Items being shipped accidentally

We have been waiting for a microwave that was a high end microwave… lots of bells and wistles… that broke 6 months after we recieved it. I have called every 2-4 weeks to try to get it back since July. On a regular basis I get a response that the should be sent out in 2-3 weeks.

It is now the middle of December. The other day I opened my door to see a big box sitting on my front step I hoped that they had made another mistake and sent me my microwave before they went on backorder…again. I was wrong they had sent a comercial convection toaster oven. With no packing slip only a paper that said that my item had been damaged in shipping.

I called the company to find out what this was all about. They had no record that any item had been sent to us. (Could I have kept the item?)

They told me they would send a call tag to pick up the item and that it would take 5-7 days… I have waited a week… I called them up today and they said that it could be another day or two or maybe longer and that I am now responsible if any thing happens to that thing.

It is taking a lot of space up in my small livingroom and I am gettting really annoyed.


You have the patience of Job.

I would have escalated the issue after the first 30 days.

You say you are calling these people. Are you keeping a written diary? Shall one assume you have not written letters to the company to complain? It has been my experience that telephone communication complaints are fleeting; there is no written record. Document, document, document!

I wouyld suggest you start writing letters to the top brass of the company and spell out in as much detail as you can what you want from them.

Have you contacted the BBB?

No, I have not contacted the BBB.

I have tried to send email to them before but it was returned (Mail box full.) Big surprise there.

I guess that I have a letter writing campaign to start.

I still haven’t got a response. My wife tells me that since it came to us through the mail even though we didn’t order it, that it’s ours. While I don’t want the thing, it would be a nice gift to a charity, and I’m still pretty cheesed of at thier insistence that I’m responsible for it. What I’d like to know is : AM I resposible for it? Am I liable if I do give it away? (I have a nice soup kitchen in mind. This thing’s been taking up MY space.)


From a microwave to a toaster oven? That’s one hell of a lot of shipping damage…

It’s apparently unrelated to my microwave, which has been two weeks from repair since July. By the way, in case it’s relevant to my question, it was delivered by FedEx.

Write your Attorney General’s office about the microwave and the oven. That will get things moving.

You can also try calling them now about the oven. If they say keep it, keep it. The company will back off if you say, “My state Attorney General’s office said I could keep it.”

If you can’t keep it, they may have other suggestions for what you can do.

I think you can keep it. I remember two previous threads on the subject (here and here), and both linked to the USPS Web site.

The Post Office says, in part:

But, of course, IANAL; the fact that you requested something from the company (i.e., a new microwave) and they shipped you something else might change the circumstances.

I wish I knew about this before! I recently ordered something (which is now cancelled) from Victoria Secret for Christmas. Last week I get a giant box in the mail…that was supposed to be sent to Arizona but went to me in Toronto instead.

VS gave me $10 US to return the box. Took me 2 days of telephone calls and bringing the box to Purolator for me to get it sent. It wasn’t worth it (well, the “clothing” inside wasn’t valuable to me or my GF anyways. “Medium” sized US clothing is Large in Canada apparently.)

Now my gift from VS is missing and they’re crediting me everything back anyways. If I do still receive it (it was supposed to have been delivered last week) I’ll keep the damn thing.

Generally, anything shipped to you is yours, period. I’m sure a lawyer will drop by eventually with the specifics, but if a company sends something to you by mail, you are in no way required to fulfill anything; its yours.

In the early days of package mailing, unscrupulous companies would (supposedly) ship merchandise, then attempt to claim people either had to pay them, or pay to have the stuff shipped back. The Federal Government stepped in and put a stop to this practice.

Now, that said, if you keep the toaster oven they might be even more obnoxious about giving you your rightfully-owed microwave – although, should you care to pursue it, you could easily win in court for their failure to live up to contract.

I’d like to reiterate that this oven wasn’t sent via US postal Service, but via FedEX. Whether this makes any difference, I don’t yet know. Any legal eagle dopers out there care to take a shot at it?

This is the law.
I’m not sure where they define “mailing.”