Being Honest is Worth the Trouble, but it’s Still Trouble

This morning I went through an annoying formality which I hope most of you would also be willing to tolerate.  A $45.00 item which I bought online has shipped, but the charge for it has disappeared from my bank record.

Initially, the charge was visible when I made a checking inquiry, and I thought everything was fine.  However, after I went through something complicated with a different order placed with the same retailer, the charge disappeared.

I thought I’d get it cleared up this morning, by using the shopping site’s Customer Service chat feature.  The person I communicated with was very courteous, and after I gave her the order number she assured me I was indeed charged.

I wasn’t in the mood to type a description of how the charge was documented once and then went missing, so I neglected to provide as many details as I should have.  If I had, would her records have told her anything different?  No.

If the charge doesn’t reappear soon, I’ll try to find a telephone number for Customer Service so it will be easier to communicate.  Chat rooms have always made me less articulate than I should be, but if I’m stuck with the chat room again I promise to be less taciturn.

The issue here is that I agreed to pay for an item, and it’s my obligation to speak up if I see a problem with payment.  It is not acceptable to sit back and giggle when we get something free due to an error.

No, I don’t feel morally superior to others.  Not one of us knows for certain that we are above being corrupted.  After I’ve been hurt badly by others, I haven’t always been able to say with confidence that I would help those people if they were in danger and needed someone to dial 911 or jump into the fray.  Would I look the other way while so-and-so was attacked by an angry mob?  Would my reaction be determined by whether I thought the angry mob had a good reason?  I don’t know because I haven’t been tested that way, but I hope I’d do the right thing.

There’s an ethical question about this online transaction which deserves an answer, and I don’t have an answer yet:  If the technical error isn’t resolved after I’ve made a second or third attempt to clear it up, is it worth pursuing?

Sometimes it’s best to give up after a while and accept when you’ve benefited from something that disagrees with your value system.  Just don’t gloat about it.  Oh, and save documentation of your attempts to right a wrong, in the event that someday the bastards accuse you of screwing them.

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