A man wrote in to the Consumerist blog to tell his story about a Christmas purchase he bought from Adidas that had gone missing.
The man said initially he waited for his package that he'd purchased on Dec. 19, figuring it was a last minute purchase, although he said he'd paid for express 2-3 days shipping.
He thought maybe the package got held up. However, when the parcel didn't arrive after Christmas, he decided to give both Adidas and UPS a call to verify his shipping and billing addresses.
After a purported series of phone calls, the man learns his purchase hadn't gone missing at all, it had been delivered, just not delivered to him.
The frustrated man is identified only as Christopher. According to the Consumerist, the man was able to ascertain the gift of shoes he'd gotten for his wife was shipped to a bar.
Not only was the package left at a bar, an employee at the bar signed for it.
Christopher writes to the Consumerist,
"So, after Christmas I was pretty mad and decided to call adidas and UPS to find out just what was going on, which led me to find out that some guy who works the front desk at a bar downtown has accepted my package and they had approval to ship the shoes there. I still have no idea how they managed to ship the shoes to a bar, how it was okay for a guy at a front desk there to sign for it, and most of all, how it never shipped to the house that I have been stuck in and unemployed in since november of last year, but somehow, I figured I could get my package back."
After numerous calls, Chris still doesn't have the shoes. He said he is familiar with the bar/restaurant, but hadn't been there in years.
Chris shares with the Consumerist an email he received from the customer service department at Adidas. The Consumerist reported the company informed Christopher that UPS notified Adidas the recipient had already picked up the shoes at the bar. This purchase was considered a completed delivery.
"As you can see, I was very happy to find out that I've been cloned and that my clone was nice enough to pick up my shoes for me, which I guess will be dropped off shortly," says Christopher.
In the meantime, Christopher cannot seemingly get a refund or a replacement pair of shoes. Adidas says they are investigating the issue and he should have a response within two weeks.
No one knows who actually picked the shoes up, and no mention if the man, or anyone else, has spoken to the person on duty at the bar at the time of signing, or handing over of, the package to the unknown person who claimed ownership and walked off with the shoes.
Unanswered questions. Could a scammer have intervened?
There are lots of unanswered questions in Christopher's situation. Consumerist commenter 'StarKillerX' asked, "I'm curious is the address was changed, and how, or if they were just randomly delivered across town?"
Commenter posting as 'Mrs. w/1 child' suggests a scam occurred and describes when she was managing condos she saw scams where goods were intercepted by someone who gets access to the buyer account and changes the shipping address. She writes,
"The key to the scam is that are your goods are arriving at a bar, high rise, etc. where it is common to have a large drop off each day. The front desk guy counts the packages (let's say 27) and then signs for all 27 from the delivery guy. Later the doorman or package room attendant sorts the packages but it could be on a different shift (the hot stuff magically disappearing when the shifts change) or the stolen merch is sorted for a vacant unit or a unit where the people are only seasonal residents. Then the "resident" (another accomplice) comes and picks up the hot stuff. On camera it looks legit."
While all the details in this incident are not revealed, in general there are other ways consumers can work to resolve problems if the merchant does not effectively resolve the issue.
Possible solutions for undelivered goods
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests solutions
for consumer situations where merchandise is not received.
The agency cites The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) which lists several instances in commerce where a consumers can file a dispute and work with their credit card companies One of the reasons listed is, "charges for goods and services you didn't accept or weren't delivered as agreed."
It is recommended to try and resolve with the merchant first.