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    Former MSE Lawrence
    Would you take the cash? Poll Discussion
    • #1
    • 28th Aug 07, 4:05 PM
    Would you take the cash? Poll Discussion 28th Aug 07 at 4:05 PM
    This Poll ran between 28 August -4 September 2007: The results are in...

    Poll Started 28 August 2007: Would you keep the cash?

    Youve just paid for your shopping in a busy supermarket, and by mistake youre handed an extra 20 note in the change. You only notice as youre walking out of the store pushing a heavy trolley. Now, be honest about what youd do not what youd hope youd do. which of these is nearest your reaction?

    A. Keep the cash. Its too late, too much hassle & their mistake. 75% (4694 votes)

    B. Give half to charity. Its too much hassle to return it but Id only keep half. 2% (116 votes)

    C. Its theft. Go straight to the cashier and hand the money back. 23% (1466 votes)

    Total Votes: 6248

    This poll has now ended, but you can still discuss below.
    Last edited by Former MSE Dan; 04-09-2007 at 11:46 AM.
Page 1
  • kopicbloodaxe
    • #2
    • 28th Aug 07, 4:46 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Aug 07, 4:46 PM
    Keep the cash for sure. If I was £20 *short* on the change and I walked back in to the store would they just hand it over?

    If it were a small local shop then I'd definitely give it back, but I'm sure these big supermarkets have a budget for errors like this. Besides, I'm sure the number of customers that get short-changed more than make up for larger errors like this.
    • Gordon the Moron
    • By Gordon the Moron 28th Aug 07, 5:44 PM
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    Gordon the Moron
    • #3
    • 28th Aug 07, 5:44 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Aug 07, 5:44 PM
    I'd take it back to the cashier to avoid getting them in trouble for making a mistake.
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  • teddyco
    • #4
    • 29th Aug 07, 8:06 AM
    It depends on the store
    • #4
    • 29th Aug 07, 8:06 AM
    I guess it would depend upon the store. If it was Tesco's where they raise their prices right before they do a BOGOF, Keep the cash, WOO HOO!

    ASDA, I would probably return and admit the fault since they are the cheapest in town and always come through for me! Also, the cashier would have to take the blame once they found that her till didn't 'total up'.
    • Badger_Lady
    • By Badger_Lady 29th Aug 07, 8:22 AM
    • 6,291 Posts
    • 8,370 Thanks
    • #5
    • 29th Aug 07, 8:22 AM
    • #5
    • 29th Aug 07, 8:22 AM
    I would feel a flash of guilt but it would be too much hassle to go back... just as it's too much hassle for me to go back if I notice they've overcharged me for something (like a reduced item that they've charged full price).

    Whenever I try to speak to someone in a 'busy Supermaket', they ignore me unless I queue up all over again, then send me to a different desk!

    This has happened to me in smaller amounts before and I've kept it - for example, 2 change instead of 2p...

    But my reaction would be different in a small business, such as a local shop or market stall - I would return it straight away because I expect a personal relationship with the vendor, and it could make a bigger impact on their hard earnings. I've seen these salespeople literally run across town to chase a customer that's left their credit card or change behind...
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  • Man of the World
    • #6
    • 29th Aug 07, 9:54 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Aug 07, 9:54 AM
    Key element is whether the Dark Satanic Supermarket would dock the wages of the poor cashier. If they do then you're technically not stealing money from a faceless Corporation, but from one of us!

    The exception is if it's Lisa Tarbuck!!
  • mandarinduck
    • #7
    • 29th Aug 07, 11:03 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Aug 07, 11:03 AM
    I agree with BadgerLady on this - I would probably keep the money for the same reasons from a supermarket. Also agree it would not be the same from a smaller shop. I once got refunded an extra 10 from a charity shop, for example, and returned it. It depends on the circumstances.

    When I worked for a fast food outlet I knew I'd get my till docked if I was down (luckily I never was) so I knew the onus was on me to check and double check. I wouldn't have blamed someone for keeping the profit of my mistake (might have been a bit peeved with my employer though!)
  • coolpaprika
    • #8
    • 29th Aug 07, 2:27 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Aug 07, 2:27 PM
    One day I walked past a cash machine which beeped at me. It was saying, here's £10.00, take it. So I took it, looked around, busy street by Bank tube, no one looked as if they'd left a tenner in a cash machine & no sign of Jeremy Beadle. The money felt 'wrong'. Next day someone's at the tube with a charity tine (one I'd support) so in went £5.00, the other £5.00 I spent on the lottery, won £12.00 so put the other £5.00 into another charity tin. Karma or what?
    Last edited by coolpaprika; 29-08-2007 at 2:28 PM. Reason: spelling
    • Dorrie
    • By Dorrie 29th Aug 07, 5:05 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    • #9
    • 29th Aug 07, 5:05 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Aug 07, 5:05 PM
    I would go back and give the 20 back in - after all, you know it doesn't belong to you.

    I have been known to go back in to pay for something that I have found at the bottom of my trolley that got missed. I have also asked the lady on the till the following week to charge me for an extra item that was missed the week before. At that point it is up to them if they do or not - my conscience is then clear.
    • (Land of) Maz
    • By (Land of) Maz 29th Aug 07, 8:22 PM
    • 11,044 Posts
    • 11,457 Thanks
    (Land of) Maz
    If i spotted it in my change, or it was obviously change of a twenty when i'd only given them ten, then i would 'fess up.... but if i was half way out the store i would keep walking. The supermarket will get it off me with interest in the weeks and months to come!

    That said, i work part time in a pub and the till has been short on more than one occaision, shared till and no cashing up at shift change time. This is mega frustrating as you cannot be accountable for other peoples mistakes or kleptomania.... not really a relevant point other than to say i suppose if you humanise the mistake and think someone will have worked 4 hours for nothing if they had to pay it back..... Hmmmmm?
    I'm just a seething mass of contradictions....
    (it's part of my charm!)
  • mary cruse
    Poll reply
    Hand it back, without any doubt. Moral relativism is always tempting but almost always ( in my view) wrong. Taking something that doesn't belong to you is stealing, whether the owner is a rich supermarket or a struggling corner shop. Would I steal 20 if my children were starving or in desperate need of life-saving medication? Yes, probably I would. Would I steal 20 because I couldn't be bothered to push a heavy trolley back into a supermarket? No, absolutely not ( particularly if I suspected that the underpaid checkout assistant would probably have to make up the shortfall from their own wages). Arguments that theft is built into the system, or that supermarkets are themselves exploiting suppliers do not justify keeping the money; two wrongs don't make a right. Where is honesty in all this?
  • Gabs27
    To me, it would depend on the cashier's attitude while they were serving me.

    In Sainsburys once I was given 10 too much, I could see the young lad had got slightly confused (we all do at times!) so I took it back as I felt his job could be at risk.

    On the other hand, if the cashier had been chatting, yawning etc (as is normal in my local Tesco) I think I'd be inclined to keep it.

    If it was a small shop, like most people, I would always take it back
  • RSteve
    This has happened to me more than once and I've always returned it. If I'm short-changed I always expect them to correct the error and they will - you might not get it back immediately but they will check if the till has too much cash at the next cash-up and you can then claim it back.
    The cashier would get into trouble and it's a simple error which anyone could make. If you keep it, you're a thief, and I'm genuinely surprised so many would. You were given the money in error and have no moral claim to it at all- if you keep it you're no better than if you stole it from the till.
    I'm very sad to think so many people would keep it.
    • smillie-world
    • By smillie-world 30th Aug 07, 6:35 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    I'd like to know which supermarket this is so I can start shopping there, lol.

    I'd keep the money. If I make a mistake at work, then I have to pay the consequences, I then learn by the mistake and ensure I never do it again. Likewise, if a cashier makes the mistake, then they need to learn a lesson about being careful. It's a harmless lesson.
  • Truth
    No Contest
    Definitely keep the cash. Supermarkets like Tesco are reaping mega profits and destroying our town centres so as far as I am concerned they can take the hit. As a previous user states though if this scenario related to a local shop that provided good customer service then I'd hand it back too.
    • Gordon the Moron
    • By Gordon the Moron 30th Aug 07, 8:51 AM
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    • 739 Thanks
    Gordon the Moron
    If you think Tesco are reaping mega profits and destroying our town centres in the process there is a simple solution, don't shop there and use your local town centre, if everyone did that Tesco would not be so successful.

    Legally I don't think they can make the cashier pay for the mistake out of their wages but they could lose their job over it, sorry but if I thought someone had/could have lost their job because I'd pocketed £20 from the making a genuine mistake I couldn't sleep at night.
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    • Contains Mild Peril
    • By Contains Mild Peril 30th Aug 07, 9:27 AM
    • 4,058 Posts
    • 2,830 Thanks
    Contains Mild Peril
    I'd like to know which supermarket this is so I can start shopping there, lol.

    I'd keep the money. If I make a mistake at work, then I have to pay the consequences, I then learn by the mistake and ensure I never do it again. Likewise, if a cashier makes the mistake, then they need to learn a lesson about being careful. It's a harmless lesson.
    Originally posted by smillie-world
    Oh, to be wealthy enough to think of the loss of 20 as harmless!
    Gordon the Moron, good point about shopping in town centres rather than evil supermarkets like Tesco, but sadly that's not always a realistic optoion. The town centre grocery stores just aren't there any more.
    • Chipps
    • By Chipps 30th Aug 07, 9:33 AM
    • 1,543 Posts
    • 4,802 Thanks
    I am so amazed that such a high percentage of people say they would steal the money. What sort of country have we become?

    I was given too much change not so long ago, & didn't find out till I got home. I emailed the company concerned straight away to let them know. They thanked me for honesty and said not to worry. I think they were a bit surprised to get such an email, which is rather sad, isn't it.
    • JayD
    • By JayD 30th Aug 07, 9:38 AM
    • 532 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    I always return any money that has come to me that shouldn't (usually in the form of incorrect change and sometimes through an item being rung up under its correct price). To do anything else is, in my opinion, a form of self degradation.
  • malcolm88
    Thos who vote to keep the cash show themselves as thieves who form part of the scum of our modern society.

    The cash was in the safe keeping of a trusted employee who made a mistake and will be held responsible for the loss.

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