Do the Young Rip Off the Old

I am chalking this up to coincidence, but I have been shortchanged twice in the last 2 weeks. At least, twice that I know of. (in both cases I was compensated)

Case # 1

I purchased a pass for a service. I requested a $50 pass and then offered to pay by debit card. The employee asked me to confirm the $50 request, and the debit machine confirmed that amount. I completed the transaction, and as is normal, received two receipts; one for the debit and one for the pass. As I walked away and was about to stuff the receipts in my wallet, my subconscious suggested I look closer at the 2 receipts. The debit one said $50, but the one for the pass said $40. I was short changed $10.

thiefI got back in line at the counter and presented my evidence. The young client rep verified the difference and commented that the machine must have screwed up. I was asked if I wanted a $10 pass adjustment or cash.

Case # 2

I purchased $9.48 worth of goods at a very well known retail store and handed the cashier a $20. They handed me back a receipt for $9.48 and a $5 bill and 2 quarters. I started to turn to walk away and then that subconscious clicked in again. I stopped my turn and showed the clerk the change and pointed to the screen which still showed the $10.50 they owed me as change. In this case, the clerk had been quite friendly and talkative, and I know that that can cause a customer to lose concentration on the facts of the transaction.


I did not accuse either person of any negative objectives, but it sure crossed my mind. I would bet good money that people are ripped off by retail clerks. The question is – how often?

As for me … I have vowed to start checking change more carefully, even if it means holding up a line.

Grandpa Richard

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