Ethics 101

Ethical question for you:

I buy a computer game from EB games.  I get home, discover that instead of the $10 game I bought, they gave me the $40 collector’s edition of the same game.  Do I return it?

To a certain point I think it’s OK to say “their screw-up, their loss” – it’s not like I defrauded them.  On the other hand, my conscience’s default reaction is that I should take it back.

On the third hand, what of the extra travel time and inconvenience of correcting their error by taking it back, which they almost certainly will not compensate me for?

Ethically speaking, what is the right thing to do?

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  1. I would take it back if it were me. Yeah, it was their mistake and you’re taking valuable time etc to correct their mistake, but it seems like the honorable thing to me.

  2. I wouldn’t go to significant effort

    If you live next door to the place you bought it, fine.
    Prices for games and stuff are notional, anyway. Your point about your time and inconvenience is spot on.
    You didn’t pirate the game; you’ve already achieved ethical grooviness.
    Now, if you were single and a fine specimen of the female persuasion worked at the store, the equation would alter significantly… 😉

  3. This is one of those cases where my ethics is a bit lax. I’ll return money. If I am at the store and I realize a mistake, I’ll try to fix it. (ie: I bought a door and $110 lock. They only charged me for one. I went back into Home Depot and tried like 2 times to explain such.

    Finally I said the heck with it. I wasn’t going to get into an altercation over it.

    In this case…I’d probably just keep it. *shrug*

  4. I would give them a call and inform them of their error so that they don’t do it again. And I would keep the game.

  5. I would call, they’ll probably tell you just to keep it but then you did do something.

  6. What the others have said…

    .. with the added bit that you should make a copy of the discs first. Then.. iif you do call and they do ask you to bring it back, and then they don’t compensate you for your time and effort, you can exact compensation by usingthe collectors edition game.

    Seems karmically balanced to me..

  7. Consider it karma paying you back a little and just enjoy the game. Really.

  8. Ethically, it’s all up to you. However, legally, you have no obligation to the store. I’s something akin to a “bank’s error in your favor”.

  9. :: reads other posts ::

    In my experience, larger companies generally have difficulties with “unusual” events. Thus Home Depot cannot figure out how to untangle a simple mistake, yet the local wine store let me take home three bottles of wine when their POS was down, with the comment “come back tomorrow and pay us”. Another reason I like the small, local stores.

    If the store in your question is nearby, I think you should explain the situation, and do it soon. If the store is far away but something you visit on a regular basis, I would wait for the next trip and mention it then.

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