View Full Version : Honesty really is the best policy!

April 15th, 2017, 01:52 PM
It's spring in Northeast Ohio, with a possible daytime high near 80 degrees Fahrenheit today (average temp is 59). I went up to the local Lowes this morning to buy fertilizer, potting soil, pots, etc. When I went through the checkout, I didn't think the total looked quite right, but since I had not paid attention to the cost of the fertilizer, I wasn't sure.

I checked the receipt when I got home. Turns out, the cashier did not ring up two of the pots -- I had bought three of the same; they were nested together in the cart, but it was obvious there were more than one. This prompted an internal debate -- do I let the store know or not? I have been overcharged by them in the past. If this had been a $5 undercharge, I probably wouldn't have worried about it. But, this was a $30 mistake, so....I called the store and talked to a manager. He apologized for the inconvenience, and said he would take care of the issue at the store level -- I could keep the pots at no charge, as it was their mistake.

Oh happy day!

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter holiday!

April 15th, 2017, 01:54 PM
What often happens is the cashier now has to pay for it.

April 15th, 2017, 01:58 PM
Hopefully not -- the manager didn't ask for the cashier's name or my receipt number.

April 15th, 2017, 05:11 PM
It's frustrating when you catch the mistake, point it out and the cashier insists the total(or worse the change) is right because "the machine says so". My kids would ask why I would point it out when it was in my favor and I explained it would probably come out of the cashier's pay when their drawer didn't add up. A few times I just gave up and walked away. Really, one time I ended up getting the "difference" plus what I already paid returned to me along with the item I wanted to buy. Stopped by the service desk to straighten it out and they couldn't figure it out either. I was trying to be honest but I got tired of arguing.

April 15th, 2017, 05:38 PM
No, the cashier will not have to pay for it. Companies are, by law, not allowed to dock an employees pay for something like that - unless they get an order from a court. They'll probably call it a loss and move on. the employee may get a talking to though...

April 15th, 2017, 05:41 PM
I have worked as a cashier in several different type retail stores. I made a few mistakes over time. I never had to pay for shortages. If you are a good employee and do not make consistent errors, they are not going to take the money from you. A cashier makes so little as it is. Besides if you are making too many errors, you are in the wrong job and the boss probably wont keep you anyway.

April 15th, 2017, 05:51 PM
I agree that it will not come out of the employee's pay. However, if it happens a lot, they may find another role for that person. I work in payroll, and can vouch for the laws against this. Yes, you could have some employers that don't care about the law, but they are taking a chance, the punitive damages are quite stiff. If I overpay an employee, I can't even take back the overpayment without their written authorization in most states.

April 15th, 2017, 06:06 PM
That was nice of you for being honest. It always makes me feel good to point out things like that .

I was a cashier at several big name stores. It's not as easy as it looks being on that side of the counter. Your on your feet, waiting to take a bathroom break and dealing with weird people while trying to be nice and pleasant. I was head cashier at Big Five Sporting Goods and my resister came up $500 short. After a couple of days it wasn't me. I was up for a promotion to the office after that but moved here. My boss was almost crying. I loved that place. Learning how to string rackets and selling freeze dried food and golf balls. lol

Judy, USMC
April 15th, 2017, 06:14 PM
Julie, I think you did the right thing trying to correct the error. Ethically and morally it's just the right instinct to have. Sometimes errors are made in the store's favor and other errors are made in ours. But it does ease the feeling of guilt to have notified the store and gotten the store manager's notification to keep it.

As long as the register totals out (i.e., the total money in the drawer matches the start bank plus sales) money doesn't come out of the cashier because the drawer is balanced. If something isn't scanned it will just appear as Lost/Missing/Stolen at the next inventory cycle. And big box stores KNOW their counts will be short come inventory time ... that's part of doing business.

So enjoy your gardening time ... summer will be here before you know it!

April 15th, 2017, 06:53 PM
I'm a firm believer in honesty, too. It's happened to me as well, where an item got missed & I didn't get charged for it. If I catch at the time, I speak up. If I find the mistake after I'm home, I'll make it right the next time I'm in that store. I prefer to live with a clear conscience.

Iris Girl
April 15th, 2017, 07:07 PM
As a cashier in a big craft store it does not come out of your pay. You would get a write up though. Too many write ups and you are out the door. Also in our store the till is not taken after each cashier's shift is over so someone else could be the culprit. We get "report cards" on a drawer for shortages and overages and missing paperwork. I never get a report card unless someone else has been on the same drawer. I agree with Lorie about being on your feet (mine are bad heel spurs I stand on 3 fatique mats) waiting for bathroom/lunch break dealing with some pretty weird people. The quick change artist, the shop lifters the screaming kids, the whiney customers . One particular profession is the worst I won't say which as I don't want to offend anyone. But it also has its rewards your regulars are usually great people and those that write to corporate about the wonderful job you do or how nice and friendly you are make it worthwhile. I happen to work with a great bunch of people for the most part.

April 15th, 2017, 08:08 PM
April I worked in a craft store too. Moskatels in the 70's. Me and a couple of other friends. It was an insanely huge store. The registers were where you had to punch in things one at a time. If someone bought 100 wedding do-dads you had to count as you went. Thank goodness people were more patient back then. Our manager was a saint because we were a bunch of giggly teens lol

April 15th, 2017, 08:47 PM
Once upon a time when payroll meant going to the bank and getting CASH to make up the pays, I was given the equivalent of three adult pay amounts too much. The teller I had to use was always rude and grumpy, never smiled - very unpleasant to work with, grizzled about my paperwork and complained if I tried to make sure I had the right amount.

After I had checked and rechecked everything I figured out how to get even with him. I waited till an hour after closing time, rang the bank and asked to speak to him. "Oh, he's too busy to come to the phone" I told them it might be worth his while.

He was so revoltingly nice to me after that. I think I preferred his former self.

April 16th, 2017, 10:00 AM
I had always heard you were responsible for your drawer-Thank you to those that are more up-to-date for about such things for correcting that. I truly did feel bad when I "came out ahead" .

April 16th, 2017, 08:01 PM
I don't think that happens in large "big" name stores any more......In the 1980's while I was finishing my BSN degree I worked for an IL grocery chain "JEWEL-OSCO"......we had a limit of shortage OR overage.....of $4.99. Not sure this is the same amount nowadays, but Meijer (this store chain is in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky ) had a $2.99 limit....( it could be different now, I used to have a SIL that worked for them years ago.

Most stores do have a certain amount like this.....I was always correct, ( never short or over ) when I was a cashier. ( I did cashiering for several years. I worked as a cashier from 1971 to 1989 and never was written up ever.

My mom did work as a waitress and she spoke of restaurant owners who would take shortages out of paychecks, so I know it happened years ago.....

Nowadays it's good PR to do things like the manager did with you......how nice of him to do things like that. Many people would have never called the store as you did.
It's amazing how many $$ "walk" out of a store like this......most people take the item back and offer to pay for it.
I am amazed how many times this has happened to me over the years as a customer.....I always take the item back and pay for it.
There's been times I have found 5-6 gallons of paint underneath the baskcart at stores......I can remember years ago, finding 25 cans of spam in a cart outside the store by my car. All I could think about was that someone possibly purchased all that Spam to feed a family etc....( or who knows (?) maybe they just liked Spam ! ( ugh )
Happy Easter Everybody !

April 16th, 2017, 08:34 PM
Working at hotels for years I do know that servers would get docked for broken dishes. There as a sign by the dishwashing station with a things glued to a board with the price underneath.

Sugar a lot of people eat spam over here because it's cheap. I was in one store and the lady had a cart of Vienna sausages. I remember sending that to my cousin when he was in Vietnam. People buy them a lot for foodbanks too.

April 16th, 2017, 09:22 PM
I commend you on your honesty. There have been times I've found a unpaid item
in the bottom of my cart. It is very tempting to let it pass, but the guilt would make me
go back into the store and pay for it.