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Question:A friend donates regularly in large amounts to help others. Once, he was at a restaurant. Usually, the price of one plate of white rice is $1. However, in that restaurant, it cost $3. He and his three friends ordered 4 plates together. When the bill came, he noticed that the restaurant undercharged by one plate. He paid as billed because he felt the rice wasn’t worth $3. Is this right?

Answer: He should had check the price first. While it might be the fault of the restaurant for overcharging, it is also his fault for not checking. (Maybe the rice is $2 per plate?)

Question: He also didn’t want to waste his time waiting for the bill rectification as he already waited 15 minutes for the bill.

Answer: Time should not be an issue to do the right thing. He could just put $3 there and go off if there is no need for a receipt.

Question: If he donates the savings of the $3 to charity later, would it solve the issue?

Answer: Donating the money seems to be the only choice now – unless he is willing to return to the restaurant to explain what happened. Or he can return to the restaurant to give a tip.

Question: What if he really felt the rice was overpriced and not value for money?

Answer: Then he should have complained and ask for a discount. Or not order it in the first place. While it might be a mistake for overcharging, it is also a mistake for not informing of being undercharged. These are two separate issues. If we know the other party would appreciate us highlighting their mistake, we should. To summarise, it is the onus of the customer to check the price first, and to complain if deemed necessary of the dish’s worth – to get a discount if wanted. It need not be a straighforward pay as it is or not pay matter. There’s no need to limit our choice of actions. While we tend to think of only two either or alternatives, there is usually a third… or more skilful ones.

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