1 WWYD: An Extra Delivery | The Billfold

WWYD: An Extra Delivery

In this installment of WWYD, a local shop mails an extra package to a customer:

I ordered two small items online from a local shop (total cost incl. shipping and handling was around $14). They arrived last week. Today I received the same order in the mail again. My credit card was only charged once. Would you mail the items back? — Jessica

I’m always paranoid when things like this happen—especially if the other party has my credit card number on hand. In this case, the order is described as being from a local shop, which makes me picture a mom and pop store run by a little old lady who has lived in the neighborhood for 50 years, so I’d feel bad if I didn’t notify her of the mistake. I’d call up the shop and explain about the extra package that was delivered.

Perhaps they’ll apologize for the mixup and ask you to send it back, which is a hassle, and you should be reimbursed for the cost of shipping. Perhaps they’ll just tell you that their mistake is your gain, and you’ll get to keep the package. I wouldn’t risk having them discover the mistake on their own and then charging you for it—having to contest those charges is a headache I’d want to avoid.


Email me your WWYD experiences to me with “WWYD” in the subject line. See previous installments.



11 Comments / Post A Comment

This happened to me–from a big store, not a small one, though. I called and explained I’d received a double order, and offered to ship the second shipment back but they told me to keep them.

So I agree with Mike–I’d just let them know what happened, and hopefully you’ll just end up with a bonus item.

sunflowernut (#1,638)

I can’t imagine the store double charging you for an order that was their mistake, at least not without notifying you and trying to work the situation out first. But you should still let them know – if it’s really such a cheap item, they’ll probably let you keep it. If they do want it back they’ll email/mail you a return label. No one wants to deal with refunding you for shipping you went out and purchased yourself – that’s a major pain for both parties. This is all coming from my experience running a small online business…

aeroaeroaero (#1,422)

If it’s local, perhaps you could avoid the shipping issue and just return it in person? Either way, definitely let them know about the mistake! Honesty is the best policy and all that.

kellyography (#250)

I would definitely call them up and explain what happened. If they want the item(s) shipped back, they should pay for and send you a return shipping label. I worked in shipping and customer service for years and always made sure that any mistake of ours was as easy to correct as possible.

Bonnie St. Clair (#2,949)

This once happened to me, with a CD that I ordered from an indie label. I ordered one CD; they sent me two in the package. It was some kind of “deluxe” issue, so each CD sold for about $30 + shipping. After thinking about it, I decided to contact the label, and they thanked me and asked if I wouldn’t mind sending the second CD back. For my troubles and the cost of shipping, they offered to send me an EP of my choice. I was happy with that, because I didn’t have any of this particular artist’s EPs, so I picked out the one I wanted most.

Cut to a few months later, when it occurred to me that I’d never received the EP, and it felt like an inconvenience to try to get it sent again. So, boo. But still, especially for something like a smaller, independent store/organization, I’d feel guilty not alerting them to their mistake.

Blondsak (#2,299)

This happened to me a few weeks ago, only with ordered pizza. (I pre-order and pay online before the order comes to me.) My order was delivered to my door twice, an hour apart. The second time I opened the door I was so surprised that I promptly said, “We already got our order. Sorry.”

Not sure what I would have done differently even if I’d had time to think about it. I checked my credit card afterward and I was indeed only charged once for the pizza. Hopefully Delivery Guy #2 got a nice dinner out of it at least.

@Blondsak Aha! So you’re the one to blame when I order a pizza and it never arrives.

emilies (#956)

I ordered some boots from Etsy a few years ago and they arrived right in the middle of my brokest period of life (needless to say, I shouldn’t have ordered them). They were delivered to my office when it was closed, so UPS let the seller know they were being returned, and I got refunded, but then also got the boots delivered. I did seriously consider not saying anything, then decided to be a good person and email the seller to let her know. She never got back to me so I had some free boots and a clear conscious. If you are at all feeling guilty, I think it’s better to just do the right thing. You’ll probably end up being doubly rewarded.

This happened to me once from something I ordered on EBay from germany! It was just an inexpensive (less that 20 USD) fountain pen. They took a really long time to ship it so I emailed to ask about it. A couple days later I get the first pen, and then the day after that I got an identical one. I guess maybe they didn’t have a record of sending the first one, so maybe they sent another? So I emailed them to tell them I had gotten two identical shipments and only had been charged for one and never got a response. I wasn’t worried about it if they weren’t!

Stacy K!@twitter (#1,170)

Actually, in the US it is illegal for companies to charge you for their mistake, where shipping is concerned. Legally, you could keep whatever you get. Karmically, you should offer to return the items. http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumers.aspx?id=283

Comments are closed!