A moral dilemma

I went out and bought a Nintendo DS this week, and a bunch of games.

Got home, looked at the receipt and the total on it seemed way low. Closer examination shows that the clerk did not ring me up for the DS.

I have a real dilemma now. On one hand SCORE I got a free DS! On the other hand I like to think of myself as an honest and basically decent person and this is sort of a test of that. On the other hand - Free DS!

What would you guys do?

I suppose this would be determined by how well you handle guilt.

You could rationalize it by saying, “Hey, BigFacelessCorporation doesn’t really need my $100 (or howevermuch they cost) anyway. Oh, and Free DS!” Also, I’m sure the cost of fuckup-per-week by mongoloid-worker is taken into account.

On the other hand, if you’re going to be feeling like a shit every time you play it, I’d go fork over the dinero.

If you do not get a receipt with your order, your order is free.

Fuck the pooo-leeese.

Seriously though, if you take the thing back and tell them you did not pay for it, I bet you get the wierdest looks ever.

Yet strangely enough, I would probably do that. After a period of introspection.

I wouldn’t worry at all about the cashier or stock boy who is accused of theft, loses their job, and has to prostitute themselves to survive if you don’t return it.

Call them and tell them what happened, then casually add that if they don’t meet your demands in three days, you’re going to blow up the Earth.

Actually they don’t know what happened to it. So no one gets fired. However if you bring it to thier atention that the cashier screwed up, then someone will likely get fired. So think of not telling them as saving someones job. ;)

SlyFrog: I’m pretty sure no one can get in trouble over this. I have a friend who used to work retail and he says there’s no way they track inventory close enough to identify the guy who screwed up.

Wow do you really think they’ll come down on the cashier if I go in with the thing?

I hadn’t even imagined that angle. :(

If the company noticed that they double charged you, would they bother to fix the mistake if you didn’t complain about it? Probably not. So fuck 'em, free DS!

Pay them or you fail the test.

You should go tell them.

Keep it. And the next time you go out to eat become a big tipper. This way everyone wins except the store.

Basically it depends on how much your self-assessment as an honest and decent person is worth to you monetarily. If its worth to you is outweighed by the cost of a DS, so be it.

In all seriousness, yes, he’ll get into big trouble and will probably get fired.

No, I’m sorry man, I was just joking. I wouldn’t worry about that. They could come down on the cashier if there was a receipt for it and the cash was not in the drawer, but if it did not get rung up at all, nothing like that should happen.

Sorry, I was just having fun. I do not think you have to worry about anyone in the store; it is basically just an ethics question for you personally.

EDIT: Damn you Wong! :)

He might be fired if he has done this before, but I don’t see a first time occurence like this leading to termination. So if it’s his first time, no big deal. If it’s not, then he probably deserves to be fired.

Go tell them.

I’m not. He’ll get put on probation at the very least. Loss prevention and all that.

I once pointed out a mistake that an Austin Fry’s clerk was making while processing my return that would have ended up with me begin $200 richer. He was very thankful for me pointing out the mistake, because if it had gone through he’d be fired. “Fired? For a mistake like that that ANYONE could have made?” “Yeah. They’ll fire you for even less.”

The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping.

I’m confused by this not being a poll.

It is a pretty black and white issue. It is wrong to keep it for free. You already knew this before you asked.

The real question you are asking is to quantify the amount of ‘wrong’ of keeping this item and is this amount of wrong, judged by your peers sufficient enough to make you feel like a bad person for keeping this item for free.

Justifications of keeping the item because it really protects the cashier, are really there just to make you feel better and trying to convince yourself that you are doing ‘good’, or perhaps balancing the karmic books by saving some other person some problems by keeping the item you desire to have for free. No matter how you spin it, it really is all about you and not really about helping some cashier out.

Weigh the way you’ll feel if someone gets fired over it, versus how you’ll feel about Large Corporation X having $20 less in their pocket, and then naturally choose to score a free DS.