I had a hard time coming up with an accurate title.

I had worked for a company where I went to different public locations to promote, advertise and sell certain products. I felt the company was unfair on a few occasions. They seemed to find ways to get employees to work for free, for example sending training details in emails that we were supposed to be red off the clock. I no longer work for them and am not interested in working for them again. Shortly after I stopped working for the company, they sent out an email saying the entire program was coming to an end and effectively everyone was laid off. In the mass-delivered email it said all company assets must be returned and to send a confirmation with an itemized list of all assets. Of course it's fair the company get its assets back. I don't think it's fair I spend unpaid time doing it. They didn't even include details on how to return the assets but I wont be using any of my own money for shipping (reimbursements have been an issue with them in the past).

I still have a company credit card which I would like to get rid of. I was thinking of asking them if I can cut it up myself and send them a picture. A lot of the assets they shipped to me without even asking me. I think all of them have already been returned but I don't fully recall. Many assets listed in the email seem very trivial, like "bag", "notepad" and I haven't kept close track of these and not sure if I ever had them. I mean what if I used up the notepad and junked it?

There is a term in the contract stating that if I don't return the kit I would be charged $40. However I never received a single "kit" and received assets at various times. Also the contract for the credit card is different as says nothing at all about its return. I have already been paid in full. I hate to think like this but considering neither of us know what I have, should I just ignore their emails? What's the best way to approach this? Should I ask them if they have a list of assets they believe I have? Some of the assets were clearly intended to be consumable/disposable.

Management and the point of contacts frequently changed. The person asking for the assets back is the new manager since I left the company.

(in this question a manager from the company I had worked for eventually came to my home and used her vehicle to pickup the company assets. She was rude, she told me to hurry up and wouldn't even help carry anything. I don't want anyone from the company coming to my home again but maybe I can just leave the assets outside if I find any)

  • 4
    Could you use the company credit card to pay for shipping back anything you have?
    – motosubatsu
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 11:23
  • 2
    How long ago did you stop working for them? Some of these things should have been resolved as part of the off-boarding. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 11:43

3 Answers 3


Write them a letter or e-mail. Make sure you have an "official" copy

  1. I'll be happy to return the assets as asked
  2. Please provide a detailed list of all the assets that you think are outstanding with enough detail so they can be clearly identified
  3. Please provide instructions on how to return them,
  4. if you require shipping, please provide a pre-paid shipping label from your preferred shipper
  5. If you want me to return this in person, I will have to charge you an hourly rate of xxx$ for my time expenditure
  6. If you sent someone over to pick up the items, I can do this for
  7. Please let me know how you want to proceed.
  • While asking for a list is a nice idea, it might enable the company to just come up with random things the OP never received. It might be better for the OP to list his items instead.
    – Caroline
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 9:01
  • 2
    @Caroline or with the request for a list a request for proof that the items on the list were sent, AND that Hilmar received the shipments.
    – NDEthos
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 23:37

You signed a contract indicating that they can charge you $40 for unreturned items. you agreed to this contract. If you thought it would be too burdensome, you should not have agreed to these terms.

Any bad treatment by them in the past does not absolve you of your obligations.

You should arrange a time for someone from the company to come pick it up. Make sure you include all assets, and that the person that comes to your property signs for them.

  • 4
    If I understand correctly the $40 is for a kit OP says they never received.
    – jcm
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 11:02
  • @jcm That detail was added after the fact it seems... Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 12:44

Don't overthink this. It sounds like you were a member of some sort of street team. If that's the case, rest assured the company isn't overthinking it.

If the company credit card has your personal name on it, cut it in half and send it to the company by post. Include a letter saying you believe you returned all their assets you still have. Ask them, if they disagree, to remind you what what assets you still have so you gather them together to be picked up. Or just throw their stuff in a post-office box and send them by the cheapest and slowest postal service.

What are they going to do? The worst they can do is send you a bill for $40.

Don't take the "rude" personally. Don't take any of this personally. It sounds like they're winding down some project and they don't care about it anymore. Probably some finance person is asking them to check off [] assets returned on some form.

  • 2
    Hopefully, they don't have his credit card on file. If they do, he should ask his bank to deactivate it and send him a new one. As to the letter, he shouldn't use the words "I believe", nor should he challenge them to send a list. He should just say, I'm returning your asset. Period. If he expresses any doubt in his letter, it may be used against him. The same goes if he implies that he forgot to send them something else back. The less he says, the better. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 12:51
  • @StephanBranczyk your approach is a good one. My approach complies with their request, while putting the burden on them to follow up if they care. Either one might work.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 13:01
  • Don't get me wrong. I definitely think you should put the burden on them to follow up if they care. But I also think you should put on them the burden to tell you that they disagree with your letter/email/assertion. On an unrelated note, I also think either answer should work. I even upvoted your answer. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 14:12

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