Failure, Vending Machine, Romford BR Platform 5This morning I decided to buy pretzels from the vending machine downstairs. I am not feeling too hot, so wanted something light for breakfast.

So I put in 85 cents, pressed the letter and number combination and out came the bag of goodness. But a second later, another bag fell to the bottom of the machine. That left me with two bags of pretzels for the price of one!

It was a very thrilling moment for me, since normally I am on the other side of the scenario where the bag gets stuck and the food stays safely behind that glass wall. But this time, I got two! Yea!

Then Jewish guilt came down on me and I thought, hmm – I only paid for one, shouldn’t I return the other one somehow? So like any social geek, I came to Twitter to see what other’s would do and I tweeted it:

Ethics Q: You buy 1 bag of pretzels from candy machine, 2 come out, what do you do?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

The responses I got were pretty diverse, some said call the company to return it. Another said drop more money in the machine to make up for it. But the best answer, in my opinion was:

@rustybrick From a candy machine? You find me someone that’s going to call the number on the machine to report that..less than a minute ago via Twimbow

So yea, what would you do? Please take my quick poll:

Please have your friends take the poll. The bag is still sitting on my desk.

Website Comments

  1. Thos003

    Sorry, but this would depend on if the machine left one for the next guy or not…. and how much the pretzels cost me.

    If the machine had two stacked together and the next guy was still left with pretzels to buy then I would take the bag, accept it as a great purple cow marketing tactic, and remember to sneeze about it. (…in your case this tactic would be working perfectly.)

    If it didn’t leave one for the next guy than I could rule out stellar marketing and assume human error. As the benefactor of this error I would have to ask what are my costs in correcting the error to the best of my ability.

    Cost 1: If it’s only $.50 and I would most likely be eating both bags than what is $.50 for my honesty? I would pay the extra.

    Cost 2: If it were a $5.00 ripoff at the airport then I would probably take both bags and blame the error on the guy that priced it at $5.

    … of course ethically I should probably leave it there and let the next guy make the decision… So it might depend on the day and how hunger I am.

    Cost 3: If I were paid hourly than I would have just wasted my bosses money by more than what the bag is worth and ethically tell you to eat it and I will send you a check to repent of my waste in typing this, and with enough to pay back the vendor (your choice).

    Cost 4: If I know the guy that owns the vending machine or the guy that stocks it than I would pay him, otherwise the cost would be a wedge in my relationship.

    … sorry don’t mind me… in pest control it’s the little things that matter. =)

  2. Vim

    2 bags of pretzels for the price of 1 wow Barry your a lucky guy, first the Woot freebies and now the pretzels lol.

    Why not just sell the bag of pretzels to another person who wants pretzels, or if you feel bad then why not give 85 cents to charity?

  3. William Vicary

    I say eat it, these machines are a rip generally anyway – and its as you say more common to come away with nothing than it is to come away with two!

    If you drop more money in the machine then the next person who comes along is just going to get some free pretzels!

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