Would you want a stolen gift?

I suppose, from the thread title, almost anyone would say “no”, but here’s the story:

For purposes of Christmas shopping, the ladyfriend has been sending me links now and then for items she’s seen and likes. Two of these items were rings from a store I bought from online. I picked out a ring and placed the order. A couple days later, I received an e-mail saying it was backordered. So I called, asked if it would be available for Christmas, they said “no” so I said “cancel the order and I want this other ring instead”. A week later, I’m one ring richer and about $300 poorer. Yesterday, I get an e-mail from the store saying “Your ring has been shipped!” and, sure enough, today UPS drops off the original ring I ordered. But… the invoice is blank. My name is there, and an apology for the backorder, but no charges. I check my creditcard statement and the second ring was processed and billed for, but the original never was and my card has no additional activity from the store. The charge date on the second was the day I ordered it, so I’d think the first would have been billed the same way if it was going to be. To the best of my guesses, the order was cancelled after it was sent to shipping who sent me one anyway.

So my very first thought was “Hey! Free Valentine’s Day gift!”. But… no. For a bunch of reasons, I wouldn’t feel good knowing she had what amounted to a stolen ring on her finger, wouldn’t want to deceive her into thinking I spent the money and seriously doubt she would want it knowing it wasn’t paid for. Ironicly, I actually like the look of my second choice ring better now that I have them in my hand and so my plan is to give her the one, explain the story, let her see the other so she can choose in person which one she wants and I can return the other and either get a credit for the paid one or simply return the “free” one.

What’dya think?

Crazy. We had almost exactly the same thing happen with Amazon!

The hubby (sexy, sexy man that he is) ordered me a digital camera. He of course watched the order carefully, and according to the website, it didn’t ship, and didn’t ship, and didn’t ship. Having just gone 'round and 'round with Amazon about a book that didn’t ship last month, the hubby was in no mood to take any guff. He ignored the response to his complaint email (which naturally says not to pester them until the last day of the projected shipping date range, in this case just a couple days before Christmas) and called them, and complained, told them he did not want to have to explain to his wife why her Christmas present was late and brought to their attention that he had just recently had problems with an Amazon order that had failed to ship. They investigated, and said that the reason it hadn’t shipped was that, according to the computer, it wasn’t in stock. (One wonders when exactly Amazon had been planning to notify him of that? December 24?)

They told him they’d send him the next-higher model of the camera (7 megapixels instead of 5), for the same price, with free next-day shipping, and he said that would be satisfactory. The first order was canceled, and the new camera would ship the next day, Tuesday and arrive Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the first (5 Mpix) camera arrived.

On Thursday, the second (7 Mpix) camera arrived.

So he called back, and explained that he had two cameras, and really only needed one. The CSR was thrown for a loop. Their computer did not show that the first camera had been shipped. She said that she assumed we would like to keep the nicer camera? Yes, indeed. So then she had to get help from a manager because she didn’t know how to do a return on an order that had been cancelled. The manager arranged for a return label to be sent to us, and they both thanked my hubby profusely.

Keeping the camera that we hadn’t paid for was never an option for either of us.

If you made the offer you’re describing for me, I’d probably think you were a dishonest person for even considering such a thing, and this would adversely affect our relationship, because I could never date a person who I did not think was scrupulously honest. So my advice to you would be to do the honest thing. Contact the company about paying for the ring or shipping it back.

Anyway, it would be awfully unpleasant for the company to figure out the snafu and hit your charge card for the ring at an unexpected time, wouldn’t it?

Whoops, crap, sorry, got my days mixed up. Amazon said they’d ship the 7 Mpix camera Wednesday and it would arrive Thursday, which it did.

Maybe I didn’t explain myself well. I fully intend to pay for whichever ring she’s keeping and return whichever one she isn’t. I was just offering to let her pick which one was getting returned.

Re-reading my “plan”, I don’t think I made that clear. But if I was willing to keep the “free” ring without paying for it, I’d simply give it at a later date. But I couldn’t do that.

Re-re-reading… heh… I think part of your point is to let the store know immediately so they can bill the “free” ring and deal with the returns later. Good point and I shall do so. I was thinking more along the lines of “why give myself more hassle and paperwork than I need?” but, until I do so, the ring is effectively stolen.

I hadn’t thought of it so much that way since I always planned that, in the end, the store would get its due but I should take care of that part now rather than later.

A gift isn’t stealing a loaf of bread to feed your starving family.* I had a hassle getting my wife’s Dell delivered and finally a package arrive. I got a call from Dell and said I hadn’t seen the packing slip but I assumed that the monitor should be a separate box. The rep assured me it was and shipped a monitor. I got home and found the computer box already had a flat panel monitor in it. I’ll send the other one back.
[Fat Tony]But what if your family don’t like bread? What if they like cigarettes?[/FT]

Geez, sorry . . . You were not unclear; I simply seem to have the reading comprehension skills of a . . . thing . . . with . . . poor reading comprehension. I guess I just jumped to a conclusion based on the title, very stupid of me.

Now that I understand it think your plan sounds fine. Explain the story to her, let her pick whichever one she likes best, then sort it out with the company.

Apologies, again, especially for impugning your character.

Guess I’m not as honest as the others on this thread.

When I moved away to college my brother bought a compact refrigerator for me to use in my dorm room. (Please note I didn’t say he gave it to me. I used it and then he got it back. That was always the plan.) The first one we got was damaged so we exchanged it.

His credit card got billed for two refrigerators. He called and complained. They took both of the charges off, so he got the refrigerator for free. He never called back and corrected that. And it never crossed my mind that he should.

Something like this just happened to me.

My mom needed urgent roof repair. So being the good son I am I hopped off to home depot mom in tow. (she would not allow me to pay for her roof) and charge the materials to her credit card.

Turns out I did not read the cans very well and had the wrong product. (After hauling six five gallon cans up by rope), (Actually twelve but the six base adhesive stayed)

So we hauled the six cans back to Home depot to exchange them, found out there was only four on the reciept. (and four of the base adhesive). The clerk actually suggested we just put the other two back in my truck because of the paperwork. I told her "just slide them somewhere in the store the stock guys will get 'em) cause they will come up on inventory sooner or later. They did really belong to the store.

She scowled but did as I suggested, leaving the four cans in the return area and two in the aisle behind her station. They were gone by the time I found the proper compound and hauled it to the register.

I never did return to pay for the other cans of base adhesive. One because it wasn’t my fault and two I would have no idea how to do that.

Oh I should really mention (for the non-construction types) a five gallon can of roofing compound costs about $70

The question isn’t whether or not she’d want to receive a stolen gift. It’s whether or not you want to give one. You certainly don’t…it’s bad form, illegal, and unnecessary.

If I see someone drop their wallet, I naturally return it. In your case I shall make an exception.

IANAL but…doesn’t the law say that things shipped to you, regardless of payment, are in fact yours?

Actually, since you canceled the order and they sent it anyway you aren’t guilty of stealing anything. Don’t get me wrong, I would also return one of the rings because I would feel bad keeping something I didn’t pay for.

You know, I thought about that. No so much as a reason to keep it but out of curiousity.

Then it occured to me that my only cite was an episode of Married… with Children :dubious:

Obviously in a situation like this, the right and honest thing to do is to return the unpaid-for merchandise. However, since they did send it to you, even though you canceled the order, I don’t think they’re in a position legally to demand it back. IANAL, and I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s yours until you make the decision to do the honest thing and help rectify their mistake.

Finders keepers. We had a similar situation a while back, buying some dining chairs from a big furniture chainstore. They’d advertised a good deal on a dining suite, table and chairs available separately, and we traipsed through the store trying to find a definitive answer on what a set of six chairs, sans table would cost.

Nobody bloody knew, and after about half an hour of being shunted from minion to underling, we said “screw it” and went to the desk to get the purchase rung up anyway. The cashier was even more clueless, despite repeated explanations of what we wanted, who we’d talked to and what they’d said, and after 5 minutes of dithering rang up a set of six chairs for the price of one. “Fuck you if you can’t get your shit together”, thought we, and technically stole five hardwood dining chairs, delivered the same day. Oh, the guilt.