Ethical Dilemma… My Free Coat

I love shopping. A lot. Today I went shopping and chanced upon these gorgeous teal colored coats. There were two sizes left…. XS and M. I bought both because I wasn’t sure which I wanted to keep without trying them on with my clothes. The XS was obviously a little tight, and my boobs (for lack of better wording) were getting really crunched in it… but the M was a little big.

Anyway, a few hundred dollars later, I was standing in front of my mirror trying on my new clothing and reading the receipt and patting myself on a job well done (sale!!!) when I noticed the sales girl hadn’t charged me for one of the coats. 

Before realizing this, I had determined that I would keep the larger size, because I needed room to take a breath… but it turns out that the M is the coat that the sales girl didn’t charge me for. I thought about this for a while… what do I do?

I had the same dilemma a few years ago. I bought six dresses, but turns out the sales girl only rang me up for 5. It felt so wrong, so I dutifully drove the 45 miles to the mall to have the sales girl correct the mistake. While I didn’t have the requisite intent to constitute “stealing,” I still felt that I needed to correct the issue. I got to the store, and a different salesperson helped me. She looked at me as if I were crazy, then she refused to help me. She told me that in cases like this, who ever made the mistake would most likely be fired and that she wasn’t going to help me get a fellow salesperson in trouble. 

Mistakes happen, but I also don’t want to be perceived as a guilty-conscious thief because of someone else’s error. Someone might think that I actually stole the jacket, felt guilty, and came back to pay. Or they might think I’m simply insane for trying to pay for something I was given for free!

My friend and I were laughing about how I would sneak back to the store with the coat, and then try to purchase it again…. but then being caught coming into the store with a coat without a receipt and getting in trouble for trying to pay for something I didn’t even steal. The whole situation is preposterous… 

Anyway… what do you all think? Should I chance the crazy looks and go back to the store? Have you had experiences like this??

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