My friend Bob blogged about office supply scams a few months ago. Click here to read his take on them. I read his post and enjoyed his writing style but the subject matter wasn’t interesting to me.
Until today when we got a bill for $1,014.95 for products that we didn’t order. The 500 sheets of laser printer cleaner paper came yesterday. We were puzzled but figured that shipping mistakes happen all the time. We weren’t suspicious and assumed it was someone’s mistake and would be easily solved. And then we got the exorbitant invoice.
The bill is for roughly triple what the paper costs at a normal large office chain. According to the invoice, the returns need to all be received within 10 days and there is a non-negotiable 20% restocking fee.
The company in question is in Brooklyn. It will take 10 days (with the vacation day on Monday) for them to receive the product. Of course, now we have to ship the very heavy box back to them at our expense. They charged us $39 to ship it to us in the first place.
Their 1-866 line rings only to a recording and they haven’t returned multiple phone calls.
There has got to be a better way to run a business. If they put half as much effort and energy into acquiring customers in an ethical manner, just think about what kind of a quality company they could build.
Actually, you didn't have to do a darn thing with the stuff – the USPS position on "unsolicited merchandise" is that if you didn't order it, you can throw it away, mark it "return to sender" or keep it!: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/MailFraud/fraudschemes/othertypes/UnsolicitedFraud.aspx
I thought about just tossing it all but then figured that it would be easier to just ship it all back. After all, if they could prove we had signed for it (and we did – it came with our normal UPS delivery for the day), I wasn’t sure that signing for it would make us liable.
Plus, I wouldn’t want to worry about the situation so by sending it back, really, I just saved myself a load of stress and worry. =)
How annoying. And how unethical. What would happen if you just tossed it all in the trash and ignored it? They’d have to prove that you ordered it and that certainly can’t do that. I had something like that happen with our phone company, they billed us a high fee for something they said I gave permission over the phone for. I told them to prove it (since I knew I hadn’t) and they couldn’t so they removed the charge from the bill.