Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Is It Stealing?

A local gas station had a computer glitch for a few hours in the wee morning hours. Instead of charging 2.86 / gallon, customers were charged 1 cent / gallon. A poll on the local news station asked, "If you got gas for 1 cent per gallon due to a computer error, would you pay back the difference?" The results are showing that about 60% said they would not pay back the difference.

It that stealing? What would you do? What does it say about our society that the majority would not pay back the difference?


In pregnancy news - we are 20 weeks and 2 days and all is going well. I am definitely feeling movement and our anatomy scan shows everything is where it should be. Perhaps it says something about my experience that I said during the u/s, "Could it be that we might have two healthy children?!"


MrsSpock said...

I would have walked inside and asked what was up, because gas is certainly not a penny per gallon. I would have calculated the actual charges based on how many gallons I bought, and had them write me a receipt for the actual amount.

I think the real question is not whether people should pay back the difference, but why no one would question the error. Yes, it is dishonest. Just because you can get away with it, doesn't mean it's right. I worked for a man once who was a brilliant self-employed learned his trade from Frank Lloyd Wright. He had dementia. His wife told me that in the early days of the illness, he forgot to bill people for extensive work, and no one bothered to honest up and ensure the man was paid for honest work. Pitiful.

Sky said...

I'm an odd bird in my justifications.

I work for a huge multi-billion dollar company that's doing great. If they accidentally deposited 200K in my next paycheck, I admit that I might not say a peep and see how long it stays there and, eventually, I'd make it mine.

BUT a gas station? No. A mom and pop shop? Never. The stranger who dropped a roll of bills on the street? Wouldn't even consider taking it. When someone used the self-check out in the grocery store in front of me and forgot to take their extra cash from their ATM card that was deposited into the slot after the card went through, I ran down the store to hand them a fist full of 20's.

So....am I a theif? Sadly, I guess yes - because I wouldn't feel guilt allowing a big corporation to mistakenly give me an extra chunk but I can't steal a friggen nickel from a person (which, in my mind, stands in complete contrast to a company - though, essentially, it's not).

Me said...

I think that "yes", it IS stealing. That said, a few weeks ago I bought a new paper punch at the craft store and on the way home I was looking at the receipt and realized it rang up as $0.01. (The reason I actually bought it RIGHT THEN even though it is not for the scrapbook I'm currently working on is because it was the ONLY one they had. So, I'm guessing it was some old inventory someone found in the back and then threw on the shelves but it was no longer in their computer system. I did not go back to the store to pay them the $10 it should have cost. *blush*

battynurse said...

I tend to think of it as stealing too. I would have likely went in and said something as this is what I usually do anyways. It would sort of hard though knowing how many times the fuel industry has gouged us for extra money etc.

tireegal68 said...

I think I might have thought I was in a parallel universe! Big companies - no qualms; mom and pops and little peeps - never!
Congratulations on being 20 weeks plus!

Leah and Maya said...

ok so you needed to add that there was no attendent and I think one person did try and contact them to let them know. I think what they are upset about is the person that kept coming back as I understand it and getting more, but hey times are tough on everyone look at all the burgleries we have had lately, what at least 1 a day?

Kami said...

The article I read didn't have the details about one person coming back for more. It figures.

Still, I was surprised at the 60% number. I honestly thought it might be close to 20%.

It is interesting how we justify taking from big business. I wonder if perhaps we feel they are taking from us by having CEO's who make millions of dollars successful or not - perhaps they are stealing from us.

musicmakermomma said...

So glad your pregnancy is going well Kami! Hope everything keeps perkin' along for another 4 months or so!

sarah said...

gasp! Two healthy Children! You!