MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Arkwright give Granville his money back?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should Arkwright give Granville his money back?

Granville walks into a computer shop and is assisted by the shop owner, Arkwright. He chooses a £399 laptop and takes it to the till, where he’s served by one of Arkwright’s junior shop assistants. He’s reading the instructions and doesn’t notice the computer's rung up at £499 by mistake, and absentmindedly puts his pin code in and pays. It’s only when he gets home that he notices the problem and calls the shop. Should Arkwright give him the money back?
Click reply to have your say.

This dilemma was suggested by MoneySaver John Harvey, to see how it differs from Should Alan give the laptop back? where the boot was on the other foot.

Previous MMDs:
Should you still help your kids get on the housing ladder?
Should you foot the bridesmaid bill?



  • thetheboy
    thetheboy Posts: 327 Forumite
    To keep good customer service and it is an obvious mistake the opposite happened to me in a paper shop i bought a sunday paper( havent they gone up in price?!) and handed over a fiver and got change for a tenner and I pointed out the mistake.;)

    I got some very strange looks :eek: from the other customers but he was an independent shop keeper and it was alot of money ish if it had been smiths I would have thought twice...

    so yes Arkright should give the £100 pounds back...
    if the boot goes on the other shoe or something
    It's better to travel hopefully than arrive...
  • kah22
    kah22 Posts: 1,825
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!

    There is no dilemma here. The article was priced at £399 a mistake was made and charged at £499. The refund should be made - end of story.

    I'd like to know from any legal readers out there is this theift on behalf of the shop, I mean holding onto money which has been overcharged when their attention has been drawn to it and proof exsists?.

    But what if the shop decided to hold on to the £100. Well he's entered his pin code if is a credit card just cancel the payment and give the computer back. I wouldn't be of that firm again.

    I'd also report him to the local trading standards officer.

  • sasparillo
    sasparillo Posts: 338 Forumite
    Can he claim the £100 back from his credit card? Just a thought.
  • shadej
    shadej Posts: 323 Forumite
    I can't see any shop not refunding once they have realized. I'm sure he would have got a very big sorry. If it were Tesco he would have got back £200. If they over charge you they refund you double. The money should be re-payed and he should be offered a 10% discount for the inconvenience of having to return to the store.
  • Taffybiker
    Taffybiker Posts: 927 Forumite
    The law is there mostly to protect the consumer. If the shop refused to pay back the difference they would be liable in court.
    If the shop had made the error of last week and undercharge, it would still be their fault for not running their business properly.
    Either way, the buyer wins.
    Try saying "I have under-a-pound in my wallet" and listen to people react!
  • Electronic tills linked to chip and pin devices do not "ring up" anything. The price is generated by a barcode which is obviously incorrect in this instance and of course the shop owner would put it right. What sane trader wouldn't ?
  • Electronic tills linked to chip and pin devices do not "ring up" anything. The price is generated by a barcode which is obviously incorrect in this instance and of course the shop owner would put it right. What sane trader wouldn't ?

    I think you may be 'suffering' from the common misconception that the bar code contains the price - it doesn't it is simply a number which the till system looks up in a database. Having worked in a small computer shop I can also add that it's likely they don't sell enough laptops to justify keeping them in the system (the cost/machine changes too frequently) so the till is likely to require the operator to enter the price.

    FWIW I would refund the money, from the point of view of customer care - keeping the customer and not having them bad mouth the company is likely to be worth more than £100 over a long enough period.
  • zebulon
    zebulon Posts: 677 Forumite
    i think I must be missing something in this story ... I don't see a dilemma!!!

    you got to a store, buy a computer (COMPUTER, we are not talking fruit and vegs) you are charged 499 instead of 399 ....
    I mean come on, you go back to the store and have to be given your money back!!! You have a receipt for 399 and are charge 499 on card (for which you have a different little receipt by the way...)
    What the hell is this question, I must be missing something.
  • pezza88
    pezza88 Posts: 28 Forumite
    The dilemma is that when undercharged, people say to keep the money and when the shop is overpaid, they say to get your money back.

    Either you correct any mistake (for or against you) or you take the rough with the smooth. Anything else is hypocrisy pure and simple.
  • If the laptop was £499 and they'd mislabelled it at £399 then the shop is not legally obliged to sell it at £399. So I don't think they'd be obliged to give you the £100 back. However I think they would have to let you return the laptop and give you a full refund.

    From a customer service point of view though I would have thought major chains would give you the £100.
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