March 27, 2007

Two Triumphs And A Dilemma

Two minor domestic triumphs:

1) Located Source of Mysterious Bad Smell. First thing this morning, I started encountering little air pockets of Bad Smell, mostly in the kitchen but also everywhere else. The usual culprits proclaimed their innocence: twins' diapers were clean, kitchen trash seemed fine; the diaper pail, while not exactly springtime fresh, was within normal limits. I kept smelling something, though. Then, as I went to wipe up the twins after their breakfast, I found the problem: a nasty washcloth. A washcloth can turn on you like that. I spritzed the hell out of it with Febreze: when a washcloth smells that terrible, I like to do prep before it goes through the wash.

2) Used a $10 Off Coupon at Target. The challenge was to spend the necessary $100, but on things we would buy anyway. A coupon for $10 off $100 is good, but if I buy a bunch of pretty-sparklies and dishes and baby clothes we don't need, it's only 10% off--that's hardly even a sale. If I buy diapers and dish soap and cat food, it's a free package of diapers. I came home with the world's most boring Target haul (paper towels! light bulbs!), but I used that coupon.

Hey, ethical dilemma: The other day when I went to Target, I got a pair of earrings that were 75% off--$3.74. When I got home and was looking at the receipt to see if I needed to save it, I noticed that the earrings were not on there. They were in my bag, but unpaid for. On one hand, it's only $3.74, and I'm going to feel like a major kiss-up dork if I go to customer service and insist on paying. On the other hand, it doesn't sit well with me to just let it go. Usually I wear new earrings the very next day, but I find that when I look at them, I think uncomfortably of how I--totally inadvertently--"stole" them. What would you do? I'll tell you later what I've decided.

23 comments:

Devan said...

hmmm, I would feel bad about the earrings and the most ethical thing to do would be to take them back and pay for them.
However, I probably wouldn't. I'd just forget about it and put them away only to find them one day and wonder why I haven't ever worn these great earrings...

Guwi said...

I'd wear the earrings but save the tag in your wallet--next time you go to Target, stop at customer service first. Otherwise it will bother you every time you wear the earrings, and if you have a child w/ you and they see you do it, bonus points for setting a good example.

(If I did this at my Target however, it would turn into a massive pain, b/c i'd bring them to customer service, and they'd scan at full price, and I'd insist that they were 75% off, but the display would be gone b/c all the clearance stuff would have sold, and I'd end up having to pay full price for earrings that could have been free if I'd kept my big mouth shut.)

I am always running into pricing issues at Target--hello??? what happened to the customer always being right?

Sheesh.

:)

Mona said...

To restore karma points, you could return them, or do something altruistic for someone else. This has happened to me at Target and I usually choose the latter because I am lazy.

Black Sheeped said...

I guess I'm an ass because I probably wouldn't bother. If it was an item that cost more--over five bucks, say, or something that could get an employee in trouble, I'd probably go back to pay for it. But that isn't the case here. I like the idea of doing something nice for someone else, just in case, though.

coffee stained said...

I'd be in favor of paying it forward and take the $3.74 I would have spent and donate it or use it to do something nice for someone who deserves it.

Jennifer said...

I think the pay it forward idea is a great one!

I live 30 minutes from the nearest Target, so I'd probably not bother.

Mommy Daisy said...

Eww, wet rags always smell. And fun to spend money on needed items. Just fun to spend any money, I think.

I would probably just call the store and tell them what happened. Chances are they will say "don't worry about it, it was our mistake".

Shelly said...

Well, call me a Greedy Bastard but I say keep them and don't worry about it. My theory is that they charge you the wrong price on items all the time (at least they do to me) and as often as you shop there with as much money as you spend, it all evens out. Besides, it isn't as if you stole them on purpose, it truly was their error. For $3.74 I think you're safe, but then again, maybe I'm just a bad person.

JMH said...

I would take them back and offer to pay. Who knows...maybe since they made the mistake, they'll give them to you for free. Actually, since I live 45 miles away from my nearest Target, I would call them and explained what happened (I would request to talk to a manager) You may be surprised at the response. Here is why:
About 2 weeks ago, I got to go to the mall and shop, WITHOUT MY CHILDREN, for 2 hours. Needless to say, I tried on massive amounts of clothes since I rarely get to do that. Anyway, I made my purchases and was in the parking lot when I discovered an extra pair of pants in one of my bags. The tags and the plastic security things were still attached....and no alarm went off when I left the store! I debated about keeping them, but I felt awful about it so I returned them to the store. They were so shocked that I brought them back, that they let me choose an item (within a price range) to keep FOR FREE. So, since I returned the pants, I got a FREE shirt! So I think you should return the earrings.
Sorry about the long post :)

gabby said...

I would pay for them the next time I went to the store (so....the next day!). I don't sit well with something like that in my universe that is so easily correctable. Call it conscience, karma, good will toward men or whatever, I just feel being totally honest is not only good for me and how I feel about my world, but a great example to the kids.

ali said...

i can only use cleaning supplies that i can throw away. i have this aversion to sponges and j-cloths and the like. ew. i'm a big fan of lysol wipes :)

penny said...

With the earrings: take 'em with you on your next Target trip and pay the $3.74. It's cheap and it'll make you feel better.

Congrats on the tiny triumphs!

nowheymama said...

I'd pay for them, too. Although, like some of your other posters, I live 45 minutes from the nearest Target, so I'd probably call and ask about mailing the money.

Julie said...

I would keep the earrings - mainly because of a similar experience I had at Target. I was shopping with my mom and daughter - our cart was full and we put 2 pairs of shoes on the rack underneath the cart. When it came to check out we totally forgot they were there, paid for our items and realized it when we got to the car. My mom went back in to explain what had happened and paid for the shoes. The gal at the sales desk acted like we were making her go out of her way to help us and actually said, oh, I would have just kept them if it was me!

jen said...

I guess I'm an ass too because I'd just shrug and go on with my day. It'd put me in a good enough mood to do something nice for someone else!

Every time I've gone back to make things right it just ends up confusing the crap out of the people working there and aggravates me when it was their mistake in the first place and I just want to throw my hands up and say forget it.

Once I bought a sub with $5 (remember you could do that?!) and she gave me change as if I'd paid with a $20. Way too much, so I went back and tried to explain it to her and she kept staring at me like an axe murderer, not really talking, finally took the money. As I walked away I saw her through the window just shove it in her pocket.

Mommy Brain said...

If it were any other store I would return them and try to pay. But Target's customer service is a nightmare. If it were Target I would feel extra good about that $3.74 they gave me. If it was any other store I would feel guilty and have to take it back.

Nellyru said...

I'm in the Ass Club, too. Because given the number of times I've gotten home from the store and discovered that items I'd paid for didn't end up in the bag, I'd be calling it even. Especially since it takes me 45 minutes to get back to the store. That, and I'm lazy. And gas is $3 a gallon here and I'll be damned if those earrings would go from a $3.74 bargain to a 12-dollars-and-three-hours-of-my-time purchase.

I'm really not that hateful of a person, though. Really.

Jenny H. said...

I am the type that would have to pay for them. The guilt would be too much for me. Yes, I know it was only $3.74, but that isn't the point.

I can't wait to see what you decide!

Bunny said...

I don't know, if I was going back there the next day I might pay up. But really, I might just get over it and figure its a fair trade for that shampoo, conditioner and face wash they forgot the put in my bag. And now it's like 2 weeks later and I don't know if I should go back, but we're talking like an $8 donation to Wal Mart. Oh, sorry! We're talking about you here!

Erica said...

I'm in the Ass Club, too. I'd just keep 'em. I'd consider it payback for the times when I buy groceries and they forget to give me a bag of things I paid for. (It's usually the milk they forget to give me.)

Plus, it's not like you don't shop there all the time... you make it up in volume, right?

Jenny said...

Another ass, here.

If it were an independant business, I would definitely pay for them, but come on, it's TARGET. They are multi-billion dollar corporation, they'll be okay.

I like the idea of paying it forward, though. Maybe leave it in the tip jar somewhere?

Trena said...

Hmmm...I guess I'm in the majority as well. I'd keep them--only because of two things a) by the time I'd make it back to Target to explain what had happened, I would have spent close to the equivalent in gas and b) I'm with alot of other posters in that the times that I've noticed an error (they gave me too much change etc.) the clerk or whomever gives me the stink eye like I'm some weirdo for trying to be honest. Not worth the grief and aggravation for $3.74.

el-e-e said...

Keep 'em! The girl at my Target register the other day just GAVE me $2 extra in change, because she couldn't get the computer to calculate it and was totally frustrated.

I cancelled you out! You're welcome!