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thread: Online order error?

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2007
    Queensland
    1,137

    Online order error?

    I ordered some products from a toy catalogue and when I opened the box, instead of 1 item, they had sent 6. This item is quite bulky and worth about $25 each. I checked and they've only charged me for 1.



    What would you do?
    Am I legally obliged to tell them and return the goods?
    It will be a hassle to get them (plus 3 kids) to the post office, can they tell me to post them back?

  2. #2
    Moderator

    Dec 2006
    Smidgen-ville
    3,736

    Re: Online order error?

    I couldn't keep it. Not for a fundraiser.
    They have options these days - send a prepaid 'sticker' to you via email. You stick it on the package and all you have to do it drop it at the post office.
    They could even send a courier around to your door. (The place I ordered shoes from recently did that).

    Mistakes happen. They are trying to raise money for a cause - this mistake could be very damaging for them. I personally would contact them and explain what has happened and if they want them back then they can set the wheels in motion.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2007
    Queensland
    1,137

    Re: Online order error?

    Thanks Lenny. I like the option of a courier coming the to door or even the sticker in the mail.

    Just to clarify, it's a big business that give a cut of the profits to the kindy (i.e. if you buy $100 worth of toys from them, they give $5 credit to the kindy to buy toys). So it's not actually run by the kindy or making the kindy lose money. If that makes sense. I'll edit my post to clarify.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008
    Gold Coast
    1,153

    Re: Online order error?

    If you accidentally transferred $125 to someone's account, would you hope that they would return it? Even if it was a bit of a hassle for them?
    I would contact them and tell them.
    Because that's how I would like to be treated.

    ETA. And if they told me I could keep them (which they will most likely do) I would donate the toys back to the Kindy to be sold to raise funds.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Dec 2007
    Victoria
    7,260

    Re: Online order error?

    I don't think it makes a difference what kind of business or venture it is. You didn't pay for them, you hardly need 6 of the same item, as you didn't order 6, and regardless of any "legal" obligation to return them, I think the ethical obligation is fairly obvious.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2007
    Queensland
    1,137

    Re: Online order error?

    Interesting responses.

    I do intend to inform the company about the error.

    According to the ACCC, if I inform them then they have 1 month to arrange to collect the goods.

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2008
    in the ning nang nong
    12,163

    Online order error?

    I've had the same happen, but with external hard drives. Called them, they asked us to post them back. It was a bit of a hassle, but mistakes happen.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Dec 2007
    Victoria
    7,260

    Re: Online order error?

    According to the ACCC, if I inform them then they have 1 month to arrange to collect the goods.
    ...Orrr... you could just send them back. Why would it even matter what the ACCC said about it?
    Again, the 'right thing' to do seems utterly obvious, to the point I am surprised you are posting about it.

    Why wouldn't you just let them know and post the extras back?

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    5,235

    Re: Online order error?

    I agree with LS, there's a big difference between doing the legal thing and the ethical thing. I too am surprised you need advice to know what to do on this one. It's pretty simple.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    Re: Online order error?

    I ordered some products from a toy catalogue and when I opened the box, instead of 1 item, they had sent 6. This item is quite bulky and worth about $25 each. I checked and they've only charged me for 1.

    What would you do?
    Am I legally obliged to tell them and return the goods?
    It will be a hassle to get them (plus 3 kids) to the post office, can they tell me to post them back?
    What would I do? I would find out what I should be expecting from them when I phone up - so not sure if is the ACCC but I would want to make sure I knew first what my rights were as far as payment for postage is, and then I would be ensuring that I actually got either a postage page sticker etc, or the money first (I have been bitten before by posting something back under good faith after being promised a credit for the postage which I then had to chase for several months to actually get the credit back).

    I don't actually think 'ethics' come into it - it is about ensuring you are not out of pocket from their mistake.

  11. #11
    Life Member. Every Australian needs a Farmer.

    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara
    14,222

    Re: Online order error?


    I don't actually think 'ethics' come into it - it is about ensuring you are not out of pocket from their mistake.
    This. Of course she's going to send them back, but why should she be out of pocket for something that was not her mistake? It would be quite expensive I imagine to send them back.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    5,235

    Re: Online order error?

    Why go to the bother of finding out your rights before even speaking to the company? Surely we are all still able to trust that most companies want to treat their clients well in order to keep custom? If the outcome wasn't as you'd expect, then you could go seeking your rights.

    I've never dealt with a large company (which a toy fundraiser would be) that would expect you to pay to return items to them. These companies all have Reply Paid mail addresses. They make fortunes from these fundraisers, they want to keep customers! I've had whole orders for people replaced when they've disappeared without question.

    Most often people are so impressed with honesty (which is a sad representation of how much dishonesty they deal with) that they will do whatever they need to, to help out. I've had companies let us keep extra products before.

    The OP was about ethics - it asked do I legally have to tell them.....that's an ethical question imo.

  13. #13
    Thankful for the kindness of my 2012 RAK making me Life member

    Jul 2007
    melb
    8,498

    Re: Online order error?

    I would contact company and inform them of error and find out easiest way to return.

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    Re: Online order error?

    Why go to the bother of finding out your rights before even speaking to the company? Surely we are all still able to trust that most companies want to treat their clients well in order to keep custom? If the outcome wasn't as you'd expect, then you could go seeking your rights.

    I've never dealt with a large company (which a toy fundraiser would be) that would expect you to pay to return items to them. These companies all have Reply Paid mail addresses. They make fortunes from these fundraisers, they want to keep customers! I've had whole orders for people replaced when they've disappeared without question.

    Most often people are so impressed with honesty (which is a sad representation of how much dishonesty they deal with) that they will do whatever they need to, to help out. I've had companies let us keep extra products before.

    The OP was about ethics - it asked do I legally have to tell them.....that's an ethical question imo.
    Sometimes larger companies are worse - it isn't about wanting to keep clients happy or not it can be about staff training, staff are not properly trained in what to tell customers when they call so I think it is always worth knowing what their response should be first. Is better to prevent a problem before it happens than to hope for the best and have to sort it out after. Most companies have a returns policy for example, and often you pay to return an item if you are not happy with it or if it is faulty, they often don't have a policy on what should happen if you want to return goods that are sent out in error (people don't really like to acknowledge that this is a possibility) - so depending on who you speak to you might get a different answer about return postage (as I did in my previous experience - someone told me the wrong thing, I did what they said and then it was up to me to hassle and get my credit - they didn't receive the extras back and go 'oooh good some nice person has returned stuff to me that we sent in error I better make sure they get their money back').

    You know the main reason you are told to keep extra products rather than send them back - it isn't because they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart it is because they don't have the process to deal with it, and they don't want to admit sending out the wrong amounts - they would rather not know and not have to deal with it. (Amazing really, but I work in Logistics/Supply Chain and sometimes businesses don't work along the same principles as individuals do)

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Sep 2008
    Gold Coast
    1,153

    Re: Online order error?

    Why would you even bother looking up your rights?

    Ring the company.
    Tell them of THIER error.
    Leave the ball in THIER court.

    I really don't understand how someone could possibly think this requires input from the internet public at large?

    Of course you won't be expected to pay return freight, and if they ask you to, refuse.



    Gahhhh!


    Common sense peoples!!

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Member
    Add ~clover~ on Facebook

    Sep 2007
    travelling
    9,557

    Re: Online order error?

    Most companies these days will send you a reply paid sticker, or parcel bag for returns of faulty products. I assume if you call, or even just email them, they'll do the same.
    I live very rural & do almost all my shopping (except food) online. Every company has a returns policy, so the set up would be pretty much the same.

  17. #17
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006
    11,633

    Re: Online order error?

    I got a free box of wine recently. Courier's error, the company said I could keep it. Of course I told them about it and of course they didn't want to pay to get it returned.

  18. #18
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2007
    Queensland
    1,137

    Re: Online order error?

    Thanks for your input everyone. I appreciate particularly those that shared their stories.

    I must say I am surprised by the strong opinions posted by some, bordering on judgmental.

    I really don't understand how someone could possibly think this requires input from the internet public at large?
    Well, Livingthedream, I obviously was interested in other people's ideas around what they would do. I think of BB as my community (not just the internet public at large).

    I also think it is prudent to establish legal obligations as well as ethical ones before making a decision. I am not lacking in common sense.

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