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.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...