March 28, 2007

My Solution To The Dilemma

My mom has a good rule of thumb for deciding whether to go back to fix a store error in your own favor: if you would have gone back for the same error in the store's favor, you go back; otherwise, you figure it balances out in the end and it's not worth the confusion and trouble.

I like this rule of thumb because it isn't too tight-assed. I'm not in favor of mincing back to the customer service counter to give them back the extra nickel and wait for my parade, nor do I feel as if every mistaken penny is a black mark on my conscience. I routinely let errors in the store's favor slip past because it isn't worth it, and so I am glad to see errors in my favor making it all even-steven.

In this particular case, I think the amount of money involved is very close to being right on the line, and so other things have to be taken into consideration in order to make the decision. If W@lmart had made this mistake, I'd be rejoicing that I was finally getting some payback for all the times the shelf price said one thing and the item rang up much higher, because they are always screwing me over, not to mention putting huge pallets in every possible throughway, and, if they run out of pallets, having clerks stand in the way, since the clerks are never running enough registers and never know the answers to customer questions and so have nothing better to do than stand in my way looking sullen.

But I have two Targets I go to regularly and both of them are completely awesome: great clerks who all seem like they're working there part-time for the love of the job while double-majoring in business and helpfulness, customer service people who take back anything in any condition with the attitude that they totally agree with your decision to return it and don't even need to hear an explanation, and so few wrong ring-ups I hardly bother to check my receipt anymore. So I have this feeling of wanting to do good by them, and that makes my decision for me: I want to give them the money for the earrings.

I still feel like a suck-up going to the customer service counter with this problem. I've worked a few different retail jobs, and every so often you get someone who wants you to correct an error in their favor and then, presumably, issue them a halo and thank them tearfully for renewing your faith in humankind. I wish there was a way I could pay the $3.74 without coming across this way.

And so I came up with a genius idea. What if I snuck the earrings into the store and then put them with my other purchases when I was checking out? That way if they did ring up at $14.99 (and you guys have me a little freaked about that possibility now), I could just not buy them. The only downside is if somehow I was caught with those earrings in my purse or something, it would look like I was shoplifting them, and my truth would not sound even one bit like actual truth. But I usually get a cart while I'm still in the parking lot (hard to lug twins without wheels); I could put the earrings in the cart at that point, semi-concealed by the diaper bag or something.

This plan solves all the problems: It allows me to handle this the next time I go to the store, without having to make a special trip. It means I don't have to explain the situation to someone who's going to look at me funny. It lets me avoid the whole "I'm so awesome to be doing this, please give me my medal now" problem. It dodges the "Oops, the earrings are $14.99 now" possibility. And it wipes away the potential bad-memory taint from the earrings. Perfect? I think so.

12 comments:

MonkeyBusiness said...

I was totally going to suggest that but hadn't yet gotten around to typing out the comment! Great solution!

penny said...

The Plan reminds me of a setup for a classic sitcom screwup. Like on Seinfeld. You know, where your intentions are the best, but then something whacky happens along the way and you get totally screwed in the process, winding up in jail or something with an irate husband bailing his 6 month pregnant wife out.

Take 'em back (the next time you go) and just pay the difference. Even if you look smug, which I'm not sure how you could do that with 4 kids hanging off of you and a big pregnant belly besides, it doesn't really matter, because you're paying the $3.74 for you, not them. So screw them.

Shelly said...

Hee! If you get busted for "shoplifting", we'll all chip in to bail you out.

JayJenny said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog (I can't remember now how I got here), and I just wanted to stop in and say that I really like it here!

desperate housewife said...

Eureka! A plan. Although, I have to go with Penny in that I can totally see how this scenario could turn Seinfeld-esque. It might be a funny story, though, so I selfishly vote you go ahead with your plan, and if you end up behind bars, we in bloggerland will have ourselves a laugh!

Swistle said...

You know, I hadn't taken into effect the Seinfeld Factor. I mean, I'd imagined a security guard asking to take a look, and I'd imagined trying to explain things, and I'd even wondered if I could present my blog as court evidence--but I had not taken into account the full weight of the Seinfeld Factor, and how likely it is to affect the outcome of this plan. Perhaps my best bet is to go to customer service after all, and just try not to look pious and angelic.

Jennifer said...

Ha, ha...does sound like a possible Seinfeld episode! I like your solution, though, Swistle. You are a good person.

the Girls' Moma said...

I think your solution is perfect, and it will all wind up going so smoothly you won't even remember what the big deal was later. Good thoughts going your way!

Shannon said...

Yeah, I can totally see the security guard hauling off the entire crew in handcuffs, twins cryng for bananas.

Jenny H. said...

Do you really want to risk getting carted off to the hoosgow for $3.74?! It sounds like a great plan,but the "best laid plans of mice and men" and all that!! It might be better to just go to Customer Service!!

I will keep reading to see what happens! Good Luck! And may the force be with you!

Kelsey said...

I missed the blog while I was on vacation and enjoy coming back to this dilemma. I think your solution is part-genius and am looking forward to the resolution. Hopefully nothing sitcom-ish will ensue!

velocibadgergirl said...

I am loving the intricate plan!

Also, I am enamored with Target more than ever since they allowed me to exchange the shoes I was wearing on my feet a few months back. I HEART Target.