We’ve been on the look-out for nice looking ceiling fans for several weeks and when we mentioned this to a contractor he recommended a store about 20 mins away. We went over there and did indeed find one model we really liked. It was $275 (and we wanted 4), so we came home, did some research on the make and decided on size and colour. We called the store the next day to confirm our order and arranged to go in later to pick them up and pay.

Here’s where the dilemma comes in. When we went in to buy them, the owner of the store accidentally only charged us $175 per fan. We bought some other light fittings while we were there and so we only figured out this discrepancy in the car on the way home. The question therefore was, should we say anything or not??

I’ll be honest, we talked about it for quite a few minutes before deciding, as he’d under-charged us by $400, which is a good chunk of change. We didn’t feel we’d done anything wrong, so weren’t duty bound to correct his error. However, although neither of us believe in karma, we do believe in ‘do unto others as you’d have done unto you’ (or whatever the exact phrase is). Part of our decision was also based on the fact that this was a local, clearly family run store (the owner, his daughters and various other family members all work there) and $400 out of their takings would probably hurt. Plus they’d been extremely friendly and helpful during the sales process and had already given us some good discounts. If it had been a big chain store we’d have been much more likely to keep quiet, but instead we called and explained that we thought he’d mis-charged us. Initially he was confused by the question but once he checked his paperwork it became clear… “oh no!” he said.

This all happened yesterday, so we arranged to go in today and settle up. He was very pleased to see us and thanked us profusely for coming back (we doubt they’d ever have noticed otherwise). As a gesture of thanks he only charged us $265 per fan, so we saved $40 on the original price and have clear consciences to boot. As a practical consideration, we’re still not 100% sure about the fan colour we’ve picked (all 4 are silver), so we might want to swap 2 for white ones. As things are now, we won’t have any trouble exchanging them, and we should get good discounts on future purchases! 🙂