DSW's Dirty Trick Backfires; Now Customer Has Free Shoes

DSW is playing dirty with Brook, who tried to legitimately order two pairs of shoes on January 30th. Due to an error on DSW’s side, the order was never fulfilled. He called and resolved the problem and they re-processed the order, but a few days later DSW decided to send the order a second time, and this time they jacked up the price by $20. They won’t let him cancel the order and say they’ll only refund the smaller of the two amounts if he returns it. Surprise, DSW! According to the FTC, you just sent Brook some free shoes.

I placed an order for two pairs of shoes on 1/30/09 for $79.57 at DSW.com.

One week later, they still hadn’t shipped, so I called customer service. I was told my order had been canceled due to a computer error, but she said she could place the exact same order for the exact same amount. She even 2nd day shipped the shoes to compensate me for my trouble. I received the shoes on 2/6/09, and everything was fine, so I was happy.

On 2/7/09, I was emailed an order confirmation for the exact same shoes but with a total of $100.82. I called and they refused to stop shipment of the shoes, insisting that I ordered MORE of the IDENTICAL SHOES I had just received. Huh?

It is now 2/10/09, and they insist the second set of shoes is en route, even though I have not received any tracking numbers (I didn’t even place the order). They say that I can ship the shoes back to them, but they’ll only refund me the $79.57 amount (the order I’m wearing), not the unauthorized purchase amount of $100.82.

Essentially, they’re hijacking my credit card for an additional $20 that I did not authorize. According to some customer support supervisor there named Ahmed, they’re not pleased with the $79.57 price. I guess this is their way of ensuring that they can “legitimately” charge me the $100.82 price that they like, because when I ship the 2nd order back they’re going to refund me the lesser amount.

They insist that the $79.57 amount was an error, but I say they’refucked now that I’m fucking wearing them. They can’t just ship me another two pairs of shoes at the rate they WISH they’d charged me.

Also, isn’t there some law that says a company can’t just ship you things you didn’t order? Are the two spare pairs of shoes mine without me having to pay for them?

Yes. Brook, you may want to call DSW back and read the following to them. It’s taken directly from the FTC’s “Mail Order or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule,” and it applies to Internet orders as well.

Unordered Merchandise

Whether or not the Rule is involved, in any approval or other sale you must obtain the customer’s prior express agreement to receive the merchandise. Otherwise the merchandise may be treated as unordered merchandise. It is unlawful to:

1. Send any merchandise by any means without the express request of the recipient (unless the merchandise is clearly identified as a gift, free sample, or the like); or,

2. Try to obtain payment for or the return of the unordered merchandise.

Merchants who ship unordered merchandise with knowledge that it is unlawful to do so can be subject to civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. Moreover, customers who receive unordered merchandise are legally entitled to treat the merchandise as a gift. Using the U.S. mails to ship unordered merchandise also violates the Postal laws.

Explain this to DSW and then file a chargeback on the $100.82 charge. Enjoy your back-up shoes.


Note: Brook is a dude. I apologize for the pronoun errors; they have been corrected.

“MAIL OR TELEPHONE ORDER MERCHANDISE RULE” [FTC]