Real Life MMD: Should she fake the claim to her company?

edited 24 May 2011 at 7:05PM in Money Saving Polls
32 replies 14.9K views
Former_MSE_LeeFormer_MSE_Lee
343 Posts
edited 24 May 2011 at 7:05PM in Money Saving Polls
Should she fake the claim to her company?


My friend's firm imports goods from the Far East to supply British shops. The latest consignment had some items damaged so she has to claim for them. As the suppliers usually replace without question, her boss tells her to claim for more than was really damaged. Jobs are hard to get locally and she fears if she refuses she'll be eased out. What should she do?
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  • EvilmEvilm Forumite
    2K Posts
    I would make the boss fill out or at least sign the forms/letters. I've refused to do this before in an insurance shipping case and felt perfectly justified in making the boss who wanted to 'falsify' the claim put their name to it.

    (However I wasn't in a position where this could cost me my job since I was only temping - That I can't comment on but think I would still insist it was the bosses signature on the forms anyway even if my job was at risk).
  • onlineoonlineo Forumite
    46 Posts
    Tricky

    I would suggest if 20% of the consignment is damaged I would expect 20% of the replacement stock to be damaged, so I would happily over-order to cover that.

    Otherwise I would probably tell my bosses boss about the situation. If they suggest over ordering is a good way to get free stock I think I would start applying for a new job that day. Setting myself a deadline of 6-12 months to have started at a better company.
  • VoucherManVoucherMan Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    I'm sure there'd be a case for unfair dismissal in there somewhere.

    Job lost due to refusal to commit fraud.

    Start gathering the evidence!
  • timbstoketimbstoke Forumite
    985 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
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    I'd probably place the order, but I'd make sure my boss either signed off on it, or at the very least, had an email along the lines of "As per your instructions, I have put in a claim for 20 widgets to replace the 15 we received damaged"
  • noodlenoodle Forumite
    133 Posts
    Absolutely not. This sort of behaviour could escallate, and put the employee at risk of consequences much worse than being fired by a fraudster.. also bear in mind that there are people in the supplier company who could end up losing their jobs too if they keep getting ripped off.

    This is a road not to go down.

    Keep whatever evidence you have in the event that the boss doesn't just shrug it off and it looks like it might become a problem, and keep notes of any subsequent evidence that the boss is making life more difficult for you. If at all possible (depends on company size and strucuture), raise the issue 'informally' with someone else in the company (be casual, perhaps say 'I don't know if he was being serious, and I don't want anything said to him at this stage, but I want to have it on record that this happened'.)
  • As your boss wishes to run his business along dishonest lines, he must sign all the paperwork himself to avoid compromising his employees.
  • It's immoral, but if you put your own morals ahead of keeping your job then congratulations. You're a saint, but just try telling the dole office and see how much they care.

    My mother owned a shop and every time an order came in she would claim some were broken in transit, or if a few were broken the numbers would be exaggerated. It's not worth the sending company the hassle of having it shipped back and so they just assume you're right. But then they probably just claim the money back from their shipping company.

    I don't necessarily agree with what she did, I don't agree with most things she does and get on much better with her now she's emigrated but that's beside the point.

    As with everybody else who's commented so far though if it's not your decision then don't put your name on it. Makes sense to me.
  • Two reasons why you should not do this.

    The first is the moral one. It is illegal and you should not do it, whether you reckon you would get caught or not. There are also related issues concerning taxation and how the company declares these "under the counter" earnings.

    The second is a pragmatice one. The suppliers "usually replace without question". What happens when they don't? Where will you be then? Losing a supplier is one thing, but there may be a fraud claim in the offing as a consequence.

    It would be worth at least telling the boss that you are not comfortable with it, going as far as to say that you feel that not only do you think it is wrong, but that they should not simply pass responsibility to someone who does not feel so strongly about it. If it is a direct order, then get them to sign the claims off. If that doesn't work, try to get it in writing or confirm the ruling with an email saying "as instructed by you... " If that also doesn't work, then make clear and dated notes of what is going on and contact your boss's superior if possible.

    Employment legislation protects you from whistleblowing in such circumstances and there would be a clear case for unfair or constructive dismissal if you lost your job. It is a difficult employment market out there, but this kind of unscrupulous practice is completely unacceptable in my book, even if your competitors are doing it.
  • Tricky.

    Personally, I would say yes. Loss of stock would have resulted in loss of earnings for your company that go above the price you paid for the stock in the first place. Add into that the fact that you may have paid for transport costs, warehousing, possible customs / excise duty, all for stock you are not able to sell, then yes, you should claim back more.

    This kind of thing happens in retail all of the time (source: my workplace), but is called compensation. 'Your friend' should charge through this route rather than being dishonest.
  • elizabethhullelizabethhull Forumite
    738 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
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    I was wondering how often a moral dilemma would arise starting with the above phrase, where the answer is yes?? Only occasionally, maybe.
    The trouble is the uncertainty of the job market encourages us to turn a blind eye to dishonest practices.
    As others have said, KEEP THE EVIDENCE, including, if at all possible, the email 'as per your instructions...etc' That is your biggest protection. You know, despite justification, there is something wrong here. Well, at least you have the conscience to recognise it.
    I should start looking for other jobs - not all bosses are like this at all. But don't say at your next interview why you're thinking of leaving - unfortunately it won't go down well !
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