Money Moral Dilemma: Is pick and mix nibbling theft?

Former_MSE_Penelope
Former_MSE_Penelope Posts: 536 Forumite
edited 17 March 2010 at 10:53AM in MoneySaving polls
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Is pick 'n' mix nibbling theft?

You’re at the cinema with a friend, they grab a chunk of pick 'n' mix, then when in the queue start eating quite a few of the sweets. You point out they’ve not paid yet, and the reply is “it doesn’t matter they expect a few to go”.

So what would you do?

Are they right? Would you say nothing? Report them to the cinema? Call the police?
Click reply to have your say

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Comments

  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Posts: 4,632 Forumite
    I wouldn't say anything but from that point on they would be an ex friend.
  • alun4
    alun4 Posts: 489
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    I can't see any way it is anything but theft. I would be shocked if someone I had previously considered a friend did that
  • Very simple - it is theft! I would say something to my companion, but not report to the cinema. I certainly wouldn't report to the police!!! I think that's just silly - I doubt the Police would thank you for taking up their time with it...

    In future, I wouldn't trust the person who stole if they showed no remorse.
  • I wouldn't eat it, knowing my luck I'd be arrested and sent to jail! Theoretically it is stealing and therefore wrong, however honestly I wouldn't really care if someone else did purely because the price of pic and mix at the cinema is so extortionate you feel as though they are robbing you blind anyway and therefore it somehow seems more acceptable than other stealing.
  • rinoa778
    rinoa778 Posts: 196 Forumite
    I wouldn't eat food before/without paying for it. If my friend did this, I would probably roll my eyes and maybe question them, 'Are you sure that's allowed?'
    If they got away with it, good for them but if not, well...I did try to warn them. I would not report them, I would turn a blind eye.

    My only exception to this rule is the grape rule. You are allowed to try one grape to see if they are worth buying!
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  • bigwigtom
    bigwigtom Posts: 27 Forumite
    If someone I knew had the cajones to do this, I'd be very amused.

    Cinemas take pride in charging us extortionate prices for tickets, sweeties and drinks. The rise in price of cinema tickets alone has grossly outpaced inflation over the last 10 years. I've no sympathy for them - they are screwing over their customers to rake in more profits, good on anyone who can in some small way give them a symbolic middle finger by nicking some sweeties.

    Having worked in places like this, I can tell you the staff couldn't care less. The cinema probably loose kilos worth of sweets due to spoilage, stock errors and 'staff testing'. The cost price of these things is phenomenally low, especially at the volumes the cinema is buying in, and so you're really talking about a few pence worth of sweets. If a paying customer eats one or two (we're assuming they're not taking great handfuls) it will have no detrimental effect on the cinema whatsoever. In fact if they gave every paying customer a handful of sweets, they'd still be making a good profit (it would also be a good marketing ploy too!).

    If somone is so hard-up and/or stupid to risk trouble with the police by stealing some sweets then really, they deserve our sympathy.
  • Of course it's theft but no way would I report anyone for it.
    I know it doesn't make it right and I wouldn't do it myself but I reckon cinemas are asking for it really by grossly inflating the prices and searching bags for sweets on the way in. They actually have a ban on bringing your own sweets which, IMO, should also be outlawed. They rip off their customers so I suppose they can have little room for complaint if some of the customers return the compliment. Doesn't make it right of course but does make it understandable.
  • mr-tom_2
    mr-tom_2 Posts: 131 Forumite
    Yes it's theft. I wouldn't report them for such a trivial amount, but neither would I be terribly inclined to trust them myself...
  • onlineo
    onlineo Posts: 46 Forumite
    If someone just tries a sweet or 2 to see if they want to put it in the pick and mix they are buying then things are fine. I do this when I buy a pick and mix (usually about once a year) and frequently when I buy grapes. Both times I usually spend about £3 and Im simply not going to buy them if I dont know I like them.

    With the grapes this has stopped me purchasing many "seedless grapes" that turn out to have seeds in them! Conversly if the grapes taste really good I might buy 2 bags of them.
  • I don't know where this "grape rule" has come from. People use this on cherries when we have them at work and I find stones EVERYWHERE and tbh its disgusting. If your going to steal them at least have the good grace to take the stone covered in your saliva with you cause I don't want to touch it. Theft is theft. If every single person took one sweet from the pic and mix in the cinema times that by every cinema in the chain thats a *lot* of lost profit. Some folks are more honest though.
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