Getting the same product twice, paying once

A colleague of mine ordered a keyboard from a online retailer. After a week, it didn’t arrive, therefore he complained and the next day one arrived.

The next day, another one arrived. The first one that was ordered which must have been delayed

There was a (tongue in cheek) debate in the office. Should the 2nd keyboard be returned, maybe morally yes, legally has a crime been committed ?

The package was not tracked by the retailer, I suspect a claim will be made against the postal service who will ultimately be the losers.

If you are willing to complain about not getting what you pay for, you should be willing to give back that which you didn’t pay for. Is a keyboard worth your self-respect? Mine comes at a much higher price.


I wish I’d thought of that argument at the time. (For the record I argued it should be returned)

Under Federal law, unordered merchandise sent by mail is the recipient’s to keep.

39 USC 3009.

No crime. In fact, generally speaking if a sender was demanding the return of the item, or threatening to charge the recipient for it, they would be the ones breaking the law.

Edit: although arguably, this was ordered merchandise…

I see the edit now that I hit reply, but I’m going to say this anyways: The person technically ordered both keyboards.

That law goes back to when people used to send out, say, vacuums to random addresses (read: housewives) tell them to use it for a few weeks and then either send it back or expect a bill in the mail that they could pay for it if they wanted to keep it.

After a while the government stepped in and told these people if you send out random merchandise the receiver can keep it for free, it’s not on them to have to send it back or pay for it. The OP’s scenario is very different.

Call the retailer and explain what happened. There’s a 98.9% chance they’ll just tell you to keep both keyboards with their compliments, a 0.1% chance they’ll want one of them back, and a 1% chance the CSR will misunderstand and send out a third keyboard.

Every time I’ve complained that something hadn’t arrived yet and they sent out another and the first arrived later, or something arrived damaged so they sent another, or they sent the wrong thing and they sent me another, the company told me to keep the original. It’s just not worth most online retailers time to have you ship stuff back and put it back into their inventory, especially for inexpensive things like keyboards. As far as I’m concerned, if you put forth the effort and they tell you to keep it, you’re legally, morally, and ethically in the clear.

Well, the statue doesn’t require any intent to coerce or defraud. These days what usually happens is that you order one, and by mistake they send you two. Or you order thing A, and when the package arrives it contains both A and an unordered item, B, which was packed my mistake. The second one is yours to keep even though no scam was intended.

But this situation is a bit different.

You know, if a company tries to jerk me around, I’m not going to be too sympathetic if they lose on the deal. But here it appears that they got a complaint and immediately tried to make it right. I would feel awful taking advantage of someone who tried to do the right thing for me.

If there was no tracking on the package, then the package was not insured. If the package is not insured, the Post Office won’t pay a dime. They won’t even refund the postage.

Call the seller. They will probably even send you a prepaid label to use when returning the keyboard. In fact, if it is a low-value item, they may even tell you not to bother returning it, but leave that up to them.

I agree. I once ordered a CD direct from the performer, when it didn’t arrive and I recontacted them, they sent another.

Of course two arrived the same day!

When I contacted them and explained, their response was, “Please pass it along to someone you feel will enjoy it with our compliments!”

Why would the recipient pass up a chance to impress someone with their integrity? It costs you nothing, and may well improve someone’s outlook.

If you call and they tell you to keep it, I’d say it’s fine. Same thing with retailers who don’t want to take back extra change they give you. If you make a good faith effort to return the item, tnhey don’t want it, you have done your best.

Is it a statue of George Washington, who never told a lie?

Another possibility would be that they would normally want you to return it, but if you want to keep it they will sell it to you at a significant discount–since this avoids return postage and processing costs for them.