If the cashier gave you a freebie, would you point it out and insist on paying?

United States
August 25, 2007 10:58pm CST
Once, just after I gave birth to my daughter, I was buying diapers in a local K-Mart and the check out woman forgot to ring up my diapers. So, instead of paying $20 for diapers and assorted small stuff, I paid less than six dollars. I didn't figure out what she had done until I was in the car ten miles down the road with a crying baby in the back seat and too late to go back to say something about it. However, I'm not sure whether or not I would have pointed it out to her if I had caught the mistake in the store. Most likely I would have. It's been almost four years now. Who knows? So, if you were in a store and the cashier or check out girl didn't charge you for an item, would you point out her mistake and insist on paying for the item? Or, would you take the free item anyway and treat it as if she had done it on purpose or it was just a lucky break?
6 people like this
21 responses
• United States
26 Aug 07
In your situation I probably wouldn't have gone back either. If I had caught it while in the store I would have said something.
4 people like this
• United States
26 Aug 07
At first I felt bad about not noticing her mistake, but later thought again. I had told her that I'd had a baby the week before and she was amazed that a woman who'd had a C-section would be up walking and shopping. So, later I consoled myself with the idea that she's done it on purpose. Even if it wasn't true, what could I do?
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
26 Aug 07
well if you are right there still at the store, i would have too. yesterday we were buying school supplies at a large stationary store and the guy asked us if the extra pen on the counter was ours...we could have easily lied and said sure...but that is not the message that we want to send to our kids (10 & 14) but if you are out of the store, do you take the chance and go back possibly to have the cashier YELL at you (becuase they just DONT make mistakes!!)??? is it worth the hassle?
3 people like this
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
26 Aug 07
yes but you would have run back if you had been overcharged right? Most cashiers don't yell and cry that they don't make mistakes. We are human and we do make mistakes. If she noticed that she had not paid for the diapers she should have gone back and paid...if not right then than later....even now. The fact remains that she noticed that she hadn't paid and she does know the clerk made a mistake and therefore it is stealing. Even if say the clerk did it on purpose...still stealing and she is still guilty. If you were overcharged....I'm quite sure the clerk's beligerence would not stop you from going back. right?
1 person likes this
@crazed_moma (1054)
• United States
26 Aug 07
If I'd noticed I'd tell her but I so rarely do! My kids are pretty good about distracting me at the check out.
3 people like this
@ranitam22 (1147)
• United States
26 Aug 07
That's a toughie in a way. Honestly if it was something for like a dollar or something i probably wouldn't waste the gas going back. but if it was a big item, i probably would because I would feel like people were watching me whenever i came into that store. I would feel uncomfortable.
3 people like this
@ladybug565 (2217)
• United States
26 Aug 07
I would defenatly point it out to her because everyone makes mistakes and she would probably get in trouble. besides the fact that it is the right thing to do. I have gone back to a store before and paid for an item that the cashier forgot or missed. maybee she realized it when she put the stuff in the bag and was embarrassed to say anything.
2 people like this
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
26 Aug 07
I am a cashier and it is so easy to make mistakes. I am always grateful for the honesty of my customers. One thing that customers do that makes ringing up items difficult is they move them around as i am ringing them up which can get confusing. Also things are sometimes hidden behind other items and I am not able to see them until I start bagging. 'so to answer your question...I would have at least gone back the next day and made it right with the store and with my concience. It has been 4 years and it is still on your mind so I think you know the answer. The clerk did not do it on purpose and if she did and was a friend of yours then she and you both are guilty of stealing. It was not a lucky break...it was a mistake and the clerk probably had to pay for it.
2 people like this
@candy111 (241)
• Philippines
26 Aug 07
I would definitely ask the cashier whether or not she had made a mistake and had not charged something to me. For me, i believe in karma. Plus these people work hard and I wouldn't want to be the reason for the cashier to lose her job, or be charged the item out of her salary. These people make just enough to survive.
2 people like this
@jz1977 (84)
• United States
26 Aug 07
I would have to the clerk, if I noticed it first. But in your case, it was after, and I would have done the same thing.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Aug 07
Generally it depends on far we have made it out of the store and whether or not I have my niece and how she is behaving. If we are almost home or there already we don't go back usually, but if we are still close we do. Kharma can be wicked, and we don't wanna bring it back on us. I knwo last weekend they charged me twice for a $23 item, and not for my $10 item and I got down the road, turned around went back, told them I would take another bag of dog food ($23) and pay the extra $10 I owed for the rug cleaner - she got the idea I guess, but still tried to let me take home another bottle of rug cleaner! I explained "No no, I already got a bottle of this, I wanna pay for that " she finally got it, but I know people who would have taken the free extra rug cleaner or raised heck over being over charged - I just wanted to be fair cause I know somehow it will come back to bite me in the rear if I am not.
2 people like this
@maddysmommy (16236)
• United States
26 Aug 07
I would tell the cashier that she missed the item. I am always paranoid at things like this that if I take it and run then it will come back to haunt me. I have often gone through the line and have not noticed my son has a packet of gum in his hands or something. I always turn back and go and pay for it.
2 people like this
@cderrs (69)
26 Aug 07
Yes,,, i think i would. Im too honest for my own good?
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Aug 07
I agree with you and I also believe in karma.
@KrisNY (7592)
• United States
27 Aug 07
I guess it would depend on how much it cost : how long I had to wait in line : and how much of a hurry I was in. I have gotten a cd free before- I didn’t realize it til much later when I looked at the receipt (niece didn’t want it). Way to late to take back then- Also on how observant the cashier is- If she is chatting on her phone- or talking to some guy- I’m not saying anything- that is there problem!
@sacmom (14315)
• United States
27 Aug 07
Yes, I tend to point it out. One time not too long ago my youngest son and I went to Target. My son got a little penguin toy and he handed it to the cashier. She pretended to scan it and handed it back to my son. I could have very easily said nothing, but that is not me, so I spoke up. LOL I asked her "Did you scan his toy?", pointing to my son's penguin, knowing full well that she didn't. She looked at me a little confused so I said it again, plain as day, and she said "Oh, I thought it was his toy already", meaning that she thought he brought it from home. I told her that it was from here (the store) and I pointed out that the tag (which was tiny) was still on it. She laughed it off a little and said "Oh, I didn't see that. I didn't know they sold these here." So she scanned it, I paid for my items, and my son and I left the store. Now if the cashier forgot to ring up an item and I already walked out of the store, then too bad for them. :P LOL
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
27 Aug 07
If they are really paying attention to their job, I do tell them. I have been in some where they were chatting with someone or clowning around a bit, and then I took my things and left. If they don't pay attention to what they are doing and get away with it, I will pay the amount they say and leave.
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
26 Aug 07
If i had been in your shoes and been down the road with a crying baby, I would have done the same thing. Although I would feel like I was gonna be punished somehow for not returning to the store. if I was still in the store, my guilt would take over and I would tell the cashier. I did that once with a pretze and d rink. She didnt ring up the pretzel and so i told her and she said"It's ok, just keep it" So in that circumstance, I felt it was ok to do.
1 person likes this
@no_chao (550)
• Philippines
26 Aug 07
in you case i will do the same.. i wiill not go back just to pay it but if iknow that it will be charge to the cashier and it is a big money i think i will make a turn... if it was just as simple as that i think i will just say thank you and goodluck...lol.... ^_^
1 person likes this
@sultan1 (73)
• India
26 Aug 07
oh its great your daughter have born and u have a work to change the diappers oh its very great job to change the diappers by paing just for 6$of just ten miles down with a crying baby in the back seat and two let to go back to say something about it graet bye
1 person likes this
@milott (2649)
• India
28 Aug 07
I would not normally do that since the profit that the the big supermarkets that they are making out from us and what we are getting from them is nothing compared to what they gain from us, and this also will not happen everytime and hence i will just get out without telling.
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
27 Aug 07
We always go back and pay for it. If we don't notice until we get home, we just pay for it the next time we are there. We have seriously gone back to Walmart 3 or 4 days later, and paid for a box of toothpicks that were underneath the diaper bag, and we didn't notice until we got outside! I have used a coupon for diapers before, and actually given them one for Easy Ups instead. I felt kind of guilty when I realized it, but I couldn't really go back about that the next day. And since I was buying a Pampers product, I decided it probably wasn't a big deal anyway.
@Jlowe110 (313)
• United States
26 Aug 07
Well, personally in my opinion, I wouldn't have pointed it out because it was the cashiers fault. I'm not a bad person or anything, but its there fault, and I just saved some money. :)