Amazon package full of items I didn't order.....what to do?
July 3, 2019 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Received Amazon package with items I didn't order...looking for advice.

Good morning all: received three packages from Amazon today. Two of the boxes contained items I had ordered, while the third is full of eight or so plumbing fixtures that I didn't order. The package contained no invoice or paperwork of any kind.

What guidance I find online is detailed when it comes to explaining the potential scam but unfortunately short on detail as to how to resolve. Looking at Amazon's page doesn't show how to report items that don't appear on my order history.

I understand that this is regarded as a form of identity theft but am not sure what to do about it. Has anyone on the green been through this? Please share and thanks.
posted by Ginesthoi to Shopping (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When I received an ENORMOUS TARP from Amazon, I called customer service to ask about it. They told me sometimes that happens, assured me it was not on my order list, and said I could keep the tarp rather than shipping it back to them. I'd just give them a call.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:57 AM on July 3, 2019 [10 favorites]

Can you contact them using the chat feature? I'm quite sure they'll just tell you not to worry about it and to keep the items.
posted by anderjen at 8:57 AM on July 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

Not sure if its the same thing, but according to the Boston Globe, this couple keeps getting mystery packages from Amazon they didn’t order, and Amazon doesn't really care.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 8:58 AM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I understand that this is regarded as a form of identity theft but am not sure what to do about it.

If you're concerned about "brushing" (although given that this is a one off, and it came along with another order, I'm guessing this is probably just a mistake) telling Amazon, using one of the contact methods here, and asking them to close any accounts that appear to be masquerading as you, is probably the best you can do. While a form of identity theft, being used as a patsy in this kind of scam doesn't actually seem to open up any additional vulnerability. Having an Amazon account in someone else's name might well be part of a wholesale identity theft, but it might also be the isolated "brushing" scam described online, making you just a convenient name and address to lend credibility to their fake review.

My view is that, at this point, informing Amazon of the situation and asking them to address your concerns is proportionate: I personally think that, unless this happens again, that would be a sufficient safeguard against likely issues.
posted by howfar at 9:34 AM on July 3, 2019

FWIW none of my Amazon packages ever have receipts or invoices in them.

If you insist, they will send you a label and/or arrange a courier to pick up the unwanted items, which is what I did.
posted by sm1tten at 9:35 AM on July 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

when this happened to me, they just told me to keep the stuff. it was stuff i didn't need or want, so i pushed, and they literally told me to throw it away or donate it.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:40 AM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'd contact them in writing so there'd be a paper trail of the issue, just in case.
posted by trig at 9:41 AM on July 3, 2019

I suspect it's more likely to be an error in labeling than a scam, because it was added to an existing order. Decide what you want a resolution, then do a chat. You can probably get rid of the stuff on craigslist/freeor donate to a ReStore, assuming Amazon says keep it.
posted by theora55 at 9:51 AM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've just chatted or called them when this has happened to me and they always say that they don't want it back. One time that meant free lipstick. Another time that meant I had to throw away a big rubber gasket for a salon chair.
posted by purple_bird at 10:27 AM on July 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

When this happened with us with [well-known fast fashion brand], I couldn't be bothered to take the time to box up the wrong order and take it to the post office. We never had anything to do with the [well-known fast fashion brand]. Instead, I donated the order -- a number of womens sweaters still in their packaging -- to a popular local thrift shop. The thrift shop uses its profits to fund various programs for women in need, including microgrants for small businesses, and programs that provide women with furniture, bedding and clothing so they can more easily transition out of relationships.

Seemed like a better idea than sending back to the [well-known fast fashion brand] (on my dime!) where the clothes would likely be trashed.
posted by JamesBay at 10:28 AM on July 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you’re in the US then according to the FTC you can keep any merchandise sent to you by mistake.

Ethically, if it’s something you didn’t order or don’t want - people have varying opinions. If you want to let them know, just use the chat feature. Though most likely they will let you keep it rather than sending you a return label and all that. But again, you have no obligation to send it back.

When this has happened to me it’s just because they put the wrong stuff in the wrong box on the line. Nothing scam based.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:47 AM on July 3, 2019 [6 favorites]

There's another more innocent possibility: has anyone in your friend / family network ever sent you a gift directly from Amazon? If so, they might have selected your address for shipping accidentally on this order. This happened to me once - I got a random item from Amazon that I definitely didn't order. Like your situation, no receipt or packing slip. I set it aside, and about 2 weeks later my brother called and asked me if I'd received the item - he had my address in his profile so that he could send me birthday gifts, and just got signals crossed on this one.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 4:39 PM on July 3, 2019

When this happened to me I checked with everyone who had ever mailed me a gift to see if they made a mistake - nope. Called Amazon and they brushed it off and said it was easier for me to keep it than for them to process a return. I gave the mistake items away on my neighborhood buy nothing group and learned what they were for in one fell swoop. It’s not necessarily a scam.
posted by centrifugal at 5:48 PM on July 3, 2019

Double-check that the address on the shipping label is actually yours. If not, contact UPS (or whatever courier delivered it) and get them to take it to the right place. Otherwise, like everyone else has said, the contents are yours to keep or dispose of.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:59 AM on July 5, 2019

We ordered protein powder once and got a kitchen sink faucet instead. It happens. They told us to keep it, so we donated it to a local organization. I think it's more likely to be a coding or picking mistake than identity theft.
posted by bink at 2:23 PM on July 5, 2019

This happened to me. On the outside of the package was my name and address, and on the inside was someone else's invoice, name and address.

They gave me something to send the item back.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 12:06 AM on July 7, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks for all of your thoughtful responses. Glad to have my worries about potential nefariousness put to rest.
posted by Ginesthoi at 7:24 AM on July 7, 2019

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