Cashier forgets to charge you for $100 item. Do you return to store to pay?

Submitted by stockstradr on December 2, 2008 - 11:37am
NO WAY would I return to store to pay for a $100 mistake they made!
36% (22 votes)
YES: I would go back to the store and pay for the missed $100 item
54% (33 votes)
HA, I would go back to buy more stuff and see if same cashier makes another $100 mistakes in my favor!
10% (6 votes)
Total votes: 61
Submitted by stockstradr on December 2, 2008 - 11:47am.

Here's your classic Ethics-of-Holiday-Shopping QUIZ.

My wife and I never have to discuss this ethics question. We agree on what to do in this situation! We are both cheap SOB's! Let's see how everyone else feels?

We figure if a retail cashier makes a $100 or $200 mistake in our favor, then we have no obligation (immediately or later) to correct their mistake (and pay more). Even if we immediately notice the cashier make the mistake, we won't bring it to the attention of the cashier during the checkout process. And we sleep well at night! However, we never actively try and cheat any retail store clerk ; for example, we think that switching price tags on an item is an immoral act, as would be hiding items inside the box of another item.

We are surprised how often retail cashiers make $100, $200, or even $300 mistakes (in our favor) during checkout.

What about other Piggington.com members? If the retail store misses charging you for a $100 item during checkout, do you return to the store to PAY for the item?

Submitted by UCGal on December 2, 2008 - 11:50am.

I would go back and tell, or point it out at the time.

If I got home and discovered the mistake, maybe not... because that involves a lot more effort/time/gas, etc.

I was raised to not lie - even lies of ommission. So I would feel obligated to tell if I caught it while at the store.

I guess I'm somewhere between you, Stockstradr, and Honest Abe. (didn't he walk 7 miles to return change or something like that?)

Submitted by sdduuuude on December 2, 2008 - 11:54am.

I marked "no way" but it totally depends on the store. If it's Best Buy or Home Depot, I'm outta there. If it's Marshall's hardware, maybe not. A small mom and pop store with nice people working there, I'd go back for sure and pay.

That never happens to me. Please post a list of stores where you shop. :)

Submitted by pabloesqobar on December 2, 2008 - 12:48pm.

No way would I return to the store. Too much of a hassle. I don't feel any obligation to inconvenience myself because of a store's mistake. However, on more than one occassion I've immediately corrected an undercharge or missed charge if I catch it while checking out. They are always grateful and it makes me feel good.

Submitted by j on December 2, 2008 - 1:22pm.

There are stores were I would walk out the door with a big smile on my face, like Circuit City. I have had minor issues with them before, but what they did to their employees two years ago was so wrong. I am glad they are going out of business. I hope a better business takes Circuit City's place.

Submitted by peterb on December 2, 2008 - 1:32pm.

I give the cashier a $20 and say, "Keep up the good work!".

Submitted by stockstradr on December 2, 2008 - 2:22pm.

I so agree that Circuit City sucks.

It really is a true story (and example of moronic management) that in 2007, in a "cost cutting measure" they laid off thousands of their highest paid (= most experienced & knowledgeable) sales staff, then quickly filled those positions with new, inexperienced (much lower paid) sales staff.

What did Circuit City's remaining sales staff conclude? When interviewed by major news outlets, many responded, "It seems that if we work hard to be successful in sales at Circuit City, we'll get a raise, which will then get us fired!"

That story was even written up in the WSJ, and covered by the Bloomberg and CNBC and other news outlets.

Basically I do not remember having even one positive experience shopping at Circuit City. This last weekend I went there for the $500 early-bird-special Samsung 32" LCD TV.

They said, "Oh, we had a couple of those at 6 AM, but they are all sold out now. Sorry."

So I went over to Best Buy and bought that same unit for $500, and BB had it IN STOCK.

I've only purchased one item from Circuit City in the last five years. I went there nine months ago because their weekend flyer advertised a 2 Gb flashstick for $4.

They said, "Sorry. That was a typo. The only thing we got at $4 are the 500 Mb USB flash sticks"

I decided to go psycho on them. I called for the Store Manager and jumped up and down screaming bloody murder for twenty minutes. I caused a scene. They relented and sold me two of the 2Gb flash sticks for $4 each. I hate Circuit City.

Submitted by Diego Mamani on December 2, 2008 - 2:45pm.

When I was 22, finishing college and starting my very first job (which didn't pay much), I bought a supercheap tie at a small store in a small shopping center. I paid with a $5 bill, but the clerk (obviously a low-paid employee) gave me change as if I had paid with a $50 bill!!

I noticed right away and said nothing. The next day I told my buddies, and one of them said "really? so you just stole the $45+?"

Starting that day I've come to regret what I did. I imagine that the money came out of the clerk's salary, if he wasn't fired. This was in a developing/emerging country 20 years ago, so it was probably a big chunk of that poor guy's salary.

To answer other posters, do you really think it's Best Buy or Nordstroms you are taking the money from? Doesn't it come from the cashier's pay??

Submitted by desmond on December 2, 2008 - 2:48pm.

"We are both cheap SOB's"

I agree with you on that Cracktrader, throw in Unethical cheats on top of that. I hope you don't have any kids. Happy Holidays.

Submitted by meadandale on December 2, 2008 - 3:49pm.

stockstradr wrote:
We figure if a retail cashier makes a $100 or $200 mistake in our favor, then we have no obligation (immediately or later) to correct their mistake (and pay more). Even if we immediately notice the cashier make the mistake, we won't bring it to the attention of the cashier during the checkout process.

Your poll options and this answer are incongruent.

I answered no that I would not RETURN to the store if I found a screwup in my favor. However, if I was standing there and the cashier missed an expensive item, I'd alert them to the fact that they made a mistake. It's no different than if the cashier give you change for a $100 when you gave them a $20.

Submitted by cr on December 2, 2008 - 4:07pm.

You're not paying more for something by going back and paying what you weren't charged in the first place. You're paying what you owe.

What if they made the error in their favor, and charged you twice for it? Would you go back?

I'm not saying I wouldn't be tempted to keep it and say nothing but things like this have a tendency to catch up to you.

Submitted by flu on December 2, 2008 - 4:39pm.

Actually, it depends if it's a big chain store of a mom-and-pop operation.

Mom-and-pop store. Heck no....
Big store, most likely not.

Submitted by stockstradr on December 2, 2008 - 5:09pm.

One day my wife and I go to a camping / hiking / sports retail outlet.

We go up to checkout cashier with about $800 worth of hiking stuff. We put it all on the counter. That was an unusual amount of stuff for us to buy. We were preparing for a hiking trip in Europe.

After checking out, we walk out to the car. On the way, I show my wife the receipt and ask, "You notice anything odd about the receipt?"

She says, "nope, did they overcharge us for something?"

I smiled and said, "Look at the receipt. They missed charging us for your $280 backpack!"

:-)

I told my father about that story. He lectured me on how I should have returned to the store to correct their mistake. My Dad is a values kinda guy, conservative working class Midwesterner. Money also seems to slip through his fingers. He didn't retire rich, trust me on that.

Submitted by evolusd on December 2, 2008 - 4:58pm.

My bro-in-law recently had $13k deposited into his checking account by mistake. He asked me what he should do (since I work for a commercial bank) and I said 'call the bank - duh'. Instead, he let it sit for over a year and finally moved it to an interest-bearing account at a different bank.

I've advised him to be ready to repay it one day, although it seems like it's his for the taking considering how much time has passed. I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is on bank errors.

What would you do?

Submitted by stockstradr on December 2, 2008 - 5:08pm.

I had a bank credit my account an extra $49,500!

The clerk inadvertently added some extra zeros to a $500 deposit.

I went back to the bank immediately to have that mistake corrected. Banks catch errors like that VERY quickly, plus taking that money would have been wrong and possibly illegal.

These ethical questions reveal a lot about us. We somehow kind of each draw an arbitrary line separating actions with figure are "right" and those we think are definitely morally "wrong." Yet we each position the line at different locations.
Most people I know would never dream of keeping say $10,000 that a bank accidentally credited to their account. Yet, if a retail store makes a $300 error checking out my items, well, I figure that's the store's problem, not ours. I'm not claiming my morality makes logical sense when you break it down.

Yet, I agree with everyone on here that I would definitely have a mistake corrected if a mom and pop store made the mistake.

Submitted by Blogstar on December 2, 2008 - 6:16pm.

Actually,this happens to me often because I buy large quantities of construction materials. It also happened at Costco when buying a stereo set. the girl charged me twice for the CD player and not at all for the much more expensive tuner/ amplifier. She was kinda of rude about me pointing out her error and I wished I hadn't.

Most of the time I point it out.Actually I make sure they get everything in the store because I don't want to be bothered by my conscience or by having to go back and fix the problem. There have been a few times when I didn't say anything because I felt the error in my favor evened the score with a particular supplier, because their poor performance and bad materials had caused me wasted time and money.

I still know this isn't right though, because the person who actually made the mistake on the refund was a nice guy and could have gotten in hot water for it, or worse. This is one reason why I think there should be no moral distinction between "mom and pops" and big chains. Also, I know customer service and merchandise is frequently bad at these stores but go there because it is cheap...nobody makes me. I have learned to do "damage control" necessary with shopping at big retailers, in other more honest ways.

Overall, I think it is good to be grateful that I can pay for the things I need, let alone want.

Submitted by zippythepinhead on December 2, 2008 - 6:51pm.

returning the money is the honest thing to do; situational ethics/moral relativism is the proverbial slippery slope, and one day we may have to account to the Great Cashier in the sky

Submitted by EconProf on December 2, 2008 - 7:18pm.

I used to think lucky for me, they made the mistake, let em eat it.
Then I had kids.
Now, I would always return it.

Submitted by peterb on December 2, 2008 - 7:31pm.

A little anectodal story. When I was a teenager, once in a while I'd go grocery shopping with my dad. Back in the day before bar codes. Anywho, he had a very good head for figures and would keep a running tally in his head of how much we'd put in the cart. Almost everytime we'd be at the cashiers getting rung-up, he'd catch them making a mistake in their favor. The first few times I was embarrased, later, I started doing it myself. Damned if the old guy wasnt right, "If you dont watch your own money, someone will watch it for you."

Submitted by JustLurking on December 2, 2008 - 7:59pm.

I also keep a running total in my head when I shop - a habit leftover from my very poor college days when I literally had to watch every penny. I notice errors before I leave the store (and it happens A LOT) and correct them then. I don't look at it as an ethics thing, but more of a kharma thing. I figure that doing the "right" thing will somehow come back to me.

Submitted by LuckyInOC on December 2, 2008 - 10:33pm.

No way....

I figure they are very lucky my wife didn't go there to purchase the items instead of me. If she went, she would banter them down $150 dollars in a hour and get 1 year free batteries. So I would be saving them at least $50 and one hour of time.

If anyone needs to buy a car, let me know. It may take her 6-8 hours, with our three kids. But, she will save thousands. I 'kind of' feel sorry for the sales manager when we buy cars. I just let her know when its a good deal, then she really goes to work. Several times I have to walk away. We have purchased 3 cars in 10 years.

She can even get our car washed free at the delear with no service done...

Just this weekend, we bought a $290 coffee table with 15% sale going on and she was able to get another 2% off. I can no longer watch. It's not a pretty sight.

Lucky In OC

Submitted by flu on December 2, 2008 - 11:06pm.

Ethics....smethics.

I'd like to see the same people that voted for "NO WAY would I return the store" or "HA, I would go back to buy more stuff"....to see how they would answer a question about borrowing beyond ones means by overly decorating their stated incomes... I wonder if the answer would be the same if the question was
"mortgage broker knowlingly embellishes your loan application. do you correct him/her?"

At what point does the amount of money involve and "ethics" get blurred?

Submitted by flu on December 2, 2008 - 11:12pm.

Rustico wrote:
Actually,this happens to me often because I buy large quantities of construction materials. It also happened at Costco when buying a stereo set. the girl charged me twice for the CD player and not at all for the much more expensive tuner/ amplifier. She was kinda of rude about me pointing out her error and I wished I hadn't.

Most of the time I point it out.Actually I make sure they get everything in the store because I don't want to be bothered by my conscience or by having to go back and fix the problem. There have been a few times when I didn't say anything because I felt the error in my favor evened the score with a particular supplier, because their poor performance and bad materials had caused me wasted time and money.

I still know this isn't right though, because the person who actually made the mistake on the refund was a nice guy and could have gotten in hot water for it, or worse. This is one reason why I think there should be no moral distinction between "mom and pops" and big chains. Also, I know customer service and merchandise is frequently bad at these stores but go there because it is cheap...nobody makes me. I have learned to do "damage control" necessary with shopping at big retailers, in other more honest ways.

Overall, I think it is good to be grateful that I can pay for the things I need, let alone want.

Actually, i will argue if a store mis..charges me even less than 50cents. Actually, in most chain stores..If the price that you are charged at a register is different from the list price on the shelf, most stores have a policy to give you 15% back off the difference, or if the item is less than $5, it's free.

Vons does this. Sears does this too. It's printed on the "consumer bill of rights for accurate pricing" store policy at the register counter. And, by all means you shouldn't feel guilty bringing the mispriced item to the cashier AND pointing on the store policy consumer bill of rights...Because most of these items are priced via inventory management systems and not the fault of the cashier.

I would definitely caution folks on shopping at Ranch 99 and never check their receipts...A lot of things are mispriced, more so than what would "accidentally happen". And if you bring it back to the customer service, they often times give you the difference even without looking at the item (as if they already knew about the problem, but didn't go to proactively fix it....)

Submitted by flu on December 2, 2008 - 11:25pm.

stockstradr wrote:
I so agree that Circuit City sucks.

It really is a true story (and example of moronic management) that in 2007, in a "cost cutting measure" they laid off thousands of their highest paid (= most experienced & knowledgeable) sales staff, then quickly filled those positions with new, inexperienced (much lower paid) sales staff.

What did Circuit City's remaining sales staff conclude? When interviewed by major news outlets, many responded, "It seems that if we work hard to be successful in sales at Circuit City, we'll get a raise, which will then get us fired!"

That story was even written up in the WSJ, and covered by the Bloomberg and CNBC and other news outlets.

Basically I do not remember having even one positive experience shopping at Circuit City. This last weekend I went there for the $500 early-bird-special Samsung 32" LCD TV.

They said, "Oh, we had a couple of those at 6 AM, but they are all sold out now. Sorry."

So I went over to Best Buy and bought that same unit for $500, and BB had it IN STOCK.

I've only purchased one item from Circuit City in the last five years. I went there nine months ago because their weekend flyer advertised a 2 Gb flashstick for $4.

They said, "Sorry. That was a typo. The only thing we got at $4 are the 500 Mb USB flash sticks"

I decided to go psycho on them. I called for the Store Manager and jumped up and down screaming bloody murder for twenty minutes. I caused a scene. They relented and sold me two of the 2Gb flash sticks for $4 each. I hate Circuit City.

So folks: why do you still by stuff from from Circuit City, BB, or any electronic retail store? If you buy a lot of stuff from say amazon, it's usually
1) Free shipping
2) No sales tax

Which combined is usually much cheaper than inside a store that charges sales tax.

I mean i can understand why you wouldn't want to buy say a Canon L series lense from amazon directly and have them through that into a box with those air-seal bags like they treat packaging of a book...But especially with amazon, you can purchase from other etailers through amazon's storefront, that do a much better job of handling of items...

It's not even close...

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?...
$1549, sales tax + pickup or free shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-Lens-Di...
$1400, free ship, no sales tax from amazon, or affliated stores.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?...
$699

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012Y8...
$565

Submitted by CA renter on December 3, 2008 - 12:46am.

I've found buydig.com to be best for camera equipment, but we're not looking at professional stuff.

As to the ethics question, quite frankly, the responses make me sad. I thought most of the posters here would be more honest.

What comes around, goes around...

Stealing is stealing; and keeping "extra" change is stealing. I've returned to stores late at night, and driven more than a few miles, to return **much less** money than that.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 1:08am.

CA renter wrote:

As to the ethics question, quite frankly, the responses make me sad. I thought most of the posters here would be more honest.

What comes around, goes around...

got data for this?

Submitted by CA renter on December 3, 2008 - 1:31am.

FLU wrote:

got data for this?

Nope. :) Guess that doesn't qualify here, with the Pigg's motto.

How about I just say following the "Golden Rule" is the best way for civilized people to co-exist with one another and live peaceful, honest, secure lives?

Submitted by Raybyrnes on December 3, 2008 - 1:45am.

I have found wallets with cash and returned merchandise to stores. I have also had people return the favor to family members and friends usually shortly after I have done something. Karma has a way of coming around.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 2:11am.

Raybyrnes wrote:
I have found wallets with cash and returned merchandise to stores. I have also had people return the favor to family members and friends usually shortly after I have done something. Karma has a way of coming around.

I call bullshit on that one...(Not that you are bullshit. You're pretty cool dude frankly)....... Perhaps that's how karma works for you..Definitely doesn't work for me that way..The entire karma goes around comes around is bullshit....It sure can come around, but it sure doesn't have to go around.

I routinely return everything i find on the street, in store, etc. I use to be pretty honest about not trying to bend the system. I'm usually pretty accurate about representing my work and my system's capabilities. When I accidentally backed into a car one time in a parking lot, I leave a note. I'm pretty careful about not opening my car doors on other people's car. I open doors for women for politeness. I do my fair share of donations.
My neighbor's toddler wanders outside because she figured out how to unlock the door....I take time off of work to babysit her as her mother frantically is away from home searching for her, thinking she was kidnapped...for a few hours, only to find her mom hours later....

Where's my "Karma" returned?

Well let's see. Things that i leave by a pool or on a picnic table intentionally because I needed to go use the restroom mysteriously vanish when I get back (and no, this isn't a rough neighbhorhood). I leave a wrench outside my gas line during the fires in case someone needed to shutoff my gas line.....When I return from evacuation, some one walked off with my wrench and stuff. People rear end me. And rather than saying sorry, they start yabbering like it's my fault (nice camera and video camera in my car does wonders to shut them up). Neighbor gives me shit by doing offensive landscaping (despite my polite rationale that a) they are violating some rules (b) a lot of what they do is creating havoc on our property line,fence,etc). Neighbor responds saying they don't give a shit. And part of my job at work is dealing with all the lies and political bullshit that people do and say to mess you up...

So, yeah, over recent times I wouldn't feel bad when a superstore makes a $5, $10, $100, or $1000 mistake....I gladly take it in recent times. To me, taking it is karma. Makes me feel slightly better that there is sort of some minute justice in this world for all that times you dished it out and got nothing to show for in the end.

Karma? Taking the high road? It's overrated. Someone probably quoted it here. Everyone expects everything to work like kindergarden ,where everyone plays nice...It doesn't work that way in the real world.

No, I'm not bitter. Edgy, maybe. Not bitter. I'm sure I would make for a very fascinating subject for analysis by a shrink.

Submitted by orthofrancis on December 3, 2008 - 3:50am.

OF course I'd return and pay for it. Just because they made a mistake, doesn't mean you should technically steal something - because you are getting something for free when you are not.
A mistake doesn't make it right.
Treat people like you wish to be treated. If it was your store, wouldn't you like for someone to be honest and pay.

No way I could live with that on my conscious.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 7:56am.

So ethics question...Have any of you folks ever backed into someone's car with no one looking? If so, did you leave a note?

Did you ever accidentally dent someone's door by opening your car door too wide on a tight spot? If so did you leave a note? Or was it "not a big deal" that warranted leaving a note....

(some of you, I would assume the answer would be "no", and yes I have "data" to back that up), too much data :)

When someone dent's my car, they are stealing roughly $75 per dent. That's the average cost I pay for a paintless dent repair dude from PDR work from dent doctor or dent pro.

Submitted by Raybyrnes on December 3, 2008 - 8:51am.

FLU
Having kids makes you more conscious of your decisions. If they asked you the same question what would you tell them.

At 3 my son hid a toy under a blanket. He consciously stole. We went right back to the store.

Was it the stores job to catch my son on the way out. You could argue that instead of the cashier making the mistake it was the security system.

Submitted by desmond on December 3, 2008 - 9:03am.

I find it typical that the biggest bragarts on this board, Fatso & Cracktrader, are the the least concerned about ethics and make every excuse not to be. Nobody respects a cheat or unethical person, just look at the crooked politicians. Next time just try helping the clerk out, then you can go home and actually feel good about it.

Submitted by UCGal on December 3, 2008 - 9:28am.

fat_lazy_union_worker wrote:
So ethics question...Have any of you folks ever backed into someone's car with no one looking? If so, did you leave a note?

Yes. And it was a situation where there was NO way I'd be caught if I didn't leave a note.

It happened in long term parking at the airport, a few days before New Years, last year. I'd returned from my brother's funeral, was emotionally wiped, to discover the battery was dead in my car. It was a miserable, raining night. When I finally got the jump from AAA, I couldn't find my ticket to get out of the lot... one of those shuttle buses needed to get past me so I backed up so he could pass. Did I mention it was extremely dark and raining? I clipped a car trying to get out of the way of the shuttle bus.

I'll admit I debated NOT leaving a note. No one knew I'd hit the car. I was quite a ways from the payment booth and there were no people and no lights. But I thought about what *I* would like to have done if *my* car was hit.

I did the right thing.

The person who's car I hit didn't get back to their car for almost a week. They told me they were astounded/shocked that someone was honest enough to leave the note.

It was expensive. But it was the right thing to do.

Submitted by sdrealtor on December 3, 2008 - 9:55am.

I'm curious as to why folks say they are more likely to return it something when they have children.

Is it because you want to raise virtuous children or is it because you dont want to have to visit them someday in Boron?

Submitted by Bugs on December 3, 2008 - 10:26am.

Ahh, the anonymity of big city life. We make our choices based on our perceptions of the risks of getting caught and subsequently humiliated.

We deal with our kids the way we do because we recognize that in order to maintain any kind of control over them in the future we need to color it as a moral issue and demonstrate a reasonable example. It's an exercise of pragmatism at least as much as of morality.

Q: Why do people who live in small communities typically exercise a little extra civility when drivng on their roads or standing in line at the store?

A: Because they know that they will be seeing these people again and the benefits of acting like a jerk are outweighed by the hassle of being ostracized from the group. The reduced size of the group increases the level of accountability between the members.

Even the people who choose to "do the right thing" when their chances of being caught are nil are exercising a certain amount of pragmatism and are acting in what they perceive to be their own best interests. They do it because, in part, they don't want to think of themselves as hypocrites and liars; it would interfere too much with their own self-image. It's not morality as much as a reflection of what they perceive to be their own self interests.

That's why I do it. I think.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 10:55am.

desmond wrote:
I find it typical that the biggest bragarts on this board, Fatso & Cracktrader, are the the least concerned about ethics and make every excuse not to be. Nobody respects a cheat or unethical person, just look at the crooked politicians. Next time just try helping the clerk out, then you can go home and actually feel good about it.

I find it typical that people like desmond chides folks and ridicules people and questions peoples ethics and integrity and/or about being the biggest bragarts despite the hypocracy of boasting of making a killing selling a home to a "sucker" who bought at peak $500k i believe (probably overastounded by the 1 shot, 1 opportunity deal of the century)

...while thinking perfectly that in their own particular case, there is no ethical issue in knowingly selling an overly inflated price to a "sucker" or financially illiterate.

It's the same nut jobs catholic priests that talk about ethics, virtue and goodness, and rape/molest children inside the church and somehow think it's God's calling to do that. Father, forgive you, for you have sinned....Yeah, humans are really ones to judge each other on ethics.

I've never claimed to be a saint 100%, nor am I proud to be a sinner. Unlike some hypocrits though, I just don't hold other people accountable to higher ethical standards from what they are capable of doing.

Somewhere between ethics, there are laws (whether it is a private law or institutional laws) which are there for the purpose of binding humans for doing unbound evil. And folks that constantly test/bend the laws serve to some extent ensure those laws hold up to the end of time.

It works similar to software. This is the fundamental rationale why opensource "code" is arguably more secure than some proprietary microsoft line of code... When you have a group of criminals looking at code telling you it can be cracked, it gets fixed before it causes problems. How many security holes do we see with microsoft????

You probably never would understand this, because never have to deal with reality and cybercriminals and hackers. If you want to wallow in thinking everyone else should just "play nice" and expect everyone to play nice, and you don't want to watch your wallet, fair enough. Don't complain when you being a senior citizen and senile, that we didn't warn you.

and FWIW, i sleep very well at night, thank you very much. Because I hold myself to my ethical standards and I don't have skeletons in my closets nor do I delude myself thinking that I'm sinfree nor do I get disappointed when justice "isn't served". Life isn't fair. Deal with it. Case in point, bailout.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 11:12am.

Raybyrnes wrote:
FLU
Having kids makes you more conscious of your decisions. If they asked you the same question what would you tell them.

At 3 my son hid a toy under a blanket. He consciously stole. We went right back to the store.

Was it the stores job to catch my son on the way out. You could argue that instead of the cashier making the mistake it was the security system.

Sure, actually I police my kid very well, thank for asking. Because kids (at least in young) don't know better and need to be setup with the most positive pure "ethics" as much as you can (because the rest of society will do a great job lowering that standard....)

But come on, where is the intent to defraud here when supercenter makes a mistake here? Let's say you live 50 miles away, and you notice your $5 billing error. You gonna call and get that bill corrected? They are going to do it? You gonna drive back and spend $10 on gas/time to give back $5 of money? Who's to judge if returning that $5 an having to cough up that extra $10 in gas/time is correct. Do you expect to get compensated by the store for going back to the store?

Is that an "ethical" and "right" thing to do? When is returning money acceptable in one situation and not the other? When does an error from one entity become the responsibility of another to correct (beyond your own family)? Must we start policing each others on ethical "standards"? Short of a laws and policies, who's to judge whether something is "ethical" or not?

This is more of a philosophical question than a practicing example, I might add. Not suggesting people go off and starting doing every ethics violation they can think of. Just an interesting topic to discuss.

My litmus test is pretty simple...Is there a proactive intent to defraud. Those that answered "I'd go back and get a better savings" I'd consider that "intent to defraud".

Again, I'd consider a few folks that sold homes at peak with the "intent to make a quick buck" off a sucker home buyer and boast "i made a killing off of peak" in this sort of "ethics" bucket delimma.

So, I wonder how many of folks on this board were willing to say "no, mr. and mrs. j6p or I can't read/understand the RE contract..... the listing price my agent put on the MLS is really overvalued. I'll sell it to you for a FMV of $100k less than what my listing agent put in mls..." Yeah, right....

But again, I'm the last to talk about ethical judgements.

Submitted by Blogstar on December 3, 2008 - 11:18am.

Hey Fatso, Do you ever wonder if the guy hits your car on purpose? Just teasing, buddy.

It is true that I didn't like your attitude about etiquette on the freeway. While we are airing it out...The way I understand it you think that people who won't drive at least somewhat over the speed limit should not be in the fast lane? Do you know how dangerous it is to stay in the slow lane for a distance? I doubt it because you probably are one of those guys who shoot from the on ramp to the extreme left in 4.4 seconds, regardless of how many people you have to drive of the road getting there. So while I agree if there are five lanes you speedsters can have at it. When there are two, or even three, the safest for all, is to drive the speed limit and chill out. It seem like every time someone nearly kills us or is driving erratically on the freeway his stupid car has the "my driver is infatuated with me" look all over it. Now, of course, some people with "personalized" vehicles do occasionally drive O.K.

Submitted by fredo4 on December 3, 2008 - 11:21am.

I'd go back and pay and make sure that my kids saw me do it. It's a small amount to pay to teach your kids a valuable lesson. Plus, when you think of all of the money you've spent on charity (it's residual effect being that you feel like a better person for giving because you are) it seems like you're just cheating yourself out of an opportunity for acquiring more self respect. Material possessions don't mean anything if you don't respect yourself.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 11:33am.

Rustico wrote:
Hey Fatso, Do you ever wonder if the guy hits your car on purpose? Just teasing, buddy.

It is true thought that I didn't like your attitude about etiquette on the freeway. While we are airing it out...The way I understand it you think that people who won't drive at least somewhat over the speed limit should not be in the fast lane? Do you know how dangerous it is to stay in the slow lane for a distance? I doubt it because you probably are one of those guys who shoot from the on ramp to the extreme left in 4.4 seconds, regardless of how many people you have to drive of the road getting there. So while I agree if there are five lanes you speedsters can have at it. When there are two, or even three, the safest for all, is to drive the speed limit and chill out. It seem like every time someone nearly kills us or is driving erratically on the freeway his stupid car has the "my driver is infatuated with me" look all over it. Now, of course, some people with "personalized" vehicles do occasionally drive O.K.

How the heck did this come up?
Not so fast. I never claimed I weave in and out of traffic or in heavy traffic, cut people off,etc.
The only time I overclock is open roads, no traffic, left lane only, good weather conditions, proper maintenance on the car. And that's with plenty of track time ,etc (where one does the real damage). I never road race(d), peal out,etc... Can't think of any civic rice boys out there with them cut springs.

I can tell you a car going an SUV going 70 probably gonna have more issues than a car going 85. Laws of physics don't lie. Anyway, beside the point.

But you answer your question. Yes, if you are doing 65 in the left lane, an the guy in the right lane is doing 60, and there are 4-5 cars behind you playing bumper darts with each other, yes you are doing a bad thing on the road despite the speed limit posted at 55...

First off, most states have laws stating slower traffic to the right. It's not a courtesy thing. In some states it's the law. Look it up in the CA handbook. You're creating a safety hazard. Technically, if you can't keep up with the flow of traffic, you're suppose to move into the right lane and if there is one 1 lane, you're suppose to pull off the road and let people pass you if there are more the X cars behind you.

Second, if the flow of traffic is moving 80 and you're doing 65, some numbnut is gonna weave in and out to get in front of you (that numbnut isn't going to be me). Though you didn't directly cause the accident, I think you definitely contributed to it. What's the big deal in moving to the right to let people pass? Me thinks (not directed at you) there are a bunch of egos that are just thinking I can drive in the left lane, if people want to go faster, let them go around me. Roads are a shared resource. And if the flow of traffic is doing 75-80, go with the flow, or move out of the way.

Let me ask a different question. HAve you ever been in a situation in which you're in the left lane at the doing the speed limit, and a CHP car comes up from behind and starts tailgating you? Do you stay in your lane and give him the middle finger and tell him to go around you? What's the difference? Interesting what authority does, isn't it?

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 11:31am.

fredo4 wrote:
I'd go back and pay and make sure that my kids saw me do it. It's a small amount to pay to teach your kids a valuable lesson. Plus, when you think of all of the money you've spent on charity (it's residual effect being that you feel like a better person for giving because you are) it seems like you're just cheating yourself out of an opportunity for acquiring more self respect. Material possessions don't mean anything if you don't respect yourself.

Ok, I'll take your word for it that you would take more money out of your pocket to give it back. In practice, I have never seen it done. again, not disputing you would do it. Just haven't seen it done.

Still waiting for a response for people that sold a home at peak.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 11:38am.

Rustico wrote:
Hey Fatso, Do you ever wonder if the guy hits your car on purpose? Just teasing, buddy.

Maybe it's my vanity plate:
TI EVOM

j/k (not mine, though I wish it were)

Submitted by Blogstar on December 3, 2008 - 12:32pm.

Sorry FLU you talk about cars and driving a lot and some SOB just nearly made us have a serious accident. I was in the second lane over from the fast lane and he cut us off from the fast lane. The mini van stayed very straight breaking hard.We really would have collided if I hadn't had the suspicion/intuition that he was going to do something stupid.

I do think the CHP has more authority on the feeway than the average road hog(or anyone else). I do get out of the way when traffic to the right of the fast lane is manageable. In fact if traffic there is manageable that is where you find me. Just food for thought, if the fast lane has people doing the speed limit it may be that it is for a good reason(above and beyond the fact that it is the law).

I did sell one of my houses at the peak. It was a relatively good price. I have felt guilty about it at times. I was advising my own clients and strangers not to buy at the time.

The other party was represented, I feel it was supposed to be a level playing field.They got the best deal in the hood and proceeded to rip out brand new decent but not glamorous, remodel work and go apeshit making "house beautiful". It went into default got cured and they continued to dump money into it. Now it is a short sale. They could have made it have a better chance of working.

I bought another property pretty much in exchange for the one I sold too.Not that I think selling and renting wasn't a good plan for many. Of course,I had equity and what I thought was good plan. Am I to say the party buying my house did not possibly have a good plan? People have the right to make their breaks legally, especially with the shennanigans that seem to confront us of late.

Anyway, I know a few piggs have said "peak sellers" are part of the problem. Maybe so. I am happy for whoever gets to buy that house next.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 12:51pm.

Rustico wrote:
Sorry FLU you talk about cars and driving a lot and some SOB just nearly made us have a serious accident. I was in the second lane over from the fast lane and he cut us off from the fast lane. The mini van stayed very straight breaking hard.We really would have collided if I hadn't had the suspicion/intuition that he was going to do something stupid.

I do think the CHP has more authority on the feeway than the average road hog(or anyone else). I do get out of the way when traffic to the right of the fast lane is manageable. In fact if traffic there is manageable that is where you find me. Just food for thought, if the fast lane has people doing the speed limit it may be that it is for a good reason(above and beyond the fact that it is the law).

I did sell one of my houses at the peak. It was a relatively good price. I have felt guilty about it at times. I was advising my own clients and strangers not to buy at the time.

The other party was represented, I feel it was supposed to be a level playing field.They got the best deal in the hood and proceeded to rip out brand new decent but not glamorous, remodel work and go apeshit making "house beautiful". It went into default got cured and they continued to dump money into it. Now it is a short sale. They could have made it have a better chance of working.

I bought another property pretty much in exchange for the one I sold too.Not that I think selling and renting wasn't a good plan for many. Of course,I had equity and what I thought was good plan. Am I to say the party buying my house did not possibly have a good plan? People have the right to make their breaks legally, especially with the shennanigans that seem to confront us of late.

Anyway, I know a few piggs have said "peak sellers" are part of the problem. Maybe so. I am happy for whoever gets to buy that house next.

I haven't recently (about driving).And no I'm not one of those idiots that cut people off. My wife drives a nice CUV with driving dynamics as close to a passenger car as possible for that very reason of bigger car versus small in a collision, big car wins. I still see plenty of idiots yapping on the cell phone and driving (or trying to drive) that are causing far more problem. They really should make licensing of cars/trucks as difficult as in europe..

Anyway, moot point. Interesting how off topic something gets.

Submitted by desmond on December 3, 2008 - 1:55pm.

Fatso, First of all you keep bringing up the fact of the $500k "killing". That was in 2005 and at the time I did not know it was or would be a killing. The reason I found this board is that I was trying to tell at the time if I made the right decision. I was having problems with my wife, family, (Mom still doesn't talk to me), brother, etc., over the sale and rentals. I have explained how hard it is to rent in numerous posts. At the time this is what was posted on Pig. I am not sure why you get so defensive when your called out. You stated you are unethical, you do brag. I admit that I should keep my opinion of others to myself and will in the future. btw, the reason it took me so long to respond is that I had to deposit my Oil and Nat. Gas check into the bank from the land I have in Texas! (last cheap shot)

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2008 - 2:33pm.

desmond wrote:
Fatso, First of all you keep bringing up the fact of the $500k "killing". That was in 2005 and at the time I did not know it was or would be a killing. The reason I found this board is that I was trying to tell at the time if I made the right decision. I was having problems with my wife, family, (Mom still doesn't talk to me), brother, etc., over the sale and rentals. I have explained how hard it is to rent in numerous posts. At the time this is what was posted on Pig. I am not sure why you get so defensive when your called out. You stated you are unethical, you do brag. I admit that I should keep my opinion of others to myself and will in the future. btw, the reason it took me so long to respond is that I had to deposit my Oil and Nat. Gas check into the bank from the land I have in Texas! (last cheap shot)

ok come, now. Half the time on the internet no one takes anyone so seriously. I see to your cheap shot and raise one cheap shot. Anyway... I think I stated I don't see a problem not calling out the a price difference being a big deal.

And I question the entire ethical yard stick, which appears to be completely arbitrary. I'm just curious why folks are so fascinated with ethics of returning $5 when so many people were perfectly fine ripping off a few hundred off other people (not that I really really really think that's really ripping people of by selling an overly inflated home). But I'm curious.

Does one teach kids to not ask what they shouldn't get and be "humble" and become a walking mat for everyone else's kid...It seems the way america(n)s work, is far from being humble. at least from what i see.

Sorry to hear about the family problems. That's no laughing matter. And yes, you did post a few times about cool, selling at peak.

Heck, fine. Folks, don't cheat and steal..... Because the government hates competition.

Submitted by cooperthedog on December 3, 2008 - 3:37pm.

Ethics is really a personal choice, there in essence optional, while complying with the law is not.

Unfortunately, many americans equate legality with ethics (if its not against the law, its OK), this legislation of morality is especially prevalent in business, as most seem to have no regard for ethics and only concern themselves with the law if the penalties outweigh the gains (the old joke about "Business Ethics" rings true).

Maybe its just me, but it seems like reputable businesses used to treat their customers with respect, while the fly-by-night companies were the ones to watch out for. Now I can't tell the difference. From General Mills increasing the size of their cereal boxes while decreasing the amount they put in to fool consumers, to major banks deriving a third of their profits from junk fees, it seems like big "reputable" companies are increasingly looking to increase profits through deceiption.

For example, payday loan rates are usury and many believe that these firms are unethical. Yet US Bank has gotten into the payday loan business, by offering loans to those with direct deposit (ie a history of paycheck deposits) allowing them to borrow against future deposits at an APR of 120%.

Ethics in government has always been, and continues to be a joke, with the Bush administration particularly egregious.

With all that said, it brings up the question of whether those that practice ethics are at a disadvantage in this world, and does teaching kids the proper ethics ultimately help or hinder them when they grow up and eventually have to compete with a system that is far different?

I tend to do the "right thing" most of the time, I'm far from perfect, and I rationalize ethics at times, though I can't help thinking that ethics should be absolute and not conditional. Though I have to admit that I'm starting to feel like a sucker as those who are either unethical or incompetent get rewarded while those who aren't pay the costs...

Submitted by cooperthedog on December 3, 2008 - 3:46pm.

fat_lazy_union_worker wrote:
So ethics question...Have any of you folks ever backed into someone's car with no one looking? If so, did you leave a note?

What if I backed into a car, and left a note with someone else's address and phone number, would I get partial credit... :)

Submitted by KCTxr on December 4, 2008 - 7:04am.

Yes, return, leave a correct note, be who you are, treat people how you would like to be treated and do the best you can. The last 46 years have added up. Some memories I have are the ones that I may not have been ethical for a crummy $10.