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Charging Less Will Always Cost More

, , , , , | Right | July 15, 2022

This took place in the 1990s when I went from cook/trainer to being trained on registers at a franchise restaurant. Computers were not as user-friendly at that time.

Two ladies, friends, separately order a simple meal and drink. Somehow, I accidentally hit the button for a 10% discount and cash the first lady before opening the drawer. There is no way back after this and I inform her of my mistake, with the second lady hearing every word, and the first’s accidental saving of around a dollar or less. This transpires right after I ring up the second lady and cash her out, making it also irreversible.

Customer: “Why wasn’t our bill the same?”

Me: “As I told your friend, I made a mistake and proceeded too far to correct it. So she got a free 10% discount by my fault.”

Customer: “But that doesn’t make sense. We got the same things, so they should be the same price.”

Me: “Well, they are; if you look at the amount prior to taxes and discounts, you are paying the same. She has only benefitted because I am learning this computer and accidentally approved a discount she shouldn’t have gotten.”

Customer: “So, you make a mistake and I pay more?”

Me: “No, she paid a little less because I made a mistake.”

Customer: “So, you just couldn’t make mine the same price?”

Me: *Puzzled* “You want me to purposely make the same mistake just so you pay the same amount?”

Customer: “Exactly!”

Me: “I can’t just purposely make that mistake. As it is, they will have a record that I made the mistake already.”

Customer: “Then let’s talk to your manager.”

My manager explained why there was a difference in price and that she would not reverse the transaction and authorize a discount that shouldn’t have been applied the first time, because she would then have to discount others in line, by the same logic. The lady did sit and eat with her friend, but she gave me the side-eye the entire time she ate.

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