Who pays?

Recently, my husband and I were at a restaurant and there was a special. I specifically asked if a certain item qualified for the special price. After being told it was, we ordered based on that information. When it came time to pay, the manager told us the server was misinformed and we would have to pay full price. Bait and switch? Not really. I believe the server was new and genuinely didn’t know. We paid full price.

The course I am teaching has a custom textbook. The books came with missing pages. Until the correct books are ordered, we are stuck without textbooks. Because I need problems for students to do in class, the math department will have added expense of copying. I will also spend additional time designing worksheets for the students, but I’m not paid by the hour.

In both cases, the fault is clearly with the business: the restaurant and the publishing company. In both cases, the person at fault did not pay. In the restaurant, I was rather surprised we were not offered the advantage of the special. I’m also surprised that the publishing company isn’t offering the math department some form of compensation. The course where the error occurred has thirty-five sections, which suggests they are making quite a profit. But at least initially, both businesses seem to think the costs of their errors should be borne by their customers.

At least we have been their customers.

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