Most of us would like to avoid confrontations and embarrassment, especially if it’s going to happen out in public.
But unnecessary money shouldn’t be spent just to avoid the embarrassment, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor embarrassedb didn’t seem to understand that, though, when his mother confronted a cashier about a sizeable excess charge on her receipt.
When his mother was furious with him for questioning her, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was wrong to be embarrassed by his mother’s behavior.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my mom she embarrassed me by arguing with a cashier?”
The OP was out shopping with his sister and mother.
“So my mom, my sister (14 female), and I (16 male) went to the mall to watch a movie.”
“After it ended, we decided to shop for a while, and they wanted to enter this women’s clothing store.”
“Once they had their clothes, we all went to pay.”
There was a system error while the family tried to pay for their purchases.
“One of the things my sister chose was a $12 blouse.”
“When the cashier scanned it, the price said $60 instead of $12, and the cashier said it was a system mistake.”
“She said that she was going to scan a $6 ring twice so it can charge the right price for the blouse.”
The OP’s mother noticed an issue with the receipt.
“The cashier did what she said, but when my mother finished paying, she saw that she had also been charged the extra $60 because the lady forgot to remove it.”
“The cashier said it was a mistake, and I was starting to get embarrassed, because my mother asked for the extra money back.”
“The cashier said she couldn’t do that and called the manager who said that the store had a no-return policy, so they couldn’t pay back unless she created a store account and made a minimum purchase.”
“Long story short, my mom kept arguing with them until they just opened the cash register and gave her back the money.”
The OP confronted his mother about it with mixed results.
“When we were in the car, I told my mother that it was embarrassing and I was ashamed.”
“She got mad at me and my sister is neutral about the situation.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the employee’s behavior was unacceptable, not the mother’s.
“YTA. It honestly sounds like they were trying to scam your mother. She was smart to fight for her money back.” – lihzee
“They rang up a $6 ring twice? I know they said no returns, but if they walked out of the store, they have no proof they bought the sweater even if they create a store account. They only have proof they bought 2 rings.”
“YTA. Good for your mom for pushing them until they returned the money they tried to steal from her.”
“You’re 16 years old. If it was so embarrassing, you could have walked out of the store for a few minutes to spare yourself.” – Juniperfields81
“I’ve worked in retail. ‘No returns’ (at least in my experience) just means cashiers won’t do it due to policy. It doesn’t usually mean that the system can’t do it.”
“If a cashier makes that mistake, they can absolutely fix it and just tell their manager as a heads-up.” – epk921
“This literally isn’t a return, it’s a void which every cash register system is able to do for exactly situations like this. The store is obviously trying to scam people who are too meek to insist on not being charged for things they didn’t buy.” – factsorfictions
“Red flags went up as soon as I read the ring thing. I worked behind the register at several stores and overriding a price is not that hard for most systems.”
“Of course it’s normal for OP’s mom to want her money back. YTA, OP.” – usernameandsomeno
“I worked in clothing stores and NONE of this makes sense. It sounds as if this is a shoddy staff or the employee is new and the manager’s not doing a good job of training / problem-solving.”
“In what universe is scanning a $6 ring twice a solution? That’ll totally mess up inventory. There’s no way there’s not a manual price-change option, even if a manager has to sign off on it.”
“Seeing as it was the cashier’s error in the first place, surely the manager didn’t need to suggest a whole process for returns that involved making a whole other purchase. If refunding was an option at the end, it was an option in the first place.” – hbtfdrckbck
“The whole store system sounds f**ked. Like the cashier should have been able to override the price of the blouse to $12 to begin with. Scanning another item twice to get the right price is just dumb (not ragging on the cashier, might just be what she was told to do).”
“Holy h**l would I hate to do inventory in a place that scans like that. The good news is that manager is probably getting fired the next time they do the inventory.” – thedoodely
Others challenged the OP to move beyond his feelings of embarrassment.
“Did she get the tax money back too??”
“OP needs to learn when someone is taking advantage of you, they want you to be too embarrassed or flustered to speak up!” – TheCookie_Momster
“Man, I just turned 17, and I’d have been fighting along with my parents for the money.”
“Ain’t nobody about to take our money for no reason. If it was like 1 or 2 dollars extra, it would’ve been like, ‘Okay, maybe we can let this slide once,’ but it’s legit $60!”
“How do you just let that slide? It’s good OP’s mom fought for the money.” – high-on-fantasy
“I worked briefly in retail during college. There’s always the option of voiding the entire transaction if a mistake was made. They didn’t leave the store yet so technically it’s not a return.”
“Managers have more leeway when it comes to closing a sale than they lead on. No one can convince me that the manager wasn’t able to return an incorrect charge without forcing a customer to create an account to accept store credit.”
“At that point I would say, fine, I’ll just report credit card fraud to my bank. We’ll see how fast the store can fix the problem.”
“I won’t call you the AH OP, but don’t be a doormat in life. Your mom was right here.” – LimeLemonCara
“Man, I hope OP realizes he is wrong because if not, he is on track to becoming a doormat.”
“If any type of confrontation is viewed by OP as being a Karen, he will never have the courage to fight for anything for himself because he feared being viewed as a Karen.” – cbvv1992
“You can’t tell me that there is no policy in place to fix a mistake made by a cashier. If that was true, nobody would work there because of situations like what happened with your Mom, and they certainly would not have just handed her cash.”
“That has to be accounted for. And unless they gave her the sales tax too, she still got screwed over. The sales tax here is 7¢/dollar, so they would owe her $4.20 in addition.”
“Karens are rude people who fight for things they do not deserve. Your Mom may have embarrassed you, but getting what you are owed does NOT make you a Karen. It makes you a person who does not back down from conflict when you are squarely in the right.”
“I bet she has used that fire to make sure people haven’t shortchanged her kids either. Think about that for a minute. Go apologize and ask your Mom how to handle conflict effectively. YTA.” – Good_Shop_2038
“OP in a lot of cases, fighting with a cashier and making a scene is wrong.”
“In this case, the cashier screwed up and tried to steal $60 from your mom for the store. I spent 13 years as a cashier, so I know wrong… And I would have had this fight as well.”
“I bet you feel like your mom was a Karen, but she wasn’t in this case.”
“YTA, but softly, as you probably misunderstood that your mom wasn’t being the way you thought.” – The1983Jedi
“YTA, I’m sure it was an uncomfortable situation to be in, but your mom is not being an a**hole for demanding money back from a company who essentially stole money from her.”
“I make 16 bucks an hour, you probably don’t work, but that would essentially be 4 hours of my time wasted and put into their pocket… for nothing.”
“So no, your mother is NTA better to be put in an awkward spot than to be swindled, know it, and do nothing about it because ‘you don’t want to make a scene.'” – Subject_Material_168
While the OP was embarrassed about what happened, the subReddit insisted this interaction needed to happen for two reasons.
First, the mother deserved her money back after the store made a mistake, and the store needed to be held responsible for that, as well.
Second, it was a learning opportunity for the OP in the form of a mispriced sweater. While it might be embarrassing to have this conversation, it’s important for a person to know how to stand up for themselves.