What Is Honesty?

I know there is an actual definition to the word, but looking it up is irrelevant. Honesty, when you really put your mind to it, is a different thing for everyone. We all have our own versions of being honest, what we consider to be personal honesty and what we have as expectations of others being honest. We may not agree on what we feel is dishonesty.

Is full disclosure better as a company or is it "okay to omit"? Imagine you sell clothes online and you get a call from someone having difficulty ordering a product. The reason they can’t add this product to their shopping cart is because you no longer carry that item. The reason it's still on the website is because the webmaster hasn't taken it down yet. What do you say to your customer? Is it "I'm sorry we no longer carry that item, is there something else I can help you find?" or "I'm sorry, that item is currently out of stock."

Do you see the distinction here?

Personally, my vote is for the first response. I'll tell you why : If you tell the customer you no longer carry that, sure they might be disappointed, but you're also making the effort to help them find another product that will work. It's not the same, but it is an option. Customer service like that sticks in someone's mind. The second option will only drive the customer to find the "out of stock" product somewhere else.

What do you think? And be honest.