incrediBILL - 11:23 am on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)
So the FTC says the opposite what you are saying - the buyer has an obligation to cooperate in case of an honest shipping error.
It said "offer" to return it, it didn't say you had to return it.
There was nothing there stating it was a hard rule that you even had to offer.
bill him for the goods
You could try sending them a bill for it, but I certainly wouldn't charge them for it. What if they refuse to pay a bill? Then what, reporting someone to a credit bureau for something they didn't order could backfire.
I certainly wouldn't recommend charging someone for your shipping mistake as that's likely to be considered fraud. They didn't ask for that item and you shipped it, they aren't responsible for paying for your mistake. It's a risk I certainly wouldn't take with my merchant account and the type of behavior when reported to Paypal causes frozen accounts. This is also something I sure in the heck wouldn't want a customer to report to the BBB, Yelp or anywhere else.
Unless it was real expensive, like thousands of dollars, I'd write it off. Otherwise consult with a lawyer or maybe try to pursue it through small claims court but I think the FTC rules make it moot in court if the customer simply doesn't want to return it.
A situation where it's an expensive lesson learned and double checking orders being shipped in the future should avoid a repeat.