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Case in Point - Theft of Time

Today we had a customer call us about a series of books, wanting more information about them. We found them for her, put them on the website and then called the publisher to get further information that she asked for. Then she said that she had found them locally and would buy them somewhere else. She just stole at least half an hour of our time to get information that the other store couldn't provide.

To top it off, she said she was interested in buying them from us if we could answer her questions.

Browsing a store is one thing. Using a company's expertise without any intention of buying is theft.

Related Post: Why Don't You Buy From Catholic Stores?

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Jane June 13, 2007, 10:15 pm

    That isn’t stealing. Sorry, but that simply does not fit the definition of theft. Just because someone inquires about an item, even if they make it seem as though they intend to buy it, does not OBLIGATE them to buy it. For example, if I went in to Walmart and picked out a red sweater, and was helped to find the correct size and color by one of the employees (say it took 20 minutes), took it up to the counter to pay for it, and was met by some snotty teenager who was rude to me, and left the sweater at the counter (which means someone has to go put it up), and walked out, that is in no way STEALING. if you are providing a SERVICE, as all clerks and shopowners do, then you need to understand that it is your JOB to help people, whether they decide to purchse from you or not. It’s that attitude that makes people not want to shop at small independent stores. Larger stores will help you figure something out if they can, and if you don’t decide to buy from them, they don’t get all hot about it and accuse you of stealing. That’s just silly. If you don’t tip your waitress, did you steal the time and effort she spent serving you? It’s RUDE and inappropriate not to tip, but it isn’t stealing. It’s RUDE to buy from somewhere else after you were helped somewhere, but it isn’t STEALING. If you can’t offer a comparable price, why on earth would she buy them from you?

  • totatua June 22, 2007, 3:16 pm

    Ummm Jane – using my resources (time, treasure, talent) to get the info to buy somewhere else is a form of dishonesty. We also use up a “favor” with the wholesaler asking for us to be able to sell the item(s). Our service is our time, treasure and talent to steward our stores and be available to Catholics and pay our bills. The only way we get paid for our service is when someone buys something.

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