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Old August 31, 2012, 06:09 PM   #1
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Thousands of free bullets = moral dilemma?


In order to compare final online prices of cast bullets, I filled out several order forms-- each for a couple thousand shipped bullets. I bought from one of them and received my merch in less than a week.

A month later, I receive a very heavy box from a vendor I didn't buy from containing many, many semi-wad cutters. It included a printout of the online order form-- the box for the payment info was blank.

So, I've got their bullets, and they don't have my payment info. There's no moral dilemma on my end because I know what I'm going to do about it.

But, since it actually came up, I was wondering what YOU would do in a similar situation?
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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I would call them and tell them they can have the bullets back if they pay for shipping.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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I would call them and tell them they can have the bullets back if they pay for shipping.
no moral question..the above is the only option I see.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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^^ it really is unless I/you just wanted to pay for it and keep it.
this thread sucks!
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:33 PM   #5
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I ordered a single item a few months back and received a package of 20 items instead of just one. I called the company and let them know what happened and asked what they wanted me to do with THEIR merchandise.

They decided it was simpler to leave things as they were than to try to have me ship the additional items back. NOW they're mine.

I didn't give them the option of having me pay for the additional merchandise because I didn't need it. If it had been something I actually needed 20 of, I might have given them that option.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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+1 on what johnksa said. Call them and ask them what they want you to do. If they say shop them back, ask them to send you the money for shipping since it was there shipping error.
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:52 PM   #7
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should be easy for them to send you a prepaid shipping label..

but i'd let them make the decision..
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:54 PM   #8
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excellent point. I could at least allow for the possibility that they just give it to me since that's one of several legitimate solutions.
this thread rocks now!
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Old August 31, 2012, 06:58 PM   #9
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I ordered a number of items from Nordic for a Benelli shotgun. I received a box containing one of their AR22 kits... about $175 value more than my order was worth and something I could have easily sold.
I called them, and they sent a return shipping label, the parts I ordered... AND included in the box, every part they make for that Benelli as well.

As you can imagine, I recommend Nordic quite highly.

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Old August 31, 2012, 09:39 PM   #10
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According to USPS regs - if someone sends you something you did not order and then tries to bill you (remember the old book of the month club?), you are under no obligation to pay or return

Whether you do or not is your choice
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:53 PM   #11
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Unsolicited Mail

The law is "Unsolicited mail is a gift". What you do with it is entirely up to you.
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Old August 31, 2012, 10:36 PM   #12
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Thousands of free bullets does not = a moral dilemma.

While its true that you have no legal obligation to return it or even to contact the vendor I believe you DO have a moral obligation to inform the vendor of their mistake and ask what they wish to do regarding the mistake. If they want it shipped back politely remind them that it was their mistake and you will not pay for return shipping.

I've had it happen to me in the past and I've asked about the mistake. I was sent a pre-paid shipping label for the return of the products. I then sent them back as soon as I got the label. There were a lot of products I would have loved to have kept too and by law I could have. Of course it wouldn't have felt right and me feeling right about what I do is more important than simply being lawful.

What you choose to do is up to you but I'd suggest you look deep within and maybe seek some unearthly guidance before you actually act on that choice. My guess is that you already know what you should do if you had to come ask this here.
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Old August 31, 2012, 10:37 PM   #13
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The problem with calling this "unsolicited" is that he made an enquiry and they could say they made a good faith mistake and will pay for shipping back. I dont see then saying that you own them as moral or legal.

Chances of the company going after you is probably zero but my reputation and integrity is worth a whole lot more than a box of bullets. They would go back.
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Old August 31, 2012, 10:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 01SVTvert View Post
The problem with calling this "unsolicited" is that he made an enquiry and they could say they made a good faith mistake and will pay for shipping back. I dont see then saying that you own them as moral or legal.

Chances of the company going after you is probably zero but my reputation and integrity is worth a whole lot more than a box of bullets. They would go back.
This is my thought. Truly unsolicited mail is wholly different legally and especially morally from a good faith unilateral mistake.
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Old August 31, 2012, 11:32 PM   #15
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The problem with calling this "unsolicited" is that he made an enquiry...
I agree. I don't believe this could be reasonably defined as unsolicited mail in the intended sense of the law.

He filled out the form, he entered his address--I assume to get the correct shipping amount, he just didn't include any payment data since he was just price comparing. There's nothing wrong with that, I've done it myself--although many websites will let you enter only your ZIP to calculate shipping.

But it does take it out of the realm of someone sending out packages to random addressees in an attempt to place them under obligation to pay for a product they really had no interest in at all.

Still, if their system had worked properly, the shipment would never have been made. I still think it's their mistake, and it wouldn't be reasonable for them to expect the OP to bear the expense of returning the bullets. But I also don't think the bullets belong to the OP from a legal, and certainly not from a moral, standpoint.
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Old August 31, 2012, 11:56 PM   #16
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When I do right, that always seems to come back to me. If I do wrong, the opposite is almost always true. I will not, however, make a super effort to make their mistake right. If they put out a UPS "call tag" and have the package picked up from my front porch, I'll do that. If they expect me to re-box the items, drive the 20 mile round trip to town and ship it on my dime back to them, that's garbage and I won't do it.

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Old September 1, 2012, 12:23 AM   #17
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I remember when I lived in a Frat house in college, a local concrete vendor tried to strong-arm us into buying product. A truck showed up and unstacked several packages of quick-crete, claiming someone in the house had ordered it. Nobody had. We wouldn't pay the bill and they threatened to sue, etc.

Luckily, an alum from our house was an attorney and made them go away very, very quickly. The quick-crete sat out in the rain and became hard. They were made to come pick it up.
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Old September 1, 2012, 01:03 AM   #18
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I remember when I lived in a Frat house in college, a local concrete vendor tried to strong-arm us into buying product. A truck showed up and unstacked several packages of quick-crete, claiming someone in the house had ordered it. Nobody had. We wouldn't pay the bill and they threatened to sue, etc.
Frat house. Concrete. No one claiming responsibility. Yea... I wouldn't suspect the college kids, at all.....


As for the OP-
I'd call.

My most recent personal example:
Earlier in the year, I ordered 3 boxes of .430" 265 gr FTX bullets from Midway, along with a few other items. When the shipment arrived, there were 3 boxes of the FTX bullets and a box of .430" 265 gr Interlocks (which was supposed to be out of stock), my other items, and one of the .338" Hornady tapered ("chatter-free") expanders for RCBS dies.

When I called, they asked if I would ship the extras back, if they sent me a label. I agreed, but reminded them that they would have paid for these bullets twice, by the time they were shipped back. I offered to send the expander back on my dime, if they would let me keep the 265 gr Interlocks (that's what I wanted, to begin with ). They quickly agreed, and I spent a whopping $1.58 on postage and a 6"x9" padded envelope for the expander.

I could have just kept everything, but I felt much better about the situation after letting them make the decision.
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Old September 1, 2012, 07:09 AM   #19
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I think if you call them and tell them about their mistake ,then the ball is in their court. I can guarantee you ,they won't make a dicision on a moral basis. It will be a simple business decision. Are they better off paying to have it returned or just giving you the bullets? Your moral obligation will be met at this point,IMO. If they comp you the bullets, enjoy!
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Old September 1, 2012, 08:23 AM   #20
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The law is "Unsolicited mail is a gift". What you do with it is entirely up to you.
That is completely different than a simple shipping error.
The only right thing to do is call and advise of the error.
But, do watch for a billing or charge to your card.
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Old September 1, 2012, 08:30 AM   #21
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Like many others above, I'd call and ask what they wanted me to do with the stuff. They can pay for shipping.

Never had anything like this happen to me though.
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Old September 1, 2012, 09:14 AM   #22
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Hansam +1

Based on the implied weight and resulting shipping costs, I would expect they would tell you to keep them.
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Old September 1, 2012, 09:35 AM   #23
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reset - your situation is not really a dilemma. A dilemma requires that there be two equal choices or solutions which then makes the decision as to which one to take far more difficult.

The only good choice has already been stated and rehashed several times here so I won't even mention it. The reason I would want to call the company is to let them know there is a serious problem with their website ordering function. This same scenario could be repeated dozens of times before someone figures it out if they are never told about it.

I'd be willing to bet a few bucks that they tell you to keep the bullets. The shipping costs and related hassle to have them returned just isn't worth it most of the time.
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Old September 1, 2012, 11:41 AM   #24
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There isn't just a problem with their website ordering program, there's also a problem with their staff that no on caught this issue on the paperwork before the order shipped.
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Old September 1, 2012, 12:44 PM   #25
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Ordered a set of Silencio Magnum hearing protectors in 1990 and got 4 pair not the single pair I expected. Called them up and they promised to send me a shipping slip to send them back. That was 22 years ago and I'm still waiting for the slip. I continued to buy brass, bullets, targets, dies, etc. from them over the years so they haven't lost anything but it was their goof and I tried. I have a feeling it just wasn't worth the hassle to them and they really didn't care if they got them back or not.
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