Is this Being Frugal, Cheap or Stealing?

We’ve looked at some other questionable behavior and now I’d like to get some feedback about a situation where I tried to pay for something but accidentally got my money back. How far do I have to go to give ‘found money’ back?

I bought glasses recently through an online promotion (I only had to pay for shipping and handling), which came out to $11.29 for a pair I really liked. Pretty sweet, right??

Well, I picked out the glasses, went to the checkout page, and tried paying by PayPal, but got an error. Hoping it was a one-time occurrence, I tried again, but again had no luck. So I tried doing it via credit card, but was given no indication that the transaction went through. I got no email confirmations, but I did get a PayPal confirmation indicating that I had been charged.

I called, emailed, and sent a Facebook message to the company, hoping that they could help me solve my problem. They said to email the PayPal transactions to them and they would have them reversed, and to try again.

So I forwarded the PayPal emails and tried again. Nope! I forwarded that too, and called once more to get it settled. The customer service representative told me to email her that last transaction to her as well, so I did. She also was able to put my order through over the phone and charged my credit card $11.29.

Two days later, I was refunded my PayPal payments, but they accidentally refunded an extra $11.29 (probably because I freaked out and gave my information to all the avenues, hoping that someone would answer), meaning that instead of paying $11.29 for my glasses, I got them for free.

What should I do? Keep the money? Try and find a way to give it back?

I can’t simply refund their refund, so it would take some effort on my part. Is it worth it? Do they even deserve a ‘refund’ after hijacking my account for a few days? Or do I owe them because I simply don’t deserve it for free?

But what if it takes me an hour?

ReadersHow long do I have to spend trying to give them their money? At a certain point it won’t make sense, but where is that point?

10 Responses to Is this Being Frugal, Cheap or Stealing?

  1. Great question. If having difficult customer service entitled you to free merchandise, then I’m pretty sure about half the things in the world would be free. The simple answer is to call them up and tell them to charge your credit card again. It takes a few minutes and all is right in the world. That’s what I would do.

  2. krantcents says:

    I agree with Kevin. Character is tested when no one is around!

    • Daniel says:

      @krantcents, I’m planning on sending the payment via paypal to their address and seeing if they notice. If that doesn’t work, I may have to find another way to send them their money.

  3. MoneyCone says:

    I would refund them. Had a similar situation when I ordered some heavy stuff off of ebay. I received it on time. But a day later I received another one. I used to live in a high rise and took a while to lug it up to find that the seller had mistakenly shipped it twice.

    Called the seller to schedule a pickup, had to lug it all the way down.

    The seller was surprised I didn’t keep it!

  4. Dr Dean says:

    If it is bothering you enough to write a post about it, then sounds like you are doing what you need to do-get them their money back.

    Would I walk all over the USA in that attempt-no. I would make a reasonable attempt, and if that didn’t work, give the 11 bucks to a charity, and sleep well!

    • Daniel says:

      @Dr Dean, That was another thought I had. If they make it difficult, maybe they don’t deserve it, but at the same time, I certainly don’t deserve it either!

  5. Evan says:

    I would give it the same effort you gave to make sure you weren’t charged 3 different times. Beyond that I think you are all set.

  6. Just keep it. It’s only 11 bucks. :)

  7. I would probably try to send a couple emails and/or call, but wouldn’t sweat too much to get it back to them…After all, we are “sweating the big stuff” right? haha Sorry, couldn’t resist Daniel!

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