Money Moral Dilemma: Should I return the overpayment?

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  • MadMom
    MadMom Posts: 117
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    sysky wrote: »
    how did employee get the details????

    data protection laws should mean he has no way of accessing it.

    Actually then you are misunderstanding the data protection laws. An employee has full access to your details if it is the legitimate course of business - which it clearly is in this case. Data protection is about only holding on to relevant & accurate information and not passing it on to 3rd parties.
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  • Hello, new poster, sorry.

    I worked 9 months in a Tesco Travel Money bureaux.

    Firstly whatever you think about Tescos, this is not Tescos, forex is outsourced to Travelex and the stores are operated on a very solitary basis so with a 3 percent profit margin 65 pounds is alot of money (the store would have to turn over almost £2200 to make it back).

    Secondly this will be legit, the Cash Passports are loaded onto a separate system to the normal retail trading system and, yes, as such as only checked weekly by the team leader.

    On the other hand, during my time I was unfortunate enough to have lost almost £100 though a careless error (pressing euro on the system rather than dollar :/) and whilst my boss was VERY angry at me, I wasn't fired, I think I was given an official warning or something. Obviously the right thing to do is give the money back. But I personally wouldn't expect a customer to do so. As a cashier I accepted that my mistake was my own. The only difference is that they have all your details.

    Obviously an inconclusive answer but I hope the extra information will help you to make your mind up.


    Jack.
  • RuthnJasper
    RuthnJasper Posts: 4,032
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    I would verify things with the boss/line manager but, if everything is as genuine as it appears in the above post then yes - the money SHOULD be returned. I received it in error and it doesn't belong to me.
  • Sharon87
    Sharon87 Posts: 4,011
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    I would repay in certain circumstances.

    If I could get it verified by a supervisor, and I'd also ask would the employee have to pay for the £65 shortfall out of his/her wages. If so I would pay it back. If not I might make a different decision. £65 is a lot to someone earning £6 or so an hour, its 11-12 hours work. But £65 to Tesco is nothing. Also what if I had spent the money already? Which a week later - most probably.

    When I worked at a cinema and our tills were down by more than £3 we would have to have a 'hearing' to see whether we were at fault. I had one once for 3 different occassions (all 3 were on busy bank holidays over easter and a busy saturday) and if we were shown to be at fault we'd get that amount taken out our wages. Luckily I wasn't as the company didn't give me enough breaks that day and didn't take money from my till and had over £2K worth of notes in it when I got cashed up!

    So I know how it feels to be the cashier, which is why I'd only pay the money back if the employee had to pay for it out their wages.
  • This is legally known as unjust enrichment. If Tesco can prove that its employee paid you twice by mistake then you must pay back that which was not yours in the first place. Everybody makes mistakes and maybe this situation has been badly handled but that doesn't alter the fact that you are now in possession of something that doesn't belong to you. No matter how irritating you find it, pay it back now.
  • Talent
    Talent Posts: 244 Forumite
    I would pay it back.... but only after verifying with the records and the management.
  • Because we all make mistakes i would agree to return the money on the basis that myself and the employee had written assurance that no disciplinary action would be taken against them over this matter. We all make mistakes and are only human.

    I would also leave the employee my contact details incase of any repercussions.

    But thats just me. :D

    Humans make mistakes and although the extra money would be a welcome bonus i don't think i could live with the guilt of thinking i had cost someone there job over something which is quite clearly a human error.

    I totally believe in Karma and would hope if the situuation was reversed some kind hearted sole would help get me out of a hole.
  • JoannaS_3
    JoannaS_3 Posts: 103 Forumite
    hunyadi wrote: »
    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. :)

    The first thing I suspected was that the cashier had done it as a way of getting himself an extra £65!

    I would call Tesco customer services and explain the situation and do as this quote suggests!
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  • If it is genuine then yes, it should be repayed. The money isnt yours to keep.

    However, knowing how these companies work in terms of till checks, security, losses etc I smell a rather large rat. I would go into the store and ask for the manager in person and discuss it with them. I am too suspicious of people to do it over the phone!
  • Beate
    Beate Posts: 3,522
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    What happened to "The customer is always right?" You shouldn't inconvenience your customer - pay out too little you have inconvenienced him and should rectify it - pay out too much it's your fault as well and you should not ask for it back. If it is as you say and there is no legal obligation to pay back the money then any attempt to get it back could be classed as emotional blackmail. I doubt anyone would be fired for a single mistake like that.

    My OH had a situation years back when he received housing benefit and for some reason they paid him twice - they sent him cheques every week and paid the same amount into his bank account! He told them many times that he was paid too much but they wouldn't take action until finally someone visited him at home. He showed them his bank statements plus the uncashed cheques and they finally said "whoops, thanks for telling us." Then he said what happens to the cheques and they told him to keep the money as it was their mistake, not his! He would have given it back if they had told him so.
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