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Dec 26, 2006 12:26 AM

My Dilemma: To Return Inedible Turkey or Not

To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. In my family, I'm considered the turkey expert. Whenever I suggest a standing rib roast or rack of lamb, the family and friends only want turkey.

On Friday, I bought a Whole Foods brand free-range turkey which I prepared today. I normally buy the excellent Eberly birds from Whole Foods but I thought I'd give their house brand a try.

When I started carving today, I knew something was wrong. The meat at all joints was so tough that I had to yank it with all my might. It was no better eating with a fork and knife.

I am so upset to have my whole dinner ruined by this inedible turkey (not to mention the considerable effort and investment of madeira, morels, and two quarts of homemade stock for the gravy).

So, my question is: Am I out of line to ask for a refund for this miserable bird? It's not uncommon to come home with less-than-wonderful meat, but I've never had something quite this bad.

And, if I do return this, do I bring the turkey meat to show them? I am not the confrontational type, just feel like this was unfair. Can anyone offer some advice?

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  1. Save the bird, and if you have receipts for the other ingredients that you also shelled out for this meal, bring those as well.

    I have no qualms about returning ANYTHING I buy that is not up to snuff. If some of these ingredients are available at WF, then they should replace those as well. What you want is to replicate this meal another time, and you need all the ingredients for your New Year's or whatever dinner.

    One time I had made a baby spinach salad for a client and the spinach didn't last past the date on the bag. When my client informed me that it was inedible in two days, I pulled the bag and looked at the date. I went back to TJ's and told them that the feta, mushrooms, onion that was also in the salad had to be replaced. They did so, no problem.

    If they do not accommodate you, then they don't care about your business. They will usually always be. Just remember to smile!

    1. I would encourage you to bring the situation to their attention if you don't think you did anything wrong in the preparation. Give the manager of the store a call and explain. You could offer to bring in the bird if he/she thinks it's necessary.

      I used to have a store and I would much rather have my customers tell me if something was off so that I could have a chance to make it right rather than lose a customer due to something of which I was unaware. Better that you should let them know rather than not tell them and let it eat at you. You wouldn't go back and they wouldn't have a chance to correct the problem.

      In dealing with customers, I could usually tell when someone was being reasonable (or unreasonable) -- and I appreciated knowing if something was amiss.

      Good luck!

      1. I would call your Whole Foods, ask for the manager and explain, exactly as you did in your post, how disappointed you were in this turkey. I can't imagine that they wouldn't insist on refunding your money. Offer to bring it in. I bet they tell you not too. : )

        1. You can try and return it to the Whole Foods Market and see what they say. Their "customer service" policy on the website doesn't exactly spell out what they're going to do.

          If it were Trader Joe's or Costco you'd get your money back no problem.

          1. Considering what they charge, they better guarantee the quality of their products! Of course you're not out of line. Call ahead and simply ask what they'd like you to bring to get a refund on bad meat. Go into details when you get there. Don't act as if you're asking them a favor; act as if you have every reason to expect them to make good based on past excellent customer service from them. And keep a smile on your face: it's (probably) not the fault of the individual you're talking to.

            My condolences on your ruined holiday dinner.