Author Topic: The 'stolen' turkey dinner... UPD #331 p23  (Read 48006 times)

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yokozbornak

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2012, 09:50:41 PM »
As someone who has been responsible for a few silent auctions in the past, I would definitely want it reported to me first so that I could try to fix it before creating ill will with the business and with the buyer.  If one of my team members did what is suspected here, I would want to know so I could handle it on my end.  Businesses that are kind enough to donate something don't deserve the headache of trying to resolve a situation they didn't create, and buyers certainly need to receive what was promised to them.

The business gave it away to somebody who didn't have the voucher and apparently after a day of suspicious behavior to tip them off - I would say they do deserve the headache of trying to resolve it, assuming the manager's story was truthful to begin with.

While the deli shouldn't have given it away, there seems to be some shenanigans going on with someone involved with the auction.  That makes the church look bad to both the business who donated nd the person who bought it.  I would rather refund the money personally to the person who made the bid rather than embarrass the church even further.  I would also want to know so I could attempt to find out who picked up the food so they would never be involved in another auction again.

Sharnita

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2012, 10:01:35 PM »
That is assuming the manager was truthful in his answer to OP's sis.  If we are looking ofr shenaningans it might be just as easy to look at a manager who first didn't know anything about the dinner, then was able to report there were repeated inquiries and and that the dinner was givne away.

Hmmmmm

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2012, 10:07:09 PM »
I also think this is really interesting.

I think I would go to the store first, with the idea that they need to honor their voucher, even if it costs them money due to some kind of confusion on their end. The point is to actually obtain a turkey dinner, or equivalent cash/store credit, right? So if I go directly to the store and I obtain my item, I don't necessarily care who the "turkey thief" is, or what investigations happen behind the scenes after I leave.

If the store won't honor the voucher in some way, then I think I would need to go to the church, and explain that I either need another document the store will honor, or I need my auction check back. Whichever is easier. And again, once I've got my item/money, let someone else sort it out behind the scenes. (Although personally I would be VERY curious to know what was going on!)

For me, $50 is not make-or-break money, but it is too much for me to just write it off.

Based on the OP, it didn't sound like the voucher the auction winner had was the standard voucher the deli provides.  It had rules and stipulations the manager stated were not their norm.  So to me that would indicate the voucher was actually in some way modified and might not even have been the official document provided by the deli.

Yvaine

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #48 on: November 26, 2012, 10:22:11 PM »
Based on the OP, it didn't sound like the voucher the auction winner had was the standard voucher the deli provides.  It had rules and stipulations the manager stated were not their norm.  So to me that would indicate the voucher was actually in some way modified and might not even have been the official document provided by the deli.

I've been wondering this too. I wonder if the donor (or possibly the church) made up a voucher themselves without the deli's knowledge. This wouldn't even have to be intentionally shady--it could have just been clueless: "Oh, surely the deli will know what's up, when the winner appears to ask for this dinner that we've already paid for!" Especially if the purchaser mentioned verbally that it was for a prize winner and figured they'd note that down somewhere. But it also might be intentionally shady.

Meanwhile, the deli has no idea the voucher exists and is just expecting someone to show up with the receipt showing they paid. The donor has this receipt and, if she is shady or is freaking out that she thinks the dinner will go to waste, picks it up without a hitch.

The manager's confusion might have been because he didn't expect anyone to show up with a voucher...because from his perspective there may never have been any voucher.

GrammarNerd

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2012, 10:38:14 PM »
OP here....thank you for all of the replies.  I can't believe the discussion this has generated!  I don't have a resolution yet, but I do have a bit more information.  I misinterpreted some of the facts slightly; this was originally told to me quickly, over lunch, so we didn't spend a lot of time on it and I just got a quick rundown of the facts.

First, this WAS for my sister's church.  I didn't realize that when I spoke with her on Saturday. My bad.

Second, what she received after the auction was a duplicate receipt and a handwritten note telling her to reference the church name.  It also contained the donor's last name. This is what she faxed to the deli manager, and seeing the donor's name is probably what jogged his memory that the woman had been calling all week and then eventually picked up the dinner.

Third, the deli manager was quite adamant that charity donations like this are NEVER done this way.  Gift cards are used. Period.  He was really puzzled as to why my sister had a duplicate receipt and a handwritten note for this.

Fourth, and I will fully admit this was sister's own fault, she didn't try to claim this until Friday.  It was then that they found the receipt with the so-called expiration date (which was, I believe, handwritten so was probably more of a product of the donor's doing rather than the deli's doing).  Their delay was probably just an oversight since things like this (auction items) didn't generally have such small windows for redemption and through their business, they're involved in a LOT of charity auctions. So my sister called the deli and said that she didn't expect them to have turkey dinners anymore, but she had this receipt for a dinner, had bought it at a church auction, and asked if she could get some chicken or something else instead.  It was then that the deli manager expressed his confusion.

Fifth, the deli manager said that the lady had been calling all during that week, not just on Thursday as I thought, inquiring as to whether or not the dinner had been redeemed.  So that kind of says to me (and my sister) that she was really looking for the dinner to not be claimed.  When Thursday rolled around, she used her original receipt and went and claimed it.  Deli manager mentioned the last name of the person who claimed it and it was the same last name that was listed as the donor on the info that my sister got.

So, this proves that there's more to the story.  My sister is not totally innocent with this in not looking at the dates better initially.  I admit that, but I believe it was an honest oversight around a busy holiday, coupled with the fact that normally, auctions didn't have such short redemption periods.  Alternately, it would indeed seem that the donor lady did try to hedge her bets about getting back the dinner that she had donated.  I didn't want to give my sister the third degree (she doesn't know that her situation is in an online forum...LOL), but it seems as though at this point, she wants to let the donor lady know that she tried to claim her dinner and realized what had transpired with the purpose of the duplicate receipt and the donor lady claiming it for herself.  She also said that she doesn't want the donor lady to get the tax credit for a donation when she really didn't 'donate' it b/c she claimed it herself.  They know the person who was in charge of the auction so they're going to talk to her to see what she says about the situation.

When it comes right down to it, though, I think it still was kind of shady of the donor lady (or maybe I like the term 'Turkey Lady' better...) to 'donate' it, but then do what she did and redeem it for herself. Just the aspect of using the duplicate receipts instead of a straight gift card (as is usually done) and having a small redemption window suggests some forethought that she wanted to try to redeem it for herself if it wasn't used by a certain day.

Also, by referencing 'public shaming' in my OP, I basically meant that someone from the church should call her and say, 'hey, this is what happened.  Why did you do this?  Now we have someone who bought this in good faith and is out $50 b/c you ate her dinner.  This is not a very Christian way to handle a donation to the church.  How are you going to make this right?'

kherbert05

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #50 on: November 26, 2012, 10:55:59 PM »
Given the update your sister needs to go the the pastor. The Pastor needs to require this woman to pay your sister back - and publicly apologize to the entire congregation for her fraud. She should never be allowed to have any position that involves her handling money for the church ever again. If she refuses the church should denounce the woman and bar her from entering the church.

$ to doughnuts - she paid for the meal with church money, expecting the "winner" to over look the date and write it off so that she could get a free Thanksgiving meal.
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doodlemor

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #51 on: November 26, 2012, 11:03:59 PM »
Wow, GrammarNerd!  That is quite an update.  No wonder your sister was so sure about who took the food - she had the name and the report from the deli guy.

I think that your sister should request an appointment with the pastor and the person in charge of the auction and lay out her evidence.  Different denominations deal with chicanery in different ways.  I certainly hope that her church will never let this woman have anything to do with money or finances again.  I'm sure that this isn't the first time that she stole, and I doubt that it will be the last.


Sharnita

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2012, 11:08:25 PM »
Given the update your sister needs to go the the pastor. The Pastor needs to require this woman to pay your sister back - and publicly apologize to the entire congregation for her fraud. She should never be allowed to have any position that involves her handling money for the church ever again. If she refuses the church should denounce the woman and bar her from entering the church.

$ to doughnuts - she paid for the meal with church money, expecting the "winner" to over look the date and write it off so that she could get a free Thanksgiving meal.

according to OP she donated it.  Accusing her of using church funds is a bit OTT.  It does sound like she behaved out of line. Talking to the pastor is probably a good idea, an apology to sis would be nice, a public apology to the congregation under threat of baishment - perhaps she should wear a scarlet letter during that process?

Deetee

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2012, 11:20:08 PM »
I think the sister has the right to be seriously annoyed. I don't hold her responsible for missing the deadline. It was odd and unclear and outside of the norm.

She can talk to the church and hopefully theu can sort it out.

Rusty

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2012, 11:54:29 PM »
Can you be absolutely sure that the "Turkey Dinner" was not just sold when it looked as if noone was going to pick it up.   It seems a bit strange to me that they would not require proof on pickup, either the coupon or some form of evidence that they were the rightful owner of the Dinner.   I used to do a lot of fundraising for my son's scout group and one time I obtained a voucher for a dinner for two at a local hotel.  These were kept by the secretary of the Group and then on the fundraising day had disappeared. I remembered that I had obtained it and so rang the hotel and told them not to honour it (I had stamped it with the Scout Group Logo.  They rang me back and told me it had been presented and also had a signature on it  (of one of the committee members).   When I queried the said member I was told that as all committee work was unpaid they felt entitled to take the voucher!   Didn't go down too well when the President stood up at next committee meeting and asked said member for reimbursement.  Should have seen the look on her face.

Rusty

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #55 on: November 26, 2012, 11:59:36 PM »
Sorry, hadn't read the update properly.  The whole thing sounds very confusing.

sourwolf

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2012, 12:01:58 AM »
Can you be absolutely sure that the "Turkey Dinner" was not just sold when it looked as if noone was going to pick it up.   It seems a bit strange to me that they would not require proof on pickup, either the coupon or some form of evidence that they were the rightful owner of the Dinner.   I used to do a lot of fundraising for my son's scout group and one time I obtained a voucher for a dinner for two at a local hotel.  These were kept by the secretary of the Group and then on the fundraising day had disappeared. I remembered that I had obtained it and so rang the hotel and told them not to honour it (I had stamped it with the Scout Group Logo.  They rang me back and told me it had been presented and also had a signature on it  (of one of the committee members).   When I queried the said member I was told that as all committee work was unpaid they felt entitled to take the voucher!   Didn't go down too well when the President stood up at next committee meeting and asked said member for reimbursement.  Should have seen the look on her face.

I know the update was long but it did answer all of your questions and "what ifs."


Fifth, the deli manager said that the lady had been calling all during that week, not just on Thursday as I thought, inquiring as to whether or not the dinner had been redeemed.  So that kind of says to me (and my sister) that she was really looking for the dinner to not be claimed.  When Thursday rolled around, she used her original receipt and went and claimed it.  Deli manager mentioned the last name of the person who claimed it and it was the same last name that was listed as the donor on the info that my sister got.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 12:05:10 AM by sourwolf »

Yvaine

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2012, 12:03:58 AM »
Can you be absolutely sure that the "Turkey Dinner" was not just sold when it looked as if noone was going to pick it up.   It seems a bit strange to me that they would not require proof on pickup, either the coupon or some form of evidence that they were the rightful owner of the Dinner.   

The deli was given the original receipt as proof. The person who claimed it was the same person who purchased it in the first place.

The deli never knew this was an auction item. They just thought some woman had called in an advance order for herself--which I doubt is unusual--and probably wondered why she was calling so much about it--and probably chalked it up to a family having poor communication amongst themselves or something.

Iris

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2012, 01:37:03 AM »
This is fascinating! Posting for updates :)
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CluelessBride

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2012, 03:03:32 AM »
From the update, it sounds like your sister also dropped the ball by missing the deadline.  Even if the deadline was unusual, unexpected and a little short, it sounds like it was still listed with the coupon she picked up. I don't blame her for missing it (I've done similar), but I also don't think anyone is necessarily required to honor an expired coupon/gift certificate - even if she bought it in a charity auction.  So if it were me I wouldn't expect the coupon to be honored or the bid to be refunded.

However, that doesn't excuse the donor's shadiness. She donated the item. It sold. Picking up the turkey dinner, even if would have otherwise gone to waste, was taking something that wasn't hers - and that's not okay. It's doubly off-putting because of the connection to charity. And because it sounds like this was a non-typical coupon for this store, it makes it seem like she went out of her way to steal back her own donation.  And so I would definitely give the organizer a heads up on what happened. I would approach it as "I know it's my fault I missed the deadline to use the coupon, and I don't expect a refund because I want to support the church fundraiser, but I wanted to let you know the details of what happened because I find the situation off-putting and am concerned that this type of donation scenario may discourage other donors."