The Perfect Ethics Story: The Dilemma Of The Extra iPads

Your ethical dilemma just arrived!

Your ethical dilemma just arrived!

Now here is an example of a consumer episode in which everyone involved behaved with exemplary ethics, and without hidden agendas. There is no need to draw this out—Consumerist does a great job telling the story, and you should read it here. A quick summary:

  • A woman who ordered one iPad from Best Buy received five.
  • Her e-mail to the store about what she should do was unanswered.
  • Legally, she was within her rights to keep the extra merchandise, but (correctly) worried about possible consequences to the worker who made the shipping error,
  • She consulted the consumer advice maven at Consumerist, who tracked down someone at Best Buy to deal with the problem.
  • Best Buy’s rep contacted the consumer, thanked her for her honesty, and sent her this letter:

Good afternoon, Alexa –

Laura, from the Consumerist, contacted us here at Best Buy on your behalf. First and foremost, I wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your honesty. That is so rare in this day and age and I sincerely thank you! We, here at Best Buy, acknowledge that we obviously made a mistake, but in the spirit of the holidays, we encourage you to keep the additional iPads and give them to people in need – friends, family, a local school or charity.

I have not shared this resolution with Laura, as you are the customer, but it is up to you if want to let her know the outcome of your discussion.Thank you so very much for coming forward and I hope your boyfriend enjoys his new iPad. Merry Christmas!

Consumerist concludes…

“This was a solution where everyone wins. Best Buy looks generous, nobody gets fired (we hope), Alexa’s conscience gets to rest, we get to post wacky photos of a huge retail screwup, and some deserving person will get four free iPads.”

Exactly. Good job, everybody.

And Merry Christmas.


Pointer: Fark

Facts and Graphic: Consumerist


4 thoughts on “The Perfect Ethics Story: The Dilemma Of The Extra iPads

  1. Wow. The poll under the article was shocking. 27% (as it stands now) say they’d give them back, almost 50% of the respondents are divided between ‘sell them’ and ‘give them to loved ones’.

  2. Pingback: Profiting on a Company’s Mistake « morallywrite

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