Money Moral Dilemma: Should I return the overpayment?



  • Honesty is the best policy - what goes around etc.

    I imagine some people at Tesco head office might be very interested to hear about this rather amateur approach in any case - it may be indicative of a security problem they need to look at.

    At the very least you help them identify a training and service improvement opportunity.

    At worst you have to pay back the money but you'll know it's actually gone back to Tesco.

    I'm a natural born cynic and my previous worklife in retail with various employers leads me to i) echo the comments here that no large retail organisation would expect or even authorise a checkout or till operator to contact a customer directly and ii) point out that some retail staff are unfortunately not as law-abiding as you'd like and do some spectacularly stupid things they must know they'lll get caught for to generate themselves extra income. Wouldn't put it past some one to overpay on purpose with an angle of getting the money back themselves playing on a sympathy angle.

    I would offer to pay it back on receipt of a formal notice with evidence from Tesco. I'd also be inclined to ask for some coupons etc by way of apology for the inconvenience. :)
  • trejoy
    trejoy Posts: 74 Forumite
    Tesco wouldn't even notice their mistake. I bought a crate of Champagne for family meal to celebrate forthcoming wedding but it didn't arrive. I complained and was given £10 apology. It arrived 3 days later. A few months after I return a hoover that broke down. I then checked my online statement to make sure that the hoover had been credited, lo and behold, the champagne had been refuned all those months earlier!! I said nothing and enjoyed every drop of the champagne they paid me to drink (remember the extra £10).
  • Bushey
    Bushey Posts: 37
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I had an almost identical scenario, I withdrew a couple of hundred £'s for my Holiday from Lloyds Bank, recieved the money and placed it in my wallet alongside another about'ish £150, not ACTUALLY checking the amount, I just saw the cashier counting what appeared to me to be the correct amount.
    That evening the cashier knocked my door telling me he had made a mistake and had given me £20 too much, I sympathised with him but refused to give him £20 simply because I could not agree he had given me too much as I hadnt checked precisely when I got the cash.
    HOWEVER had I actually believed or found he had given me extra I would have handed it back.
    as they say we all have a conscience!!
    Mine is clear!
    how is yours?
    Bushwacker. :beer:
    Retired @55yrs Financially Secure, & Totally Completely, Utterly debt free! :j
  • sysky
    sysky Posts: 87 Forumite
    how did employee get the details????

    data protection laws should mean he has no way of accessing it.
  • winkasgirl
    winkasgirl Posts: 37 Forumite
    edited 20 October 2010 at 10:44AM
    This happened to me recently at Morrisons ....... but they actually came to my door to ask for the money back!

    Note to self - never, ever, ever pre order any party food from Morrisons, their ordering system is from the dark ages! Everything is handwritten on 3 x paper copies with carbon paper for different departments.

    I had to hand my order in, they had to write it all out, then I had to return to store to pay for it. I was there 45 mins. it is done on customer service/lottery with 1 person serving on a Wednesday (lottery day!). It came to over £240.00. Collection on Saturday morning. It took over 1 hour to collect. Every department had to bring their order to the till (bearing in mind this was a Saturday when tills should be at full capacity - party was Sunday). Then it all had to be rung through the till. I said I have already paid for this, no they said - that was an estimate. We have to ring every item through and then put throught each departments totals I had already 'paid for' as a coupon! So eventually it was all packed up and they said they owed me £47.00, which they gave me.

    Party over. Following Thursday knock at my door. 2 assisitants in Morrisons uniform with a bundle of paperwork asking for £47.00 on my doorstep. Transpires as one department was £80+ could not put through as a 'coupon' so split into into 2 amounts; 1 of £33 and one of £47 but the cashier (which was the supervisor) punched the £47 in twice so could I please repay it! I said that is their error, and the supervisor said yes it is but would I mind as the store was very busy at the time if collection. I pointed out that I had to wait a total time of 45mins on ordering and over 1 hour to collect and that their ordering system is somewhat dated - she agreed it needed to change but would I mind paying the £47.00. I did pay but have not received any letter from the store manager by way of an apology. In fact I bet it to this day he doesn't know. If this has happened to me, how many other people has it happened to?

    I agree it is not my money to keep but the system they have is so flawed they should not pay these celebrities to walk on mountains to fetch milk and go in boats for the freshest fish, they should update their ordering systems as they are way way behind their competitors.
    :j [COLOR=Magenta]Pennies Pot £121 saving for Alton Towers Hotel/Center Parcs[/COLOR]
  • It's questions like this that show what a bunch of thieving scallies most of the posters on this forum are.
  • Cerisa
    Cerisa Posts: 350 Forumite
    double check that it's legit and if so, pay the money back.

    I'm twitchy about overpayments after a council 'overpaid' me money on my housing benefit. I had to fight for over a year, receiving debt collection notices all the time, until the jobseekers department could be persuaded to communicate to the housing benefit system that I had in fact been receiving benefits. If i had just gone "oh ok, you say i've been overpaid so I have" I would - at a point where I could not afford to do so - have paid over £165 just to get them to stop threatening me.

    This is why I kind of think unless the person doing it is a small business or a charity, or has bullet proof credentials, you should always double check.

    And while it may make me, in the words of Mountain Man, a 'thieving scally', if a large multi-national, or government agency, expects me to make good on their miscommunication and clerical error they can F right off.
    £1600 overdraft
    £100 Christmas Fund
  • I would give the money back.
    A family member works on tills and I was amazed at how heavy the major employer got after only an £8 shortfall in a till, even after over a year's exemplary service and being employee of the month! Admittedly they probably come down hard partly to make sure it doesn't happen again. There are millions of jobless out there, so employers don't have to be kind and understanding even after a first mistake.
    Do you really want to feel responsible for losing this person their job, over such a small amount that isn't really yours anyway?
    I recently shopped in Tesco, and asked for £50 cashback on my debit card. The checkout girl offered me the £50 despite the fact that the amount hadn't rung up on the receipt. I had no hesitation in pointing this out and handing the money back. Not so much bothered by Tesco losing £50, but by how much trouble she would have been in with her manager.
    Despite the passing of a week, I feel you should do the same.
  • trejoy wrote: »
    Tesco wouldn't even notice their mistake.

    I bought a hoover From Tesco. It was on offer. Got it home and was faulty. So took it back. They had none in stock for a week so they instead offered me a refund. Two days later they are back in stock and they call to let me know.
    So I go to get one only to find that it's no longer on offer.

    The manager refused to make good the price difference, the reason being that "price can go up or down, it's just unfortunate".
    After complaining elsewhere I got a fiver in Tesco vouchers. The price difference was about 15 quid.

    So, franky, I'll happily screw Tesco all day long since they have no issue doing it to me.
  • "Do unto others etc.." is really the only ideology that should govern our lives. If I am short changed I expect to be reimbursed, similarly I will always return excess chenge.

    Of course I will check facts before I act but I will never intentionally defraud anybody - even a bank!

    I recently asked for £50 cashback and then neglected to pick it up, I rang Tesco and the money was waiting at Customer Services when I returned the following week.

    GT :beer:
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