Whether you have received a magazine, CD or other unordered products, it’s important to know how these items should be handled. For instance, can you keep the merchandise? Do you need to pay for it or ship it back? According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Trade Regulation Rule, any products sent to a consumer without his or her approval should be treated as “a gift.” Also, it is against the law for a company to send items without a person’s prior approval and to try and collect. The fine can exceed $15,000 per collection attempt.
Of course, if a company is under the impression that you ordered a said product, it would be wise to dispute this in writing to avoid being sent to collections. See FTC’s Fair Credit Billing Act for a form letter example, and contact the FTC to report concerns.
The best course of action would be to return the item. As long as it is unopened, you are not responsible for paying shipping/handling fees. Simply strike through the address and write “Return to Sender.” If the address is incorrect on a package, you also may return it to the sender using this method. Should you know the correct address, write “Forward to (address),” and this will help the mail/parcel service and mail recipient immensely.
For further concerns with charges for unordered merchandise, the first course of action should be to directly contact the company. Then, if further assistance is needed, contact your Better Business Bureau. We are happy to help, where we can!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/el_ramon/2880813048/”>Timothy Valentine</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>