A Best Buy customer, who had ordered an iPad for her son, was pleasantly surprised when she saw that the box the retailer sent contained, not one, but five iPads. The son’s girlfriend, Alexa, tried contacting Best Buy about this goof-up but didn’t receive any response, so she emailed consumer affairs blog, The Consumerist, explaining her situation and asking for advice.
Before mailing,though, she had a look at an FTC document that said if an item was incorrectly shipped to a person, it can be considered a gift.
The Consumerist, acting on Alexa’s behalf, contacted Best Buy’s media helpline. Upon listening to Alexa’s situation, they directly mailed her with this:
Good afternoon, Alexa –
Laura, from the Consumerist, contacted us here at Best Buy on your behalf. 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.
After The Consumerist put up the whole incident on their blog, they were contacted by another person who claimed that he, too, got five iPads instead of one from Best Buy. He did get a response from Customer Service, though:
I called Best Buy’s 1-800 number and the rep told me there was nothing he could really do because the system only reported one as being sent to me. He told me I could try and drop them off at the Best Buy store, but I had reservations about how traceable this return would be. You know, case the inventory person at Best Buy ever tracked me down and wanted them back. So right now I am just keeping them in my closet until Best Buy comes knocking at my door or a reasonable amount of times goes by.
Considering that there might be many more such cases which aren’t reported yet, it’s pretty amazing that Best Buy’s telling customers to essentially keep the additional iPads, without caring about the monetary loss. After all, each iPad probably costs at least $499.
What would you do in such a situation? Keep the iPads for yourself? Sell it off? Return it to your nearest Best Buy store? Give it off to someone in need? (Keep in mind that it is perfectly legal to keep the iPads for yourself.)