Radio Shack Forced Me To Donate To Livestrong

Ryan says a Kentucky Radio Shack employee tacked on a $1 donation to Livestrong without his permission. This is the letter he sent to the company’s corporate office:

I am contacting you regarding the order filled on 11/14/09. I am choosing to contact your company directly before deciding whether to report what happened to the Kentucky Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau, and Consumerist/Consumer Reports.

This morning I went into the store in Murray, Kentucky to purchase a car charger for my new cell phone. While ringing up my order, the salesman/assistant manager (I believe named Dave) asked me if I would be interested in purchasing the service plan on the product, which I declined saying “It’s just a few resistors.” As he is ringing up my order, nothing else is discussed. I pay with my credit card, leave the store, look at my receipt and discover that this assistant manager has decided to add a $1 donation to Livestrong to my order without my knowledge or consent.

Is this some sort of new policy, or is this individual simply trying to inflate his/his store’s metrics by assuming that customers won’t look at their receipt and/or won’t complain about involuntarily donating money to charity?

I look forward to your response.

Ryan says corporate got back to him and said he’d get the $1 refunded, but a week has passed and Radio Shack still hasn’t parted with the pilfered Washington. It’s a frustrating story with frightening implications, but at least Ryan can take comfort that the alleged theft is going to a good cause.

The company sent us this statement to address the problem and solution:

Tens of thousands of customers have eagerly contributed to our point-of-sale collection for LIVESTRONG in just the first few weeks. As 100% of every $1 point-of-sale donation goes directly to LIVESTRONG, we believe it’s been tremendously successful so far. But RadioShack doesn’t intend for any customer to feel compelled to support the fight against cancer. It is a personal choice. We believe the directions are clear on the point-of-sale device, but we regret the few errors that apparently have occurred among the tens of thousands of contributions received so far. Customers who believe they’ve made the donation in error should simply contact us at customercare@radioshack.com or 1-800-THE-SHACK so that we can facilitate the refund process. And in the days ahead, we will use your feedback to remind our employees again about how to manage this process carefully and correctly. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.