Unintended bargain

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I was recently undercharged for some unfinished cabinets at a Big Box store, but despite an honest effort to make it right still ended up with a deal.

For my new miter saw station I decided to use a pair of off-the-shelf unfinished Big Box store cabinets as the base. The cabs come in a variety of sizes and would be a big timesaver in getting the project done. Grabbed a pair of them and rolled them up to the checkout along with some other items.

I wasn’t paying much attention during checkout – a gorgeous day and my mind was elsewhere – but after loading them in my car I checked the receipt and saw that I’d only been charged for one of the cabinets. Now, I appreciate a bargain when I get one but this felt too much like stealing so I took the receipt back inside to the checkout guy. He said that the way I had them end-to-end on the pushcart they looked like a single cabinet and he only scanned one end. When I said I’d bring one back in so he could scan it, he surprised me by saying no.

He explained that he’d get in trouble if he redid the sale. Besides, he added, those cabinets are broken frequently and get written off all the time. (Which is probably true: Until mounted and capped with a countertop, they are on the fragile side.) He concluded by telling me to have a nice day and enjoy the deal I just got.

I still wasn’t comfortable with this but what do you do? Go over to customer service and get the guy in trouble, or just roll with it? On the one hand this whole thing is indicative of some of the issues affecting the economy – on a small scale in this case, sure, but it certainly isn’t a good way to do business – and I wanted to do the “right” thing. On the other hand, if I play Joe Righteous and insist on paying I would ruin this guy’s day at best, and possibly get him fired.

After sitting in the car for several minutes I decided to let it go and accept the bargain. Still bothers me though and I wonder if I did the right thing.

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