What Would You Do – Keep it or Return the Refund? 

5 comments

This is summarized from a real life scenario. What would you do in this scenario? Vote on the poll and/or add your comment below.


Alan ordered a $600 jacket online from a well known retailer’s website where he had shopped a number of times before. This was a jacket he really wanted and was looking forward to wear it for an upcoming holiday party.

A week went by and the jacket had not yet been delivered despite the 4 to 5 day shipping window he was promised after he purchased it online. So Alan called up the retailer’s customer service line and after spending 30 mins on the phone with a helpful customer service representative it was determined that the jacket was actually shipped to his old/prior address, as he had not updated his online profile on the retailers website with his new address. He remembers entering his new address when purchasing the jacket but he used the “quick checkout” feature which may have over written the new address with the old address stored in his profile.

In any case the jacket was out of stock and rather then wait another 6 to 8 weeks for a new shipment he said he would just take a refund. The customer service representative obliged and gave the full $600 refund.

Two weeks later as Alan was visiting a friend in his old neighborhood he decided on a whim he would just stop by at his old place to check if the jacket was actually delivered. So when he went there he found that the new home owner had in fact got the jacket. And was actually wearing it that very day! Luckily the new home owner felt pretty guilty and returned the jacket along with the delivery box to Alan. The jacket was in good shape.

So what should Alan do now? 

A. Keep the jacket, return the refund. Call the retailer and tell them about the jacket and that he was able to recover it. He keeps the jacket but returns the refund. Though this would mean he would have a slightly “used” jacket.

B. Do nothing. Keep the jacket and the refund. The retailer makes enough money and since this was probably their mistake, it is their loss.

C. Return the jacket and keep the refund. It would be a minor hassle to return the jacket because he would have to drive to their nearest location or call them and organize return shipping.


Vote on the poll below or via this link

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Who Me January 18

The correct thing to do is contact the company and discuss it with them. In all likelihood, they would have told him to keep the jacket. They can’t re-sell it, even if they get it back, and they’re not going to tell a customer to accept a used jacket. The odds of them trying to get compensation from the new home owner are also slim.

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Lance January 16

Honestly, the jacket would be the least of my worries. Alan should be worried about identity theft. Who knows how much mail has been wrongly delivered to the previous address. And, if your old neighbor does not mind stealing a $600 jacket you purchased,who knows what else he has done? Think about it, with any purchase there is a receipt in the box for your records, so I know the neighbor was well aware of its price. The only reason he even gave the ajcket to Alan was because Alan arrived at his doorstep. If the neighbor was not caught wearing the jacket would he have come clean to Alan? I think not. Again, he needs to check his bank statements, credit report, exchange old credit and debit cards for new ones, etc…This neighbor could steal his identity.

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Susan November 24

He should report the new home owner for stealing his mail which is a federal offense. The new home owner took it upon himself to open a package that was not addressed to him and then decided to keep the item. The postal carrrier should have returned the package since the addressee was no long at that address, but being that they didn’t, the new home owner should have refused the package, or if it was left on his doorstep he could have marked it refused and dropped it off at the post office. If he opened it somehow by mistake (without checking the name to which it was sent), he could have called the company and made arrangements to return it and get it to it’s rightful (paying) owner, since I am sure there was an invoice for it in the box. Anyone opening a box to find an item they did not expect would then check the box to see who it was from, etc., and realize they received something in error. The fact that this man decided to keep it anyway shows malfeasance (intentionally doing something either legally or morally wrong which one had no right to do). The man should not be stuck with a used jacket because the new home owner took it and wore it, and the company should not have to take a loss and receive a used jacket as a return. The new home owner should be held accountable and at least be made to pay for the jacket which he used.

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Jenny November 23

I am stunned so many people have picked the option to do nothing. Just another sign that America has lost it’s moral (Christian) compass

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Mike November 23

I picked option d. He should donate the jacket to charity. Or even better give a $600 donation and keep the jacket without guilt.

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