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Coffee machine in home trial/survey

I’ve had a coffee machine sitting in my garage for 18 months now…and it’s not mine!

Oct 2018, I was approached by a survey company to test a well known brand of coffee machine (yet to be released on the market)…worth about $1000. They advised it was factory set to only produce a certain number of coffees. They would arrange to have it returned at the end of the survey.

Dec 2018 it arrived and I started using it.
Jan 2019 I did a follow up survey about using this machine…and we kept using it, until it just stopped…I’m guessing it had reached its magical end number.

July 2019 I sent them a polite email asking about when they would pick it up, and after a few email exchanges, they said they would organise a courier…nothing more heard.

March 2020…they contacted me and stated, “if you have not already done so, please return the machine via Reply paid and drop into a PO.” I notified them again, stating that it would not fit in the boot of my car, as it is a huge, heavy box…and asking could they organise a courier? Which they agreed to…but it appears that was never organised either.

It’s been quite a while now…am I within my rights to dispose of this machine?

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It appears to be abandoned property so without researching it, I would expect that you could dump it.

“Selling” it, if that was even remotely possible, may be a different matter.

In your position you might not need to, but to avoid potential repercussions send the company a written demand to collect it by a certain date or you would deem it abandoned and dispose of it. Whatever medium you use for that letter just be sure to get an email acknowledgement or tracking record it was delivered.

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I agree with @TheBBG.

Also in the correspondence ask if they don’t collect it by xyz date, if instead of disposing it if you can take over ownership of it instead of disposal. If they agree to disposal and you keep it, it isn’t your property to keep and could have legal ramifications. Getting agreement to transfer of ownership removes this risk.

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