It took the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approximately sixteen days to get it right (give or take a few days).
It’s Friday, the sixteenth of September. A customer received a telephone call from a pronounced, authoritative, but pleasant voice. To the chagrin of the customer the firm voice of a representative of the PLCB conveyed a surprising message. The voice requested identification, confirmation, and communication with sought out individual. The identified voice of the customer replied, ‘this is he.” “We’ve been trying to get a hold of you for the last several days,” said the caller. We are pleased to inform you of the positive and conclusive results of our extensive investigation. Our decision, based on your overpayment complaint of September 1, 2010, has resulted in your favor. “As far as I’m concerned, you can go and collect your money,” said Mr. Melinson, of the PLCB. The stunned and elated frequent customer replied, “I’ll be there to get it sometime this evening!”
After many platitudes and graciousness, the conversation concluded.
Upon the customer’s arrival the store manager, Roxanne was very cordial – accommodating, friendly, and professional. She immediately addressed the situation. “Oh so you’re the one that they’ve been talking about!” The customer smiled and said, “Yes, I’m the one.” “You know…they don’t give up anything until after an extensive and thorough investigation has been completed,” she said. With the confirmation of identification formalities done, the money was returned to the customer. The frequent customer retrieved nearly one hundred dollars from the Chelten Avenue Wine and Spirits Shop in Germantown-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
At approximately 7:15 P.M. the customer entered the Liquor Store at 130 East Chelten Avenue.
“Prior to the visit, the customer accepted the chore of running an errand for a neighbor lady. She handed me three fifty-dollar bills, one twenty-dollar bill, and five single one-dollar bills. We both counted the money prior to my leaving the residence. We counted it twice to be sure.”
“Realizing, during the trip to the store that I was in need of funds. Stopping at the nearby ATM (7:03 P.M.). I withdrew twenty dollars. The next stop on this errand was the State Liquor Store located at 130 East Chelten Avenue (07:13 P.M). When the clerk rang up the merchandise, I handed him the folded money that totaled one hundred and seventy dollars. Without counting the folded money, I handed the entire amount to the clerk who said, what I believed to be in the amount of “one hundred and eighty dollars.” To reiterate – the folded money was “Three Fifty Dollar Bills and Two Twenty Dollar Bills!” The receipt recorded what the clerk stated…my back was turned and my gaze was not on the clerk!” I was sure I heard him say… “One hundred and eighty dollars!”
“Again, I handed him the money that was counted and folded upon receipt from my neighbor! It totaled one hundred and seventy dollars. The five singles weren’t enough to cover the $180.00, so I added the $20.00 to what I’d handed the clerk. I thought nothing of this transaction until I realized he hadn’t given me the correct change from the purchase! After he returned to the store from loading the six units of Vodka to my vehicle, I realized a mistake had been made… I immediately returned to the store and demanded a cash count of his cash register. The young man summoned the store manager who performed a count of his register drawer. It came up with him being short of some funds! (My change should have been – $99.64!).”
When the manager and clerk opened the cash register drawer, the customer saw three fifty-dollar bills and several twenty-dollar bills. He wondered how many transactions (occurred and were recorded) did this young man have during his shift?
Is it customary to have more than one or two fifty-dollar bills in the drawer?
How many customers came into the store that evening with fifty-dollar bills?
Is it not policy of most stores to question the fifty-dollar bills upon a purchase?
With the occurrence of the error, the customer thought to himself, this money was not mine…I must to rectify this incident…. The loss would be mine, of course, and I would accept full responsibility for the mishap! In light of these circumstances…I could not concede. I must make this request for an investigation into my allegations! I had no need to defraud this store for any amount of funds. It is simply the principle of the issue. I made a mistake not paying attention to the transaction. Would it not be incurred upon the clerk to be honest as well?
Upon return to the initial ordering customer – the overwrought and errant customer reported the situation. In a calming voice and demeanor, the ordering customer replied, “Well…don’t worry about it – there’s not much we can do about it (the lost money). You’ve filed a formal complaint…so let’s wait and see what happens.”
The PLCB had endured its share of lumps – its bad rap(s)… Was the PLCB attempting to prove itself as a trusted and believable entity? Were they trying to show that they are not beyond reproach? Are they faithful and true to their customers…the public at large? Were they attempting to show transparency?
Whatever the intention…the motivation…it was definitely the right thing to do. Yeah, they got it right!
Hat’s off to the PLCB – they averted…rectified an otherwise calamitous situation to all parties involved!
Should not honesty be the first, last, and always the best policy?
Absolutely – You Betcha…!
Congratulations Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board…
(www.state.pa.us – www.pawineandspirits.com – RA-LBWebmaster@state.pa.us – RA-LBSLO@state.pa.us)