So yesterday, I went to Lowes to exchange a defective piece of equipment (the aaftmentioned noise cancelling headphones and radio). I went into the special exchange room off of the main entrance, and the woman took my defective product and offered to refund the money to my credit card or give me store credit. Since I just wanted to exchange the product, I got a special store card credited with $53.83.
I grabbed a new instance of the headphones and went to the checkout line, wherein the total rang up at $53.84, and the checker told me I owed a penny. On a direct exchange.
I told him it was a direct exchange and prepared my outraged demand that he call the customer service desk right now, but he looked to see if he had a spare penny on the register. He didn’t, but I later noticed on my receipt that he’d rung it as though I’d given him a penny. He took a hit on his drawer’s accuracy at the end of the day in the name of good customer service. I sort of feel bad about that.
However, not too bad. If I had bought other things, as I’d considered, that extra penny would have been lost in the total and I would have donated some portion of a penny to either Lowes’ bottom line or the state of Missouri and the city of Republic.
A rounding error, no doubt. But the rounding errors are always against the consumer and the citizen, aren’t they?