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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 5th Feb 19, 5:16 PM
    • 175Posts
    • 77Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: What should I do with forgotten change?
    • #1
    • 5th Feb 19, 5:16 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: What should I do with forgotten change? 5th Feb 19 at 5:16 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    Sometimes when I use a supermarket self-service checkout, I discover a previous customer (no longer on the premises) has omitted to collect their change. Should I leave the money where it is, alert a shop supervisor, pocket it or give it to charity?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you havenít already, join the forum to reply.

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Page 1
    • 74jax
    • By 74jax 5th Feb 19, 5:22 PM
    • 4,887 Posts
    • 6,793 Thanks
    74jax
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 19, 5:22 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 19, 5:22 PM
    Pass it to the person who is there 'helping', carry on and then leave.

    Next?
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 5th Feb 19, 6:12 PM
    • 3,900 Posts
    • 4,283 Thanks
    Marvel1
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 19, 6:12 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 19, 6:12 PM
    Alert the store worker who monitors them.

    Anything else is theft (apart from just leaving it there).
    • KatrinaWaves
    • By KatrinaWaves 5th Feb 19, 7:38 PM
    • 389 Posts
    • 638 Thanks
    KatrinaWaves
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 19, 7:38 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 19, 7:38 PM
    Yet again another nonsense ‘moral’ dilemma.

    It’s not a moral dilemma, it’s do I commit theft or not. That’s a legal issue, not a ‘moral dilemma’!
    • jackomdj
    • By jackomdj 5th Feb 19, 7:51 PM
    • 2,910 Posts
    • 3,602 Thanks
    jackomdj
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 19, 7:51 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 19, 7:51 PM
    If it is less than a pound I would just put it in the charity pot.
    • marich
    • By marich 5th Feb 19, 10:28 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    marich
    • #6
    • 5th Feb 19, 10:28 PM
    Dilemma - but the other option hasn't been mentioned !
    • #6
    • 5th Feb 19, 10:28 PM
    Why not mention pocketing it ? An awful lot of people contributing here have suggested by their choices that their morals would not put them above this .


    Yes - so let's hear it for just putting it in your pocket and walking out - come on all you who stand your ground on clever returns and sales and wear-once-and-return and gifts and all that supposedly allowed-by-law but cheaty stuff .


    Where do you stand here ? Which of these honest options would you go for - or would what you call your morals cave in once again and "It's OK because somebody walked out on their change so it doesn't really count"?


    Is it OK to take it ? Let's hear you - be honest - at least for once !
    • marich
    • By marich 5th Feb 19, 10:34 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    marich
    • #7
    • 5th Feb 19, 10:34 PM
    Yeah !
    • #7
    • 5th Feb 19, 10:34 PM
    I hadn't noticed see the "Pocket it" option - might have guessed that might be troubling our supposed contributor !


    What a world we make for ourselves !
    • Wakeupandgo
    • By Wakeupandgo 5th Feb 19, 10:43 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Wakeupandgo
    • #8
    • 5th Feb 19, 10:43 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Feb 19, 10:43 PM
    Technically not theft. If you take reasonable steps to return the money (which can anything from looking around to asking people whether it’s theirs) if it’s a small amount would it be reasonable to ask everyone exiting whether it’s their money? No.

    Although morally, you should probably give it to the shop assistant.
    • consumers_revenge
    • By consumers_revenge 5th Feb 19, 11:08 PM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    consumers_revenge
    • #9
    • 5th Feb 19, 11:08 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Feb 19, 11:08 PM
    M'lord.


    I refer you to paragraph 6, section 8, Clause 7....


    Finders, keepers.


    ( no different to when you see an abandoned trolley in the car park, take it back and keep the pound :-) )
    • consumers_revenge
    • By consumers_revenge 5th Feb 19, 11:10 PM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 1,701 Thanks
    consumers_revenge
    and before anyone judges me your talking to the man who once saw a pensioner try and withdrawal £200 from a cashpoint and he thought it didn't come out.


    started to drive off before I stood in front his car waving at his cash!
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 5th Feb 19, 11:24 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 633 Thanks
    happyinflorida
    I'm amazed at your cheek in asking this - the good and honest thing to do is to bring it to the attention of the person working in that area, a member of the store staff and give it to them so if the person does come back, it's there for them to collect.
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 5th Feb 19, 11:27 PM
    • 405 Posts
    • 3,260 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    Why not mention pocketing it ? An awful lot of people contributing here have suggested by their choices that their morals would not put them above this .

    Yes - so let's hear it for just putting it in your pocket and walking out - come on all you who stand your ground on clever returns and sales and wear-once-and-return and gifts and all that supposedly allowed-by-law but cheaty stuff .

    Where do you stand here ? Which of these honest options would you go for - or would what you call your morals cave in once again and "It's OK because somebody walked out on their change so it doesn't really count"?

    Is it OK to take it ? Let's hear you - be honest - at least for once !
    Originally posted by marich
    Well in this case, my high moral ground is simply that I would be terrified of being seen to steal it, so yes, I'd bring it to the attention of the cashier. If it was on the floor I'd probably pocket it!
    My fear of being seen/caught is my conscience that stops me doing a lot of minor misdemeanors, and that's how it should. Big stuff I don't have the temptation because I know it's wrong in a big way. Small stuff - oh the embarrassment of being seen to be a sneak thief, that's enough to stop me.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 5th Feb 19, 11:32 PM
    • 18,329 Posts
    • 46,649 Thanks
    elsien
    That's a bit holier than thou for the sake of potentially about 20p, which no one is ever going to come back for.
    If it's shrapnel I'm probably keeping it or sticking it in the charity tin as I suspect most people wouid regardless of what they say on here. If it's pounds and notes of course I'm giving it to store staff.
    As with most of these "dilemmas", context is everything.

    This reply is for happyinflorida as my phone won't let me quote.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • bishbut
    • By bishbut 6th Feb 19, 7:31 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    bishbut
    change
    All my small change (copper 5 pence coins sometimes 10 pence coins ) are put in the shops charity tin or I say do not bother giving me any change
    • stmartinsdiver
    • By stmartinsdiver 6th Feb 19, 8:19 AM
    • 118 Posts
    • 123 Thanks
    stmartinsdiver
    It might have been left by someone with a flashy new car outside who couldn't care less but equally it could have been left by an absent minded oldie with a shopping trolley and a small pension.

    Having walked out without taking my own change once I went back a few minutes later and it was still there with the supervisor. I would have felt peeved if it had been taken, but instead I felt pleased that someone had been honest and I would like to think I'd do the same if I found change missed by someone else.
    • Techno
    • By Techno 6th Feb 19, 8:35 AM
    • 1,106 Posts
    • 803 Thanks
    Techno
    Our local ASDA has a large charity box right by the self service tills so a couple of times if it is less than 50p I have put it in there. I did see someone find a fiver which they gave to the assistant and literally seconds later an elderly lady returned in a panic - she had picked up the change but hadn't seen the note.
    If you think you are too small to make a difference, try getting in bed with a mosquito!
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 6th Feb 19, 9:48 AM
    • 2,503 Posts
    • 12,083 Thanks
    NBLondon
    If you've just seen the person walking away - then "Hey - you've left your change" is the instinctive reaction. I did that once in a Post Office self-service machine and got the response "I paid by card" so it could have been sitting there for a while. The PO staff member caught my eye and shrugged - he didn't care or want to deal with it - so I said to both - I'll stick it in the next charity box I see. About 15p IIRC. If there was a note sticking out then I'd definitely give it to the supervisor.

    I usually go contactless at self-service tills so I wouldn't necessarily look at the tray. Only if I'd used cash and realised there were coins there before my change was added to the pile - and if in a rush I'd possibly scoop it up and just check there was roughly the right amount not noticing if there was 10p extra.

    Does this clash with my Wombling activities on another thread? Maybe - but I think there's a difference between change in the till which is more likely to have been left in error and change which has been abandoned and assumed valueless.
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
    • -taff
    • By -taff 6th Feb 19, 10:21 AM
    • 9,360 Posts
    • 10,749 Thanks
    -taff
    I would wait until my change had come out of the machine and take it.
    That's if there really was no one there I could run after and give it to. And I actually noticed it.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 6th Feb 19, 10:23 AM
    • 898 Posts
    • 1,850 Thanks
    BBH123
    Bung it in a charity box, most supermarkets have them now.
    Save 6k in 2019 challenge #44
    1017/ 6000
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 6th Feb 19, 10:52 AM
    • 477 Posts
    • 319 Thanks
    tallgirld
    What a strange question.....Take it out, chuck it in the air and make it rain!!!
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