Motor Shipping Question

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Piled Higher and Deeper
TRF Supporter
Jan 26, 2009
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thank u, next
(not sure if this belongs here or in Propulsion, mods edit as necessary)

I know questions relating to this have been asked previously, but this situation is slightly different. I'll ask the question first, and put down the background later for those interested (?).

Question: I ordered USPS-shippable motors from an online vendor and they were shipped to the wrong address. In a phone conversation, the vendor told me that I could have the people at the wrong address relabel the box with the correct address and mail it to me, as long as the "surface" labels stayed intact. Is this correct? (It didn't sound right to me.)

Backstory: I'm in Indiana for grad school, and I brought some rockets to fly with me. I ordered some small hobby motors from an online vendor -- all USPS shippable -- and attempted to direct the shipment to my Indiana address, rather than my home address in California. Unfortunately, I made a mistake typing in my Indiana address -- got everything right, except I put down CA as the state out of force of habit. And magically, my shipment of motors ended up at my house in California.

I called the vendor a few minutes ago and told them what had happened; apparently, even though the address, city, and zip code were correct, the shipment system saw the mistake in the address, and instead of doing something reasonable like flagging the purchase for manual intervention, defaulted to shipping the box to my billing address. The vendor told me to have my parents (living at the billing address) simply relabel and repostage the box, and drop it back in the mail to the correct address, making sure not to obscure the "surface" notation.

I seem to recall this topic coming up previously (with the end result being that I'm pretty much hosed), but not in the situation where the box hasn't been unsealed. I figure if they dropped it back in the mail, it'd kind of be a "return to sender" situation -- so not sure on the legality of the whole thing.


(relabeling the box as "Model Airplane Parts" and shipping it doesn't count as a legitimate plan of action ;))