What's my responsibility if UPS delivers a package that isn't mine?

Related to this thread :

The other day I found a note on my door from UPS saying two packages had been left by a side entrance to the house (a good place to leave packages, because it’s fairly hidden). The only problem: they weren’t addressed to me. The address was correct, but they were intended for the people from whom we had purchased the house over seven months ago.

Being the nice guy I am I called the company (“Company A”), explained what had happened, and made arrangements to get the packages back to UPS so they could be shipped to the correct place. (Side note: Company A kept trying to blame UPS for the snafu, but it was quite obviously Company A’s fault.) (Side note #2: Company A also displayed the correct recipient’s credit card number and expiration date on the shipping invoice :smack: ) The packages are now on their way to their rightful owner.

What if I hadn’t been a nice guy? What is my responsibility when a package is incorrectly left for me by UPS? I know the contents of the package (probably) don’t become mine just because UPS screwed up, but do I have any responsibility to notify anybody? Or can I just leave the package sitting in my garage until somebody decides to come looking for it? What if the package is stolen or damaged while it’s in my possession – am I responsible for that?

My WAG is that technically you woulnd’t have any responsibility for them whatsoever. As far as I’m concerened, I shouldn’t have to take time out of my day to deal with UPS or Company A screwing something up. OTOH, you’d have to remember that no matter how much you want the above statement to be true, if it turns out to be fraud (someone stole a credit card and had it shipped to your house becuse they know you’re at work all day and they can come by and pick it up etc…) or something of high value that someone will come looking for sooner or later or whatever, like it or not, you’re gonna end up involved. In a case like this where it was addressed to someone who used to live there, my guess is either they ordered from a website that already had their info stored, or it was something that was backordered. I’m rambling now. To cut to the chase, what happens if you weren’t mister nice guy?..You’d keep the contents and play dumb when someone shows up for it ESPECIALLY since you never signed for it. Without a signature (and the UPS records say “Left by side door”) there’s no proof you ever had the package to begin with. I don’t see how they could ever attemt to hold you responsible for anything (especially a package not addressed to you, left on your property with no proof of delivery). If someone could get in trouble for that I think small time couriers would be commiting alot more fraud. (Really I left that case of watches by his door, then I realized it was the wrong house and they were gone. He must have stolen them.)

The problem is that UPS would likely be responsible for the watches (if they delivered to the wrong address, which is not what occurred in the OP of course). What would happen in the OP’s case (from my past experience with UPS) had he kept the goods and played dumb would be that UPS would [eventually] capitulate, pay for the goods (up to the insured amount, IIRC $500) and make a note of it to see if the company keeps coming up with the same claim.

I’m pretty sure shit like this happens all the time, especially with residential deliveries. Of course, the only way to be sure would be to call UPS…