Duplicated order. (1)

In the East the symbol of wisdom.

You buy, and pay for, a $60 item online and it is delivered on two consecutive days – an obvious duplication of the order.

What would you do?


About Ian Gardner

Ian Gardner was born on the 20th February 1934 in Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, and christened Basil Ian Gunewardene. He was born two months prematurely and nearly died five times in his first two months. He moved to Australia in September 1969 where he changed his surname to Gardner. From childhood he had an enquiring mind and an innate interest in the supernatural. Since 1986, nineteen years of meditation, "searching within", reading and revelations have culminated in this free book which has been nine years in the making. Further writings followed and all his writings are available to all on the Internet free of charge. There is more information in the preface of the book.
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3 Responses to Duplicated order. (1)

  1. bert0001 says:

    I just see that there exists an administrative cost in returning something that does not belong to us and in receiving something that belongs to us. As a private individual, such a receiving cost might be the time to answer one telephone call and driving to the post office during free time, on our way to another destination. This is a neglible amount of money on both sides, but be honest, would you return a one dollar pen to someone on the other side of the country? I would send an email, saying that if either person is ever in the neighborhood to collect it or return it then. And the receiving party would probably send an email back not to worry and leave it.

    For business there is a real cost of handling such returns. This means that amazon.com might have a 100 usd of total administrative cost for anything returned. If the value of the returned is less than this amount, it will cost them more to handle than its economical value. The person answering customer service is not aware of this, and will make this costs nomatter what article is to be returned. In fact it will be handled the same way as a faulty/damaged delivery while there is no damage.

    Of course, we shouldn’t make decisions for the receiving party, whether this is a friend or amazon.com, and they themselves should have their policy installed at customer service to kindly refuse your return as a business gift for articles of less value than the calculated 100 usd.

    However, from a practical point of view, their mistake will also cost me something. Their unwanted item will cost more than 50usd to report, send back and confirm, because of the administrative hassle. To me this can (has) become an inflicted punishment.

    I remember a phone call to the local police station 4 months ago where i asked what to do with mobile phone i found on the street, and being yelled at like a criminal. That means that i also must have hurt the receiver (albeit unwantingly) by my phone call, something i would like to avoid for different ethical reasons. There is an emotional cost for finding and returning something that does not belong to me. The telecom operator politely told me to throw away the phone, since they couldn’t disclose the owner, and when next time i would see one lying on the street, to kick it as far away as possible! I spend a total of 60 minutes on the phone, and finally put the unwanted item in an envelope together with a cynical letter, to drop it in the mailbox of the police station, taking me another 30 minutes drive. I’m 99.9% sure the owner never got his/her phone back.

    Doing the right thing is not always appreciated in our societies, hence my practical consideration of putting a value on my ethics.

  2. bert0001 says:

    The price is too low to send it back … however if this happens in a shop and i discover this on the parking, i will go back with two articles, the bill, and nicely return one to the person who served me.

    I once had a similar event in my business where an unpaid 300 euro bill was sent to me as paid. Doing the right thing became an administrative disaster that took almost 18 months before everything was corrected, consuming too many hours on the telephone and fax. So out of practical considerations, it is often best to let the administrations (or their accountant) discover their own error, then do the right thing.

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