Honesty Pays Off for Best Buy Customer Who Got 4 Extra iPads in the Mail



Honesty, it turns out, really is the best policy. Especially for one woman who 'fessed up and told Best Buy that instead of sending her one iPad, as she'd ordered, the company made a mistake and sent her five iPads.

A woman named Alexa contacted The Consumerist to talk about the dilemma. Her boyfriend's mom ordered him an iPad and received a giant box with five iPads inside. What should they do with them? They felt bad keeping such expensive things they didn't pay for. But guess what? They had every right to.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, you're allowed to keep anything a company sends to you. It's a way to prevent companies from sending you stuff you didn't ask for, then demanding you pay for it. (Like those guys on the street who will hand you a CD, then try to make you pay for it, because you're holding it ...) "So they’d be well within their rights to keep or sell the iPads, or even hit them with sledgehammers if that’s what they feel like doing," Consumerist said.

Huh. Good to know! Right?

Consumerist contacted Best Buy to let them know about the mistake. Best Buy's reply is the kind anyone would be tickled to get during the holiday season:

First and foremost, I wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your honesty. That is so rare in this day and age and I sincerely thank you!

We, here at Best Buy, acknowledge that we obviously made a mistake, but in the spirit of the holidays, we encourage you to keep the additional iPads and give them to people in need -- friends, family, a local school, or charity.

What a lovely gesture! Alexa and company can now keep those free iPads without feeling guilty or worrying someone might lose their job over inventory mixups. (Losing four iPads is probably a fire-able offense ...) Best Buy winds up with some good PR, and four people get free iPads. Everybody wins!

I, too, would have come clean and told Best Buy about the mistake. It happened to me once with a set of hairbrushes. Instead of just sending me a replacement for my defective one, I'd accidentally been sent five brushes meant for someone on their sales team. I called the company and they asked if I'd please return them, so I did. I kind of wish they'd pulled a Best Buy and let me keep them. I'd have been the best gifter ever that Christmas.

Would you have let Best Buy know you'd been shipped four extra iPads?


Image via khawkins04/Flickr

apple, ipad, news, online shopping


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

At one time I would have but now I'd think twice about it. A few years back I ordered a kitchen gadget from amazon; it was about $100 and instead they sent me a camera that was about $350. No use in the kitchen whatsoever so I alerted them to their mistake thinking they'd just switched shipping labels. Nope, I got the correct package the next day along with harassment from amazon. They wanted me to ship it back at my own expense, including paying for insurance. So not happening. I told them I'd be happy to send it back if they sent me a label but I was told that was against company policy. I told them I'd just keep it and they tried to tell me that was illegal and threatened legal action. When I pointed out that they were speaking nonsense they threatened to charge my credit card for the camera. It all went on for about three weeks and about twenty emails each before they realized the only way they'd get it back was to send me a label.

So yeah, I'd be hesitant about contacting a company in that situation again. I'd be more likely to just hold on to the item to see if they realized their mistake and then I'd donate it to someone after a reasonable waiting period.

angie... angiewith2

In October I ordered a $30 science kit from Target as one of my oldest son's Christmas gifts.  I the mail I received 4 of them. I double checked both my Target account and the card I used to make sure I didn't accidently some how order 4 of them.  But nope, I was only charged 1 but received 4.  I'll be honest I debated what to do for a minute.  But after only 2 minutes of debate I called Target customers service and told them what had happened.  They also did the same thing as Best Buy.  They told me to keep them and if I didn't need the extras I could give them to someone else or donate them to a charity of my choice.  I told them I'd be happy to send them back if they sent me a shipping label but they told me no to please keep them and either give them out or donate them.  So I did decide to keep one extra one for my other son but the 2 others were donated to the local police toy drive my town has.

1-2 of 2 comments