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MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Alan give the laptop back?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
292 replies 45.2K views


  • bandraboybandraboy Forumite
    110 posts
    Of course he has to give it back. If they'd over-charged him, he would demanded the difference back.

    All this "but a big company can absorb the cost" is rubbish. They're all individual branches with budgets and targets - many of them only make a profit on Saturday or Christmas.

    If it was a small amount, they probably would absorb the cost to save embarrassment. But this is a lot of money.
  • janaltusjanaltus Forumite
    155 posts
    This is an interesting moral dilemma I actually encountered. I bought a whole load of stuff at Curry's including a really modern Super 8 film projector (Yeah, that dates it!) and the projector was marked at a whopping 99 pounds and 99 new pence. I paid by credit card and (as is so often the case) I was so excited by my purchase I forgot to look at the receipt until I got home. There I discovered that I'd been charged only 9 pounds and 99 new pence for the projector. I went back into Curry's to explain what had happened. I waited there for so long to get served again (and the staff were so rude) that I gave up and went home again. Funnily enough, I never gave it another thought until, twenty six years later, this question comes up here!

    Lesson to Curry's - if you weren't such a lousy store chain, you might have got your money back!
  • pjvennerpjvenner Forumite
    50 posts
    Size does matter [but don't tell the ladies!]. If the cost of the store's loss is split between 100,000 shareholders [less than a ha'penny each] I could walk out with a clear conscience, a computer, and £396.01

    I'd probably tip the checkout operator £50 and the manager £46.01 for being upfront about my customer rights. I already knew I could keep it but I bet some sales managers would still tell you that you're legally obliged to pay the asking price.
    Energy prices are rising fast so if you like my comment, thank me quickly so you can shut down your computer sooner..! And if you believe Al gore you'll be doing your bit for the planet :confused:
  • tsuttontsutton Forumite
    74 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    When I re-re-re-read what Martin said... and had a thought
    After he'd paid, the manager came up and admited, that the laptop was legally his, but it was an obvious error by a trainee cashier on his first day.

    In summary:

    1) Manager said it's an error by the trainee


    2) Manager said the laptop is legally his

    Therefore, I'd walk away with the laptop, with a big thank you to them.
    - Tony Sutton
  • Abida_2Abida_2 Forumite
    26 posts
    has anyone thought of the repercussions on the member of staff who didnt pick up on the error before ringing it through. I wouldnt sleep thinking I've had someone disciplined - I worked in awful places back in my student days and life can be made hell until you leave. I was severely disciplined, put to a lot of shame and embarrassment when I complained to a regional manager about the way staff were treated in a restaurant. It was horrible.
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  • DorrieDorrie Forumite
    66 posts
    I have morals so I would pay the difference! Yes, it was their fault, and yes, they should certainly have had an experienced member of staff overseeing the trainee, but you are well aware that the wrong price has gone through.

    I would have stopped the transaction as soon as I noticed the amount was wrong.

    And yes, I do go back into Tesco's when I realise something hasn't gone through the checkout (maybe left at the bottom of the trolley), etc. They are usually gobsmacked by it. If they then say not to worry about it, my conscience would be clear as I had pointed out the error.

    I am an Avon representative, and often end up with items in my order that have not been included on the invoice. I always send them back because I know they aren't mine - if I keep the items it is stealing. I realise this is slightly different, but I would know the amount was wrong and would feel guilty about not paying the difference.
  • A.JonesA.Jones Forumite
    508 posts
    No, he should not return it.

    If the item was scanned, then the mistake would not have been made at the till, it would have been made at database / price entry point.

    So there are two possibilities:

    1) The company is using a trainee on their first day to enter prices, and not checking their work.

    2) A more experienced person made the error, and the manager lied about the trainee on the cashdesk making the error.

    Either way, the manager should learn from this, and the loss of profit in his store should help in this learning process.
  • SheepsterSheepster Forumite
    114 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Well if it was a small shop, course I'd let them have it back.

    If it was an impersonal large chain run by muppets - different matter. I'm thinking of a branch of Currys - the manager there is a small stereotypical slimy shady character. A few years ago insulted me in the shop when I was trying to buy an item, and when I told him for the billionth time I didn't want their extended insurance, and quoted the sale of goods act, he declared he didn't care less about the law and would refuse "so called customer rights". I also on a different occasion had massive difficulties with this idiot when something broke down well within their guarantee. The local pc world in the same town told me they daren't go into Currys in their work gear as that manager tells his staff to shout abuse at them. I obviously can't name the town and thus identify it :rotfl:
    Well if it was that place and it was Mr Slimy who came up to me and tried to get me to do HIM a favour......oh can you imagine what I'd be doing :rotfl:
  • ScoobyZScoobyZ Forumite
    432 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Photogenic
    This happened at my wifes store, not with a laptop. Scanned correctly at till, but missed a digit on the Credit card machine which had to be entered manually.

    It was so distressing for the new member of staff that she felt she had let everyone down and left shortly afterwards.
  • spirospiro Forumite
    6.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    As the biggest electrical chain has just said it is going to retrain all of its staff I wonder if this occured in one of their stores? On the issue of do you keep it or not I think I would have given them 2 options (a) give it to me with a 50% discount (split the error) or (b) I keep it at the 99% discounted price.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
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