While grocery shopping I dropped a $6 carton of OJ--I didn't pay for it but got a new one!

So I was putting my groceries on the checkout conveyor belt. While retrieving my $6 carton of OJ I clumsily hit it against the cart accidentally and it fell to the ground, puncturing it.

The cashier told me to just get a new carton, which I did.

But, as I was driving home I thought that I might not have done the correct thing. Why should the store have to pay for the ruined OJ? If I had dropped the carton 10 minutes later in my kitchen, it would have been “too bad, so sad!”…

Thoughts? Comments?

(As a side note: my DDs had been begging me to buy OJ for months. I never do 'cause it’s just so dern expensive. Today I thought I’d splurge and give them a treat. Sigh!)

If the clerk told you to get a new one, I wouldn't worry about it. They accepted the responsibility of the cost of the OJ when they did that.

For the most part shopping places are used to accidents. You’d think a carton could withstand a 2.5 foot fall. It’s not a big deal if the cashier told you to do so. You’re in the store so you’re covered. It’s like how you have to ride in a wheelchair when discharged from the hospital. If you fall getting out of your car at home then tough luck.

As someone who worked in retail it’s also just good business practice. Food is marked up 50% to 75% so the loss isn’t that great, it’s budgeted in. It’s better to have a happy customer who tells everyone “Oh my gosh the girl at Costco was AMAZING TO me” than an unhappy one who disparages the store. It’s said that one bad move is told to up to 100 persons, so better to keep the customer happy.

But do you think the clerk had the right to tell me to do that?

I can see most employees shrugging and saying, “It doesn’t matter to me if she gets a new one. I still get paid the same.”

But I am still wavering about why the grocery store should pay for my fault. (Actually, it really wasn’t anyone’s fault–so why do we assume that it defaults to the grocery store to pay for an accident? They did not do anything wrong, like keep a sharp object nearby that could have punctured the carton…)

cleanup on aisle 5
the cashier told you to get a new carton which you did, problem solve, case closed, no problema. If the cashier had no authority to tell you that, she would not have, she wants to keep her job, and part of her job is serving the customers according to store policy which she did. In any case, what she did is not your concern. NO do not mention it in confession, it is a bad habit to get into confessing things which are not sins.

It is probably the store policy and she was told to say that. Stores normally estimate a certain amount for breakages in their budget. Don’t worry about it. Or, if you can’t stop worrying about it, say it in Confession.

I am appeased! Thanks to all for your responses! :)

It’s good customer service to eat losses like that. Think about it. If word gets out that the manager will make you pay for every little mistake, people might shop elsewhere, and they’ll lose more than the cost of a few spilled items. That policy likely makes money for the store in the long run. I would take the employee’s word for it that it’s ok.

Sounds like you were the recipient of a small favor and you feel undeserving. I say the best way to handle it is to pay it forward – do small favors for others around you who are undeserving and pass on Christ’s love as He wants you to!

God bless you,
K

I’ve never heard of a grocery store that makes you buy stuff you accidentally destroy. I think it’s just the industry standard that the store eats the loss.

Since retail prices are partly based upon overhead, in a sense you’ve already paid for that carton. Maybe more than once. :stuck_out_tongue:

Right- if the clerk told you to get a new carton and she did not have the authority to do so, that’s her problem. All employees should have been trained to know store policy regarding an accidental spill.

Most store policies are probably in the favor of the customer in that situation, like others have said, but it’s paid for by their overhead.

If that particular store had a policy that the customer was responsible for such accidents and the clerk went contrary to that policy, that is her problem, not yours.

Having been a supermarket manager, I can put your fears to rest.

First of all, the supermarket doesn’t pay for the OJ, so you’re not taking any money from them.

Second, as somebody else pointed out, by telling you to take another one, the supermarket accepted responsibility. There is no manager on the planet who would not have given you another bottle. As I used to tell my employees, it only costs us a few cents to please a customer, but it costs us many dollars to lose one. The clerk wasn’t merely being nice (although it certainly was nice of her to give you another one). She’s engaging in a public relations move that’s going to make you remember how nice that young lady at so and so’s was when you shopped there. The benefit of building good will with a customer is far more than the cost of the bottle of juice.

Third, as somebody else also pointed out, supermarkets take into account that some merchandise will be lost through spoilage, accidents, pilfering, shoplifting, etc. You’d be amazed at the number of people who came to me and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. My mother has Alzheimers and keeps eating the food on the shelves” or “My child took a candy bar off the rack. Let me pay for it.” That loss has already been factored in to the store’s budget, even before such an event took place.

Finally, if you’re buying this for your daughters, I hope you’re remembering to dilute it a little bit with water. OJ is good for kids, but undiluted, it has MASSIVE amounts of sugar and all that sugar can negate the health benefits.

I used to work at a convenience store, and we had people frequently dropping glass bottles of energy drinks. They are so popular, so the store makes huge profits on it, so the manager never minded if people did break them.

We are told to be nice to the customer, not to worry about it, and to get a new one for them. We’ve even had incidents where they buy something in a hurry, run to the car and drop it on the way, the manager comes running out with a new one saying don’t worry about paying for it. Just depends on the store and the manager.

In your case it would have definitely been part of the cashier’s training to let it go, it’s just a customer relations thing.

I’ve worked in retail all my life, never have we asked a customer to buy something they broke. It’s not done. I only see those “you break it you buy it” in small individually owned shops. (By the way we break stuff ourselves by accident all the time.)

I wouldn’t worry about it. Accidents like that are taken into account in the pricing of things anyway. The store may not require you to pay for accidents because they want to keep you as a customer, and they realize that the unpleasant experience of having to pay for a product that you’re not actually taking home to consume may well result in you going to another place to buy your groceries in the future.

I didn’t read all of the posts but here’s MHO… Last week I went grocery shopping and as I was leaving the chek out, I noticed that I forgot to pay for a cucumber that had somehow ended up under my purse. I was too lazy to go back and pay for it. This week while I was there, I asked the clerk to charge me twice for the cucumber just for my own piece of mind. I felt better after doing so. She kinda looked at me like I had 3 eyes but oh well :smiley:

I think that it’s probably not a big deal at all, but if it would make you feel better, do what I did the next time you need OJ :thumbsup:

Robin

This.:thumbsup:

Second, as somebody else pointed out, by telling you to take another one, the supermarket accepted responsibility. There is no manager on the planet who would not have given you another bottle. As I used to tell my employees, it only costs us a few cents to please a customer, but it costs us many dollars to lose one. The clerk wasn’t merely being nice (although it certainly was nice of her to give you another one). She’s engaging in a public relations move that’s going to make you remember how nice that young lady at so and so’s was when you shopped there. The benefit of building good will with a customer is far more than the cost of the bottle of juice.

Third, as somebody else also pointed out, supermarkets take into account that some merchandise will be lost through spoilage, accidents, pilfering, shoplifting, etc. You’d be amazed at the number of people who came to me and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. My mother has Alzheimers and keeps eating the food on the shelves” or “My child took a candy bar off the rack. Let me pay for it.” That loss has already been factored in to the store’s budget, even before such an event took place.

Finally, if you’re buying this for your daughters, I hope you’re remembering to dilute it a little bit with water. OJ is good for kids, but undiluted, it has MASSIVE amounts of sugar and all that sugar can negate the health benefits.

Stores and their workers, in general, want to make you, the customer, pleased with your shopping experience. They can absorb the cost of a $6 carton of OJ but they cannot afford to lose your business at the store. At Wal-Mart, as an example, they accept competitors’ coupons and they will price-match any comparable product in any flier for the week, just to keep their shoppers happy and shopping there instead of with their competitors.
As a similar example to your OJ incident…my family was at Target a few months ago. My 5yo daughter was so excited about getting some more dill pickles (she loves those things) that when she saw the glass jar on the shelf, she picked one up and started running to the cart with it. Of course, she tripped and fell, the glass jar shattered. Immediately employees starting running to the scene, and as I picked up my daughter off the glass-strewn floor, we all saw she had small cuts all over her legs. They sent me off to the bathroom to rinse off her legs and check the cuts, while they cleaned up the mess. When my daughter was clean and bandaged, we finished our shopping and the employees were kind in asking if she was okay, they didn’t mention anything about having to pay for it.
Now I think small gift/collectible shops are a different scenario, if something expensive breaks and the small shop owner had to absorb the costs of that, it could wipe out their profits. Which is why their shops often have ‘You break it, you buy it’ warning signs…

At my grocery store, if there’s something like that that happens in the check out aisle, they actually send a runner to get a replacement item so the customer doesn’t even have to hustle back and forth to get it–so it is very clearly store policy (if it’s busy, they may scan the damaged item before bagging it for their loss records, but they don’t scan the new one when the runner comes up).

The grocery stores probably look at that as a means of trying to instill customer loyalty (with three major chains in my area, they all work hard to keep their customers). It’s much easier to retain customers than acquire new ones.

As one who worked in a grocery store for several years, know that these things happen, and that it was always our policy to replace at no cost for accidents. The store itself might not even end up eating the cost since the product distribution often has a % of permissible breakage that they refund.

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