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The 'stolen' turkey dinner... UPD #331 p23

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My sister shared this with me and I was just curious what others thought of what happened with this situation.

She lives in an area where there seem to be a lot of church charity auctions.  She went to one such auction that was not for the church she attends (possibly important later).  (background: She was going to her SIL's for Thanksgiving dinner, and then she was hosting my family on Saturday so the cousins could all see each other.)  One of the items up for auction was a family turkey dinner from the deli of a grocery store in town, valued at about $50.  She bid on it (presumably for the $50, although I'm not entirely sure) and won it.  Generally, these things are pretty generic (like they say 'turkey dinner', but they really mean a value of $X that can be used for anything in the deli within a month or two). So my sister thought she might be able to trade it in for chicken or something else, and we could all eat it when we came to her house on Saturday. 

After she got the info, she saw that the auction was very specific; it HAD to be a turkey dinner, and it HAD to be picked up between Monday and Thursday.  Well, she waited until Thursday and called the deli to say she was going to be picking it up.  She had a coupon of sorts and described it to the manager.  The deli manager didn't know what she was talking about.  Even he said that typically, people just get a $50 gift card in cases like this.  She faxed the coupon to the deli manager so he could see what she was talking about.

The manager called her back, and this is where it gets a bit wild.  Apparently, my sister's turkey dinner had been picked up already by someone else!  The manager said that some other lady had been calling all day, wondering if the dinner (my sister's dinner) had been picked up yet.  When it hadn't been picked up by a certain time, this other lady came and picked it up herself!

My sister's take on it was that this lady is the one who donated the item to the church auction (I don't know if she knew this for sure or was supposing).  The other lady was counting on nobody picking up the dinner, basically hedging her bets, hence the specificity of the type of dinner and the short time frame for picking it up.  That's why it wasn't done in the 'typical' way (the $50 gift card), b/c then she'd have no way of potentially getting it back if she'd just donated the gift card.  So my sister was out her money AND her dinner.

I asked what my sister was going to do.  She hadn't done anything yet b/c she was really busy on Friday.  Personally, I think a bit of public shaming would be in order, and that my sister should call the church and explain the situation, and request that they ask that the Turkey lady actually provide to my sister what she donated, or give my sister back her money.  Perhaps my sister could overlook the large 'donation' to the church and just write it off if it were her own church, but this is a different one.  I thought if the Turkey lady was going to going to try to get the goodwill for her actions AND eat my sister's dinner, then she should be called out on her actions.  And to do this to a church?  Really?

So, what do you all think of that?  I thought it was pretty shady and conniving of Turkey lady, personally.

Wow!  That is dirty and lowdown.  I would be calling the pastor ASAP and letting him/her know what happened and asking for a refund.  That's just terrible.

I absolutely think your sister needs to contact the church.  Regardless of who it was who took the turkey dinner, the fact of the matter is there were no safe guards in place to ensure the customer (your sister) got what she paid for.  And since she paid the church for it, the church is the responsible entity.

I'm a bit against the grain on this. I actually think that it's the fault of the deli rather than the church. They shouldn't have released the dinner without the gift coupon. Sister should have taken the coupon in and insisted that they honor it -- whether or not someone else cheated them out of a dinner. But I don't think that Sister is totally in the right either to wait until the very last second to even contact the deli about a turkey dinner. What if they needed advance notice to prepare it? Maybe nobody picked up Sister's turkey dinner but the deli just didn't have one prepared to give. I think Sister can bring it up with the church to alert them of a potential scam either from the donor or the deli, but I don't think that they bear the burden of making it right.

Another vote for calling the church and getting a refund.

Unless she's sure it's the lady who donated it, she shouldn't accuse her. Just give the church the facts, including anything that possibly identifies the woman who picked up the dinner, and let the pastor take it from there.


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