A gift card bought by mistake for a disabled man who doesn’t need anything LifeWay carries is non-returnable, the store says …
LifeWay Christian Stores, in case you don’t know, are actually LifeWay [Baptist] Christian bookstores. Don’t go Christmas shopping there for your favorite charismatic authors or even music CDs popular in charismatic and pentecostal circles. They don’t carry them.
So when the trust that administers funds for a disabled charismatic friend made the mistake of buying him a LifeWay gift card when he asked for a Christmas shopping card at the Family Christian Store, we thought we could go over to LifeWay, explain what happened, and return the card. After all …
- LifeWay and Family Christian bookstores are very different kinds of stores. Only a trust administrator who doesn’t know the conservative Christian world could make that kind of error. LifeWay would understand that.
- A charismatic who wants to buy music at Family Christian store can’t make purchases at LifeWay. They don’t carry what he wants. LifeWay would understand that.
- A trust fund administrator gets paid a fee every time he or she does anything. That means that for the administrator to drive to the LifeWay Christian bookstore to obtain a refund on the card would cost the disabled man’s trust fund more than two hours of service fees. Surely LifeWay would understand that this is excessive, given that the trust had already been charged 1.25 hours for initial purchase of the wrong card, email communications about why it was the wrong card, telephone communication with LifeWay attempting to make a return, and email communication explaining that a return was not possible.
Policy Trumps Common Christian Decency
But even though LifeWay’s manager and assistant manager were as sweet as pie, the answer was no. The LifeWay Christian bookstore doesn’t return cards. It’s policy. If the trust manager were to call, perhaps they could arrange something (she already had, with no success). Or if she could visit in person, maybe they could do something. This would cost the client $50 in service fees, still without a guaranteed result from LifeWay.
Here’s LifeWay’s solution:
I can come back during their busy Christmas shopping hours, stand by the cash register, and when a customer appears with a big order, try to convince them to buy the order with the client’s gift card, then pay me cash.
LifeWay ‘Solution’: Burden the Caregiver
That way, LifeWay isn’t out the cost of the gift card and the client gets his money. The trust fund doesn’t get hit with any more charges. The only person inconvenienced is one of the client’s caregivers.
If this sounds to any of you like strapping burdens onto those least able to bear them, join us in avoiding LifeWay Christian Stores this Christmas season.