly Madam Librarian…Marion”

And for anybody wondering, no I do not look like a stereotypical librarian; I quickly found that I look stupid with my hair in a bun.

Librarian porn? Why was I not made aware of this?

Anyway, I say keep it. What the hell.

As for Robert Preston, I’ll agree that he is strangely manly. My feeling about Last Starfighter, a personal secret favorite of mine, is that he’s basically doing his Harold Hill character again:

Oh, we've got trouble in the galazy, folks/
It starts with a Z/
And ends with a D/
And it goes by the name of Zod!

But maybe that’s just me. :slight_smile:
Joseph (who always wanted to be a member of the Buffalo Bills, who are the four barbershop quartet dudes in “The Music Man.”)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there a law stating if you get something in the mail you didn’t ask for, it is legally yours?

I know this isn’t quite the same thing (a shipping screw-up as opposed to an unsolicited item in the mail), but you can always rest your conscience by rationalizing it that way.

Keep it and sleep well tonight.

Hey, if you’re not worried about babies getting their hands cut off in the diamond trade, something tells me you aren’t going to lose any sleep over an improperly invoiced DVD.

Why Zenster! Are you being snide in one of my threads? Further, are you misrepresenting what I said in another thread? I’m honored.

I don’t really see how my views on that issue apply here. I never said I didn’t care if babies hands were cut off. I said that the removal of baby hands didn’t affect my feelings on the working conditions in diamond mines. In fact, I would preseme that handless babies are rarely seen in diamond mines, except as entertainment (“Look! It’s trying to suck its thumb again! Ha ha.” or “Hey kid, you aren’t very good at Pattycake.”).

But let’s assume I did say that; I don’t really see how it applies here. In that thread we were asked our feelings on the decisions of others. In this thread I am asking for the feelings of others on a decision by me. Obviously, I have a higher stake in the answer than what is happening with Russian diamond mines.

But you are right, I don’t have a problem with a misinvoiced DVD. I was just curious where other people stood.

Oh, and while I have you here, how goes your attempts to organize another Dope Fest? If attendance lags, you might offer everybody another opportunity to stick things in your nose once you’ve passed out.

obfusciatrist said:

Gems like this are why I read these threads.

As for the actual question…it’s Amazon’s responsibility to handle shipping competently. You upheld your part of the contract, so you can ethically accept the mistaken DVD in lieu of Amazon’s part.

Yep, it’s their error.
And, yep, ethically you have to return it.
Goodness knows you’d holler like crazy if they made a similar mistake in their favor. If you protest that, then you have to protest mistakes in your favor. Honesty isn’t just for when it’s convenient.

John D. MacDonald’s Meyer says it well in one of the Travis Magee novels: “In all emotional conflicts, dear girl, the thing you find hardest to do is the thing you should do.”

I think you’d be within your rights to keep it. That said, it would be nice of you to at least bring it to their attention (they may very well tell you to just keep it anyway, what with all the extra trouble and cost to exchange it).

They may have a policy about this on their site, check it out.