Archive for the ‘ethics’ Category

Mis-Advertised price. What would you do?

July 13, 2007

Okay, it’s ethical question time again. Have I ever asked an ethical question here? Dunno. But here goes:

You go visit the Acme Co. website and notice that they’re showing their rocket-powered roller skates on sale for $24.99. You’re impressed, mostly because those specific skates are normally listed somewhere around $125.00.

Soon, Acme Co. realizes that the pricing shown is a mistake and erects some sort of electronic barrier to block the page. Some enthusiastic shoppers (who obviously love rocket-powered roller skates) are able to circumvent the barrier and find the incorrect listings. They place orders. Lots of orders.

Shortly thereafter, Acme issues a notice describing the mistake and offered those customers a discount. Normal orders on those mis-priced roller skates increase by 200X over the weekend.

Now would you:

A) Take the discount and be happy.

B) Accept the discount, grumble and tell Acme Co. that it should be more careful.


C) Capitalize on Acme’s mistake and fight – for four years -right up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

For me, it’s either A) or B) depending on the situation. For a Quebec man and his dealings with Dell Inc. it’s C).

There are lots of other minute but important details to the case. But it just drives me nuts when I see people try to capitalize on other people’s mistakes in that way.

No, I’m no saint. I’ve had people undercharge me for things, and later, when I realize it, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. But there are many more times where someone has undercharged me and I realize it right there and then. I tell them. They appreciate it. I feel good.

Maybe I’m just hokey. Or does the idea of spending 4 years fighting for my right to capitalize on someone else’s mistake sound perfectly noble to you?