Ethical Dilemma

In December 2002, I purchased a All-Clad LTD 10-piece cookware set. I have since returned them for the All-Clad stainless set, but that’s not really the reason for this post. You see, at the time the company was offering a $50 rebate which eased the pain somewhat since the set was quite pricey. However, after numerous calls to the rebate company, I’d only been able to collect about $20 of the rebate money. Then this past Saturday, I received three rebate checks totaling several hundred dollars. Now trying to decide what to do with the checks. Part of me wants to call up the rebate company and alert them to their mistake. The other part of me is so ticked off from the aggregation of dealing with them for over a year that I feel like just cashing the checks. However, not sure I’m comfortable doing that. So wondering what others would do in a similar situation.

7 Comments
  1. I would deposit them. If they send a letter saying, we messed up and had the amount correct. I’d send it back to them. If they send a letter with the amount incorrect, I’d send back the correct amount with a note explaining why.
    If you want you can send them to me. 😀 No, seriously, I’d cash them. It was computer error they may or may not catch it. Normally, I wouldn’t say that, but I’ve had my own rebate nightmares and I think they deserve it.

  2. Hmmmm…tough one Ursula, no doubt. The temptation to keep the money is a strong one, to be sure…I suppose if I really looked at it as ethically as possible, I would take from it what I know I was rightfully owed and promised ($30.00 to round out the $50.00 you were originally entitled to), then return the rest with a note explaining just why you “did what you did”. Good honest deeds do get rewarded in some way. Karma DOES mean something…

  3. Take it…it’s their screwup, not yours, and there’s very little or no chance that anyone (you or someone at the company) will get hurt or penalized.
    Also, it’s somewhat likely that some of the checks won’t clear. They probably stopped payment on the previous check before sending the next check.

  4. I have to go with send back the money that doesn’t belong to you. Although the temptation is great, taking what doesn’t belong to you is stealing. It will bite you in the ass later.

  5. Hmm…now see, when it comes to individual people losing their money or things…I’m much, MUCH more ethical and insist on doing the right thing.
    When it comes to a company, however…boy…that’s a tough one. Really tough.
    Here’s the best thing to do: Call them up and ask them if you were supposed to receive these three checks. If they say, “yes” or “Well, no but keep them”, then they are yours, free and clear and your conscience will not bother you. If they say, “WHAT!? NO! Send those back!”…think that you might be sparing someone from losing their job over a huge mistake?
    Yah…I think that’s probably the best thing to do…call ’em up and be honest…as tempting as it may be…OH SO TEMPTING!
    Course, then again…how much aggravation was it? Were they rude to you? Did they have really poor customer service skills?
    NO..No…stick with my first answer.
    Argh…damn ethics.

  6. I recommend that you call them and let them know you received these coupons in the mail. Ask them what they want you to do. I believe two things will happen;
    1. They will say you are crazy, and to keep the coupons. Then you can go ahead and keep them. Clear in your mind that you made the effort to return them.
    2. They will tell you to return them. That’s find. Like other posters have mentioned, keep $30 for yourself and send the rest back. Win/win situation because you got back what you were supposed it in the first place, and your mind/karma is free.
    As much as I personally would want to keep it, I would at least try to return it.

  7. three words:
    new digital camera

Leave a Reply