What to do if I ordered items over the phone but what I received were excess quantities above what I ordered and prices above what we discussed?

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What to do if I ordered items over the phone but what I received were excess quantities above what I ordered and prices above what we discussed?

Since this was all verbal communication, I have no documentation. What are my rights as far as returning the items and not paying the bill? The shipment was signed for and the items unpacked from the boxes they shipped in. Since receiving the bill, my research has shown that this company pulls this scam regularly.

Asked on September 26, 2012 under General Practice, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you are only obligated to pay for the quantities you ordered; you could have the company pick up the excess at their cost. However, there are two potential problems in your case:

1) If there is no documentation as to what you ordered, you may not be able to prove your order size.

2) If it should have been possible to determine from the number of boxes, packing labels on the outside of the boxes, size of boxes, etc. that too much was sent to you, then signing for their delivery could be taken as acceptance of the delivery of the excess, which might preclude returning the excess. This would not be an issue, however, if there was no way to know of the excess until you opened the boxes.

Similarly, you can only be charged the amount you agreed to  pay, but again, may have difficulties proving this in the absence of documentation.

If you paid by credit card, you can try dispute the charge with your credit card company. If that doesn't work, however, you may not have any effective recourse other than a lawsuit, which not only might cost more than you are trying to save, but is not a given that you'd win in the absence of documentation.


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