If you break it, you pay for it. One day in Macy's Department Store,

@anawar (2406)
United States
June 13, 2008 11:57pm CST
I picked up a glass coffee pot from a Mr. Coffee machine. The price was so low, I considered buying it. While deciding, it slipped from my fingers and fell to the floor. I brought the broken pot up to the salesman with sorrow in my eyes, prepared to pay for it. He looked at me and laughed. He said they have so many of those pots that no one cares if one gets broken. He took it from my hands, set it on the shelf behind him and turned to the next customer. If you thought you had to pay for something you broke, what would you do?
6 people like this
22 responses
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
15 Jun 08
I have broken items before (or rather my children with me have), and have done the same thing of taking the item to customer service OR the store owner. Only one time was I asked to pay for the item, but the lady was very kind and understanding how the accident occurred - she also sold it to us at her cost rather at the selling price. We took the item home and repaired it. I think the larger stores have no problem just writing it up as a loss for either their insurance or their taxes to cover.
4 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
Modestah_ What kind of store are you talking about? It must be a privately owned shop? The woman was indeed kind and compassionate, even though she needed you to pay for the item. Do you still have it? Apologies for the delayed response.
1 person likes this
@getnbuy (1314)
• United States
14 Jun 08
If I broke it and they said I had to pay for it, then I would. Usually they have signs posted saying"You break it, you pay for it" If they said I didn't have to pay for it, I would accept that, though.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
I definately wouldn't insist if they told me I didn't have to pay for it. What a pleasant surprise though. I really didn't want to cough up extra money for something I broke!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 08
I'm responding to this discussion as well as the Cleanup In Aisle Five. Supermarkets and department stores expect mishaps; that's probably why the prices are high. If you accidentally drop and break something, by your own merit, you should try to report it to the nearest cashier or Customer Service. However, I've seen people who just walk away! Thank G-d I only dropped boxes or cans that got dented; I bought it anyway. (I'm too honest.) I have seen people carry around in their cart ice cream or meat, then decide they don't want it - and have a nerve to put it back - sometimes not even where they found it. Not me - if I took it I buy it, even if I decide I don't want it. On the other hand, I have purchased something that broke in use, or they decide it doesn't work well or they just don't like it. Some people (like me) just throw it out and go buy another. Some will return it to the store, claiming it was defective when they bought it, and try to get another one free to replace it. I hate returning anything, even if it means throwing it out and buying another, giving it away, or just use it anyway.
3 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
Janet_ I posted both discussions because to me, I experienced different feelings depending on the store. I think everyone drops something at the grocery store, but I felt like all eyes were on me in the department store! Your commments are so concise and correct. There's no such thing as too honest, but not everyone understands this personality trait. I try not to throw things away, but I think items are designed to break so we do have to buy replacements.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164447)
• Garden Grove, California
15 Jun 08
hi anawar I would have done the same thing as I would be embarrassed and feel guilty as sin. it was nice of the salesman to be kind to you. I imagine most pf us would have done exactly the same as you. we are as abunch of mylotters pretty nice people dont you think.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
Hatley_ I haven't met one mylotter I didn't like. I don't always agree with them, but that's what mylot is all about. Wait, aren't those the words to the hokey-pokey? Sorry, I can be very silly because I like to have fun. I do so love mylot and green eggs and ham. Okay, I'll stop. Thanks for coming back to chat.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jun 08
If I break something while in a store I would bring it to the customer service desk and confess up to it that I broke it and would pay for it that is the right thing to do. I have done this a couple of times and felt bad about it for I shouldn't have been touching it in the first place or this wouldn't have happend but yes I would turn it in and pay for it.
3 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
Remembering_ It feels good to do the right thing, even if we're upset by our actions. As time goes by, these little correct moral decisions come back in positive ways and make our life more enjoyable.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31634)
• United States
14 Jun 08
I always assumed I'd pay for anything I broke so, like you, I'm careful and don't pick anything up unless I'm really interested. I would do the same as you did, though, I'd offer to pay for it.
3 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
dragon_ brilliant minds think the same.
1 person likes this
@littleowl (7157)
16 Jun 08
Hi anawar-I would of done what you did and offered to pay for it normally here in england you can get away with it but sometimes you also haveto pay for it so its a catch 22 situation-your friend littleowl
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (105559)
• United States
16 Jun 08
I have offered in the past to pay for broken items. Or to pay for a second drink if I spilled the first one. The usual response is that it is not necessary. But I still am willing.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
19 Jun 08
You spill drinks as well? One day, I went to a bar with a girlfriend. I don't drink so I ordered a diet coke. I can get very animated when I'm talking. I don't think that coke was in front of me for more than 2 minutes when I knocked the contents across the bar. Now, that was embarassing.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jun 08
LOl I would have done the same thing you did lol. But the truth of the matter is if the store has no signs stating that you have to pay for things that you break you don't actually have to. I work at a store called peavy mart and we sell lawn ornaments and farm supplies. Well one day while I was working it was crazy busy and some guy just pushed his cart to the side instead of taking it back and he hit and broke a $150 fountain he the proceeded to pick the pieces up and one of our floor guys went up and said he would take care of the mess and the guy left. I was shocked because like you I always thought if you break something you have to pay for it. That's when I asked about it and was told that there has to be a sign posted.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
14 Jun 08
That's a new one. I thought it was standard policy too. Lucky for the customer on that one. I wonder if it's a write-off for the store to off-set profits? I think too much. anawar out.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jun 08
I always though it was standard policy as well lol. Our store is out the money now we can't send them back. I find that kinda weird but same thing happened when we recieved a broken gazebo.
1 person likes this
@jashley1 (746)
• United States
18 Jun 08
Well that was nice of him - I always thought if you break it you pay for it also! I'm always super cautious around any expensive items because I wouldn't know what to do if I broke it. Of course I would tell the truth, but would do it with the hopes that someone would be merciful enough not to make me buy it :-) I'm glad you didn't have to pay for it.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
19 Jun 08
jashley1_ Lucky for me it was just a Mr. Coffee pot. They aren't expensive and you can find them anywhere. I have to remember to move slowly. That's my problem. I move too fast and that's how accidents happen. I think I was born moving fast, it might be genetically hardwired into my brain.
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9690)
• Canada
18 Jun 08
I would do the same as you. I was taught that if you break it you buy it. Even if they say its all fine they have many of these I would still feel very guilty if i wasn't required to pay for it.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
19 Jun 08
saundyl_ I felt guilty for awhile, but I knew it was better to let the bad feelings go. Carrying around guilt isn't good for anyone. Travel lightly.
1 person likes this
@lisado (1230)
• United States
14 Jun 08
In stores that size they are used to having stuff get broken and not paid for. They ship it back to the manufacturer for a refund so they really aren't out anything, either. I'd still take the pot to customer service and pay for it if they asked, but in a large department store they expect a certain amount of breakage and don't ask you to. In a mom & pop type of store, however, I would pay for it even if they said I didn't have to. Most of them have signs up (I've seen them in smaller shops in the mall or in the kiosks) saying if you break it you buy it so people will be more careful. Some of the stuff is handmade and can't simply be re-ordered. They don't have the wiggle room on the profit side that a large store does and breakage could hurt their bottom line.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
I like the smaller stores, but I'll admit, I'm a little put off when I read those signs. I feel like they are insulting my integrity. Your explanation helps me understand the necessity for those signs. Thanks for helping me out. If you see my response, please forgive the delayed response. Right after I posted these questions, my computers got hacked into. I only now got back online. Thanks for understanding.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
14 Jun 08
Aaw? Another one anawar? I just responded to the spaghetti sauce Well, it's so nice of him to not charged you for the damage. I would definitely do what you did. Willing to pay for the damaged good. But maybe each stores has their own rules.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
Yes, I know. A dropped coffee pot and spaghetti sauce. Dropping something in a grocery store seemed so different to me than dropping something in a department store, I had to set up two discussions. Thanks for replying to both!
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
14 Jun 08
I would do exactly what you did. It's the only right thing to do. Of course, if it happened to be in a store like, oh, say Tiffany's, and I broke an expensive, one-of-a-kind glass knick-knack, I would have a lot more than sorrow in my eyes! I'd be bawling like a baby, because I KNOW I'd have to pay for it! But it really is your responsibility to pay for something you break. A lot of the time, though, I think that the reaction of the store would be the same as yours... no worries! I just couldn't live with myself if I tried to "get away with it" by not telling a salesperson or customer service. The stores have insurance on their merchandise, so they'll get paid no matter if you have to pay for it or not. Of course, that may just be a good argument if you break something like I mentioned above. Unfortunately, I've heard a lot of stories from my son who works at Wal Mart. There are a lot of dishonest people in this world. He's not only seen broken merchandise, obviously broken by a customer, just sitting on the shelf or floor, or even worse... empty boxes from people stealing whatever was in the box. It might be hard to steal a Mr. Coffee machine from the box, but I think you get my point. He's found a pile of empty movie cases in the restroom, and he tells me that he's seen people walking into the store, picking up something on the more expensive side like a DVD player, and take it right to customer service saying they lost the receipt, to get "their money back"!!! Sorry, I'm rambling. It just makes me so angry when people do things like that because it usually ends up with the store raising prices to offset the stolen or broken merchandise, instead of improving security.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Jun 08
mental_ I didn't think Walmart let anyone steal from them. I do know their return policy is lax. I know people who have done some of the things you mentioned. I wonder what it would cost to pay for a breakage in Tiffany's. I think I'll stay out of that store to spare any chance encounters. I don't know if I would cry. In public, I can hold my composure. It's in private I break down, if at all. I always like your rambling, you know that!
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
14 Jun 08
I would go admit my mistake and be prepared to pay for it! I always warn my daughter that she should only look and not touch things because if she breaks them, mommy has to pay for them, and mommy doesn't want to have to pay for something she didn't want that she cannot use because it's broken.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
14 Jun 08
mommyboo_ That's very sound reasoning and easy for a child to understand. As parents we're responsible for teaching kids and it's not an easy task!
@twallace (2675)
• United States
14 Jun 08
Girl that is a big one; I try not to touch certain things in the store that might have to be paid for out of your pocket. But I'm surprised that you didn't have to pay for it. Macy's is a high end store they have really exspensive things and that was cool that you didn't have to worry about it. That was real nice of the sales man.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
14 Jun 08
twallace_ That's what was so funny. It wasn't like he was nice, more matter of fact and bored. Macy's has incredible sales. I never set foot in the door unless there's a sale sign in there somewhere. I've bought things at Macy's on sale that cost less than buying them at a Wal-mart.
1 person likes this
@Cocoa33 (921)
• United States
14 Jun 08
wow, that was nice of him. u know most stores will make u pay for it. they want to make sure they get their money for the item that was broke. they want to make sure their profits don't go down.
1 person likes this
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
14 Jun 08
U are lucky to be in such a good shop with understanding staffs.. haha ^_^ If not most of the time, it will be, 'once broken considered sold'.. ANd it's actually quite rare for shops to say that u need not pay but i will pay for the thing i have broke if it's my mistake ^_^
@SViswan (12071)
• India
14 Jun 08
I always assume I have to pay for something I break. No other option than to pay up. I'm not going to pretend I didn't break anything and walk away.
1 person likes this
@jamie08 (430)
• United States
9 Oct 08
i think i would have just left it and walked away. i know that is super bad, but if i am just looking and i accidently break it i only have like 5 dollars to my name so i wouldnt be able to pay for it so.