Archive for October 4, 2009
When a cashier rings up an item incorrectly do you inform him or her of the mistake?
The other day a cashier at the grocery store failed to ring up a few of my items. As she was wrestling with my reusable bags she accidentally moved a few items to the left of the register without scanning them. I knew I had a choice, I could let her continue ringing up items or I could inform her of the error. I decided to let her know.
The cashier was young and new on the job. When she initially greeted me in the checkout line she told me it was only her second day. I wanted to make her aware of the error so she wouldn’t do something similar in the future or get in trouble.
Sometimes I am certainly more honest than others. A few months back I waited forever in the checkout line at a Food Lion in North Carolina. The woman in front of me was paying with three different credit cards or debit cards or food stamps or something. In order to process the entire transaction all of the items had to be divided into $50 increments. It took forever for the cashier to figure out how to divide up the transactions and although the line continued to grow she never called a manager over to assist her.
Eventually I picked all of my items off of the conveyor belt, put them back into the cart and moved over to a different cashier. When that cashier forgot to ring up the reusable bags I purchased I didn’t say a word. I know the customer was primarily at fault for the failed transaction, but I was angry that the cashier didn’t call for help or inform us that it might be awhile. Even after I left the store the other customer was still trying to correct the transaction with that same cashier.
In the past I didn’t pay much attention to the register. Now that I do it seems that more often than not the mistake favors the store. I cannot tell you how many times a cashier has forgotten to take money off for my reusable bags or an item has rung up full price rather than on sale. It is certainly rare for a cashier to make a mistake in my favor. Still I wonder how often I catch the mistake and how often I actually inform the cashier. I consider myself to be an honest person, but I will admit that I do not always inform the cashier of the error.