If you accidentally send an unwanted shipment to a customer, you'll have to read carefully to avoid violating the law or the consumer's rights. There is no single law addressing shipments that were never ordered.
Return Items You Didn't Order
Instead, a patchwork of laws covers this issue, and the law that applies depends on the specifics of your situation. If the unordered item was an incorrect fulfillment of an order the customer did place, you are legally required to send the correct item or refund the customer's money in full -- including shipping costs.
You can ask the customer to return the item, but he has no legal obligation to do so. If, however, you have a contract with the buyer requiring him to return incorrect shipments -- such as the sort of contract you might have with a long-term purchaser -- this contract trumps the law.
Occasionally, a retailer sends a package to the wrong person or sends someone else's merchandise to a previous customer. If the customer didn't order anything from your business, you have no obligation to provide the customer with any additional merchandise or incentives. The customer, however, is legally entitled to keep the merchandise -- though you can request that the customer return it. Auto-billing is the practice of regularly billing a customer's card for some form of recurring service or merchandise.
You might use this strategy, for example, if you run a membership-based gym or offer subscriptions to supplements or magazines. Customers must be able to cancel their memberships whenever they want, however. If a customer no longer wants to receive goods and services and you continue to send them -- and bill for them -- the customer can initiate a dispute with her credit card company.
Although customers don't have to return an unordered item, if he agrees to return it, you must pay shipping and any other costs the consumer has incurred. If the customer placed an order but received the wrong item, consider offering an incentive such as a discount or free shipping on the next order. Never blame the customer for the error, and take immediate responsibility for the problem. If you notice the issue before the customer does, be sure to notify her.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. By: Van Thompson. About the Author. Photo Credits.Share best practices, tips, and insights.
Meet other eBay community members who share your passions. To make a long story short, I just started selling here in July after being a buyer for 5 years. I just became a top rated seller last month after making many many sales in just a few months.
I just opened a basic store a few days ago. Boy, that stings!!!! Here's what happened:. I had sent the wrong item by accident I had switched 2 packages around on a very busy day. The first buyer notified me of my mistake and I corrected it and gave them money to return the wrong item and gave them a partial refund and they were happy. I had no idea who the second buyer was until yesterday when I looked at my feedback. They received the item on November 7 and did not leave feedback until November 12, nor did they contact me, so I had no idea of who among the 20 packages that went out that day that I had mixed it up with.
I figured I would receive a message as I did with the first buyer. The feedback they left was factual, not slanderous, but I wish they would have contacted me about it first. I immediately contacted them and notified them I would be sending the correct item today and sent them money through Paypal to return the wrong item and told them when I received the incorrect item I would give them a partial refund.
I then asked for a feedback revision and apologized for my mistake. Well, they declined the feedback revision and replied back that they had no way to contact me except through leaving feedback. They told me that they were going to keep the incorrect item which was much more expensive and reorder the correct item from someone else even after I told them the right item was on the way and that I had given them money to return the wrong item.
I then replied that when you go to leave negative feedback that Ebay asks that you contact seller first and that they did not do that. I told them to please return the incorrect item unused or I would have to open a case. I have not heard back as of yet.To start off, I searched the forums for similar questions, but could not find anything with the exact scenario, so if it appears to be a duplicate question, I am sorry, might have missed it.
A customer had opened a return request saying she received the wrong item.
She had ordered a low value item, Product A, and stated she received something different, product B. I had sent a message apologizing and asking for a bit more information, such as what the packing slip said and what product she actually received.
The customer responded describing what product B was. During the time I was researching where product B was supposed to go and what product B was, the customer sent another message saying to disregard the return because she is going to keep the item.
After doing my research, we did make a mistake, and realized we sent the customer a much more expensive item, that was supposed to go to another customer. I had sent the customer message apologizing and offering to overnight the correct item, Product A and asked to return the incorrect item Product B with a prepaid return label I had attached to the email.
After not hearing anything for another 24 hours, I sent a second message with a return label requesting a return, and explaining that the order was mixed up, and we need Product B to fulfill another customers order. This will be my last communication regarding this issue. Thank you and Happy Holidays. I am more concerned that our second customer is now not going to receive Product B for their Christmas gift because of our mistake, and the customer who was supposed to receive Product A knowingly is keeping the incorrect more expensive item and refusing to return.
Product B is a handcrafted item that we import once a year and we cannot get anymore, so we cannot even replace it for the customer. Is there anything we can do? If nothing else, was hoping that at least we can contact support and have the customer that is refusing to return the item get blocked from buying from us, because it is kind of sad that someone would act this way.
First, we all make mistakes and sometimes those can cost us. Second, Amazon is not going to block one of their customers from buying from you so there is no need to contact Seller Support requesting that.
With regards to this buyer, sometimes they are going to be unwilling to return it because they like it or realize they can sell it themselves and make money. Whatever that reason, they are not obligated to help you correct a mistake. The best you can do at this point is to refund the other buyer in full, letting them know they are going to receive a different item and apologize for the error and that you do not have the correct product to ship.
I would not contact the buyer again as they made it perfectly clear they are not going to send the item back.
Focus on damage control with your other buyer - refund in full, apologize for your error and hope they do not leave negative feedback about their buying experience. Thank you for the feedback. Just kind of a bummer.
Wish there was a system like eBay where you can block a buyer who can be difficult, etc. Will definitely refund other customer and move on. Not very nice of the customer, however, they also stated they had needed it for a gift the next day, and apparently what you sent would do quite nicely.
Your mistake; learn from it. Next time only put one order on the packing board at a time and instrut whomever is packing it to check one more time to make sure that the packing slip and name and item SKU match. Customer acknowledges wrong item received but now refuses to return Selling on Amazon. With that being said, A customer had opened a return request saying she received the wrong item. This communication had all happened within 24 hours. The customer responded with: "While I sympathize with the other customer, I will not be sending back, my family Christmas celebration is tomorrow.
Well any feedback would be appreciated, hope you all are having a great holiday selling season. I would then focus on my packaging control to ensure future order swaps to not occur.
Style UTC 4.The Online Returns Center allows you to return items you did not order. Somebody may have sent you something as a gift. We only include a gift receipt in the shipment if the purchaser marked it as a gift when placing the order. If there isn't a gift receipt in the box, it may mean the person didn't mark it as a gift but still intended to send it as one.
If you don't want the item, you can return it for a refund through our Gift Return process. For more information on returning a gift, go to: Return a Gift.
You may have received an extra item in your shipment. If this is the case and you'd like to return it, you can go through the Online Returns Center and select the Received extra item I didn't buy no refund needed reason. When you select that reason, you'll get a pre-paid return label to return the item. If you placed an order but received the wrong item, you can return the wrong item for a refund or a replacement of the item you did not receive through the Online Returns Center by selecting the Wrong item was sent reason.
While we're unable to respond directly to your feedback, we'll use this information to improve our online Help. Was this information helpful?
Yes No. Thank you for your feedback. Please select what best describes the information: This information is confusing or wrong. This isn't the information I was looking for. I don't like this policy.
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Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Sell on Amazon Start a Selling Account.We mistakenly sent a customer the wrong item. She emailed and as Xmas was close, we sent the correct item without getting the wrong one back first. We enclosed a paid-for return label and emailed customer to ask for the return asap.
Almost a month later, she has not returned the item. Does this constitute theft? You are not required to keep them for any amount of time and you are certainly not required to pay for them.
Any attempt to demand payment by threatening means or otherwise is unlawful. No and yes … The problem is that the buyer might claim truthfully that they never received any request to return the first item. Also the buyer could deny any receipt of the sae …. Your customer service was spot on! The buyer really may not have realised … odd things do happen. The goods were unsolicited, it was your mistake. Just politely contact the customer again, ask if she received your envelope, and say you wonder if she had forgotten.
Always best to get the goods back first before refunding or replacing. The incorrect goods sent are not unsolicited as suggested, the buyer placed an order, an unsolicited item is one sent where no order is placed and payment has not been made but a request for payment is later made for goods that the customer did not order.
In your case the buyer placed an order but the goods are not as described wrong item sent and therefore you are liable to pay return postage, or as you have done provide a prepaid return label. When I did this I just took a hit on the incorrect item sent as it was my fault, but you do have a right to recover the goods if you wish to pursue the issue. Thanks to all for your time and trouble in replying.
If Amazon themselves sent out the wrong item, they would replace and provide a prepaid return label for the wrong item to be returned and if not returned within 30 days charge the buyers card for the item again, so you are not doing any different to what Amazon would do in similar circumstances.
Thanks for all your answer. They are much what I expected. Never have we dealt with such a stubborn customer. She has threatened us with trading standards for not supplying goods as described and that we are refusing to rectify the issue. But the only refusal we have made is is to send out more goods without recieving the incorrect ones back which we are willing to pay for.
Sent wrong item, then right item. Wrong item not returned. Sell on Amazon. Roxy UTC 2. The customer has no legal obligation to return the unordered item. Amaback UTC 3. Also the buyer could deny any receipt of the sae … Your customer service was spot on!
Did you post on the wrong thread…this one is months out of date?You can return many items sold on Amazon. When you return an item, you may see different return options depending on the seller or product.
Initiate a return through your Orders page. Follow the steps until you receive a return confirmation and return label. Pack your item securely, then print and attach the return label to your package. If you don't have the original shipping container, use a sturdy box and include padding such as packing bubbles or newspaper. Bring your item to the drop-off location you selected during the returns process.HOW TO GET A REFUND FROM STOCK X OR GOAT!!! (OR ANY COMPANY)
If you selected a label-free, box-free return location, you do not have to package your item in a shipping box. After completing the steps in the returns process, you will receive a QR code. Bring the item you wish to return and the digital QR code to the drop-off location. If you need to return a gift, go to Return a Gift.
While we're unable to respond directly to your feedback, we'll use this information to improve our online Help. Need to return an item? Go to your Orders page. Was this information helpful? Yes No. Thank you for your feedback.
Please select what best describes the information: This information is confusing or wrong. This isn't the information I was looking for. I don't like this policy.You respond to an advertisement offering a free "trial" pair of pantyhose. To your surprise, you receive four pairs with a bill. You receive a pocket knife that you never ordered. Despite your objections, the company continues to send you notices demanding payment and threatening your credit rating.
Federal laws prohibit mailing unordered merchandise to consumers and then demanding payment. Although you have no legal obligation to notify the seller, you may write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for shipping and handling. You may receive samples that are clearly marked free, and merchandise from charitable organizations asking for contributions.
You may keep such shipments as free gifts. When you participate in sweepstakes or order goods advertised as "free," "trial," or "unusually low priced," be cautious. Read all the fine print to determine if you are joining a "club," with regular purchasing or notification obligations.
Keep a copy of the advertisement or catalog that led you to place the order, too. This may make it easier to contact the company if a problem arises. Always start by trying to resolve your dispute with the company. Postal Inspector, or the Better Business Bureau in your area for help. The Direct Marketing Association also may be able to help you. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. Search form Search. Unordered Merchandise. Share this page Facebook Twitter Linked-In. Here are some questions and answers about dealing with unordered merchandise.
Am I obligated to return or pay for merchandise I never ordered? Must I notify the seller if I keep unordered merchandise without paying for it?
Is there any merchandise that may be sent legally without my consent? Is there any way to protect myself from shippers of unordered merchandise? Where can I go for help in dealing with unordered merchandise problems? Tagged with: billing errorfree trialmailseller.