Everyone's robbing me

The vending company at Rye Playland robbed me a few weeks back. Our son wanted cold water, so we shelled out $3 for bottled water, but a Pepsi bottle rolled out. No one in our house drinks soda, so the $3 was wasted and our son didn’t get any water. (We weren’t going to waste another $3 playing vending machine roulette!) I called the vending company and left a complaint. Never heard back.

And a few days ago, I shopped at a Stop & Shop (in Meriden, CT while returning from a vacation in Boston) and found $18 lying on the floor. I picked it up, held it aloft, and immediately shouted as loudly as I could, “Did anyone lose this money?” No one claimed it. But then a clerk grabbed the money out of my hands and handed it to Customer Service without asking my permission.

My guess is that one of two things will happen. Most likely, no one will claim the money and the store will keep it. Alternatively, one of the many people who heard me shout about the lost money may go falsely claim it. I doubt the person who lost it will realize they lost it, know where they lost it, return there, not find it, and then go to Customer Service. Even if they do, some fraud may have already claimed it or whoever is working at the customer service desk when the rightful owner returns might not know about the money or believe them.

Given the very low probability the money will be returned to its rightful owner, don’t I have a stronger claim on that money than the Stop & Shop? Shouldn’t they have taken my name and address and mailed it to me if no one claimed it? What ever happened to the “finders keepers” rule we all learned on the playground? $18 won’t pay the mortgage (or even the groceries we bought that day), but I feel like the Meriden Stop & Shop robbed me.

Posted by James on Wednesday, August 31, 2011