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

  •  

    I ordered a laptop from Lenovo 4-5 years ago and received a second laptop a few weeks after the first one. I did the right thing and contacted them to take the second one back (and they did).

    • +5 votes

      Sound like you're referring to the very first instructions downloaded from the cloud to a tablet

    • +8 votes

      "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives." Deuteronomy 22:28-29

      Not sure that book is the best for moral guidance

  •  

    If you dont mind me asking, what was the brand of the laptop that continuously failed?

  •  
    • +1 vote

      that doesnt look over 4k$, plus i thought warranty on laptops were like one year….

  • +8 votes

    If you can afford a $3-4k laptop, then you can afford to give it back. Works with all values.

    Kharma and knowing you do the right thing is better than the laptop.

  • +6 votes

    They did the right thing by you so return the favour.
    Personally I would return the refund and keep the new laptop unless you want another brand / type of laptop that may be more reliable? (ASUS)

  • +4 votes

    Sounds like the company is Dell.

    And laptop sounds like an Alienware.

    • +2 votes

      Yep, definitely sounds like Dell with the technicians and courier details.

      • +2 votes

        Not only that, sounds like their processing modus operandi as well.

        Had a faulty mouse within a month of ordering, contacted Dell Ebay, no response for a few days.

        Then called their support line (awesome service btw), couriered a new mouse to me within 2 days (the courier probably cost over twice the value of the mouse).

        A day or 2 after I got the new mouse, Dell Ebay contacts and informs me that the mouse is not in stock and offers to refund me.

        I declined as I already had a new mouse.

    •  

      My bet is on Dell.

  •  

    Keep it and do nothing.
    Not your fault the company has bad processes in place.

  •  

    You've won. Don't play yourself.

  •  

    don't play yourself. its your lucky day

  • +4 votes

    April fools?

  • +3 votes

    If it is from Hardly Normal, keep it. In other scenario, use your ethical principal.

    April is not fool though.

    •  

      If this could have a laugh react, I'd put it here. Hardly Normal fights every warranty claim.

  • +4 votes

    This happened to me a few years ago. Called, emailed, chatted to them on Facebook.

    They basically ignored me and 3 months later responded to my email and said keep it.

  • +4 votes

    Legally you must make reasonable efforts to contact the company and let them know the problem, otherwise it's basically theft. Harsh I know, but you got a refund and then sent a laptop by mistake.

    If however after reasonable attempts to let them know they don't do anything about it (and pay for postage to ship the item back), it's basically yours.

    Do the right thing. You'll feel better, be legally 100% okay, and you may get a free laptop out of it anyway.

    Think about it from the other point of view: If you refunded someone a purchase and then sent them a replacement by mistake, would you want the recipient to do the right thing?

    •  

      Incorrect. Legally, you don't have to do anything.

      From the ACCC website:
      "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
      - you cannot unreasonably refuse to allow the supplier to recover the products
      - you may be liable to pay compensation if you wilfully damage the products during this period."

      •  

        Granted - ACL does not say that the OP has to contact the supplier to report that they have received unsolicited goods.

        However, it could be argued that this is a shipping or administrative error related to a previous transaction rather than an unsolicited supply of goods as described in ACL, and I can't find anything in ACL to cover that particular situation.

        Also, even if the unsolicited goods section does apply, and the OP decides not to contact the supplier, the OP must remember that the device is not theirs in any way until the three months have expired. The OP cannot legally use it or dispose of it until then.

        The supplier has done the right thing in refunding the whole purchase price of the faulty device after almost a year, and my personal compass says that the right thing for the OP to do would be to tell the supplier about their mistake.

  •  

    I have another solution. Contact them and tell them about the whole hassle. Tell them you are sick of this and you don't want to deal with them anymore and you can refund the money they refund you, because you won't have the time to schedule pick up for the laptop.

  •  

    My father once said; “Possession is nine tenths of the law.”

    • +3 votes

      Usually misinterpreted

  •  

    Had this happen before and I still enjoy the product (worth hundreds of dollars) to this day. I only refunded because it took longer than their promised delivery time and the product had still not even been dispatched after a month or so, their fault and their loss.

  •  

    I’d let them know that you’re going to test it out, see if it was another lemon. Me -I’d give one or the other back.

  •  

    Mate they sent you a freebee to test out for them, just keep it and move on, do you really think they care?

  • +1 vote

    Just do the right thing and you won't have to worry about anything going wrong later down the line. Don't try and justify keeping it. You got your money back.

  • +2 votes

    I think the poll speaks for itself. It's a nice idea giving the laptop back but at the same time, getting the upper hand over a company is a rare but glorious thing. I'd feel much worse if it was screwing over an individual, but don't give a shit about some multinational company.

  •  

    Take whichever option you prefer of keeping the new laptop or getting the cash back, but not both. Youre already winning by having used that laptop for a year for free and the company did the right thing for you (twice!) :)

  • +2 votes

    People rambling about 'unsolicited goods' don't know what they are talking about. Those laws are designed to stop shady marketing practices, not to authorise you to steal things that people send you by mistake.

    You haven't paid for the laptop so title in it remains with the company unless they intentionally gift it to you.

    The legally and morally right thing to do it contact them (once) and inform them of their error. There's every chance that they will either tell you to keep it or do nothing. In the latter case they are then aware that they are leaving the item with you and the position changes.

    •  

      It 100% falls under the guise of unsolicited goods. The consumer law around unsolicited goods is designed primarily to protect against what you described, but this does happen to fall under the same umbrella.

      • +2 votes

        No, it really doesn't. If I mistakenly send or leave a piece of valuable property at your house, it does not cease to be my property and if you treat it as your property you will commit an act of conversion.

        Here the key words from OPs description are:

        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.

        So this is not "unsolicited" goods, OP expressly asked for a replacement and one was sent. This is therefore outside the definition of "unsolicited goods" in the ACL:

        "unsolicited goods" means goods sent to a person without any request made by the person or on his or her behalf.

        Here, there was a request made, it was just later changed to a different request. On top of that, OP raised this issue as a warranty one and so the replacement laptop was obviously sent pursuant to perceived contractual or statutory obligations by the company. So again, on no reasonable view "unsolicited".

        As Choice (correctly) says:

        But you can't keep unsolicited goods if you … knew that the goods were not supposed to be sent to you

        That is exactly the case here. OP knows full well there has been a mistake and that the laptop is not 'unsolicited' because he or she initially asked for exactly that, a replacement laptop. Keeping it and the money is probably conversion at best at common law and theft at worst.

        But by all means, assume that the ACL is a magic wand that allows you to wrongly take advantage of obvious mistakes and downvote away.

        • +1 vote

          You are ignoring the second part. Yes initially the company said it would send me a replacement laptop. But subsequently they said I will be refunded instead of getting the replacement and the case is closed. I didn’t solicit THIS laptop.

          •  

            @kanad: Well sounds like it's an unsolicited goods:
            https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/buying-products-and-servi...

            I'm sure other states have similar rules..

          • +2 votes

            @kanad: No, I'm not. The definition in the Act is "without any request". You did make a request, even though you changed it later.

            The point of the unsolicited goods provisions of the ACL is to prevent companies from sending goods to people that have no interest in them and then charging them when the goods aren't returned. E.g. I send you an item for a 'free trial' but then when you don't send it back I try to charge you for it - that's what those provisions catch. Not an honest mistake between two parties who already have a commercial relationship. Nothing at all to do with this situation.

            Pick another example, your next door neighbour orders a new mobile phone and it mistakenly gets delivered to you. So you haven't "solicited" it, but nor could you just stay quiet and keep it and hope that the sender never realises the mistake. That would be straight up theft, and your present situation while a little more complex is not that different.

            I promise you a court would not treat this as an unsolicited goods scenario under the ACL, as much as I understand why that would be a nice way to think about it. The people here saying that the laptop falls within "unsolicited goods" here sound like armchair experts with zero legal or commercial experience.

      • +2 votes

        some definitions for added clarity at this stage of the conversation:
        if a package arrives with a Lawyer duct-taped onto it - it's Solicited
        If it's just a legal secretary or a para-legal that's attached … then it's Unsolicited

        •  

          That was so terrible I have to upvote you.

  • -1 vote

    This sums it up.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XEL65gywwHQ

    Just hang onto both. It’s a drop in the ocean for Dell

  • +1 vote

    I had a tribunal case against a multi national probably the same years ago received refund never collected item only worth 20,000

    I think their systems once they close case they would never see it again too many cases they have lol

  •  

    When it breaks down in 11 months are you going to contact them for warranty?

  • +1 vote

    Contact them, but advise you now live in outback Oz somewhere along the Birdsville track, closest main road is 800km south and it’s still monsoon and see what they say.

  • +3 votes

    Same thing happened to me with Dell few years back. I ended up with 3 laptops.

    Ordered laptop #1 - XPS 13 i7. The laptop was broken after several months. I could see vertical lines on the display. Contacted them and was told that they would send a replacement and pick up the broken laptop.

    The staff put in the replacement order (laptop #2). However, I realised a day later that he ordered an i5. I called them again to ask for i7 and another order was made (laptop #3).

    Few days later I received laptop #2 but I didn't open it knowing that it was the wrong one. Then laptop #3 arrived few days later. No one ever came to pick up anything and I called them about it twice. They said that someone would come to pick them up.

    I kept all 3 laptops for a few months and ended up selling laptop #2 (i5) on gumtree and that's how I got my laptop very 'cheap' in the end. Lol.

  • +2 votes

    TL;DR - send it back.

    Personally I’d just send it back, as in let them know of the error and allow them to collect it.

    Not sure how it works but I would think that if it can be proven that you’ve taken possession of the replacement laptop after saying you instead wanted a refund (which was processed) they may be able to hold you for the cost of the laptop. Personally I’d just prefer to not have that hanging over my head.

    At the very least I definitely wouldn’t try and sell the replacement laptop or anything like that as I think it could effectively be seen as selling stolen goods. From memory stuff like this can be viewed as theft because you’re well aware that the product sent to you was sent in error.

    That’s my 2c.

  •  

    I would just keep the laptop and be prepared to pay for it if and when required i.e the amount that was refunded.

  •  

    Use the Rhodesia solution.

    •  

      Polk you excel yourself.

    •  

      Partition the SSD ?

      • +1 vote

        Youtube the Rhodesia solution and I'm sure there will be a clip.

  • +2 votes

    Seems pretty simple to me, contact them to say that a replacement laptop was sent to you by mistake after you’d received your refund, and can they please send you a shipping label to return it.

    Basically no effort on your part, and you’ve done the right thing.

  • +6 votes

    Seriously, this is even a question. Doesn't anyone have a moral compass these days? Turn it around, and you were the company, what would you like your customer to do? And if they didn't return the laptop, would you consider them a thief or very dishonest at least?

  • +2 votes

    In my defence of saying keep it I would like to point out that I led my life being super honest and made a point of doing things like going back to shops that had given me too much change and not complaining when a meal wasn’t very good. Over time I realised this behaviour was not appreciated as much as I would have appreciated it if it happened to me. I worked in hospo so had a lot of retail type of interactions. Then one day I was checking my monthly account with a big brewery and realised they had overcharged me by thousands of dollars. I called them up and it turns out I was right and they said they’d fix it as it was a computer error. I asked what would have happened if I hadn’t noticed it and they said that nothing would have happened as long as I paid it. From that point on I noticed big companies make big and small mistakes all the time and mostly they only address them if you bring it to their attention. Even then you often have a fight on your hands. So on balance a little win here and there is not a huge sin when you’ve spent your life on the receiving end of bad service and poor products and backup. If this was a Mom and Pop store situation I would be the first to put things right but for a big company, let’s face it, they bake their errors into the price. So in closing, think things through before you do that good deed that your morals have shown you and now and then take the win - if you can live with it.

    •  

      Saying nothing if a meal is poor at a restaurant is the worst thing you could do. If people don’t speak up and provide the constructive feedback, they may go out of business not knowing why. Feedback gives them the opportunity to improve, if they ignore it, that’s on them.

      •  

        But Eminem might be making my burger.

        •  

          On the meal you’ve already eaten? Sure.

          •  

            @Mitch889: No the replacement one. I don’t want spit on my onion rings

            •  

              @MontyMacaw: If you’re so worried, say it when you pay your bill. Often I’ve had the offer of removing the item from my bill if I’ve noted something was sub-par.

              •  

                @Mitch889: We’re straying from the point of my post. Like I said I’ve spent my entire life in hospo so I know how the solutions you are talking about work. I’m not that person now.

  •  

    Did you sign for it when it was delivered? if not, keep it, and move on.

    Is there some sort of activation or tracking on the laptop? If so contact them.

    •  

      Did you sign for it when it was delivered? if not, keep it, and move on.

      No man. The despatch receipt shows who it was mailed to.

  •  

    Do the right thing - let them know you received it and let them collect/provide a return method.

  •  

    May be they want you to try their laptop and ask you to buy it once you are satisfied with their product.

  • +2 votes

    This happens all the time with businesses. I get like 40 laptops extra that I didn't order due to returns and warranty claims.

    Massive tech companies do audits and will easily catch this booboo and you'll have to return the laptops or pay b1g if they pursue it. Receiving something that isn't yours and keeping it while knowing who the rightful owner is theft.

    This seriously is kindergarten stuff. Scared to see grown adults talking about finders keepers like we're in the playground.

  • +5 votes

    This thread is nothing more than you wanting validation to do the wrong thing. Contact them to organise a return. It’s as simple as that.

  •  

    Keep the money or the laptop and be prepared to hand over the other at some stage. I voted with the majority, wait to be contacted.

  •  

    There are few here who have mentioned morals. To them let me just say that morality is very personal. I see morality on the effect of my actions to fellow humans (specially disadvantaged) followed my animals, environment etc. Not to some gigantic multinationals who use every trick to escape taxes or exploit workers in poor countries. I have personally refused job offers from gambling companies (Tabcorp) or I will never work for tobacco companies or Facebook for that matter. I can even say that people in this forum buying goods from Amazon (https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/fired-interro...) or even Woolies (https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/fired-interro...) or Telstra (https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/fired-interro... or big banks (royal commission) is not a moral action but I will not because I do the same. I don’t see my post as a moral issue for me even in the remotest sense.

    Also my intention was really about to know what is legally right as fortunately I live in a country where we have law courts and not moral courts to punish me for getting something wrong.

    • +1 vote

      Dog eat dog world mate keep the laptop and move on with your life, well known global company this would already be missed on the accounting books and they'll still be making profits, there was no need for this thread even.
      Bring it on sensitive neggers ;)

    •  

      I don’t see my post as a moral issue for me even in the remotest sense

      Well, if you got a lot of opinions on what you should morally do because you did not make clear that it was a legal question:

      Question to OzBrainsTrust what should I do?

  • +5 votes

    Think of it from a different perspective. Someone stuffed up at the company. If you contact them to tell them of their mistake, someone may lose their job over it. It's probably someone in working in a call centre in a developing country, working to feed 3 generations of their extended family. Losing their job means their 10 and 11 year old kids have to drop of out school to find work, to compensate for the lost income in order to put food on the table for the family. The cycle of poverty perpetuates for further generations.

    So do the right thing - sit tight and hope no one loses their job over this little mistake.

    • +4 votes

      Right, because it would more likely to be someone at the call centre making the wrong decision to give you a replacement even though a refund has already been processed, rather than an IT issue.

      It’s a creative justification though.

      • +1 vote

        I would say these errors are more likely human errors than an inherent IT systems error.

  •  

    Similar thing happened to me. My flight was canceled last Easter due to covid, originally Qantas was going to give me flight credit only. I argued against it and asked for refund. They then sent back money of the ticket. 2 months later I also got credit note. I haven’t used it yet as I don’t have any plan to travel yet.

  • +5 votes

    Contact the company and tell them what happened.

    I bought something (~$100) from Amazon US, the parcel was transferred to the useless Fastway, which kept the item on hold for no reason as they usually do. I complained by email and WhatsApp, called Fastway, and they didn't return my requests after 4 days… I contacted Amazon and they apologised and offered a full refund, which was processed instantly.

    After two days, Fastway delivered the parcel that they kept for one week.

    I contacted Amazon again saying the item had been delivered.

    Amazon said it's a pleasure to have me as a customer and as a gesture of good will I should keep the item.

    I slept well.

  •  

    Claim both on tax for sure

  • +1 vote

    wow op won lotto - thanks for letting us know

  • +4 votes

    I would probably just send a generic email/comment to a "contact us" form - something like this:

    "Hi, I returned a laptop and received both a refund and a replacement. I presume this is a customer-service gesture of goodwill for the multiple issues I had with the previous laptop - if so, I thank you and will remain a loyal customer. Alternatively, if this was yet another error, please review your records and request and arrange a recovery of the laptop from my location within 3 months at a time of my choosing. In the latter case, I will be disappointed that the time-wasting issues in dealing with your business are ongoing. Regards,"

    I would leave it until almost 1 month from receipt, wouldn't put any reference numbers, dates, models, anything that can help them correlate it on there though. Not going to make it easy for them. Just a name and email on the form.

    I would keep a copy of this for evidence that you contacted them. If they act on it, you would comply with a return process. Otherwise, if in 3 months you still have it, then I would consider keeping it.

    I have known of a large company requesting goods back 12 months later once they do some annual reconciliation on their stock / accounts. They probably don't have much hope if you choose to keep it if you've got written record of asking them to collect within a 3 month timeframe but with an alternative assumption that it was provided as compensation.

    •  

      I'd probably add a little more info to make sure they can trace back their fk up and up to them to sort it out within the 3 months' timeframe. Then keep it.

      https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/buying-products-and-servi...

      •  

        it seems the timeframe is reduced to 1 month in such case as per your link… even better:

        "If you contact the business in writing and advise that you do not want the unsolicited goods/services, the recovery period is reduced to one month."

  •  

    This happened to me with some coffee beans.

  •  

    Bitcoin

  •  

    As if you wouldn't keep it

  • +1 vote

    Do the right thing, is a warranty claim issue not "unsolicited items". They weren't trying to screw you, if anything they went over and above.

    Email them, put the ball in their court and make it their problem to solve. Either they will get back to you and collect it, or you'll end up keeping it after they forget about it. You are in the clear because you informed them.

  • +1 vote

    give it back, easy and simple, it's not yours

  • -1 vote

    voting shows more than 60% of the ozbargainer ready to steal from someone if they can escape from punishment
    what happen to moral ? where we heading ?

    •  

      Corporations aren't people

    • +2 votes

      I suppose you are not from this planet. You might be very disappointed, but you should know that some people here haven't developed a sense of morality, which is unfortunate.

      Also, common sense is not something you should rely on…

    •  

      what happen to moral ? where we heading ?

      Have you been in hibernation for last 30 years?

      • -1 vote

        may be i am lucky to be surrounded by normal people

    •  

      It's a bit of a stretch to equate it to stealing provided punishment can be avoided.
      So, where do you draw the line? - have you never bought a 'price error' that OzB is famous for promoting? essentially no difference.

      At the end of the day, a large corporation that is in business is trying to keep customers happy. If OP has had to endure 3 bad repairs/replacements and continual problems, they are selling lemons - the lost productivity and patience should be worth a significant amount to keep loyalty. They keep fffing up, and not resolving the issue, and this is not going to make the difference for whether they are profitable or not (probably quite profitable by the sound of it, marking up cheap crap 300%), at the end of the day - I have little sympathy for them.

      As stated above, I would tell them but in the hope they just let me keep it if I hear nothing in the timeframe. It will probably break again by then anyhow by the sounds of it.

      Would never do it to an individual or small business though.

      I do see it as a difference.

  • +1 vote

    I had something similar happen to me on eBay where I didn't receive a watch I purchased within the 30-45 day delivery period, so I asked for a refund.
    I received the refund and a few weeks later the watch turned up in the mail. I tried to contact the eBay seller but they didn't reply, so I sold the watch.

    I guess it comes down to your own convictions. Everyone will have a different opinion, if you know it'll be on your conscience then contact them, if not enjoy the laptop. :)

  • +1 vote

    Over a decade ago, there was an offer to purchase a HP laptop, get a printer free.

    I was sent two printers.

    I called up HP, explained the issue, and offered to return it. They thanked me for my honesty, and told me I could keep both.

    You got 11 months of good use out of the laptop, and legally obtained a full refund, which was within your rights. It sounds like they didn't make it too hard either.

    If you were the bunny at the company sending out replacement laptops, what would you want the receiver to do?

  • +2 votes

    If it's apple, keep it.

    Otherwise, inform the company and let them make the call. Do the right thing.

  • +3 votes

    Probably an unpopular opinion but if it’s a small business then I’d try hard to make sure they weren’t ripped off. If it was a corporate or big business that isn't going to notice the loss, I’d say nothing unless they made contact.

    • +1 vote

      Agree. Different story if it was a small business, compared to a large corporate like Dell, who generates USD$94b in annual revenue and the CEO is worth USD$46b.