Dear Urban Diplomat: is it wrong to let a big box store undercharge me?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My husband and I were at a big box store looking for office chairs recently. They only had floor models of the one we liked, so we negotiated a 25 per cent discount. I went to pay while my husband wandered off to another section. Somehow, the cashier charged half of the after-discount total. We just about got the chairs for free. I said nothing, paid and left. When I told my husband the good news, he said he was disappointed in me. I argued that it’s not like I caused the under-billing, and besides, big box stores are awash in profits. Deep down, I know he’s right, but in a way, so am I. Right?
—Chair Lift, Leaside
Deep down, on the surface and everywhere in between, you are wrong. Though your transgression wasn’t as egregious as a blatant five-finger discount, you still knowingly left with an overly fat wallet. Whether the store can handle the financial hit is irrelevant. Plus, who knows if the cashier won’t get reprimanded or fired for it? Without being dramatic or sulky, tell your husband that you were wrong, and discuss your options. You could go back and explain, in which case they might let you off the hook for honesty (this should not be your motivation), or donate the difference to a worthy cause. A more realistic plan: don’t do it again.
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