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Print 65 comment(s) - last by Inkjammer.. on Nov 9 at 9:05 PM

The shipping box for the Eee was so small, some buyers received a five-pack instead of a single unit

The Asus Eee PC notebook has been popular in North America thus far, with many retailers having sold their entire stock on the first day of orders. The popular e-tailer Newegg took a misstep above the rest though; apparently, the diminutive size of the Eee has confused Newegg's shipping department. Some buyers who purchased the Eee PC from Newegg ended up not with an individual Eee, but a shipping box of five units.

A posting on the Eeeuser.com forum details the story of an Eeeuser.com member NastyGash who had a box of five Eee's diverted from delivery moments before arriving ... who was then one-upped by several other users, including stampedingchipmunk who posted a picture of his five Eees that had snuck through the system.

Several other buyers have piped up in the thread as well, and it appears that Newegg is proactively reaching out to those who accidentally received more than they expected. So far, those who have posted are reporting that Newegg is offering customer credits and discounts, in addition to paying shipping back and overnight delivery of a single Eee unit.

Perhaps this would explain why so many Newegg buyers wound up with a "backordered" notice instead of a tracking number. But don't despair; the Eee buyers who got five have a heart and are sending them back, so no doubt Newegg will be filling their backorders as soon as possible.


"Legally in the state I live in, I could have kept all 5.  The transaction was completed, and I paid for what I ordered.  Morally however I just couldn't justify it," writes the member AgentEntropy. "Of course I'd rather have kept the 4 extras than the $50, but who wouldn't?"



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RE: doubtful
By Oregonian2 on 11/5/2007 1:33:53 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly the point. I think in most places if you're sent something that you did NOT order, you may keep it for free. Keeps companies from sending you stuff unasked for and then billing you for it (great business model!). Plus shipping (used to be some of this going around a good while ago -- normally really cheap junk for prices way over what it's worth (which is near nothing anyway)). So if he ordered one, got one, then he's fulfilled his obligations -- and the other four are stuff not asked for and therefore falls into the free category of unasked-for stuff sent. IOW, Newegg could not have billed for those other four if not returned voluntarily, even if they had the credit card number.

Personally, I'd have returned it so long as I didn't have to pay for shipping it (that said, this happened to me once by a telco who double shipped an item to me -- and I DID return the extra unrequested item using a prepaid UPS return label they sent me upon complaint -- and a year later I got a "stern" letter from a collection agency to which I wrote a letter explaining things. Didn't hear from them again after that. Sometimes no good deed goes unpunished. :-)


RE: doubtful
By omnicronx on 11/5/2007 1:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
I won't lie, i would have kept them. After all possession is 9/10's of the law ;) Newegg is a big enough company, I don't think a few extra eee's are going to effect their quarterly profits.

As for the OP, i really doubt you would be legally binded to return these items. I once received two back plate amps for my sub, called up the company (although it was situated in the US and I am Canadian) and they told me I was not legally obligated to return it, but said it would be much appreciated. As i have no use for two plate amps, i returned it. The Eee would have been a different story though, could have made a pretty penny on ebay.


RE: doubtful
By Mitch101 on 11/5/2007 1:57:16 PM , Rating: 5
This happened to me once I got a box of 10 copies of Windows for the cost of one. WooHoo.

But it was Windows ME. Booo.


RE: doubtful
By exanimas on 11/5/2007 3:52:48 PM , Rating: 4
Are you sure that was an accident?


RE: doubtful
By BillyBatson on 11/5/2007 4:32:39 PM , Rating: 2
lmao hilarious


RE: doubtful
By Mitch101 on 11/6/2007 11:11:25 AM , Rating: 4
It did double sales figures of the OS. ;)


RE: doubtful
By imperator3733 on 11/8/2007 2:02:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But it was Windows ME. Booo.


That's unfortunate.


RE: doubtful
By Ryanman on 11/8/2007 8:46:25 PM , Rating: 1
Quote of the Year man.


RE: doubtful
By theapparition on 11/5/2007 3:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
Laws vary by state, but generally it goes something like this: You cannot suffer any personal loss for the return of unrequested items.

This means that you don't have to pay for shipping to send them back, but you do have to send it back. They are not your property, and if the company requests them back, you have to give them up. Several people have taken this further, claiming that their time/car/gas, etc were expenses and required to be compensated, above and beyond regular shipping charges. Most times, it's not worth it for the company to follow up. For a $1600 error, it probably is.

I know in one instance, a company hired a representative to show up at a customers house, take posession of the item, and ship it back, since that customer wanted to be compensated $5,000 for his travel to the post office. Another instance had the police showing up and taking possesion, since it is still the shipper's property, they can do that.

Hopefully, everyone will do the right thing.


RE: doubtful
By Bootstrap on 11/5/2007 4:36:41 PM , Rating: 5
Can you give more information about these instances? I'm especially interested in the case where a company rep or the police confiscated items from customers, since they seem to directly contradict the information on the FTC's website (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/... ):

quote:
Q. Am I obligated to return or pay for merchandise I never ordered?

A. No. If you receive merchandise that you didn’t order, you have a legal right to keep it as a free gift.


I'm certainly not a legal expert, but this seems to make it pretty clear that any unordered merchandise shipped to a customer becomes their property. Can you post some references for the cases you mentioned or for the state laws that governed them? I'd love to have a better understanding of these things.


RE: doubtful
By theapparition on 11/5/2007 9:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
Errr, maybe you should continue reading your own link?

quote:
Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?

A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.


These simple FAQ's are written in layman's terms. As with anything, the exact law is a little more complicated. The one Q&A you quoted above was for "unsolicited orders", e.g. you got a shipment that you never ordered. This is clearly a honest shipment error, though. So in this Newegg case, by law you are under no obligation to notify them that you recieved 5. Nor shall you have to incurr expenses for returning the items. However, if they contact you asking for them back, it is thier property, and you must return it, at no cost to you. And yes, they can take legal action for the return of their property if you refuse.

You may write them that you refuse to ship this back and they have 30 days (or some "reasonable time" to pick this up or you'll consider it a gift. But are you prepared for the legal battle that could ensue? Even if the 30 days passes, they have deeper legal pockets than you, and could certainly make this hell for you, plus make you pay for their legal expenses.

Is all this worth it in the end? If this went to any sort of trial do you think any judge would be sympathetic to your case? In the end, doing the right thing will probably be your best option.


RE: doubtful
By Bootstrap on 11/6/2007 9:56:00 AM , Rating: 1
"Errrr", I did read the entire page, including the question you quoted -- nowhere in the response does it specifically mention that you are REQUIRED to notify the seller, or to return the merchandise if asked. In fact, seeing as how they leave it completely open as to what a "reasonable amount of time" is, I took this to mean that this is something they recommend you do to avoid getting erroneous bills in the future, not something that you are obligated to do. I realize that these FAQs are vaguely worded in layman's terms, hence my confusion.

Let me be clear here: I'm not advocating keeping merchandise that you received because of an honest shipping mistake. I certainly would have contacted Newegg to return it, and I'd expect that anyone who has any sense of morals would do the same. My question is specifically concerning what you are or aren't obligated to do by law, since there seems to be a lot of confusion about this.

So again, I'll repeat my question -- can you please cite or provide a reference to a law or specific case that actually confirms what you're saying? I'm not claiming that you're wrong or that you don't know what you're talking about, but there are too many "experts" on these boards that expect others to simply take their word for whatever they post, so a bit of healthy skepticism doesn't seem unreasonable. You sound as though you're knowledgeable on this, so I'd really appreciate any links you can provide so that I can read more on this myself. Thanks.


RE: doubtful
By afkrotch on 11/6/2007 11:42:21 AM , Rating: 1
Dude, apparently your reading comprehension is that of a 12 year olds. Here, I'll quote exactly what he just said.

quote:
So in this Newegg case, by law you are under no obligation to notify them that you recieved 5. Nor shall you have to incurr expenses for returning the items. However, if they contact you asking for them back , it is thier property, and you must return it, at no cost to you.


RE: doubtful
By opterondo on 11/9/2007 12:41:09 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently you have the reasoning skills of a 2 year old. Obviously he is not asking about clarification of his opinion, he is asking for sources his opinion is based upon.


RE: doubtful
By borowki on 11/7/2007 11:56:24 AM , Rating: 2
Uniform Commercial Code §§ 2-602(2), 2-603, 2-604.


RE: doubtful
By Mojo the Monkey on 11/8/2007 4:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, Digi-Cardozo
(if you dont get it, dont ask)


RE: doubtful
By opterondo on 11/9/2007 12:50:22 AM , Rating: 2
UCC is adopted at the state level with modification not as a whole.


RE: doubtful
By opterondo on 11/9/2007 12:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
Your-incorrect-what-are-your-sources?

IC 24-5-5
Chapter 5. Unsolicited Merchandise

IC 24-5-5-1
Refusal to accept merchandise; gift to receiver
Sec. 1. Where unsolicited merchandise is delivered to a person for whom it is intended such person has a right to refuse to accept delivery of this merchandise or he may deem it to be a gift and use it or dispose of it in any manner without any obligation to the sender.
(Formerly: Acts 1967, c.55, s.1.)


RE: doubtful
By opterondo on 11/9/2007 12:32:34 AM , Rating: 2
Your-incorrect-what-are-your-sources?

IC 24-5-5
Chapter 5. Unsolicited Merchandise

IC 24-5-5-1
Refusal to accept merchandise; gift to receiver
Sec. 1. Where unsolicited merchandise is delivered to a person for whom it is intended such person has a right to refuse to accept delivery of this merchandise or he may deem it to be a gift and use it or dispose of it in any manner without any obligation to the sender.
(Formerly: Acts 1967, c.55, s.1.)


RE: doubtful
By borowki on 11/5/2007 6:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
No, no, no, the situation isn't quite like that. Most state statutes specify that you are allowed to keep an unsolicited merchandise if you are the intended recipient . In this case, Newegg clearly didn't intend to send the person the extra four machines. If he keeps them, he would have to pay.


RE: doubtful
By mindless1 on 11/6/2007 3:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
Morally yes, legally no.

You paid for a product and according to the invoice, that is what you received. According to the shipping per unit cost and # of packages, that is also what you received.

You ARE the intended recipient, because the package is addressed to you. Duh? You probably meant "in an ideal world where everything is perfect". Well in that world, all laptops would also be free, so,

Essentially it is as I already wrote, a moral factor. Any time a company sends you anything they didn't intend to, it is your property if addressed to you and delivered. Your ONLY financial obligation is what you have already agreed to pay when you ordered, subject to the terms of the product (terms also being limited by locality).

Any moral person would realize they don't deserve to have the extra systems and should return them. That <> law. If you want law to equal morality, I think it would be a positive step if enacted comprehensively instead of selectively, but that's not what our legal system represents and if it did, the first thing we'd have to do is build an order of magnitude more prisons because there's no end to the number of people we'd have to lock up for not adhering to someone else's morals.

I like Newegg, have ordered a fairly large percentage of PC parts from them. Nevertheless, if a package is addressed to you, then you are most certainly the intended recipient. There is a reason there was not latitude for "but we didn't mean to send xyz" and that is because if you give the sender latitude, it creates an opportunity for other abuse, that to many the time on phone, time delivering to shipper, time disputing credit card charges, etc, etc, etc, plus travel expense, is worth less than the item so the customer would've just given in to an illegal business practice by the seller.

What happens when UPS or the Police, whoever, show up at your door is that there is an honor system at play, they are not in authority to act but will be acting upon a suggested, imposed morality that I happen to agree with, that the recipient should indeed have to surrender what they did not pay for, but, they are not obligated to do so.

On the other hand, if Newegg were shipping this addressed to your neighbor instead of you, yes you would have to surrender it as you aren't then the intended recipient, legally you can't take possession of someone else's mail except as a holding party.


RE: doubtful
By borowki on 11/6/2007 8:55:44 AM , Rating: 1
You are debating with facts here. Under Common Law, if you're receive a merchandise and accept it, you're required to pay, even when it came unsolicited. In most states there are laws protecting consumers from aggressive merchants. They're nearly always, however, written to exclude cases where a merchanise was delivered by mistake. The Vermont statute, for example, reads as follow:

quote:

When personal property is mailed or caused to be delivered or when services are rendered to another by a person who knows the property or services to be unsolicited merchandise or services, the person to whom the merchandise is sent or delivered or for whom the services are rendered may refuse to accept delivery of the same, or he may deem it to be a gift and may use it or dispose of it in any manner without obligation to the person sending or delivering it.


The key word here is "know." The sender must know that the merchanise is unsolicited for the law to apply. Something sent by mistake, by definition, is not done so knowingly.


RE: doubtful
By opterondo on 11/9/2007 1:00:51 AM , Rating: 2
Your logic fails ..

Newegg does "know." that they sent five Eee PCs instead of one.

Unsolicited = not asked for

And your logic fails some more ..

If Newegg did not "know." they sent five Eee PCs instead of one there would be no problem.


RE: doubtful
By opterondo on 11/9/2007 12:45:15 AM , Rating: 2
Very nice but ... no

Intended = "your name and address on package"

If you weren't the intended recipient, ie. you neighbor, and you keep it insta-mail fraud under any situation.


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