Black and White Decision
One potential answer to this question is that you should correct the cashier and bring up the the missed item on your order. It doesn’t matter if you made it all the way home and didn’t realize the issue for a few hours.
As a past cashier myself, I know that busy lines and a long day can easily result in a slip up and the cashier missing an item when you check out. I greatly appreciated the customers that corrected me because the boss kept pretty close tabs of unaccounted for items! Bosses noticed even faster when they were high dollar value items.
Of course, the other option is to simply not say anything and keep the item. This is where things get trickier and the shades of grey start to creep in. There are many excuses people might make or ways that people justify not going back to pay for the item.
Timing of Noticing
The next factor to consider deals with how long it took until you actually realized that you weren’t charged for an item. Would it make a difference to you if you realize the cashier forgot an item before the transaction ended? How about if you made it just out the door, down the street or all the way home? Would you turn around and go back to pay for it? At what point would it be too late and would you keep the item?
Amount the Unringed Item Cost
So say this forgotten item on your transaction was just a couple bucks, would you just let it go? What if it cost more than $10? Is there a certain pricing level that would make the average person feel guilty enough to return and pay for it or would it just make most of us feel like we kinda won the lottery?
Type of Store
Last but not least, would the type of store make a difference in your decision? Would you feel less inclined to return to pay for an item at a big box store that easily absorbs the cost of lost merchandise? How about a mom and pop store that depend on every single sale for their lively hood?
Let me know if you have ever been in this situation and what you did/would have done! Lets get some discussion going!