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Missing popcorn money...

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Yeah, that does change things a bit....


So,if you haven't let the family pick up the popcorn yet, how exactly did you know what kind/flavor/size popcorn to order for the family?


I am assuming there was some sort of order form?


Honestly, the best thing you could do to save face for your pack within the community is to give the popcorn to those who paid to get it.


Wether you get the money back or not is a side issue to the fact that people of the community ( read: your future financial support) paid to get popcorn from YOUR PACK.


So the parents and or scout collected the money? But they collected it in your packs name with your blessing.


Sure, it's that particular scout and/or family that is not following through, but you endorsed their actions by letting them do it. Matter of fact, you let a scout who isn't even a part of your unit yet , sell popcorn for your unit.


A grat analogy here would be this:


You have a store and you hire a person to run a register. A person come in and you go ahead and hire him on the spot. The employee hasn't actually filled out any paperwork or filled out the application or tax peperwork yet...but you go ahead anfd put him behind a register.


He takes catalog pre orders and then pockets the money.


That may be wrong of the now ex-employee, but as the store owner, you owe it to the customers to give them the product the paid for in your store.


When you let that scout sell popcorn in your name, you endorsed that scouts actions and credibility.


Yeah, $500.00 sucks. It will probably cause your pack to break even with all the other popcorn sales, but if you don't hand that popcorn over...


Not only will you lose those folks as future customers, but the news will spread FAST! You will be known as the pack who takes $$$ but doesn't deliver.



The family? THreaten them with legal action. That might be enough to get them to cough it up. If they really are in bad finacial shape..let them pay it in payments. $100.00 a month for 5 months is better than nothing at all.

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If each of their customers bought a pack of Butter Light Microwave Popcorn (about $40), we're talking about 10 people who won't get the product they paid for. That's a lot of people whom, as Scoutfish correctly says, will soon be talking about how your pack stiffed them.


You have the order form (or should) with the customers' names and addresses. Deliver the popcorn to them directly as a sign of goodwill. Don't mention the family taking the money - that will cause more problems than it's worth. Just deliver it, thank them for supporting Scouting and wish them happy holidays. Eat the cost and develop a better, more secure system for next year ... like having the money turned in along with the order form!


This sounds like a learning experience.

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I can see three problems here:

1) Bad family gets the money with the order, and keeps the money

2) Bad family is fronted the popcorn, sells it & keeps the money

3) Bad family turns in the money, gets the popcorn, sells the popcorn to a new batch of people & keeps the money


in any case, the unit needs to make good on the original orders without any excuses.

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The family had sent in their "order" of what they had "sold" by e-mail to our popcorn coordinator. (It was not an order sheet) It was past the deadline we had set, but we had the email of what this boy had "sold". (But no money). The pack fronted the money for any boy that did not turn in their entire amount.


It was told to the parents that we needed all the money up front. However, this is our first year of selling popcorn in an organized effort. So our popcorn chair allowed this boy's order to come in via email... just telling us what they had "sold". No customer info.


Over the weekend another boy volunteered to pick up and sell the popcorn, he set up a table outside a grocery store for 2 hrs, and told the $300+ on his own.


Still no word from the MIA family about "when" they will come get their order (which is too late of course). If they do call, then we'll tell them that they need to go back and return the money to any customer who ordered from them. We assume they have their own order sheet...


Live and learn: Next year... no fronting a scout's order.

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Trust me: It won't matter if Mrs X tells Customer Y the popcorn is no longer available.


If Customer Y comes to you demanding popcorn they paid for to the Xs, you have a three layer choice:

- Tell Customer Y so sorry, the money wasn't turned in by the Xs and there is no popcorn. Hope the Y's don't go public with their complaint and cost you/your chartered partner community good will.

- Ignore Customer Y, which all but guarantees the Y family will go public.

- Make good on the order. Eat the money.


Your CC and COR need to be talking turkey with your DE soon. The reputation of your unit and of your Chartered Partner as honest people potentially can be in the balance.


Lord willing, people will understand, but fortune favors the prepared.

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John in KC: But the problem is that we dont know who the customers are? So we cannot deliver them their order. The family never gave us their order sheet.


We made 5 phone calls, 5-6 emails over the last 4 weeks that the popcorn has been sitting at our coordinators home.


We did involve the DE, and our UC. During a meeting they both advised that we give the family a deadline to pick up their popcorn... Which we did.. giving them 4 more days. Its' now been a week later and they STILL have not called, nor have they been seen at any den or pack meetings.


So we cannot just hold onto this popcorn forever. I think that we made the mistake of fronting their order, but once the popcorn is in and we've notified everyone... how many more weeks or months should we have to wait ?



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You're a banker. You understand this simple truth:


Perceptions MATTER


If the customers come out of the woodwork, the matter needs to be dealt with.


A positive impression gets shared 1-2 times. A negative impression, 10 times and more.



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I believe what John was trying to get at is that IF a customer comes forward, stating that they paid for popcorn that was never delivered, your Pack should be ready to deal with that. Personally, I would recommend telling them there was a problem with the popcorn order, and 1) you will see if their order can be filled by leftovers at the Council, and 2) if the order can not be filled, that your Pack will GLADLY refund their money.


You should alert your DE, and Council Service Center, that if they get any calls like this from anyone in your Pack's area, they need to route them to your CC immediately. Make sure all leaders in the Pack are on the same page as to how any complaints like this should be handled.


Just a note on the popcorn sale itself. Most councils do not demand payment up front from units at the time of Take-Order delivery. They usually deliver the Take-Order corn, give the Scouts a week or two to deliver it and get paid, then have a final date when all money for the sale is due to Council. If your Council requires payment for all popcorn at the time of delivery, or order, then you should never take an order from a family that does not include the payment for that order. No money, no order. They can order their popcorn online from Trails End themselves (and pay shipping).

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Since you have no order sheet, if someone does come forward and say they ordered popcorn, how would you know?


So in walks this person and he/she says I ordered popcorn from a scout, paid for it in cash and didn't receive it. So you ask, what did you order and how much did you pay, and who was the scout? So whats he going to say, I don't remember, I paid cash and it was a Boy Scout in uniform. What do ya do?

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And then Mrs Y, who bought the undelivered popcorn, goes and complains to her friend, or calls the local newspaper or TV station...


... and the matter spills all out of proportion, with the unit, the Chartered Partner, and Scoutings name dragged through the mud.


That happens. I see it happen every year locally during Girl Scout cookie sales. People are not forgiving anymore.


A good reputation in the community begins with having a plan for when bad things happen.


ScoutNut: Yep, you got it! That's where I was aiming.

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When the media calls you tell them the parent never turned in their order or money they have supposedly collected to the Pack. Then you give the media the name, address and phone number of the parent and tell them to contact the parent for an explanation.

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