I Try And Do A Good Deed, But Crate & Barrel Makes Me Pay For My Honesty

Subtlefrog ordered one kitchen rug from Crate & Barrel, but the company sent her four. She did her research with the Federal Trade Commission and concluded she wasn’t required to send the items back, but wanted to be nice and return them anyway.

And thus began her problems. Dealing with the company has proven to be more of a headache than it’s worth. Subtlefrog writes:

I first emailed them and waited about five days to hear back. Email responses from C&B about getting the rugs picked up took at least 4-5 days. Skip through several cycles of this, with me continually wondering if there would be a response (and each response starting with “We apologize for the delay in response…”), tripping over this gigantic rug box when I am home. Then, despite my request to work together to schedule a day that works for both of us because I don’t have a secure place I can just leave the package for pickup, and I travel 3-4 days a week for work, I received an email, out of the blue, saying they had scheduled a pickup. Unfortunately, by this point, I had actually given up and had given the extra rugs away. More emails, another scheduled pickup for a day I wasn’t there. I finally explained that I had donated the rugs, and that I considered the case closed.

Yesterday, they informed me they have charged my account ~$100 for the rugs they mistakenly sent me. What!? I emailed back and explained that I have donated the rugs (again), and that according to the FTC, they may not charge me.

At this point, they said

“Thank you for your email.

We would still be able to request a pick up of the rugs for tomorrow 12/23/10. However, we need to let UPS know how may labels are needed. In the meantime, we have forwarded the entire email to our finance department for further review.”

I’m not entirely certain how to make the woman understand that I am not in possession of the rugs, and thus will not be sending them back tomorrow, when I once again will not be at my house to put them out — even if I had them. I am ready to scream. I have not even replied to this email because I don’t know how to explain this again.

I am sure I can chargeback the rugs if they do end up charging me, but I would like to not have to go through all those hoops.

If you’ve ever been sent more of an item than what you ordered, what did you do with the excess items? And what would you do if Crate & Barrel put you over a crate and/or barrel like this if you tried to do the right thing?