Company Refunded Money for Faulty Laptop Also Sent a New Replacement Laptop. What Should I Do?

Bought a popular model laptop top spec from a well known global company just over a year back. On the 11th month after purchase got error message during boot after bios & windows updates but I can still continue to boot to windows. Technicians visited 3 times spread out due to sudden lockdowns, replaced motherboard thrice, keyboard etc. error doesn't go away. Company agreed to replace the laptop and they said since my model is discontinued they will provide an equivalent latest model (this has latest 11th gen CPU) and it will take 14 days due to parts shortage. I agreed, by now warranty period is over. Then they send courier to pickup my faulty laptop and after that send and email that due to parts shortage it will take over 100 days for the replacement laptop. Not happy I escalated and they said they will refund me the purchase price, again I agreed and they closed the case.

I got refund back to my credit card (lucky I didn't close out this one and it is now in surplus balance). All good I thought, almost bought a new laptop from the eBay deal knowing the refund would come. Then lo, yesterday the post guy came with a new laptop delivered, this is obviously the replacement laptop and either their system or process failed somewhere. The list price of the new model is more than the refund I got but I was thinking to save some of the refund money to buy a little lower specced one. I am talking > $4K

Question to OzBrainsTrust what should I do?

With option 3 I will keep the replacement laptop for an year. Is there a statute of limitation on how long the company can ask me to give their goods back.

Poll Options expired

  • 218
    Contact company to take back the replacement laptop.
  • 33
    Contact company to revert the credit and keep the replacement laptop.
  • 421
    Do nothing and see if the company detects this problem.

Comments

  • +81 votes

    Do the right thing. Advise the company of the laptop you have received and it is up to them to arrange for its collection or return.

    •  

      Legally what is the right thing? I have email from the company saying refund is processed and case is closed.

      • +29 votes

        Not your problem, it is the companies clusterbooboo

        • +87 votes

          This is effectively an "unsolicited goods" scenario. You have to tell the company that you have received an item that you did not order, and that the item is available to be collected by them. Doing anything else is basically theft.

          • +9 votes

            @pjetson: Indeed, if OP drives to post office to ship it back to them, THEFT! If OP drives to company, THEFT!

            Dont let the company steal your time and money! Let them send someone to pick it up.

          • +2 votes

            @pjetson: Yes, they also have a record of the delivery taking place within their system.
            Sooner or later, someone will pick up the discrepancy and pursue OP.

            • +11 votes

              @DoctorCalculon: My experience with these larger companies is they will never pick up a discrepancy like this. The time and effort to track down one laptop would cost more than the value of it.

            •  

              @DoctorCalculon: Company not going care about laptop they sent.

            • +1 vote

              @DoctorCalculon: I doubt it. If the case is closed, it's unlikely someone will look at it again. Any stock discrepancy will then be written off. Personally, i would probably contact company and try and explain scenario but if it is Dell, it would take a long time to find someone that could actually help based on my experience with them. They aren't setup for problems outside of the box like this.

          • -9 votes

            @pjetson: Wrong. You are under NO obligation to do anything.

            •  

              @ozboygsl: It seems that you are not familiar with section 41 of Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

              • +9 votes

                @pjetson: No, you don't have to tell the company first.

                if you don’t contact the business, then the business may recover the products within three months from the day after you received the products

                If the supplier does not collect the unsolicited products within the above timeframes, you can keep the products with no obligation to pay.

                You are not entitled to keep the products if the products were not intended for you, for example, the packaging was clearly addressed to another person.

                https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/sales-delivery/receiving-t...

                •  

                  @capslock janitor: Because of the three months thing I can gladly say I’m the owner of the park tools event kit that had a price error previously. :)

                •  

                  @capslock janitor: Thanks this makes it clear. I will wait for 3 months now unless the company contacts me prior.

                • +1 vote

                  @capslock janitor: Just skipping over the words in the page you link to there:

                  An 'unsolicited supply' is when you receive products or services that you have not requested

                  OP:

                  Company agreed to replace the laptop … I agreed

                  So this is quite clearly not an example of "unsolicited goods" despite OP later changing his/her mind. It's just a mistake.

                • +2 votes

                  @capslock janitor: For background this law is to protect consumers from companies that deliver unsolicited good and seek payment.

                  It's a pretty common old scam.

          •  

            @pjetson: This.

            That said you dont have to make huge efforts (Just email them). But I wouldnt recommending opening it or selling it unless they said ok.

            I had a similar situation with soniq sending me two tvs and I pestered them till they picked it up.

            And another situation where i ordered four split systems and one base was (slightly) larger capacity. I didnt advise them as it was realise donly when their installers came, the installers advised me and it would have cost me a lot more hassle and time to get it changed.

            Oh, and I found this article.

            https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2012/12/if-a-store-sends-me-so...

          •  

            @pjetson: This but I will add it is up to them to organise the return not you. You shouldn't be expected to do more than print a label and drop off a list office or leave for a courier

      • +2 votes

        Without laws and being a nanny state, we wouldnt know what's fair and right!

        • +1 vote

          Wouldn't waste time reaching them.

      • +1 vote

        'Legally' or ethically?

      • +10 votes

        If someone transfers money to your bank accidentally, it's still not your money to spend.

        Hence if they send you the laptop accidentally, it's still not yours.

        • +6 votes

          I sent money to someone incorrectly. The bank told me they contact them 3 times but it’s my fault and the people are allowed to keep it. No lie.

          • +12 votes

            @Punda: Then the bank lied to you. The bank can't do anything about it, but legally the person refusing to release the money back to you is committing a crime.

            •  

              @gromit: well ur not gonna be able to pursue the guy anyways if the bank says its ur fault.

              •  

                @Zachary: yes you can pursue the guy, it doesn't matter whose fault it is, if you receive money by accident you have Zero rights to keep it if the rightful owner requests it back. Whether it is worth the time and money pursuing is an entirely different matter.

                •  

                  @gromit: How are you gonna pursue the guy if the bank refuses to give you his details because "privacy policy"?

                  You: "Hi, um, I kinda accidentally gave another person 5k, can you reverse the transaction please?"
                  Bank: "Sorry mate, no can do - you should have checked the digits and made sure it was the right guy - besides it's not our fault; it's yours!"
                  You: "OK then….what's the name, contact number and address of the guy who I accidentally sent 5k to since you refuse to reverse the transaction?"
                  Bank: "Sorry, I can't give you that information, privacy policy."
                  You: "…"

                  • +3 votes

                    @Zachary: You need some basic life experience mate. They have these things called lawyers and courts and believe it or not not even a bank can refuse to provide the name when demanded on a court order.

                    • -3 votes

                      @gromit: And life has these things called time and money. People have different variations of both of these. God i hate it when people use the word "mate" when they're being condescending. Why, just why?

                      • +2 votes

                        @cookie2: Which would be why I stated "Whether it is worth the time and money pursuing is an entirely different matter.". god I hate when people don't even bother to read the comments before responding.

                        The simple fact is you do have legal means to reclaim/fight for your money, the bank cannot block that regardless of whether you are at fault, hell as the person refusing to return the money is committing a crime they could even be made liable for your costs to recover. But again whether it is worth that effort is entirely up to the person and how much was lost. I wouldn't do it for $100, anything over a $1000 though I would absolutely be chasing.

                    • -1 vote

                      @gromit: Yes, well I was never told lawyers and courts override any policy they have…..might come in handy the next time I lose any amount of money by accident and the bank refuses to reverse…

                      •  

                        @Zachary: It isn't so much the bank refusing to reverse, The bank in many cases needs permission of the account holder to take the money back and as you rightly point out they have privacy obligations so really the bank is doing the correct things. The point though is that if the account holder refuses to return the money it then changes from an administrative mistake on your part to a crime on their part which is where courts/lawyers/police can get involved. It also doesn't have to be a hugely costly expensive (though it will be a pain in the butt time wise) to recover.

                        •  

                          @gromit: Would it be a crime if someone were to say to take my money as hostage in return for something else and won't let it go until I give them what they want?

      •  

        When they sent you this laptop was it accompanied with an invoice?

        •  

          Bargain with them for half price.

        •  

          No.

      • -2 votes

        Ethically, what is the right thing?……oh hang on, are you a pollie in ScoMos cabinet?
        What you do defines you, and if you really need to ask you can’t buy a moral compass through OZB.

        •  

          Clearly not part of the government since he is asking what's legal not what he can get away with.

        •  

          What you do defines you

          It's not who you are underneath

      • -1 vote

        Before asking about what is "legally" the right thing. What about doing the "morally" the right thing, and let the company know.

  • +13 votes

    Why spend your time fixing their problem? I would wait for them to contact you if they ever do.

    • +1 vote

      I would love to hear why from the two people who negged you

      • +4 votes

        I didn't neg, but unless you're a total dick spending 10 seconds letting someone know they have made a mistake worth several thousand dollars is not an unreasonable expectation. We're living in a society etc etc

        • +2 votes

          Big companies don't give a crap about society when they use our tax dollars to hand JobKeeper payments out as executive bonuses or through multinational tax avoidance.

          Same with conservative politicians up to their neck in corruption and dodgy dealings.

          Why should the little guy do the right thing when big business and conservative politicians don't time and time again?

          • +1 vote

            @arcticmonkey: Exactly. Big companies don't care about anything except profit margins.
            They'll only care about society if it affects their profit.

            Saw another thread where the OP got refunded an RTX card, which had since gone up in price. Morally right thing is to replace the card as requested by OP, but instead they refunded it to resell the card for higher price.

            Both cases perfectly legal. Ozbargain is completely hypocritical when it comes to virtue signalling.

          • -1 vote

            @arcticmonkey:

            Why should the little guy do the right thing when big business and conservative politicians don't time and time again?

            Seriously? Because then you accept the standard that doing the wrong thing is ok for everyone. The solution to other people being corrupt is not to become corrupt yourself.

  • +11 votes

    Isn't this a case of unsolicited mail, and if they don't come to pick it up within 3 months(?) you can 'dispose' of it?

    • +1 vote

      i used to put it back into the postal box repeatedly
      and they stopped delivering it back to my mailbox?

  • +18 votes

    what laptop?

  • +8 votes

    Keep the laptop unopened for a year. Don't contact them. If they don't contact you in 1 year, it's yours.

    Donate it to charity for some free karma if you're worried.

    •  

      Robbing the rich to feed the poor?

    • +2 votes

      It’s 3 months, or 1 month if you tell them. After that it’s legally yours.

    •  

      Username checks out.

      ….not.

  • +16 votes

    I think most of the 'what you (OP) should do' responses will be quite different from the 'what would I actually do if it happened to me' thoughts

    •  

      You are probably right. My first instinct would be to help fix the mistake and send the laptop back but then I would regret it later and wish I kept it.

  • +2 votes

    Should fall under ‘unsolicited goods’ which, IIRC, means you have two options. Either make a genuine attempt to contact the company, in writing, to notify them of the mistake and to collect the item - or do nothing.

    If you have properly attempted to notify them of the problem, and they haven’t organised a pick up or return at their own expense within 3 months of your contact, then it’s yours as if you bought it.
    If you haven’t tried to contact them, then you must wait 6 months from receipt before it is considered yours.

    Make sure you keep proof of all of this (date of receipt, date of contact etc) in case they try to refute this at a future time.

    Where this gets tricky, though, is the refund. I’m not sure if the resolution to this must be returning the extra laptop to them. They may be within their rights to compel you to keep the laptop and claim the funds back. I cannot speak from experience on this front, as whenever I’ve received ‘unsolicited goods’ it has been in the form of a purchase (i.e sent multiple items) so there was no potential complication from a refund or potentially clawed back refund.

    • +9 votes

      If you want to be a smart arse send them a handwritten letter in the post with signature on delivery to their head office. 0% chance anyone will read it but at least you've made a genuine attempt to contact them.

      • +1 vote

        Take a photo of the letter before sending as proof.

    • +1 vote

      Your dates are wrong. It’s 1 month if you write to them; or 3 months if you don’t.

  •  

    Shouldn't this be the same case of bank incorrectly deposit to your account?
    Are you going to spend it?
    You probably won't get jail, but you will still have to return the money

    • +1 vote

      These things are usually judged on their real-world value. A bank transferring millions by mistake would want to get the money back, because hiring a lawyer and going after the account holder would still be magnitudes cheaper than letting the account holder get away with the millions.
      A laptop isn't probably worth that much to justify all the possible legal costs. Worst case scenario they will just pass it onto some debt collector and (profanity) up the credit rating.

  • +2 votes

    Contact the company and explain the error then tell them how much you love the shiny new laptop as well as the refund and how much good PR you could give them if you get to keep both.

    •  

      Plus mention all the hassle it was going through all the warranty/repair process. Company might let him keep it to make amends for that, plus the PR.

  • +3 votes

    I had something similar where the company refunded me twice in the span of a couple of weeks. I phoned them and they told me that it's mine. I have a feeling that the (huge global) company does not have the internal process to revert refunds. Knowing this, I voted for "do nothing".

  • +1 vote

    You will make too much confusion, so just do nothing.

  • +2 votes

    Your poll is skewing the results towards u keeping both and not saying anything. Contacting the company should be a single option, not split into two

  •  

    I’d just take the W and use the laptop

  • +13 votes

    They seem to have done everything right by you, sent courier, did the right thing refunding when you asked etc.

    I'd be inclined to do the right thing.

    • +1 vote

      Thanks, agree. (saved me some typing.)

      • +1 vote

        have done everything right by you

        And also gifted a free replacement ;)

  • +4 votes

    I think morally you should contact the company and attempt your best to resolve the situation, whether you choose to return the replacement or to repay the money. I would keep logs of these attempts.

    I have personally been through this with a number of these global companies and in the end as other posters have said it's typically too hard to deal with, if it has already fallen through the cracks and been delivered to you. I'd say there's a 90% chance that you'll just keep it with no additional action but I feel you should do what is right by yourself. The 'right' thing to do IMHO would be to at least inform them via their customer service call centres.

    I've had replacement items arrive and old ones just never picked up, despite months and months of hounding these companies so its definitely a waste of time for everyone and can be very frustrating if you are really trying to do the right thing. above IMHO is the middle ground

    • +1 vote

      This is the best approach. Make reasonable steps to remediate but don't waste your time in trying to fix their mistakes. If someone catches on later down the track you can always show that you made reasonable actions to fix.

  • +7 votes

    years ago same thing happened to me when i bought a dyson vacuum from TGG picked one up… and then another got delivered.

    they sent me an email saying that if i could return the extra item i received, i replied basically saying it's here and you arrange a courier to come pick it up. never heard back from them again.

    same with an iphone years ago from telstra and last year with $350 worth or adidas gear.

    • +2 votes

      Same issue with a camera from another well established aussie retailer. Picked one up then one got delivered a week later. Emailed them to advise of the issue, and never got a response. Still sitting here in it's box unopened 2 years later…

  • -2 votes

    Honestly life's too short to fix their problem. I'll keep it and see if they contact within 3 months. If not, I'll just use it. Am I a bad person? eh, I scalped PS5s so apparently I am.

  • +3 votes

    Be honest and ring / contact them about it.

    • +7 votes

      Probably some call centre with limited English. May work in OPs favour. They will probably deliver another laptop in the confusion.

      •  

        New business model :)

  •  

    Give it to someone who cannot afford - contact local school to see if any parents are struggling to buy a device for their child

    •  

      Not until enough time has passed that it is clear it's yours

  •  

    If I got two laptops I would have returned one. Really what I want is keep the refund cash, my fear is that if I contact the company again they will ask me to keep the replacement and return the cash which is what I don't want.

    • +10 votes

      You only bought one laptop. They cant make you buy 2 cause of their (profanity) up.

      •  

        They can't make OP pay for that one laptop either, since they requested refund then approved.

    • +1 vote

      Yeah they cant ask for cash. Perhaps the item, but definitely not cash.

      Out of curiosity, which company?

  • +2 votes

    was this HP? Happened to me as well, tried contacting them - no luck, just kept the lappy, hold on to it for 7 months and then sold it on gumtree.

  • -2 votes

    Just keep it. If they come back claim ignorance that you didn't realise their mistake and didn't notice the refund in your account.