Author Topic: The 'stolen' turkey dinner... UPD #331 p23  (Read 52747 times)

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lowspark

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #105 on: November 27, 2012, 02:03:06 PM »
OP, am I right in thinking that up until late Thursday sis could have walked in and redeemed her Turkey dinner? That wo uld be when TL got it?  Aand then sis tried to get it?  If that is the case then it is tricky.  It isn't like the church didn't follow htrough at all.

I think that the church unwittingly didn't follow through by proxy. It's certainly not the church's fault. However, the church still has a responsibility to make good on their promise. Although it's not their fault, it's still their responsibility. They take on that responsibility when they endeavor to hold the auction. And that's why I say that the OP's sister's claim is with the church. The church then theoretically has a claim with the donor which they should solve however they see fit, but without further involvement of the winner (OP's sister). But their first obligation is now to OP's sister. They either need to give her money back or make good on the turkey dinner from the deli.

LazyDaisy

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #106 on: November 27, 2012, 02:06:34 PM »
Good grief, $50 is nothing for a charitable donation for tax purposes -- and would only make any difference if the Turkey Lady itemizes her taxes rather than takes the standard deduction. Seriously, the rules for tax deductions on charitable donations are much more strict than most people think: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Eight-Tips-for-Deducting-Charitable-Contributions. Another good article is http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2011/06/18/giving-to-charity-great-staying-off-irs-radar-priceless/

And according to #3 on the list provided by the IRS and on the Forbes.com article, since the "donation" was of equal value as the dinner (according to the OP), sister would not get to claim any of the $50 on her taxes as a donation to the church, and if the item were worth more than what she paid, she still couldn't claim anything. It seems that now that sister didn't benefit by getting a turkey dinner, she can actually claim the charitable donation, but only if the church is on the IRS's qualified charities list (it must appear or it won't count).

My point for using a sweater was more this: this is a donation to a charity not a retail purchase. Demanding a refund for a charitable donation in any form is outrageous to me.

So by your logic, any charitable organization can offer anything they want in exchange for a donation but has no obligation to actually follow through and make good on their promise. Because, after all, it's outrageous to demand a refund for a charitable donation.

I don't think I can agree with that.
You have made a interesting giant leap from an incident of a Turkey dinner at a church charity auction to all charities everywhere. That's a bit OTT. I can imaging being outraged enough to want my donation back if I found out that the charity work was a fraud -- the money going for a trip to the Bahamas instead of the homeless for instance, but I can't imagine demanding my money back because an auction item wasn't sufficient or even delivered. I support charities, and I buy retail items. The two are totally separate financial transactions for me.
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Yvaine

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #107 on: November 27, 2012, 02:08:14 PM »
The donor didn't give a gift certificate for any turkey dinner at the deli anytime, it sounds like she gave a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner, and that has a specific date to redeem.

It was not specifically stated as a "Thanksgiving dinner" anywhere that I know of from reading the thread. People eat turkey dinners for other occasions too, and sis might have assumed it could be redeemed for, say, Christmas dinner instead of Thanksgiving. (And then she came up with the chicken idea after she spotted the expiration date.)

Now, as it turns out, it was a premade dinner and wouldn't have kept--but that wasn't necessarily clear from what sis was told at the auction. Turkey Lady purchased a specific perishable meal and sis possibly thought she was getting the opportunity to order a meal made to order when she needed it. In addition to any potential shadiness, I think it's clear that the specific nature of the prize was not communicated well.

CaptainObvious

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #108 on: November 27, 2012, 02:09:37 PM »
The donor didn't give a gift certificate for any turkey dinner at the deli anytime, it sounds like she gave a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner, and that has a specific date to redeem.

It was not specifically stated as a "Thanksgiving dinner" anywhere that I know of from reading the thread. People eat turkey dinners for other occasions too, and sis might have assumed it could be redeemed for, say, Christmas dinner instead of Thanksgiving.

Now, as it turns out, it was a premade dinner and wouldn't have kept--but that wasn't necessarily clear from what sis was told at the auction. Turkey Lady purchased a specific perishable meal and sis possibly thought she was getting the opportunity to order a meal made to order when she needed it. In addition to any potential shadiness, I think it's clear that the specific nature of the prize was not communicated well.

And from what I understand, the Turkey Lady handwrote the expiration date on the receipt. It wasn't stated on the auction signage.

Yvaine

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #109 on: November 27, 2012, 02:10:57 PM »
The donor didn't give a gift certificate for any turkey dinner at the deli anytime, it sounds like she gave a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner, and that has a specific date to redeem.

It was not specifically stated as a "Thanksgiving dinner" anywhere that I know of from reading the thread. People eat turkey dinners for other occasions too, and sis might have assumed it could be redeemed for, say, Christmas dinner instead of Thanksgiving.

Now, as it turns out, it was a premade dinner and wouldn't have kept--but that wasn't necessarily clear from what sis was told at the auction. Turkey Lady purchased a specific perishable meal and sis possibly thought she was getting the opportunity to order a meal made to order when she needed it. In addition to any potential shadiness, I think it's clear that the specific nature of the prize was not communicated well.

And from what I understand, the Turkey Lady handwrote the expiration date on the receipt. It wasn't stated on the auction signage.

Exactly. And given what she ended up doing, I wonder if that was originally her "note to self" on when to pick it up for herself.

Sharnita

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #110 on: November 27, 2012, 02:19:11 PM »
Like I said, most auctions I have attended you either see the item (silent auction) where any limits or dealines should be visible or you hear a description before people call out bids.  I am not sure what kind of auction this was, it would be interesting to know.  If the deadline was missing either way then a general policy needs to be included to make sure those kinds of details are included next year so people fully understand what they are getting.  If might actually increase bidding because people will see the deal more clearly.

lowspark

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #111 on: November 27, 2012, 02:20:11 PM »
Good grief, $50 is nothing for a charitable donation for tax purposes -- and would only make any difference if the Turkey Lady itemizes her taxes rather than takes the standard deduction. Seriously, the rules for tax deductions on charitable donations are much more strict than most people think: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Eight-Tips-for-Deducting-Charitable-Contributions. Another good article is http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2011/06/18/giving-to-charity-great-staying-off-irs-radar-priceless/

And according to #3 on the list provided by the IRS and on the Forbes.com article, since the "donation" was of equal value as the dinner (according to the OP), sister would not get to claim any of the $50 on her taxes as a donation to the church, and if the item were worth more than what she paid, she still couldn't claim anything. It seems that now that sister didn't benefit by getting a turkey dinner, she can actually claim the charitable donation, but only if the church is on the IRS's qualified charities list (it must appear or it won't count).

My point for using a sweater was more this: this is a donation to a charity not a retail purchase. Demanding a refund for a charitable donation in any form is outrageous to me.

So by your logic, any charitable organization can offer anything they want in exchange for a donation but has no obligation to actually follow through and make good on their promise. Because, after all, it's outrageous to demand a refund for a charitable donation.

I don't think I can agree with that.
You have made a interesting giant leap from an incident of a Turkey dinner at a church charity auction to all charities everywhere. That's a bit OTT. I can imaging being outraged enough to want my donation back if I found out that the charity work was a fraud -- the money going for a trip to the Bahamas instead of the homeless for instance, but I can't imagine demanding my money back because an auction item wasn't sufficient or even delivered. I support charities, and I buy retail items. The two are totally separate financial transactions for me.

That's certainly an admirable viewpoint. If everyone felt that way, there would be no need to hold an auction in the first place. Or any other kind of fundraiser where the promise was the exchange of something of value in return for the donation. The church could have simply asked for donations from everyone and people would have donated. End of story.

Unfortunately, that's not how things work. Well, I should say, sure, sometimes they do work that way. But clearly not always since so many charitable organizations do in fact put on fundraisers which offer some kind of additional value, aside from the satisfaction of donating, in return for donations.

And then I'm right back where I was. Church promised something in return for a donation. That promise was not kept. Regardless of whose fault it was, the buyer did not receive the promised value for her donation. Once the buyer points this out to the church, it becomes the church's responsibility to make good.

Once the church enters into an agreement, i.e. turkey dinner in return for $50 (or whatever) donation, then it is on them to make good on that agreement. It's an agreement between two parties, regardless of who those parties are, charitable organization, business, individual, whatever.

lowspark

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #112 on: November 27, 2012, 02:27:25 PM »
Also, I want to clarify. I don't think the OP's sis should go to the church and bang her fist on the desk and demand satisfaction. I think she should contact them and tell them what happened. If the church then says, "too bad so sad", I don't know that I'd insist. I'd probably just write it off as a bad experience. I'd sure evaluate the wisdom of belonging to such an organization though, and certainly would not again feel the desire to give them further donations. It seems to me that if I represented the church and this story came to my attention, I'd do everything in my power to do the right thing for the auction winner. Again, because, as the church, I've entered into an agreement and the right thing to do is hold up my end of that agreement if possible, even if situation was not my fault, i.e. the fault of the church.

DottyG

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #113 on: November 27, 2012, 02:38:38 PM »
I was going to reply to LazyDaisy's post but then lowspark said what I was about to say - in both of her above posts.


Hmmmmm

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #114 on: November 27, 2012, 02:39:53 PM »
Like I said, most auctions I have attended you either see the item (silent auction) where any limits or dealines should be visible or you hear a description before people call out bids.  I am not sure what kind of auction this was, it would be interesting to know.  If the deadline was missing either way then a general policy needs to be included to make sure those kinds of details are included next year so people fully understand what they are getting.  If might actually increase bidding because people will see the deal more clearly.

With the dozen or so auctions I've chaired or helped organize, we never put out any type of gift certificate on the silent auction tables.  Too easy for them to be "misplaced".  The only thing ever set out was a typed up description of the auction item as part of the bid sheet. 

dawbs

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #115 on: November 27, 2012, 02:43:35 PM »
Also, I want to clarify. I don't think the OP's sis should go to the church and bang her fist on the desk and demand satisfaction. I think she should contact them and tell them what happened. If the church then says, "too bad so sad", I don't know that I'd insist. I'd probably just write it off as a bad experience. I'd sure evaluate the wisdom of belonging to such an organization though, and certainly would not again feel the desire to give them further donations. It seems to me that if I represented the church and this story came to my attention, I'd do everything in my power to do the right thing for the auction winner. Again, because, as the church, I've entered into an agreement and the right thing to do is hold up my end of that agreement if possible, even if situation was not my fault, i.e. the fault of the church.

This is where I land too.

It's rather like if one of 'my' employees screws up badly at work.
Honestly, I can't 'make it right'--as in, since said employees provide a service, if I find out, after the fact, that one of my employees made a major FUBAR, I can't go back in time and correct that--I can't refund time and there isn't a charge, per se, for what we do (it's kinda like going to the library--if the librarian is incredibly condescending and unhelpful, and you come back tomorrow and get help--great...but that doesn't change the previous visit).
 

Sharnita

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #116 on: November 27, 2012, 02:45:22 PM »
I don't know if it is regional or what.  I think the idea that people are there primarily to support the charity decreases the worry of things being misplaced and having the visual appeal of the actual item really tends to increase bidding.

rose red

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #117 on: November 27, 2012, 02:53:13 PM »
Also, I want to clarify. I don't think the OP's sis should go to the church and bang her fist on the desk and demand satisfaction. I think she should contact them and tell them what happened. If the church then says, "too bad so sad", I don't know that I'd insist. I'd probably just write it off as a bad experience. I'd sure evaluate the wisdom of belonging to such an organization though, and certainly would not again feel the desire to give them further donations. It seems to me that if I represented the church and this story came to my attention, I'd do everything in my power to do the right thing for the auction winner. Again, because, as the church, I've entered into an agreement and the right thing to do is hold up my end of that agreement if possible, even if situation was not my fault, i.e. the fault of the church.

Right.  Because even if the church has no way of giving her a refund or another turkey dinner, they need to investigate and apologize.  They need the facts by questoning the grocery store and TurkeyLady, because what if it happens again?   

Yes, I can afford $50.  No, I don't need a turkey dinner.  But this is not about money or dinner.  It's about trust; it's about both parties getting what was promised to each other.  It's about what and who the church let represent them.  At this point, we don't know who is responsible (grocery store? turkeylady? OP's sister?  random stranger?), but the church needs to find out what happened so they know how to procede in the future.  Reputation and keeping a good name is important.

amylouky

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #118 on: November 27, 2012, 02:58:17 PM »
I'm not sure why the $50 is being considered a donation?  It really is a retail purchase, the difference being that the proceeds from the sale go to the church rather than a for-profit business.
I do think that the church should refund Sis's money, then they can determine how to proceed with recouping the money from the donor.

DollyPond

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Re: The 'stolen' turkey dinner...
« Reply #119 on: November 27, 2012, 03:07:47 PM »
Quote
I don't know that there is any evidence that the donor was the person who picked it up.

Maybe the store has surveillance cameras - or maybe that's taking things too far.

In answer to the "donation" question....the OP's $50 was not the "donation"  that was made by the store and the church reaps the benefit of however much was bid on the item.