Would You Pay Back a Store if They Refunded The Wrong Amount?

Background- I manage a retail store.

On my day off a customer came in requesting a refund, which they were entitled to. Newish guy working that day called me to confirm, I authorised and he processed it.

Unfortunately he processed it at full price when the item had been originally bought at a substantial discount.

We caught the mistake the following day, contacted the customer and made arrangements for them to pay back the difference. They were understanding, a little embarrassed that they hadn't realised initially and paid us back straight away.

All in all it went very well, at least, as much as it can after what could have been a pretty big stuff up.

My question is, what would you do in the same situation?

Poll Options expired

  • 0
    Pay it back partially, or on the condition you get some kind of discount on future purchased
  • 2
    Something else (comment
  • 8
    Tell us to suck it, you're keeping the cash
  • 13
    Take the money and run, dodge phone calls and emails
  • 300
    Graciously pay it back, everyone makes mistakes


  • +1

    I’d pay back as it’s the right thing to do. But store should arrange for reasonable means for the transfer (if store is like 1hr away from me it’s kind of difficult to set aside time just to settle for $150 and i’d prefer online transfer instead)

  • +1

    A couple of times I've accidentally forgotten to pay for takeaway - stores that usually take the money when you order but they're busy and we both forget I haven't paid. I go back and pay when I realise. The person working was so confused one time.

    Another time JB hi-fi sent me 2 of something I only ordered 1 of. If they'd contacted me I'd have returned it at their expense. I didn't bother contacting them.

    Telstra sent me an expensive phone case I didn't order, I'd spoken to them about my Boost prepaid around the time it was sent. I believe they sent it to me instead of someone else. I tried calling a couple of times and letting them know to make sure the person who ordered it would still get it, but they weren't at all interested in looking into it.

    In store I correct if I'm given too much change or whatever. Small businesses or individuals I'll go out of my way to make sure I fix it if I'm aware of any issue where I've received too much/not given enough. I don't really care with big business, but if they notice I'll rectify it (or if I notice in store), if it's their fault it's up to them to make it as easy as possible.

  • My very first job at Woolies, customer asked me for $300 cash out. Back then, our system didn't have an option for cash out or if it did I didn't know cos I was new. Anyway, I would just add whatever the amount customer wanted out on top of their groceries bill and then would give them the extra. Nevertheless the biggest stuff up was that I put through the transaction as cash and gave them extra $300 and they didn't pay a cent.

    When they did the did the register count at the end of trade, there was big chunk of money missing.

    The good customer rang up the next morning, came and spoke to my supervisor and gave the cash back and paid for their groceries. Biggest stuff up I ever did while working in retail.

  • +1

    If this happened at woolies or coles then I would not return the $ given the swings and roundabouts. How many times have I bought a $3 Avo only to come home and throw it out as it was grey/black inside and inedible. Then there are times that prepackaged deli meat stinks like crap when opened and only good for the rubbish too… don't really want to take it back to the shop for a refund in my car and stink it out!

  • A bank teller mistakenly handed my mother $4000 cash in the 1980s at the end of depositing the business weekly takings. She handed it back immediately but the teller denied it belonged to the bank and wouldn't accept it. I remember her saying "it must have been in your handbag" as I looked at 2 folds of grey paper notes as a child. That evening the teller called frantically wanting us to bring the money back. I don't recall any thank you notes, flowers, etc.

    • Were you wearing a red flower or anything? Maybe she gave a bribe to the wrong person. "Excuse me ma'am, but I believe that wad of cash was already in your handbag, wink, now make room for the line please".

    • I had a similar occurance last week, all be it a significantly smaller amount but not insignificant.

      Walking back to the car I looked at my receipt to see how much it was, and then realised I had only been charged for about half of the items, so I walked back, found the person who served me and let him know about the error.

      Whenever I have done this in the past I have usually been thanked for my honesty, not this time, instead the cashier was abrupt, seemingly annoyed that I had pointed out his error.

  • Is this even a question?

    If you were paid extra, politely explain to the person at the counter that you are refunding me more.
    If you did not realise it at the store, then as soon as you realise it, contact the store to arrange for a refund.

    If you didn't realise that you were overpaid, but they called to admit mistake, accept graciously.

    Same for where you are overcharged.
    I am particular about checking the invoice after making the payment.
    Everyone makes mistakes. If they didn't scan am item, I tell them and pay the difference.

  • +1

    I am surprised as to the stupidity of the POS system you employ.
    Have you thought on the lines of improving the process and making sure it doesn't happen again?

    • +1

      Addressed this a couple of comments back.

      SOP wasn't followed which exposed a loophole we weren't aware of.

  • A few year ago, was charged 90$ for a pint in a very busy pub (paid via tap n go) and I did not get back my money despite chasing the venue manager a week later. Since then I pull out 50$ for friday night drinks after work :-) Post COIVD havnt been on FND !!!

  • OP - I hope you gave the honest customer a thankyou gift voucher or something like that. Them behind decent and handing back the $150 difference surely makes a $75 (for example) gift voucher for them look like a good honest outcome for both of you - or give them an amazing deal on something else they're wanting in store.

    Its hard to find people that honest sometimes so I'm sure you're very grateful to have them as a customer!

  • I bought Amazon gift card $200 worth from Aus post online. They sent to the wrong address and I requested to resend to me. I activated it but a couple of months later I managed to retrieve the original post with the $200 gift cards intact. I emailed Aus post to charge me back for the additional $200.
    They charged me but they didn’t seem to appreciate my effort that much. At that moment I thought I could’ve kept this.

    • 2nd charged - no cashback… Auspost should have discounted here.

  • I had a similar issue (as a customer).
    I submitted an insurance claim for a lost item valued at $1400, but they should pay me $800 (factoring in cap and excess). They paid me $1400 in a gift card.
    2 months later, they emailed and cancelled the card, and said they will reissue a gift card for $800.
    They apologised for the confusion.

    While they were right, I think just 'apologising for the confusion' in an email wasn't the best customer service. I expected at least a call and apology. Was I expecting too much? or too little?

  • +1

    so for people who graciously pay it back, and have previously purchased a deal on ozbargain when it was a price error, did you pay back the difference in the price error?

    • As I was reading through all the comments, I couldn't help but think that these are some people who jump on a price error and wouldn't bat an eyelid about it

  • +2

    Should have been an option

    "Pretend to not realise, take the over amount. If you get away with… cool…."

    • +1

      Yep that's my vote! Ahha
      Anyone who doesn't pay back after they have been asked to is a jackass. But if no one asks, you're lucky.

  • Disconnected my Telstra connection. I had a credit of $1.92 to be refunded by Telstra. The invoice asked me to call customer care and get a refund. Telstra customer care is located in 3rd world countries and took 30 mins confirm all my details and I was advised that refund will be given in 7 business days. Been 1 year already and no signs of refund.

    If this were the opposite and I owed them, then it was a big deal as if I apply for any loan it will likely be denied.

    Sorry no, I won't bother calling them again for my refund.

    • It's that the amount is $1.9, but Telstra's email support is pretty good.

      I'd rather send an email instead of waiting on the phone for half an hour. That way I'd have a written record, and don't need to waste more than a minute or two of my time asking for my money back.

      • There was no waiting on the phone to get to the agent. Just that the support staff was too slow to work on. And they specifically asked me to call to get a refund.

        • There was no waiting on the phone to get to the agent. Just that the support staff was too slow to work on.

          Sure, I meant you had to waste your time waiting around regardless of the reason.

          I am not sure why they would ask you to call, but I would have just sent an email instead as they're required to respond. Of course, you chose to call and it's your decision and I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just stating what I would have done.

  • +3

    small business yes, otherwise not unless they ask for it back

  • i ordered some insulation batts last year, they delivered the wrong size, i called them up and they said they would come swap them over. i left the old ones out the front for the courier, but they dropped off the new ones and still left the old ones, i didn't have the contact details for the company as i had ordered through a third party.

    they were in my garage for about 2 months before i got another call from the company asking if i still had the batts and if they could come collect, i think the guy on the phone was pretty happy that i still had them, it was about $800 worth.

  • Small business - repay it.
    Large business and it's not out of my way - repay it
    Large business and it's out of my way - repay it if they can compensate me in some way for my time OR make it so it's not out of my way (online bank transfer, etc)

  • absolutly, I recently bought some parts for my car from ebay from Germany…It was delayed by over 1 months, contacted the seller who refunded the entire amount. The item arrived the following week, I emailed them and paid the money back. They were happy with the honesty and now I've got a reliable parts dealer at discounted prices… :)

    • Were the parts genuine and good? If so, could you please share the details of this ebay store? Thanks!

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