If you receive too much change for a purchase, what do you do?

Where I live in Mexico, there isn’t many smart cash registers. The ones that calculate the amount given and the change. Many transactions are done with a calculator or using the brain. I figure if I mention receiving too little change, I should also report receiving too much change. The merchants are surprised and very thankful when I mention I have received too much change. What do you do when you receive too much change for your transaction? Do you tell the merchant, or take it and run?

Assuming I notice, I’d give it back. Oddly, this doesn’t seem to happen with coinage all that often; usually it’s something like giving me back $3.50 when I pay for a $7.50 item with a ten.

I give it back, thanks to a boss who taught me to balance a register (and took it out of my pay when it didn’t balance).

I give it back if I notice.

I always give it back if it’s bills, but I usually trust the coin count to the check-out person, so I don’t check that at all.

Always give it back. Most of these folks can’t afford to have their pay docked for shortages.

Give it back. My integrity is worth more than a couple of pesos.


So that they don’t think I’m complaining, I usually start out “Excuse me, I think you’ve given me too much change.”

I like it much better when they just thank me and apologize for the error, than when they act so surprised that someone (specifically me, in this case) would do such a thing. I always think in the latter case that I have done something that the cashier would not do him/herself.

I was once told I have an honest face. That was one of the nicest compliments I have ever gotten, especially about my face.

Give it back if I notice.
Shortages can get people fired.

I like this reply. I will use that in the future.

i would walk 5 mile in my bare feet through knee deep snow up hill each way to return it.

I have always given it back except once. A clerk gave me change for a 20 when I had given her a 10. I looked at the money and held out the extra 10 she gave me and started to say “excuse me you made a mistake and gave me an extra 10.” She cut me off at the word mistake and stated she didn’t make a mistake. I tried again using different words and she then vehemently told me “I don’t make mistakes.” So I kept the 10.:smack:

See posts 8 and 10… :smiley:

I think I have told this story before, but what the heck.

A friend of mine was moving into a new apartment, and as such he was buying a new TV. Since I was the Friend With A Truck, he asked me to help him transport it, which I did happily. When we got back to his apartment, he realized that he had gotten a larger TV than the one he paid for (i forget the dimensions, something like a 55" instead of a 52").

Many of his friends and relatives had the mindset of “dude, they’d screw you if they had a chance” or “Hey, free TV, take it!” or “You’d be a fool to point it out!”. He heard many discussions like this. After the discussion had died down a bit, since I hadn’t said anything, he asked what my opinion was (I suppose he wanted to know if it was unanimous). I simply said “Do what will let you sleep at night”. He called the store immediately, where happily they told him to just keep it.

He told me later that he did sleep better that night knowing he had done the right thing. And that’s how I handle all these situations: the amount of coinage involved is not worth the guilt and loss of integrity I would feel.

I would keep it.

Too many times I have received too much change when I had only given them a $10, and given it back to the clerk, sometimes having to practically force it on them. Only to go home, and say “Where did that $50 go that I put on the counter?”

I’ve always given it back.

I wouldn’t run. It draws too much attention.

But for another question: in the US, if your total is, say, $5.50, do you ever give them $10.50? Do they automatically know what to do? Because I’ve seen cashiers that looked at me as if I was stupid, then returned me 50c, then returned me $4.50.

I find that exact change tends to confuse them.

When I was a kid, I cashed a paycheck at Not My Bank. This was before I knew to count it yourself when someone hands you a bunch of cash. So I cashed my check, put gas in my car, bought cigarettes, had lunch with my mom, etc. End of the day and I still have more money than my paycheck was for.

I didn’t bring it back, mostly because I had no idea how much “it” was. Best case scenario, in my mind, was that they’d count the drawer right then and then I’d potentially be paying for every mistake that person made that day.

If I had noticed the mistake right away, I like to think I’d have given it back.

Good for you for giving it back. Did your boss also add it into your pay when you came up long? I think it’s deplorable that businesses do this. If a clerk is consistently short on their register, the best solution isn’t to dock their pay.

My wife once drove 10 miles back to store to return a ball point pen that she accidentally took. Yes I married a saint.