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ethics....what would you do?

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Old 04-30-04, 10:49 PM Thread Starter   #1
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ethics....what would you do?


Ok, lets say you are at school, or work, or wherever, and there is a vending machine. It is still in admin mode and people have already changed the price of most things down to 5 cents. Would you take advantage of the price drop and practially get stuff almost free? Yes, the machines do eat money, and leave your candy bar stuck in the thing, but it is wrong to cheat it. So, what would you do? Walk away or get a candy bar, or a few candy bars, or put a buck in and wipe out the whole thing?

Just curiouse, I was faced with this situation today. I did not have 5 cents, so I just walked away, but I am wondering if I did what would I have done? What would you have done?

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Old 04-30-04, 11:10 PM   #2
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What I would do would be to get what I origanally planned on getting for the reduced price, and no more. There's no reason I should wait to get what I wanted due to a price drop, but that doesn't mean I should take advantage of the situation and use as much money. I'd just be happy with the discount
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Old 04-30-04, 11:14 PM   #3
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I would probably take a few more items than i had planned, but not clean out the whole thing.
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Old 04-30-04, 11:27 PM   #4
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Take what I wanted, leave the rest.
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Old 04-30-04, 11:31 PM   #5
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I don't really eat candy, but I understand the situation.

Let's say it's something I like, but still not very expensive....

I would take a lot, not all of it, but definitely a lot, for a list of reasons.
A.) If I didn't, someone else sure as hell would, so my morals aren't really benefitting anything or anyone at this point.
B.) If a company like Frito-Lay can't afford to lose <$30, once, one day, on earth, then I'd say sell your stocks.
C.) ....It's a $.65 bag of chips, not a car, or a house, or even something in the one dollar range.
D.) It's not a big enough deal where someone could lose their job, I wouldn't do it if I was in a similar situation with a different product where my actions would result in someone getting fired, even if I knew someone else was going to do it, I would NOT want that weight on my shoulder.

With that said, I say you take the candy, vending machine and all, and sell it on E-bay.
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Old 04-30-04, 11:31 PM   #6
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Buy what I was going to buy in the first place, then if there's a posted phone number on the thing call them.
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Old 05-01-04, 07:23 AM   #7
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I'd say all your candy now belongs to me....
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Old 05-01-04, 09:02 AM   #8
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I never faced it before, but this is what I would do:

Say all I wanted was a twix bar I would buy one twix bar, take nothing more.

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Old 05-01-04, 09:16 AM   #9
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While I don't eat candy or many snacks I sure did when I was in high school/junior high. Putting myself in those shoes I would probably buy out the row of what I wanted. It would really depend though. I know the guy that fills/runs our vending machine here at work and I wouldn't do that to him. He's a nice guy trying to make a living.

I say if it's a big company that comes around and services the machines... mmm row of peanut butter twix. Or Zagnut, but NO ONE has those anymore.
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Old 05-01-04, 09:36 AM   #10
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Old 05-01-04, 09:39 AM   #11
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I can't say for sure as I have not been in that position.

I will say that if I was hungry and had little money I would probably take advantage of the situation.

But here is a note: most vending machines are NOT owned by huge companies- they are commonly owned by small to medium sized businesses either for internal use or placed at businesses in various places (companies that are in the business of running vending machines.)

It could be a major loss for a small business to lose inventory at that drastic a price reduction, although a big business would be able to afford it better.

I'd LIKE to think I would call the number and let the vendor know....but I can't say that I would for sure.

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Old 05-01-04, 09:50 AM   #12
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Alot would depend on several factors:
1: How hungry I am.
2: How much money I had.
3: What items the machine had that I liked.
4: Are there other people around?

That being said I would have to say I would probably buy 1-3 of each item that I like then start feeling guilty and end up giving most of them away to my friends

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Old 05-01-04, 10:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by tom10167
I don't really eat candy, but I understand the situation.

Let's say it's something I like, but still not very expensive....

I would take a lot, not all of it, but definitely a lot, for a list of reasons.
A.) If I didn't, someone else sure as hell would, so my morals aren't really benefitting anything or anyone at this point.
B.) If a company like Frito-Lay can't afford to lose <$30, once, one day, on earth, then I'd say sell your stocks.
C.) ....It's a $.65 bag of chips, not a car, or a house, or even something in the one dollar range.
D.) It's not a big enough deal where someone could lose their job, I wouldn't do it if I was in a similar situation with a different product where my actions would result in someone getting fired, even if I knew someone else was going to do it, I would NOT want that weight on my shoulder.

With that said, I say you take the candy, vending machine and all, and sell it on E-bay.
Heh, thats funny.

To put a differnet perspective on B and D though, here are some things to consider:

B) Frito-Lay or the Pepsi-co corporation has nothing to do with the stolen goods... however stealing the candy bars does cut into the profit margins of Mom and Pop who live next door to you and own all of the vending machines in your small town. They buy from the big guys, they resell to the general public.

The cost of vending machine theft around town is a major variable in Ma and Pa's pricing plan - they do not have the financial depth to shoulder the cost of theft, so they pass it on to everyone who shops from their vending machines. You get free lunch, along with other people who think its just once, while in the meantime everyone else in your town pays .15 cents more for a snickers bar.

D) A single mother with 4 little girls refills the vending machines and collects the money from the machine daily when her kids go to sleep. She gets a phone call from Ma and Pa who have to let her know they can't pay her anymore - it seems that in the past year there have been a number of vending machine thefts and their margins just aren't large enough. They're already charging more than the next town over for candy bars, so they cannot increase prices and they cannot afford to pay her and are going to maintain the machines themselves now. Sorry, your children will have to starve to death - tom wanted "CANNNNNNDY BARRRRRRRS"! /super-trooper movie reference

Conclusion: What may seem like a harmless act personally, in the big scheme of things it quite possibly has real effects and isn't as trivial as we would tend to think - maybe the results aren't immediate, but they contribute to a societal problem and is that something we want to be part of?

If I wasn't late for class I might pull the plug on the vending machine and call the service number letting them know of the problem... But I have a friend who fills the vending machines and it helps him pay for school, if he hadn't mentioned how much junk gets stolen and that it makes his managers get nasty, I would probably grab a snickers.

Now, if I put my 75 cents in and my snickers bar gets stuck on the way down - I'm gonna rock the hell out of that machine until that candy bar comes out. If I'm paying that much for a candy bar, I'm darn hungry.

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Old 05-01-04, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Agent_Mull
I would probably take a few more items than i had planned, but not clean out the whole thing.

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Old 05-01-04, 11:53 AM   #15
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I was thinking about this some more at work (How dedicated are you to OCForums? ) and I would call the number for sure if I saw it. IMOG you make good points, I just think you're still being a bit too drastic, it would be like if my dad didn't get a paycheck this week, it would SUCK, but definitely not be the end of the world. I never knew vending machines were owned by small companies. Learn something new every day.
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Old 05-01-04, 12:25 PM   #16
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Yeah, it is too drastic, its just candy... I just meant that it would just be different though if it affected someone we know, who lives week to week off their vending paycheck.

I also mentioned that I would grab a snickers if given the chance, if it weren't for a friend of mine doing that kind of work. I would feel more guilt than the free candy bar would be worth - because I have a personal connection.

There are other situations where I do things that should probably make me feel guilty, but any person affected is so far removed from me that I don't really think about it, and if I do, it seems immaterial - they are just tiny specks really. I mean... when you pick off people on the sidewalk from out the window on the top floor of a sky scraper with a silenced 9mm handgun, it doesn't really count as murder right? And I mean, if your actually lucky enough to ping someone, its probably in the natural order of things that they die. I get so bored on my lunch breaks, it helps to have something to do.

Anyways though, there are things that all of us do because any affect the action has seems so remote and thus doesn't matter... I think we might not make the same choices if we took time to consider the effects of some things. When it comes to candy bars though, it probably makes no difference unless someone very close to us could possibly be affected.

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Old 05-01-04, 01:55 PM Thread Starter   #17
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Well, I was just asking, I dont think it is too drastic. Becuase it is not drastic is why I am wondering, over something big, of course, it is a no brainer, dont steal or cheat or whatever, but over something small it is right on the line you know what I mean? And yes, these particular machines were owned by just one guy I think. I guess if I had money I just would have taken what I origionally was going to get and no more.

I did check for a phone number though...not on there

Anyways, thanks for sharing what you guys would do, it is quite interesting to see other people's responses.

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Old 05-01-04, 11:57 PM   #18
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I would buy everything that it had that i liked, and everything my friends liked.
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Old 05-02-04, 12:46 AM   #19
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Actually, most vending machines are owned by a regional company. They wear the Pepsi and Frito-Lay shirts but are merely endorsed by them and can't really afford to lose more than they have to. I might buy one candy bar and then unplug the machine and plug it back in. The machine will reboot and be back at its normal prices, more than likely. If not, just leave it unplugged and put an out-of-order sign on it. The refill guy will see it the next time he comes through and fix it.

If you say "It's only candy" that's like saying that all petty theft is okay. If everyone stole a candy bar that's probably several hundred dollars of lost profits for the machine, and small businesses can't afford to shoulder the weight of losses like that often. Just because you can't see who's being affected by it doesn't mean someone isn't being harmed by it, like if you were to walk into the local convienence store and walk out with a candy bar or a drink. It'll only be a small loss and probably won't even be noticed, but if everyone did it, the store would be out of business the next time they couldn't pay their bills. That would be probably 10-15 people who are added to the growing list of unemployed people, leaving them unable to support themselves or their families and unable to find jobs because everyone else is seeking a job as well. The area around the store is likely to decline where a once healthy business is now an abandoned building. The building becomes an eyesore and people begin to move away. Soon the entire neighborhood is abandoned, and why? Because some people thought it would be a good idea to steal candy bars. Some things may have consequences that reach much further than you think.

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Old 05-02-04, 12:47 AM   #20
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I wouldn't my own sense of decency is worth more to me than saving a couple of bucks, its like if someone accidentally gives you a ten instead of a one in change you should give it back, why lower yourself, all we have in life is our views of ourselves nothing else really matters.
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