I have the following question for your review.
I work as a supervisor for a frum contractor in Brooklyn NY.
I usually purchase material for my construction jobs. Often I use my money and get reimbursed later from my boss.
One day this week I purchased material from a large Homedepot store. I used my company homedepot credit card so I wouldn’t have to lay out $1,000 of my own.
The register person made a mistake that I didn’t realize until I was past the security guard who checked my receipt and wagon, and already outside the store loading my car.
The register person typed in that I had 30 pieces of lumber, but didn’t type in that each piece was 10 feet long. So instead of charging me $998 dollars, it rang up $98. Big mistake.
I decided at that time not to go back. Because the guy might lose his job and I didn’t feel I would make a Kiddush Hashem in this case, and I was in a rush.
I know there could be a different side to this but that’s not my question.
I want to know if I can keep the extra material over the $98.00 that I paid for and use it personally. I would purchase additional material for my job again with my company card, or maybe “sell” it to my boss or to my client at market value and keep the $900. My boss or client won’t lose out but they wouldn’t gain from the mistake, but I would.
Or is there a tzad to say it’s my bosses gain and he keeps the extra $900 worth of material and I dont gain anything.
If it makes any difference, I get a weekly salary plus a commission that is a percentage of the total job price. In this case I found the client and am running the job, but it is my boss who owns the company, not me.
Because you used the Homedepot credit card, it follows that the lumber you bought belongs to Homedepot and not to you.
Therefore, the “mistake” that was made goes to the credit of Homedepot, who received an unusually good deal, and not to yourself.
Note that the answer does not refer to the question of returning the difference to the store, because you are not asking. We have explained elsewhere that under such circumstances the surplus should be returned to the store.
See Choshen Mishpat 183:6 (somebody who sends an envoy to make a payment, and the envoy receives a bonus), where the Rema rules that where the seller (the person being paid) gives a bonus specifically to the person paying, the person paying gets to keep it. Others argue with this ruling (see Shach). In this case, the “bonus” (which was given mistakenly) was not given with any intention, so that the sale goes directly to the person who is “spending the money” which is Homedepot whose card was used.