My post Friday about WaMu’s offer to give $100 to people who opened a new account generated some really interesting comments and brought up a question that often arises for bargain hunters like you and me. When does taking advantage of a deal become unethical?
With the WaMu deal, Pam said:
I agree that it is somewhat against my ethics to only sign up and not give the bank a fair shot at earning your trust and business–I wouldn’t sign up only for the bonus without honestly giving them a try.
Judy went a step farther:
Whether it followed WaMu’s guidelines or not, it is taking advantage of a situation – stealing.
Other readers said taking the $100 was fine, like Louise:
It is NOT stealing…WaMu offered to give him the money.
Pere applauded Glenn’s decision:
Taking advantage is the American Way. It’s also very shrewd. Quite commendable, actually.
Ethics and bargain hunting come up often. I easily thought of two more situations that leave room for customers to “take advantage” or “scam a company,” depending on your perspective. Chain drugstores frequently offer $25 or $30 to transfer a prescription. Is it unethical to continually transfer the prescription from one chain to another?
If you shop at Costco, you know that the warehouse has a very generous return policy, including a 90-day no questions asked policy for electronics. Is it unethical to purchase a TV or other new gadget if you are not entirely convinced you are going to keep it, but use Costco’s return policy to test out the product?