Money Moral Dilemma: Should I return the 'free' sawhorse that arrived after I cancelled the order?

MSE_Kelvin Posts: 331
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MSE Staff
edited 19 January 2021 at 4:07PM in Shop but don't drop
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

 I ordered a sawhorse from a well-known DIY retailer and it qualified for free next-day delivery. After two weeks it hadn't arrived, so I contacted the retailer which said it had problems with the courier and gave me a refund. I reordered it and collected the item from its local store, but two days later the original order arrived, meaning I had two but had only paid for one. I'm annoyed it arrived so late and I had to go to the store, so was going to give the second sawhorse away, but should I return it?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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  • I recently ordered some items from an electrical spares company online costing about £15.  They sent me a couple of the wrong items, but also some extra stuff that I didn’t order.  The value of goods I received was around £50.  I did the honest thing and told them about their mistake.  It was a painful process which ended up me being out of pocket as I had to reorder the correct items incurring a 2nd postage fee which was supposed to be refunded but wasn’t.
    So if I get a similar mistake from this company, I will ensure I’m not left out of pocket again..  Other then that, I would always contact the seller and let them know they can collect at your convenience.
  • In the time it to you to email money saving expert with this dilemma you could have emailed the company themselves asking them what to do.
  • I had a similar issue with some gin I ordered - I emailed the company to let them know, and they told me to keep it as an apology for the inconvenience 
  • Why not contact the store (by email), explain the circumstances, and ask them to come and collect it, if they want it back?  They may say keep it.  But morally it does belong to them, so give them the chance to decide what they want to do with the saw-horse.
    I think that’s a great suggestion!  You might get lucky and get it for free... then flog it on eB**. 
    Nothing lost though as it’s not rightfully yours...  at the end of the day, you got what you wanted.  If you finish up with two, at least you don’t have a conscience to live with! 👍😊. Nice one @CapricornLass!
  • cotsvale
    cotsvale Posts: 397
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    Yes, you should return it. It arriving late was probably not their fault. Someone has had to pay for the materials, for it being made and for packaging and postage. In these times where business are struggling and just out of plain honesty , you should contact them. I had a similar thing happen and was told to keep the item. Clean conscience.
  • You should return it. Keeping it is stealing. 
  • tiddles
    tiddles Posts: 214
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    Yes, you should return it - why be dishonest?

    Decluttered 261/2024
  • Contact the retailer. If they say keep it, your conscience is clear and you're untouchable. Hermes screwed up an order from a company I've used for years, so the company re-sent the order with another courier. The first order was supposed to be returned to the retailer but instead Hermes decided to get it moving again (after a lengthy delay in their warehouse). I contacted the retailer to ask what to do and they recalled the order - this time successfully. Problem solved.
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