Sunday, January 24, 2010

Honesty is the best policy

Last Wednesday I was shopping at Sears and bought two articles of clothing - a top and a pair of pants. The sales clerk rang them up, I handed her my MasterCard, signed the bill and headed home.

I chide myself constantly for never looking at the bill and just signing. I do it almost everytime and can't seem to break myself of the habit! Anyway, when I got home and glanced at the bill I saw that the first item was rung up at $0.72! I filed away the bill (in order to check it versus the credit card statement) and thus started a four day conversation with myself.

Should I go back to the store and show them the error? Will it create a big hassle and take up a lot of my time? Does the store absorb the loss or will the clerk be held accountable? Has Sears ever given me a hard time (like that would justify not informing them)? Could I give the money to a charity? That would serve them right for selling coats with real fur on them!

Well, today I did the right thing and went back to Sears. You wouldn't believe the total silence by everyone in earshot when I declared that I had been under-charged! You could have heard the proverbial pin drop. The clerk had to call the manager to ask how to correct it. After hanging up the phone she said the manager wants to say "Bonjour" and to thank me. I thought I owed $39.99 minus $0.72 but it turned out the top was on sale and was only $23.99. So I paid it and left the store feeling kind of good.

I certainly do not claim any saintliness in the "honesty" department but this was like stealing and whether it is from an individual or a large corporation, the principle is the same.

1 comment:

  1. I don't tend to look at the amount either. I think I would also do the same thing as you. A few years ago, I received too much change, maybe $5, from the local convenience store and drove off, but I turned back and made it right. I think the good feeling is worth a few bucks.