You get given too much change in a store...

I’d probably try to track down the guy who was supposed to have the $15 Million for reasons previously stated… but only if I could track him down.

I had a situation that falls into this category happen to me when I was still in college. I was waiting in line for an ATM. The guy in front of me completed his transaction and left. I fumbled around, got my ATM card, started to do my transaction, but found there was a $20 bill still left in the cash dispensor (It was one where the bills spit out into a small squared-holed bucked that was molded into the cash machine). Apparently the guy had left without noticing he was missing an extra $20. I stopped my transaction, grabbed the $20, and hauled off to try to find the guy, but he was long gone. I had no idea who he was or where to contact him at, so I kept it.

If Triskadecamus’s example actually happened to me, I’d probably keep the money. C’mon, it’s $15 million! That’s more than chump change and considering my financial status for the past 10 years it would be really hard for me not to keep it. If nothing else I’d wait 6 months and then send an anonomyous money order to the Snot for $1 million.

[sub]this doesn’t make me a bad person, does it?[/sub] :confused:

If it’s less than a dollar, I probably wouldn’t notice. If it’s more than a dollar, I like to think I’d give it back but I don’t know - it’s never happened that I can recall.

As for picking up two products and only being charged for one, it’s pretty unlikely I would even know as I rarely check receipts against purchases. The only example I can think of when this happened was twice in the same purchase. I was buying several mixing bowls, 2 of each large size and 4 of the smallest. I had them nested together. The cashier took them all apart and counted each, but she only charged me for one of the largest size. I didn’t notice until I checked the receipt later. That same trip, I got a free small trash can that was nested inside a large one. Had I noticed she didn’t ring it up, I would have pointed it out to her, but I was fumbling to get my credit card out of my purse at that point; at least that way she couldn’t give me too much change.

As for keeping the lottery money from the Snot’s ticket, of course I would. He should be able to count to 20 and see that he has all his property when he leaves the store. But since I don’t play the lottery, this one is kind of moot for me.

Maybe I’m a hardass, but I figure if it’s your job to make correct change and charge me for what I purchase when I put it on your checkout, and you mess up in a way that’s to my advantage, that’s too bad. Anyway, I’ve probably been shortchanged a few times too, so it evens out in the long run.

Absolutely :smiley:

I think not behaving correctly is the start of a slippery slope.
If it’s all right to keep $20, is it OK to keep $200? If someone falls over in front of you, and knocks themselves out, is it OK to take their wallet?

you know it’s ethics - you just want to see if we can be tempted!

I hope I would do the right thing anyway.

The closest example is when I had a temporary job aged 19. My employer paid me twice over (in cash) on my last day. It was quite a lot of money by my standards at the time (no savings, living at home). Nevertheless I took the money back - and they offered me a permanent job.




'Cause you can convince yourself that Bridget doesn’t need the money? :slight_smile: Or perhaps you figure she would be so impressed by your gallantry that you would get the money and a real babe too? Best of luck to you!


“I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.” ~ George Santayana ~

I point out the error and give back the change.

Honesty, however, is punishable by extreme embarrassment:

True story. I’m grocery shopping and chatting up the checkout girl not noticing the operation of bagging my groceries. I get home and while putting away said groceries notice that there is some fancy schmancy salad dressing that I didn’t pay for. My bill does not show this item. I change into bummy work clothes to do some painting. Various scenarios pop into my head as I start to work, and I decide that the client ahead of me is sans salad dressing and complaining to the store manager. I decide to return the salad dressing to the store, possibly with the intention of impressing the checkout girl.

Stop psychoanalyzing yourself and finish the stupid story.

As I walk up to to cash where my groceries were paid for, the original checkout girl is no longer working. I also notice a large box of said salad dressing beside every single checkout line. Standing there in paint splattered clothes, unshaven, holding a bottle of the salad dressing in my hand, all I can think of saying to the new checkout girl is: “Are these FREE?”

I always give back the change. I would probably give back the lottery ticket to the Snot, although I admit I would do it rather grudgingly and forever after think he was even more of a Snot than before, even though he didn’t really do anything to act more Snot-like.

Here’s another one – if the shoe was on the other foot, so to speak, and someone returned your winning lottery ticket to you after the same scenario (except neither party is a Snot :wink: ), what do you do by way of reward? 50-50 split? A cool million?

My worst “give back the change” story involved quite a bit of change, and it was mostly my fault. I ordered a gift for my mother from a catalogue from Company X, and there was one of those things where the catalogue people called back to report that the gift was out of stock, and did I want to put it on backorder? Yes, I did, and I was told that I wouldnt see the charge on my credit card until the item was actually shipped. Months pass, and I completely forget about this transaction. Eventually, I get a bill that has *two identical charges from Company X. I phone Company X, and demand that one charge be dropped. They were very nice about it and immediately erased one of the charges.

Then, the following week, I get a call from my mother thanking me for the gift. :slight_smile: Then, the next day, I get a call from my mil, thanking me for the gift. :eek: In a flash, I do vaguely remember ordering two gifts. I call the Company X back, and they will not put back my charge! I am now mortified, and begging them to please charge me for my second gift. I talk to the phone person, her supervisor, and the general manager. Apparently none of them can reinstate this charge. Finally, the manager implies (fairly politely) that I’m wasting their time, and hangs up on me (in a rather tactful way). I mailed them a check which was never cashed (it’s been about four years). To this day, I buy a lot of stuff from Company X, most likely to appease my guilt. I guess it worked out for them in the end.

Jeeze, you’re really testing my ethics on these questions. I try to live with a good sense of integrity, but Safeway and I have a long-standing feud (they pretend they don’t know about it, but I know better), and when they make mistakes in my favour (for a change), it’s very difficult for me to do the right thing. If it’s a change thing, I’ll probably give it back because I don’t want the cashier to suffer for working for a devil company. If they don’t charge me for stuff, that’s fair ball, because I figure it goes towards evening out the way they overcharge on everything in their store.
The 15 million dollar question? Is there someway I can tell him that the ticket only won $7.5 million and keep the other half for myself? Please?

Too many decent honourable and honest people in this thread.

I’d keep every penny! I’d keep the extra five dollars, and I’d keep the fifteen million dollars, and the two-litre lemonade, and the spice rack, and the mixing bowls and trash can and - well, maybe not the salad dressing (if it’s free, there must be something wrong with it).

Not decent, not honourable, but honest in the sense of truthful.

The last time I was in Florida, me and Theo went to Taco Bell and bought sodas. My total came to somewhere around $1.50, and I paid with a $5. The guy’s al lholding it up to the light, checking for counterfeit signs, etc. Then he said he had to go get change from the safe. I eventually figured out he thought I gave him a $50. I pointed it out though, because I knew a $45 difference could mean the loss of his job, or a suspension at the least. He looked pretty embarassed.

On the other side of the counter though, I always find it weird when customers return petty change. They always make the biggest deal out of it too…they get to the front window, and ask to speak to the manager. “I just thought you’d like to know, that girl back there gave me an extra quarter…”

I used to think: “If it’s a struggling small business, I’d take back even the smallest amount; if it’s a big multinational, then it’s fair game.” Then one day, I was given change of $50 instead of $5 at the McDonalds drive-through. I drove off thinking “WooHOO! I screwed those rich bastards!”, then I rememberer that McDonalds pays its employees crap money, and they have no union, and the girl who served me would probably have to make up the difference out of her own pocket at the end of the night. So I took it back. Ever since then, I’ve been more inclined to return extra change.

Maybe the Taxation Dept. or something would be a different story.

Depends on the cashier. It’s stupid, but if they seem nice and/or were fairly friendly to me in the past, I will return it. If not, I keep it. Helps to balance the countless times I got less change than I should have, and it shouldn’t be a problem for the cashier unless they do that a lot.

I usually will take advantage of mistakes that give me too much stuff, though. One I exploited regularly - one time I was getting an Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich combo at a local Jack in the Box and when I was asked what kind of drink I wanted, I told them I didn’t need one (I already had a large beverage from a gas station). They deducted the normal price of an orange juice from the price of the combo, which made the total for the sandwich and hash browns to be 40 cents less than the sandwich alone. Every time I got breakfast at that location I did the same thing. No other Jack in the Box would do that, though.

I’d return the money if I noticed.

WRT stuff like lollies around the checkout - I’m less than scrupulous about this :(. If they deliberately put stuff where my kid can reach it and there is no lolly free checkout I’m buggered if I can monitor the kidmonster, unload groceries and keep the situation under control. If I notice I’ll grimace and pay (although I have put back expensive squashed chocolate) but if we get home and I find a Kindersurprise I’m not going back to pay.


I do believe he was referring to this.

I set him up as a one part in ten share of the original prize. (most lottery’s will allow that) That way he gets 10 percent before taxes. Why should I pay his taxes? I still get a whopping big prize, and if he is unsatisfied, well, I guess one of us was a snot after all.


“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung ~

Well, I guess I am a one man cultural wasteland.


Thanks for saving me the effort, Nanook.

Triskadecamus, that movie was based on a true story, which became the famous New York Post headline “Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip.” That was the title of the movie, too, until some moron at the studio changed it.

So, Redboss, do you also steal your neighbor’s newspaper? Would you rob a bank if you could get away with it? Are you proud to be a thief?

I always give back extra change. One time though, I ended up keeping it:

I pulled up to a Burger King drive-thru. I order about $4.25 worth of food (I don’t remember the exact amount. This is an example). I hand the girl $10.25. She gives me change for a $20 (mostly in singles). I give her back the extra and say, "It’s too much. I only gave you $10.25. She takes back what I give her and hands me back what would be roughly change from $25. This went on a couple more times (me handing her back the leftover money, her giving me random amounts of singles and change). I even asked for a manager, but she said there wasn’t one. I felt really bad for the girl. She was so confused. I ended up just driving off because (a) I was getting too confused to remember what I should have had and (b) I was afraid she’d empty the whole register and hand me everything.
Would I give back the lottery ticket? (sigh)…yeah…I hate being so ethical sometimes…

Would I share if someone gave me back my ticket? Definitely. At least 10 or 20 percent.

I can honsestly say that I will return the money, heck this last Christmas, I walked all the way back in the store to pay for my 50 cent gift tags I bought, that forgot were in the cart.

(firmly) No - and you know that, don’t you?

Now let me see. This poster is being honest, by telling us they are dishonest. But if they are dishonest, how can we trust them? Wait, if they were lying, why would they tell the truth? But if they lied, we would know they were not telling the truth about being honest. Honestly? :confused: