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Hypothetical Ethical Question (mistakenly given an upgrade to what was purchased)

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 20th, 2020 11:17 pm

Poll: Keep better item?

  • Total votes: 17. You have voted on this poll.
A) Keep it
B) Tell them
Oct 13, 2016
98 posts

Hypothetical Ethical Question (mistakenly given an upgrade to what was purchased)

Assuming you go to pick up an online order from a big box retailer (Fortune 500 level) and you notice they grabbed a better version of the item you ordered, do you:

A) Keep quiet and keep the better was their wont make a significant different to their financials...

B) Tell the end of the day you know its not the one you ordered.

If it matters the item you ordered is $600 and the one they gave sells for $800.
Last edited by Mars2012 on Jun 19th, 2020 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added detail to title for clarity
4 replies
Deal Expert
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Nov 15, 2004
19233 posts
The law says that anything provided to you unasked by a company is yours to keep for free, so I'd keep it. It may seem shady or unethical, but if you work enough jobs you'll see that companies deal with this all the time and just write it off. If the opposite happened they wouldn't be so eager to reach out to you, so just follow the system in place.

If anyone is wondering why the law says that, it's to prevent negative-option billing. That's where a company gives you something you didn't ask for and bills you for it if you don't have the time or ability to contact them and send it back. Our dear mayor Tory built his career at Rogers on that practice before it was made illegal. In this case the $200 value of the better item is free per the law since it wasn't asked for, but the OP still has to pay the price he agreed to pay. ... n-law.html
Unsolicited Goods and Material Change

Negative option billing is now prohibited. In addition, the Act also requires businesses to obtain the express consent of consumers to any "material change" in the ongoing provision of goods or services. Unless the supplier can establish that the consumer consented to such change, the goods or services being provided may be deemed to be "unsolicited", in which case the consumer will have no legal obligation regarding their use or disposal. In addition, the supplier will be unable to demand payment, or make any statement that suggests that a consumer is required to make payment, even if the consumer uses or misuses, damages or misplaces the goods or services. In fact, even if the consumer pays for the "unsolicited" goods or services, or does nothing and simply allows time to pass, the supplier cannot argue that the consumer requested the goods or services. Moreover, a consumer that has paid for the "unsolicited" goods or services can still demand a complete refund for a full year, which, as mentioned previously, must be paid within 15 days.
Deal Expert
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Feb 9, 2003
18396 posts
I would tell them if I was still in the store. If I didn't notice until I got home, I would not drive back.
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 31, 2017
6729 posts
if the item doesnt match the receipt, then there is no warranty.
Deal Addict
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Apr 1, 2015
1115 posts
I guess it would have to depend on the item price
Yet I'm unsure where I would draw the line
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Stay away from OT/PRC and whoever acts like an xxxxxxx there.