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The Boxset and the Karma...

From my 2008.02.21 blog:

I'm big believer in karma. Not that I run around spouting cautionary tales to all and sundry, I'm just well aware of the simple law governing the universe – do the wrong thing and you'll pay. That brings me to my do-the-right-thing dilemma...

Waaaay back in October I ordered a DVD boxset online for a Christmas present. Mid-December it hadn’t rocked up so I fired off an email and they shipped another copy. It arrived just in the nick of time too - Christmas Eve. All good. Then a few weeks ago it arrived again. Ooops... turns out the first shipment was just really, really slow. So now there are two and karma conscious I dropped the supplier an email explaining what had happened and asking how to send it back. That was two weeks ago and still no reply.

It may sound stupid and over-reachy but I'm convinced that escaping the vet bill and speeding fine last week was my good karma payback for doing the right thing. The question is what to do now? They definitely received the email because I got the auto-respond saying so. I don’t want it so do I keep pestering until they reply to my emails or just give it to someone I know will love it? What would you do? Fess up or just keep it?

I was quite surprised how many replies came my way. There were some great responses too and what you'll find below is a meaty cross-section of the better ones.

Oh and for the record, I'm going to email them again. If I don’t get a reply I'll wait 3 months and give it away to someone I know loves the show. Conscience cleared.

Greg wrote:
Subject: Box set for Xmas
What to do, what to do, what to do.? It's simple Karma-Man. Sell the unwanted 2nd copy on Ebay, and take 100% of the sale and donate it anonymously to a non-religious charity.  (tax deductible I presume?) You are not going to believe how great this will make you feel! Once that is done, you can concentrate on showing me more tits and ass. Now get to work!
Jeff wrote:
Subject: Karma
Hey Orsm. About a year ago I had to go to the hospital or a MAJOR sinus infection that was so painful I could barely open my eyes.  While I was in the waiting room to be treated I gazed over my shoulder and saw a roll of money.  I didn't count it but it looked to be about $200.  For a split second I thought about taking it, but for some reason I decided to give it to the nurse so she could find the rightful owner.  I found out later that it belonged to the father of a sick little girl. $200 isn't a large sum of money but when you lose it you fell like shit.  I felt the pain of loss on Fat Tuesday this year.  Me and a few friends went out that night to see all the wonderful bare chested bead-clad ladies of Portland.  After about 12 beers and 5 bars my buddies and I all shared a cab and, of course I was the last one to get home. 

The next morning I looked around feverishly for my iPod which I would later find out had fallen out of my jacket pocket the night before while I was in the cab.  I had no idea where it was and I spent a good week driving myself crazy with phone calls and looking in every possible corner of my apartment when I received a call from the cab company.  They said that my iPod was there!  It had been incorrectly placed in the main office and not the lost and found office.  The iPod and headphones are valued at about $400 and I was so pissed at myself for losing them.  It's weird but it felt like a part of me was gone. Don't laugh.

So many things had to go right in the ensuing weeks in order for me to get my iPod back. 

So yeah. Make a few more attempts to contact the company before you give up. After that it looks like the set it yours.

Mark wrote:
Subject: box set
There should be a return policy somewhere, although I've had the same problem myself.  It almost seems as if their accounting department (or whoever) has problems taking stock back without an exchange of funds.  In my situation, it was a single DVD. Finally, after not getting a straight reply for some weeks from the company, I just boxed it up and sent it to the company with a letter explaining the situation. Conscience cleared. That worked for me. btw, thanks for all your hard work on such a great site!
Allen wrote:
Subject: Moral Dillema
I've had similar situations, but usually the other way around (where the stuff never arrives, because South African customs are a bigger crowd of thieves than any other customs in the world.  Feel free to compete with me, I love a good pissing contest!).

But anyway, it seems clear to me.  You've informed them, but they probably don't want it back.  Big online retailers are moving so many copies a day that they use nice big fancy computerised stock control systems, which won't have an option for 'return stock that was accidentally sent'.  Which means that it's probably more hassle than it's worth for them to try put it back in the inventory.

Of course, you can't just assume this.  they probably also have a hugely complex workflow system which means that 73 people so far have read your message and forwarded it on to somebody who might give a shit... and eventually it reaches the right person who will say "Wow, we'd better get our stuff back!"... and if by then you've sold it off (or given it away, or eaten it), then you have a problem.


Give them a month, and then put it on eBay :)

Eddie wrote:
Subject: Extra DVD - Do the Righteous Thing
Hey Orsm. Do you know someone who would be willing to pay half price; who you would be prepared to pay the other half as a present. Give the full amount to a charity; extra Karma points - more good Karma will come your way; extra giving a big gift points - you will get a big gift next time its your turn ( just hope you don't have to pay half ); clear concience - if the store does contact you you can be holier than thou, After all you gave them a chance. Don't use this excuse if you don't really do it, for Bad Karma will surely fall upon you. Like Jules said "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men"; Then again he also said "Well, I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' motherfucker"
peter wrote:
Subject: DVD's
I would send them one more msg and briefly repeat what happened and tell them you will hold onto them for another thirty days and then you will donate them to charity. I would then put them somewhere and forget them for the next six months and if still no respose I would donate.  Print  out and keep both messages and their canned acknowledgements and put the paperwork with the items, get a receipt for the donation and keep with the other paperwork for a good while. By donating them to charity you keep up the good Karma. I enjoy your website.

deus mc wrote:
Subject: DVD Boxset. Solution to your whole DVD boxset dilemma:
Ebay off the boxset, and with the profits either:
-get something nice for yourself and/or ORSM site.
-show your woman/dog some love.
-a friend that might need a late birthday present.
-someones gotta keep those "non-profit free-based porn sites" alive.

You turned the other cheek and the company hasnt responded. If they do respond, just email back saying "Yeh thanks for the email, but i called up your receptionist/contact and she explained this all to me a week or two ago and i shipped it back." Then just pretend it got lost in shipping.

In the end, its doesnt matter where the love goes, aslong as its spread around.

:) hope it helps.

Michael wrote:
Subject: DVD Box Set
If, after 4 or 5 months, they still don't get back to you, well, you can't say you didn't make a bunch of honest attempts. OR... you could just send it back to the return address on the package, and put the packing slip inside with DUPLICATE SHIPMENT written all over the darn thing.
Matthew wrote:
Subject: Re: your karma story
Put it on ebay...

I went to a furniture shop with the misses and bought a coffee table. They offered me floor stock for a 10% discount which I took, even tho I would have rather got a fresh table. ( I checked the table and there were no problems so the misses talked me into saving 10% ). This coffee table has storage which meant  the table top could be lifted  with a chain to keep it in place. This was of course broken when I received it.  ( 5min repair for me) I called the company to have them fix/replace the chain or coffee table. (they weren’t to helpful) After 2 weeks of calls, I finally had enough and  decided to get a refund for the table, they were happy to refund the my full amount. It has now been 6 months and they haven’t contacted me once to come and pickup there coffee table.

Do you think I should contact them?

Emily wrote:
Subject: Karma
You should keep the boxset. You did the right thing in the first place by letting them know what happened, and it was their mistake, so why should you waste your time trying to get them to fix it? I had some concert tickets mailed to me twice by accident, which I good naturedly alerted them to and they just said "whoopsie our mistake please mail them back". Which I did. Still waiting for the karma to come back to me!
Rob wrote:
Subject: the second delivery
Just keep it until they get back to you. They used an unreliable delivery service , so in the meantime you hold onto their goods until they get motivated enough to get back to you. Poor customer service really.
LARRY wrote:
Subject: What to do?
Bad things seem to always happen in 3's. Maybe you're due for some good 3"s. I would'nt be surprised if the company tells you to keep the 2nd shipment. If you pass it along to someone who'd enjoy it, you might well be a part of a good 3 in their life. Karma? Maybe, maybe not, but you've done the right and proper thing and that's a good thing in itself.
Sasha wrote:
Subject: DVD Dilemma
For real real, just keep it. They obviously feel guilty about the first delivery getting there 4 months late and you've already done the right thing by trying to send it back and that's why the vet bill and speeding fine bounced straight off of y'all.

If they wanted it back, they would have let you know by now, and now you have a spare box set  of <insert box set name here>  it begs the question, "What can I get for this on eBay?"

Reap the rewards, karma is a harsh mistress and it isn't that often she smiles your (and by that I mean anyone's) way. Enjoy. 

Craig wrote:
Subject: DVD returns
Keep it/give it away, donate to a library, give it to me. My B.I.L. gets CD's from Amazon, and he got a double up. They told him to keep it. He has had at least 3 double ups in the last couple of years.

Greg wrote:
Subject: KEEP IT!
Screw them, they obviously could care less or they would have answered. Another way to look at it is, you tried really hard to give it back, they obviously want you to have this copy as a promotional present. So be a good little karmaroo and give it that person you know will love it and

1. Make their day
2. Earn goodwill with them
3. Make yourself feel good
4. Get rid of something you don’t want or need
5. Make space in your house for something more important
6. And last but not least, they could have told you the other was strapped the back of an arthritic packrat that was hitching its way across country to you and would be there a few minutes before Christmas so shut up and leave them alone instead of shipping out another, so the video can’t be that expensive or they would have already contacted you to send it back!

David wrote:
Subject: karma
It’s easy mate, send a second email. If no reply, then sell it on eBay and give the money to a charity or something.
greg guye wrote:
Subject: karma
keep it will cost them more to ship it back, happened to me before but with luggage i never ordered, was a shipping error
Justin wrote:
Subject: Fess up or just keep it?
Dude, i here you on the karma thing. She a powerfull force an amongst the other universal law of similar nature, such as like atracting like its one of the ones i live by too and it serves me well. so this is how i see it.

You made an efort to do the right thing, you notified them and you sat on it a couple of weeks or so. karma dont imply you to inconvenience yourself excesivly for the unknowen. And if you thinking about it enough to poste the question then thats an inconvenience or prehaps its an oppertunity to forward on the product of the good karma to someone who'd appreciate it there by generating good will and in doing so attracting more of the same to yourself.

so in short, if it aint important enough for them to take the 2 miniutes required to ensure a reply to an email then why should you be expected to provid a warehouse facility?? The situation apprears to be fated with the ability to generate more good will so i beleive you should indeed follow it through and hand it with a smile to an appreciating person.

greg wrote:
Subject: karma
I bought a lotto ticket the other week, the girl gave me $10 extra change, I gave it back in the search for good karma, ticket won jack shit...... Send another email, if they still don't tell you how to return it, give it away, selling it on ebay will bite you on the ass.........
Chuck wrote:
Subject: Dilemma
Being as you HAVE e-mailed them AND they have in fact acknowledged same, you have done what should be done . Therefore, it seems that a reasonable time has passed.... so you may do whatever you like with it.


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