Turkey shipper steamed over shipping mess

Seven On Your Side
January 12, 2012 7:07:59 AM PST
Scores of Thanksgivings were ruined after a local mail order company apparently flew the coop, never sending out yummy deep fried turkeys.

But Nina Pineda's 7 On Your Side found out that's only half of the story. And now the biggest victim may be the one that was originally vilified; a Brooklyn business that says it was undermined by the third party vendor working for the United States Postal Service.

"I was very disappointed and I was upset," said Jive Turkey customer, Cordelia Williams.

Who could blame her? Cordelia paid $184 for a Jive Turkey. The Brooklyn-based small business famously cooks and ships fried turkeys and was supposed to send a succulent Peach Bourbon turkey to Cordelia's dad in Mississippi in time for Thanksgiving. But no bird ever arrived and weeks later no refund was received.

"Thursday is when I found out that it was going to be able to be shipped," said Cordelia.

"So you could never get anybody?" asked Nina Pineda.

"Never got anyone," said Cordelia.

Aricka Westbrooks is the owner of Jive Turkey. She says she's a victim, too. Last Thanksgiving she had three hundred birds cooked and ready for shipping, but she says she couldn't print out any postage labels.

The U.S.P.S. said it was a software problem with one of their approved vendors, a California company named Dymo Endicia.

"We've prepared it, we've ordered it, and we've cooked (turkeys)it you know but we can't seem to get it to the customer," said the frustrated store owner.

On Thanksgiving, Aricka found her business being skewered in the local press and then was charged by the U.S.P.S. for the un-used postage, totaling $33,600.

"It's a huge investment up front for a business and then to have it all go to waste, it was just really, really disappointing," said Aricka.

But not for long, just a day after we called Jive Turkey, Cordelia got credited.

And then we talked turkey with the postal service and Dymo Endicia. Days later, Jive Turkey's account was stuffed with the bulk of the money back, $32,000.

"Thank you 7 On Your Side for all your help," said Aricka.

The USPS said it was sorry for the problems. Its third party vendor, Dymo Endicia, told us they couldn't say what happened because of privacy rules. Aricka says she refunded all customers owed. If you're wondering what happened to all those turkeys that weren't delivered, they didn't go to waste, Aricka says she donated them to a local soup kitchen.