Originally Posted by doinitok
According to the Federal Trade Commission, I'm not obliged to return it:
"If you receive merchandise you didn’t order,
federal law says you can consider it a gift. You
can’t be forced to pay for the item or return it."
VLSI, do you have a source that says otherwise?
And surely I'm not obliged to return it on my own dime, simply because they promise to pay me back.
The above is meant to protect consumers against the "negative option."
Because this was an honest error, you do have limited legal obligation. However, they are in the wrong, and they must shoulder all responsibility and expenses. You also get to dictate the terms, but they have to be reasonable:
Here, read this: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0181-unordered-merchandise
Q. What should I do if the unordered merchandise I received was the result of an honest shipping error?
A. Write the seller and offer to return the merchandise, provided the seller pays for postage and handling. Give the seller a specific and reasonable amount of time (say 30 days) to pick up the merchandise or arrange to have it returned at no expense to you. Tell the seller that you reserve the right to keep the merchandise or dispose of it after the specified time has passed.
Of course, the merchant is a moron. Clearly, the right thing for them to do is to ship you out the new merchandise using expedited shipping, and also send a return envelope. In many cases, the better retailers (like Mr. Porter) will actually issue you an additional credit for your inconvenience. After all, you paid for goods with a reasonable expectation that it will arrive in X amount of time. Mr. Porter and all really seasoned web stores know that if they make a mistake, the best policy is to eat it. I bought a Jeanshop briefcase from them. and they fucked up the shipping. Then I ordered something else, and they fucked it up even more. So, they sent both via UPS next day shipping (about a $100 expense, with the weight of the goods and size of the box) and then credited me an additional $100 for my inconvenience. Yes, their selection can be pretty dull, and their styling, even more so, but they know their customer service.