back to article What the duck? Bloke keeps getting sent bathtime toys in the post – and Amazon won't say who's responsible

A chap from County Durham in northeast England is suffering a very specific mallardy – one of rubber ducks sent to his home address from Amazon with alarming regularity. The Northern Echo reports that 76-year-old Peter Jackson has received a bathtime plaything "almost every day" for the better part of three weeks. Among the …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    Eider thought it was down to some chick who fancies a dabble but it must be driving him quackers.

    1. Bonzo_red

      While his feathers may have been ruffled, at least he wasn't being fleeced.

      1. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge

        His nest egg hasn't been touched... he didn't even get the bill.

        1. The Jon
          Coat

          What's the French for duck?

          It's "Canard".

          Well, I wouldn't ask if it was easy...

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Coat

            These puns have beaked...

            1. BenDwire Silver badge

              ... and most of them were fowl

              1. Sanguma Bronze badge

                I'm quacking up!!!

  2. Pier Reviewer

    Review stuffing

    It’s a known scam. Buy a load of cheap tat, giving a fake address. Get 100% buyer feedback. Convert account to a seller. Now you’ve got a seller account with loads of positive feedback. Totally trustworthy right?...

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Review stuffing

      TFA *literally* mentions that and says Amazon have checked that it isn't that.

      1. Pier Reviewer

        Re: Review stuffing

        Yeah. Poacher checks on hen house. Looks good gov’...

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Review stuffing

          Ah, the old butcher inspecting his own meat bit. A true classic!

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Review stuffing

            You can go blind inspecting your own meat.

            1. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
              Pint

              Re: Review stuffing

              Thank goodness I stopped once I started wearing glasses.

              Just in time.

        2. cyberdemon
          Devil

          Enter your child's birthdate for age-based recommendations and more.

          Anyone else noticed this insidious piece of dubiously-consensual direct marketing from Amazon?

          Also, in one photo, the child is holding a ducky that says 'HOT', indicating that it might be burning her.

      2. Adam JC

        Re: Review stuffing

        To be fair, how would Amazon even be able to verify this if the account is still at the stage where it's bloating it's reputation up?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Review stuffing

          A couple of options:

          1) if there were no reviews entered.

          2) if they contacted the buyer who verified it's a bar bet/publicity stunt/performance art piece.

          Regarding the last possibility: I went to college with a guy ("Jim") who decided it would be fun to pick a random household out of a phone book. Jim would periodically send them postcards of his travels (real and/or fictional, I don't recall). After several years of this gag, Jim developed a fatal disease, and came clean in a letter, not wanting them to be left wondering about the letter.

          I probably have some details wrong... this was some time ago. I lost touch with Jim after college, and found out the above story after his death.

    2. Tomato Krill

      Re: Review stuffing

      Known scam on eg eBay, yes - but feedback doesnt work like that on Amazon it's only left for sellers, no benefit to being a buyer in this respect

  3. sorry, what?
    Facepalm

    Wasn't decided feather to post a comment...

    before it took off in a flurry, or to avoid such fowl use of the forum. As you can seabird, I avian uff pecking puns to post. Nest time I'll flight the temptation. Prey for me.

  4. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Whoever is spending that much money and effort on a prank must be on quack.

    1. Scotthva5

      That was mildly amusing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It wasn't mildly amusing, it's brain dead shite.

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          'It wasn't mildly amusing, it's brain dead shite.'

          Being brain dead is what happens when you're on crack after a bit presumably. I'm with the commenter above you though. I thought my comment was mildly amusing too and I just had to get it out there. Puns need an outlet.

  5. Emir Al Weeq

    Other people are joining in the prank?

    Oh no!

    I've been receiving unsolicited Lamborghinis for the last two weeks. When is it ever going to stop?

    1. Wormy

      Re: Other people are joining in the prank?

      That's the problem with Lamborghinis... the brakes are awful! It's NOT going to stop!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other people are joining in the prank?

      Driving around one day, I spotted 10 Lamborghinis. Even managed to overtake a couple of them. This was in co. Kerry, Southern Ireland. They were all Lamborghini Tractors.

    3. Kane Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Other people are joining in the prank?

      "I've been receiving unsolicited Lamborghinis for the last two weeks. When is it ever going to stop?"

      Tempting...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I haven't a funny quip to add to all these.

    Sorry.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I haven't a funny quip to add to all these.

      Oh come on, just wing it...

      1. Robert Moore
        Coat

        Re: I haven't a funny quip to add to all these.

        What if he tried and just ended up with egg on his face?

        1. Sanguma Bronze badge

          Re: I haven't a funny quip to add to all these.

          egg on his face?

          Poached? Fried? Boiled? Scrambled? Enquiring minds wants to know!

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: I haven't a funny quip to add to all these.

      You could have just egged on the others.

    3. bazza Silver badge

      Re: I haven't a funny quip to add to all these.

      Ok, it’s fine to duck out of this one.

    4. sysconfig

      Re: I haven't a funny quip to add to all these.

      No beak deal.

  7. Nifty Bronze badge

    He'll have to get all his ducks in a row to sort this one out.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yellow Duck? Part anagram: dell.co.uk!

    I think I've found the culprit...though the one they delivered to me is more lemon.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Yellow Duck? Part anagram: dell.co.uk!

      Lemon Curry?

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Yellow Duck? Part anagram: dell.co.uk!

      Lemon ChickenDuck

  9. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I did something similar once...

    A friend of mine really likes LawnGnomes. His birthday had been fast approaching when I hit upon a surprise. I purchased one new LG every day for a week, sent them to him with the gift card reading "Happy birthday!", and "signed" it as if it had come from Old Man Henderson.

    He whined to me about it over drinks on his birthday, frustrated that he didn't know who the hell was sending them to him. He figured it out when I started laughing my ass off.

    He showed me just how much trouble I was in when he pointed out the fact that each LG had come in a large box, filled half full of styro packing peanuts, the LG nestled in a styro cube, then the rest of the box filled to bursting with a final bunch of the peanuts. He had seven boxes of the stuff & nowhere to put any of it, a fact that his wife was Not Happy about.

    I told her it was my fault & took the boxes of peanuts off her hands, for which I was taken off her shit list.

    I poured all the peanuts into a "lawn & leaf" bag, tied it closed, & mailed it back to Amazon as a CashOnDelivery package that cost me nothing.

    I'm sure they were <Sarcasm>Thrilled</Sarcasm>. =-D

    1. DryBones

      Re: I did something similar once...

      That's what I do a lot. Most any place that uses packing peanuts (shippers, etc) will accept more (don't trash them!). Well, no idea if the pandemic had affected that, but used to.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I did something similar once...

      "a fact that his wife was Not Happy about"

      Why does that conjure an image so succinctly, and why do I get the feeling that just about all the blokes on this site know exactly what you mean?

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        Re: I did something similar once...

        There is another euphamism that is popular on this side of The Pond at least that goes "She Who Must Be Obeyed" (SWMBO). It is always capitalized, always said in sepulchre tones of ultimate doom, & is meant to indicate that failure to obey may, can, & often does result in the imminent death of the offender.

        The fact that my friend's SWMBO Was Not Happy is pretty much intended to mean that someone, likely him if no other target could be found, would be shortly found strung up a tree by their scrotum & used as a speed sack punching bag.

        I knew this, knew it was my fault he was Up Shit Creek, so came clean to SWMBO in order to save his bacon. I said that I hadn't known that each LG would be encased in so much of the offending peanuts, I had thought the LG would be encased in the styro cube to protect it in transit. How was I to know that Amazon would insist on further packing it in enough additional padding to insulate it from a direct tactical nuclear strike?

        I appologized profusely (there may have been abject groveling & foot kissing involved, but that's a different fantasy), and SWMBO calmed Her Righteous Wrath enough to let me live.

        For those of you homosexuals laughing at us straight folks, don't get too uppity. You've got a HWMBO to contend with & he's just as dangerous to your health. =-)P

  10. Mystic Megabyte
    Coat

    Easy..

    Just search for the culprit using DuckDuckGo!

    1. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

      Re: Easy..

      It's not a terrible PR\viral campaign for DuckDuckGo?

      I mean.. Duck duck quack in the message?

  11. msknight

    As funny as this is...

    ...this response does not improve the situation for Amazon. The bloke's being harassed (you know, a few days or a week might have been funny, but the more time goes on, the more it must be wearing on the bloke) and here are Amazon taking the mick. Not a good look, Jeff.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: As funny as this is...

      There's plenty the chap could do back if he was so inclined.

      Firstly just tell the delivery driver that you hadn't ordered anything from Amazon and simply refuse to accept delivery on the basis that you didn't place the order.

      If they try and dump the parcel on your door, simply point out that'd be fly tipping waste. I think Amazon would quickly get fed up with their time being wasted and would do something to prevent reoccourance.

      If that failed, write them a letter saying that you no longer consent to having your personal data (name & address) stored on their systems. Then, next time you get something delivered put a GDPR complaint in to the ICO. That'd at least be entertaining, since it costs nothing for you to do and it's a disproportionate amount of hassle for the company to deal with compared to stopping the 3rd party having stuff delivered to him.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's plenty the chap could do back if he was so inclined.

        Perhaps he could start re-selling the stuff on ebay, and undercut the original supplier :-)

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: There's plenty the chap could do back if he was so inclined.

          Scrap lawnmower engines. Some bloke from the council parks department bought the lot for £150, so I bought another load.

        2. Graham Lockley

          Re: There's plenty the chap could do back if he was so inclined.

          Reminds me of a meeting when I worked for OR. A particularly obnoxious/self important senior manager warned that genuine NTE's (telephone front plates) were being sold on Ebay at a price that was lower than what OR was paying for them. Obvious accusation was engineers selling 'surplus stock' . Much laughter when some wag at the back suggested they buy them from Ebay as they were clearly the cheapest supplier.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: As funny as this is...

        "Firstly just tell the delivery driver that you hadn't ordered anything from Amazon and simply refuse to accept delivery on the basis that you didn't place the order."

        Requesting a return would cause more trouble for them. I must admit I haven't tried requesting a return label and pick-up for something they delivered that I hadn't ordered but twice they've done that themselves for stuff I'd ordered and they hadn't delivered.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As funny as this is...

          "Requesting a return would cause more trouble for them."

          A neighbour was complaining that he recently had several items from Amazon which for various reasons he wanted to return. They did the refund - and told him that with the pandemic they didn't want the items returned. He was left wondering at what value threshold they would want something returned.

        2. SuperGeek

          Re: As funny as this is...

          You don't have to accept it and then start a return. Just refuse it in front of the driver. I've done it with neighbour's packages, as well as my own when I decided I didn't want them.

      3. agurney

        Re: As funny as this is...

        Firstly just tell the delivery driver that you hadn't ordered anything from Amazon and simply refuse to accept delivery on the basis that you didn't place the order...

        That doesn't work during Covid - delivery drivers are just leaving goods on doorsteps, maybe taking a photo as proof of delivery in lieu of a signature, then ringing the doorbell and scarpering. By the time I get to the door they're already in the their van ready to go.

        1. wiltshirejohn

          Re: As funny as this is...

          You're lucky - round here the couriers don't even ring the bloody bell.

      4. Tomato Krill

        Re: As funny as this is...

        Firstly, that's not st all how GDPR works.

        And secondly, if his name and address is store on none of their systems, what impediment is that to the prankster placing the next order?

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: As funny as this is...

          This is why you have to list purposes of processing. It's quite possible to have data that you're allowed to use for one purpose but not for others. I'm not quite so blasé about what's going on here. Okay, the ducks are fairly harmless and slightly amusing (is he a friend of James Veitch?), but it's fairly easier to conjure up much more sinister pranks using this method, so Amazon's response when he objected is pretty poor. Just as you used to be able to have a block put on nuisance callers they should be willing to prevent any further shipments from that purchaser.

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: As funny as this is...

          Well, if you've told Amazon you don't consent to their processing your details and you want it removed then according to the letter of the law they are supposed to remove those details. If somebody else adds those details in without the consent of the person named then technically it is a GDPR breach as Amazon are holding details that you've told them that you have told them that you do not consent for them to hold.

          At the moment if he tries to responsibly raise a complaint with Amazon it takes him a lot longer to raise the complaint than it takes Amazon to ignore the complaint. Once you've created a standard complaint to the ICO, it takes far, far, far less work for you to raise the complaint than it does for Amazon to respond to it.

          Obviously it is a weak case, but that's beside the point, which is that Amazon's legal department will find it far more expedient to persuade their operations team to bring these capers to an abrupt halt than they would enjoy turning the ICO into a hostile belligerent when the ICO starts getting multiple separate and justified complaints a week.

      5. First Light Bronze badge

        Re: As funny as this is...

        Yeah but he's 76 and probably has better things to do with his time. Why should he have to do anything?

  12. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "the case is yet to be quacked"

    Oh my God, that should have happened on a Friday.

    Would have been a perfect article for that.

    Well done on the puns in any case !

  13. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge

    Were they lost from a catainer in the Pacific?

    Didn't a load find their way to the Atlantic by way of the Arctic Ocean back in the nineties?

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Were they lost from a catainer in the Pacific?

      I didn't realise that Rubber Ducks came from the Arctic.

      I learn something new every day :-)

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Were they lost from a catainer in the Pacific?

      Friendly Floatees have travelled vast distances across oceans but there have been no recent sightings.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Were they lost from a catainer in the Pacific?

      Oceanographers used them as a means of tracing currents.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Were they lost from a catainer in the Pacific?

        What do they use to trace sultanas?

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: Were they lost from a catainer in the Pacific?

          A very small pencil

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Were they lost from a catainer in the Pacific?

            I'm ashamed to admit that took me a moment to work out, nice one

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cheapskate

    The giver is a cheapskate/idiot/PC. For less money (free shipping), s/he could be sending nine times as many ducks.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bathtime-Water-Toys-Rubber-Ducks/dp/B00BEJGC3U/

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Send them to Bezos

    with compliments naturally.

    I'm sure they'd stop soon enough.

    Failing that just stop accepting deliveries from Amazon. If we all did that they'd be in deep do-do in no time.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Send them to Bezos

      Elon sent a car to the asteroid belt. Jeff could use New Glenn + Blue Moon to send a pile of friendly floatees to Oceanus Procellarum so Curtis an map some more ocean currents.

  16. LoPath
    Mushroom

    Not brushing

    This is no different than sending someone a "bag of dicks". Yes, there are companies that will send a bag of gummy dicks anonymously to your favorite politician or whomever. Someone's just having a laugh. A rather odd laugh...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not brushing

      I once received a porn supplier's graphic catalogue through the post. Whoever forged the order knew my address - and my full "formal" name that is only used on very official forms. Even the electoral roll only has initials for my middle names. In context at the time - I could guess which branch of UK officialdom had done that out of spite.

  17. Steve D
    Joke

    Seems like a James Veitch prank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5d8pVg3Qtg

  18. DreamEater

    Streisand effect

    Here’s hoping the prankster doesn’t read El Reg

    Could end up with even more ducks through the letterbox

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Streisand effect

      "'I don't even have a bath'"

      Perhaps Reg readers could crowd fund the price of a bath and get one delivered to him from Amazon

      1. onemark03

        I don't even have a bath

        I'm sure he means "bathtub".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't even have a bath

          I'm pretty sure so does Fruit and Nutcase.

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: I don't even have a bath

            F + NC both say affirmative

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't even have a bath

          I assume that you drive a motor car?

          AC because I bleed easily.

  19. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Should have kept his Edd down

    Eider thought he'd be better off not making a great teal of it and keeping his ruddy wigeon.

  20. Huw D Silver badge

    Amateurs.

    This is how you piss people off with ducks. https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2168387-spiceduck-visits-hq

  21. laughthisoff

    Storks bring babies, not rubber ducks

    "Is there a storker in our midst?"

    I think that should be 'stalker'. Someone shoot the sub-Ed, or at least book him a different mode of baby delivery.

    SB

    1. Huw D Silver badge

      Re: Storks bring babies, not rubber ducks

      Deliberate pun. El Reg style, IMO.

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Storks bring babies, not rubber ducks

      Just send him the ducks.

  22. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It could have been a variation on https://xkcd.com/1807/

  23. Steve K Silver badge

    Duck Duck Go

    Maybe he browsed on DuckDuckGO?

    Heron knows he might cormorant to the idea.

  24. SuperGeek

    Like politicians...

    I thought Amazon may have "ducked" the question. The poor ducks just want a father figure to take them under his wing. Awww.

  25. Nathan 13

    Probably sent to him by James Vetch as he has 100s of them.

  26. FIA

    <duck pun> <duck pun> <duck metaphore> <SEND>

    Do I win?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Close duckie - but no banana even in duck soup.

  27. IGotOut Silver badge

    Depending on size.

    Just cross out your name and dump itbin the nearest post box.

    2 birds 1 stone and all that.

    1. bpfh Silver badge

      Re: Depending on size.

      Also works for unwanted flyers. Send them back in an envelope, postage due, no return address...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Depending on size.

        Used to get a load of junk mail about wining various foreign lotteries - which they will send to me, for a small admin fee of course. I filled in the forms, wrote across it in big letters "Please deduct your fee from my winnings" and then sent it back in the envelope "forgetting" to put a stamp on it.

        Soon stopped after that!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've ducking had enough of these fowl jokes ... Quak it, I mean quit it!

  29. Kev99

    Oh, hell yes it's prevalent. Some jerkarse snagged my username and started sending me orders for very skimpy camisoles. I did discover the perp was from Italy, and fortunately I was never blackballed by Amazon. I changed my user name and the junk stopped.

    1. Tomato Krill

      Theres something missing from that description or it makes literally no sense at all..

      Unless they were being sent *to* your username?

  30. nxnwest

    Balk Mail

    Junk snail mail had its advantages I used to take the unsolicited credit card application from one company and stuff it in the postage paid envelope of another credit card company. I thought they would appreciate the credit offer if I did not and they were paying for it to get mailed.

    Also while waiting in airports filling out the postcards that would fall out of the magazines with bogus addresses and stuffing them in the mailbox..

    Ah the good old days of getting even.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Duck off!

    Sounds like something I’d do.

    CHECKS

    No, wasn’t me.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have you guys ever wanted an author dead?

    And the Amazon thing, I seem to have gotten aroused at the thought of feeling them go under the wheels.

    Please don't just be me.

  33. Jakester

    I also received things from Amazon I didn't order

    I started in January this year and continued once a month through May. I would receive a package Amazon addressed to a person I never heard of to my address. I Googled my street name and could find only one other city in the U.S. with the same name. Each time I would start a chat session with Amazon, lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 hours (they took their time responding after I supplied the latest requested information and just periodically check the chat session). The hardest part was getting them to understand I was not the person who made the order, nor did I know the person who made the order, where they lived, nor that the postman did not deliver to the wrong address, but the package had my address. They would not issue me a return shipment labels because I didn't place the orders. Each time they instructed me to keep, give away, or dispose of the items as I saw fit. Most of the items were worth a few dollars. I was able to use some of the items. The final person I had chatted with I think fully understood the issue and said he would elevate the issue to see if the problem was a bug in their database, procedures or just human error. I think he may have solved the problem as I haven't received any more packages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I also received things from Amazon I didn't order

      You've just given me a great idea on how to get rid of all my DIY waste without forking out loads of money and booking a slot at my local skip

    2. krs360

      Re: I also received things from Amazon I didn't order

      Similar story here. Over the first 4 months of the year I have received haemorrhoid cream, scar cream, some plasters, and randomly a telescope!

      I've contacted amazon to try and return them - not interested and told me to keep them.

      My son enjoys the telescope, and the rest went on ebay.

  34. KBeee
    Joke

    Wrong Peter Jackson

    Perhaps the perpetrator got the wrong Peter Jackson, and was telling him The Hobbit films were dead ducks/dogs breakfasts?

  35. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    WTF?

    I'm getting a kick out of this

    My son recently moved to Hawaii for work. A few weeks after he arrived, found rental housing, and was joined by his family, an office chair showed up, addressed to him at his new address, from Amazon. A $500 office chair. Needless to say, he hadn't ordered one. Or even looked at one.

    Being a responsible adult, he communicated with Amazon. As you may know, the documentation that comes with an Amazon shipment is somewhat...limited, but he did read them the tracking number...and they said it wasn't in their system, so they couldn't help him. He waited a week (because, he thought, someone is going to wonder what happened to the $500 office chair they ordered). and called Amazon again. Same answer: "not in our system"

    So, at this point, he has an office chair he doesn't want, a sender who "doesn't have it in their system", and is trying to figure out how to responsibly get rid of it.

    Doesn't smell like a scam to me -- he hasn't had anyone from "Amazon" trying to pick it up, no order on his or any of his family's Amazon accounts, so he's chalking it up to random incompetence on Amazon's part.

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