If you ordered and paid for a single iPad
tablet but received a box full of five iPads, what would you do? Such is the ethical dilemma a son and his girlfriend found themselves in after the boy's mother ordered him an iPad from Best Buy
only for him to receive five of them.
Before you say one way or the other, it should be made clear that the son and his girlfriend did in fact email Best Buy to let them know what happened (i.e., they did the right thing). Best Buy didn't respond to the email, so at that point, the ethical dilemma gets a little more sketchy, does it not?
Here's where things get interesting. According to The Consumerist
, if an incorrect package is shipped to you, as was the case in this instance, the FTC says you can consider it a gift.
"This is in order to prevent companies from shipping you merchandise that you never asked for, then hounding you for the money," The Consumerist
explains. "So they'd be well within their rights to keep or sell the iPads, or even hit them with sledgehammers if that's what they feel like doing."
Of course, doing so in an instance like this means that somebody in the company's warehouse might end up losing their job. Whether you're okay with that or not depends on the configuration of your moral compass.
contacted Best Buy on behalf of the mom, her son, and her son's girlfriend, and got a really cool response.
"First and foremost, I wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your honesty," Best Buy said. "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...Thank you so very much for coming forward and I hope your boyfriend enjoys his new iPad. Merry Christmas!"
It seems there's something in the air that has companies in the holiday spirit this year (see the kid who received a discontinued LEGOs set
). In any event, well played, Best Buy.