Did you know that under federal law, if a company sends you something you didn’t order, you can legally keep it? Or give it back. Or donate it.
You don’t have to contact the company unless you want to. And it happens more often than you might think.
There was a case where Williams-Sonoma sent 99 knives worth $40 each to someone who had only ordered one. Yes, the extra $3,920 in knives could legally be considered theirs.
Even if the company realizes its mistake and wants them back, you have no legal obligation to do so. If you wish, ask the company to pay the return costs.
Everything is covered by the Federal Trade Commission here. Look under the section called Your rights when you receive unordered goods.
Often, big companies like Amazon don’t think it’s worth worrying about return shipping and restocking and will simply tell people who call to report an unordered item to keep it. Must be nice to swim in as much profit as you could afford, right?
Well, it happened recently in my house. A mystery parcel that no one had ordered showed up. Was it a new laptop? The latest iPhone?
No. It was this stupid thing.
A special Disney edition of the Sorry board game. The only thing we’re sorry about is that it wasn’t something valuable.
We devoted an hour of airtime to listeners calling in to share funny stories of ordering ____ but getting _____. Or get something when you never ordered anything at all.
Tracy started receiving mysterious packages from a company addressed to her son Zachary, except they were named Zachariah. And Zachary lives in California.
First it was a tapestry kit to make a samurai image. Next comes an electric kettle. Finally, sportswear.
All Tracy found out was that someone named Edith was ordering these things and shipping them to Tracy’s address. She still has a few.
James ordered a single bottle of a bike cleaner called Muc-Off. Instead, he received an entire case. Do you think he fired him? Muc-Off!
Chris never ordered anything, but received a steady supply of Snap-on tools totaling thousands.
Mark only ordered two beach chairs and every day the company sent two more. He now needs more friends to take to the beach.
Doug’s wife ordered a beach cover-up and received a massive 55ee cheetah print bra instead. It could probably cover even more.
Bill ordered a flagpole and got a foot massager instead. He finally got his flag pole and exercised his legal right to keep and enjoy the foot massager.
Then there’s the really fun stuff.
John, who never ordered anything, received a dog grooming kit and an adult toy. Please tell me these had nothing to do with each other.
Carolyn received a leopard thong out of the blue. Where’s that 55ee cheetah bra when you need it?
In the end, Mary didn’t order anything, but lingerie and a very personal adult toy showed up on her doorstep. What did she do with them? Ha! You should have listened!
The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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