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  #133  
Old August 1st, 2007, 02:29 PM
bigkat bigkat is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revdyer
The ethicist Michael Shermer (author of The Science of Good & Evil proposes the "Ask Rule" as the most practical way of implementing the traditional "Golden Rule." Will my girl friend mind if I take someone else out on a date? Ask her. Will the store mind if I exchange things? Ask them. Will they mind if I pee on the floor? Ask again.
I try to get good deals on things by stacking rebates, coupons, pricematching, etc. but I have never thought of it before in terms of the golden rule.

Here's an example. A while ago, I purchased a hard drive from Office Depot. They had a rebate on the hard drive at the time. I had a Fry's ad that that they pricematched because their price minus the rebate price was still higher than the Fry's price. I also had a coupon. In the end, I got the hard drive for something like $5. Is this wrong? I'm trying to think about how the golden rule applies here. The office manager definitely didn't seem very happy about doing the pricematching. If I were running the business, I think I would like it more if people pretended that they didn't see the Fry's ad or the coupon and just paid the normal price and got their rebate. But on the buyer's side, I would like it more if sellers honored things that they advertised, like pricematching policies, rebates, etc.

Can you help me out with this? in the past, I've just gone out and got deals like this without thinking about if it's right or not. Maybe a bit self centered on my part, but really, it's never occured to me to analyse it in this way.
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  #134  
Old August 1st, 2007, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revdyer
The ethicist Michael Shermer (author of The Science of Good & Evil proposes the "Ask Rule" as the most practical way of implementing the traditional "Golden Rule." Will my girl friend mind if I take someone else out on a date? Ask her. Will the store mind if I exchange things? Ask them. Will they mind if I pee on the floor? Ask again.
I try to get good deals on things by stacking rebates, coupons, pricematching, etc. but I have never thought of it before in terms of the golden rule.

Here's an example. A while ago, I purchased a hard drive from Office Depot. They had a rebate on the hard drive at the time. I had a Fry's ad that that they pricematched because their price minus the rebate price was still higher than the Fry's price. I also had a coupon. In the end, I got the hard drive for something like $5. Is this wrong? I'm trying to think about how the golden rule applies here. The office manager definitely didn't seem very happy about doing the pricematching. If I were running the business, I think I would like it more if people pretended that they didn't see the Fry's ad or the coupon and just paid the normal price and got their rebate. But on the buyer's side, I would like it more if sellers honored things that they advertised, like pricematching policies, rebates, etc.

Can you help me out with this? in the past, I've just gone out and got deals like this without thinking about if it's right or not. Maybe a bit self centered on my part, but really, it's never occured to me to analyse it in this way.
If a company advertises price matching, then they have to match the price. All you did there was exersise your rights as a consumer.

Wal-mart doesn't advertise that it's okay to screw with their inventory system. (or to pee on the floors)

"Y'know, I sort of assumed this hero of destiny thing would involve a lot less devastation in our wake."
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  #135  
Old August 1st, 2007, 03:41 PM
bigkat bigkat is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSpade

If a company advertises price matching, then they have to match the price. All you did there was exersise your rights as a consumer.

Wal-mart doesn't advertise that it's okay to screw with their inventory system. (or to pee on the floors)
Thanks for the reply. I guess my question is how does this fit with the 'Ask rule'? If I were to say to the manager 'I realize that you guys probably wouldn't have this rebate right now if you knew that Fry's was going to have such a low price at the same time. Would you prefer it if I pretended that I had never seen the Fry's ad and just took your regular price with your rebate?', they'd probably say yes.
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  #136  
Old August 1st, 2007, 04:25 PM
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Thats a pretty good example. My opinion, to some degree, is that following the rules of a company is really ok and shouldnt get people this upset. If Wal-Mart could sell heroscape for a 2000% mark up they would, so its hard to see the golden rule fitting into the business mechanism (at least not a one sided version). However, I also don't care enough to make people think its ok nor am I motivated enough to go to two Wal-Marts. Just my 2 cents.
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  #137  
Old August 1st, 2007, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkat
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSpade

If a company advertises price matching, then they have to match the price. All you did there was exersise your rights as a consumer.

Wal-mart doesn't advertise that it's okay to screw with their inventory system. (or to pee on the floors)
Thanks for the reply. I guess my question is how does this fit with the 'Ask rule'? If I were to say to the manager 'I realize that you guys probably wouldn't have this rebate right now if you knew that Fry's was going to have such a low price at the same time. Would you prefer it if I pretended that I had never seen the Fry's ad and just took your regular price with your rebate?', they'd probably say yes.
The "Ask Rule" is there for when there is ambiguity about whether an action is right or wrong. When there is a publicly announced offer or policy, such as a coupon or a price matching, there isn't any ambiguity about the situation. The one who has made the offer is unambiguously required to honor the terms offered.

(Part of the problem here is my fault...trying to introduce in a few paragraphs something that Shermer takes forty pages or so to develop.)
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  #138  
Old August 1st, 2007, 05:54 PM
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And that's why you're 40 times more readable than Shermer.

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  #139  
Old August 1st, 2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revdyer
The ethicist Michael Shermer (author of The Science of Good & Evil proposes the "Ask Rule" as the most practical way of implementing the traditional "Golden Rule."
I may read that sometime.
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  #140  
Old August 1st, 2007, 07:40 PM
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Yeah I mainly work in the TP aisle at my K-mart and I've had customers looking around in the aisle and we're supposed to greet everyone withing 10 feet so I do and he asks me where our raisins would be. Doh! I try my hardest to be helpful for customers because mainly every customer I help means more hours for me and more money to pay for college. I try to take every job that I've had seriously. If they/we advertise it then it's our fault and we give it to them at that price. If someone forgets to take down an add sign in one of the aisles then we have to override the price and give it to them at the advertised price. What I hate is when customers will move add signs or clearance signs or even stickers so that they can get it at a cheaper price.
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  #141  
Old August 1st, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revdyer
The "Ask Rule" is there for when there is ambiguity about whether an action is right or wrong. When there is a publicly announced offer or policy, such as a coupon or a price matching, there isn't any ambiguity about the situation. The one who has made the offer is unambiguously required to honor the terms offered.

(Part of the problem here is my fault...trying to introduce in a few paragraphs something that Shermer takes forty pages or so to develop.)
Interesting...where does compassion and grace fit in here? Like if someone were to make a bad deal. It sounds like according this rule, it would be ethical to make him honor his commitment. That would be justice. But in some cases, would it be better to offer the person compassion and allow them to back out of their commitment, knowing the negative effects it could cause them? I realize that there are a lot of times where justice is preferable to mercy. I'm a big proponent of learning lessons by facing your consequences. But I also know that there are times when grace is more appropriate. It sounds like from your description that justice is more appropriate unless there is ambiguity, in which case compassion would be better (assuming that when asked, a person would always choose compassion). But I don't think I would agree with that conclusion.
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  #142  
Old August 1st, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Having worked retail for 6 months at Babies R Us I found a couple things

1. Nothing beats an employee that knows his store and has hubris with any irate customer. Just point them on their way and smile. No customer can fight a smiling worker for too long.

2. Give them the best deal that is legal. Remember, every coupon you use IS rebated from the source. Profit is one thing volume is another. If you give them a good deal on one item, sure bet they will linger and get other stuff, or at least be a return guest.

3. The guest is is always right. If they're not you better have a manufacturers sheet in front of you to prove it. Otherwise refer to rule #3.

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  #143  
Old August 2nd, 2007, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revdyer
The "Ask Rule" is there for when there is ambiguity about whether an action is right or wrong. When there is a publicly announced offer or policy, such as a coupon or a price matching, there isn't any ambiguity about the situation. The one who has made the offer is unambiguously required to honor the terms offered.

(Part of the problem here is my fault...trying to introduce in a few paragraphs something that Shermer takes forty pages or so to develop.)
Interesting...where does compassion and grace fit in here? Like if someone were to make a bad deal. It sounds like according this rule, it would be ethical to make him honor his commitment. That would be justice. But in some cases, would it be better to offer the person compassion and allow them to back out of their commitment, knowing the negative effects it could cause them? I realize that there are a lot of times where justice is preferable to mercy. I'm a big proponent of learning lessons by facing your consequences. But I also know that there are times when grace is more appropriate. It sounds like from your description that justice is more appropriate unless there is ambiguity, in which case compassion would be better (assuming that when asked, a person would always choose compassion). But I don't think I would agree with that conclusion.
No, justice is more appropriate when the offer is public and commercial. When dealing with institutions the roll of mercy or compassion takes the shape of fairness. As H. Richard Niebuhr said, "In society, the shape of love is justice."

If a merchant makes a bad offer (commonly called a "loss leader") to lure shoppers into his store with a great deal he does not intend to honor, he should be made to honor it nonetheless. If a second merchant makes the same sort of deal by mistake, I do not know how to be God and see into his (or her) heart. In public, commercial offerings, your ad is a contract, both legally and ethically, whether intended honestly, mistakenly, or deceptively. Good merchants know this and will honor "bad" deals (from their point of view) both because to do so is right and to do so is to keep good customers and a good reputation.

I know there are a lot of folks who don't like Wal-Mart, but when Mr. Sam Walton instituted his policy of always honoring returns, even without a receipt, he did it saying, "I'd rather lose money than lose a customer." That's an ethical stance.
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  #144  
Old August 2nd, 2007, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennys
3. The guest is is always right. If they're not you better have a manufacturers sheet in front of you to prove it. Otherwise refer to rule #3.
So, when a customer comes to my store and insists they've purchesed a product at my store, I should except that they are telling the turth even though the product they are talking about is another company's generic brand? (true story)

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