It’s Just 35 Cents

I was reading the comments on another site recently and a commenter complained about a customer holding up a line for 10 minutes because he had been overcharged 35 cents.  The commenter felt it was ridiculous to cause such a fuss for just 35 cents.  As you might expect from a tight-fisted miser I have a different view. My feeling is that if it is just 35 cents then it should not have been a big deal for the store to give the customer his money. As a matter of principle I would get my 35 cents.  I suspect that whether “it’s just 35 cents” varies somewhat depending on whether it is your 35 cents or somebody else’s 35 cents.  Also a feeling of “it’s just 35 cents” might lead to it’s just a dollar or five dollars or one hundred dollars.  You need to respect your money if you want to keep it.

That  being said there are situations in which I would not worry about 35 cents.  What do you think?

9 thoughts on “It’s Just 35 Cents”

  1. The customer isn’t always right, but its cheaper for the store to pay the $.35 than hold up the line. On principle, yes, you should hold out for it, but if the clerk is a dipstick and there is only one (long) line, you must also be considerate of everyone behind you, and shrug it off.

    I find a lot more money flying down the street or lying on the sidewalk in a given year than I net from stare-downs over coins with minimum-wage clerks. Much more often, the clerk’s error is in my favor, in the form of folding money, which I return.

    • My response could vary depending on the situation. I’m giving the customer the benefit of the doubt here but I have seen situations where the customer was clearly in the wrong.

  2. It is important for people to state that there is a mispricing on items. I stopped going to K-Mart for awhile because I had to bring the advertisement to make sure I am charged the right price. K-Mart got better. It was not so much a deliberate overcharge as it was failing to update pricing in the system.

    Nick, I understand being courteous to other customers, but please consider they may be helped because people tend to look at the same sales. It is difficult to speak up, but someone has to do it. I make a point of scheduling my store time where I am not in a rush. The reason is because I have been in stores where systems have went down, fights have broken out (Merry Christmas, Right), and other situations where everyone ended up delayed. I often go over to customer service not to disrupt the line, but I will go because it is important that the pricing is correct.

  3. I would hold up the line too in order to get my 35 cents…but I also pick up pennies off the ground. If it was only 35 cents would the commentor have given the person the money if they were in line behind that person?

    Also, if the person was short 35 cents the store would most likely not sell them the item. I have seen cashiers at WallyWorld make customers put items back because they were short 10 cents.

    We don’t know how badly the person needed that 35 cents….it could have meant the difference between walking home or being able to get a bus ticket…or something like that.

  4. In some ways that customer is a hero. Think about it: not only does he have to put up with the clerk and explain his case, but he also has to deal with the pressure of all of the customers behind him! It’s not an enviable position to be, and sure, sometimes the customer is wrong, but if every customer just bowed down and took it then the store would get away with everything.


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