A couple of weeks ago I made an online purchase. It cost roughly $130. It was one of those things where you order online and pick up in person, so I ordered, drove over, collected my purchase and my receipt, and that was that. Except that when balancing the checkbook a few days later, I noticed that I had been billed twice for my purchase. There was a charge for $130 and a second charge for $140. So, I called the store, explained that I had been billed twice, and asked if they would please credit the $140 charge. They were very polite and apologetic and offered an explanation about how the error occurred and promised to credit the $140 charge immediately and to also credit my account $20 for the next time I bought something from them, just to apologize for the trouble. Piece of cake.
A couple of days later, I remembered to check for the credit and found that they had credited the $130 charge instead of the $140 charge. I made a note to call and have them correct it, but days passed and I eventually decided that I was too busy. I decided to just eat the $10 instead of dealing with the hassle of another phone call. Piece of cake.
The next time I checked the bank account, I saw that they had credited the $130 charge. How odd, thought I, I thought they had credited the $140 charge. Which they had, they credited both charges. So I called them, and they were confused, and they asked if I could please call back the next morning to talk to the manager who handles such things. So I called back the next morning and spoke to that manager and he was also confused and could not be compelled to charge me $130 and have done with it. He asked if I could get my receipt and take it into the store and then maybe he could help me. And I said, you want me to haul my two kids into your store and entertain them and keep them from touching anything while undoubtedly trying to explain this to you all over again all for the privilege of being charged $130? And he said, if you don't mind.
I mind. I have any number of better things to do with my time. I feel guilty that I have secured $130 worth of goods for the bargain price of zero dollars, but I am not wracked with guilt as I have made two phone calls informing the store of the problem and asking them to be charged $130. However, since I am asking you about this lo these weeks later, it seems I am not entirely at ease with my approach.
So you tell me, if I don't march into the store and demand to be charged $130 dollars, am I stealing and setting a bad example for my children that will inevitably lead them to a life of crime? Or does the fact that I have twice asked to pretty, pretty please be charged what I fairly owe satisfy my obligations and can I move onto obsessing about something new?