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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through May 05, 2005 * Ethical Dilema < Previous Next >

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Joe Williams
Junior Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 82
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have this friend... who ordered 15 lbs of american 6 row and a 55 lb bag of maris otter. The retailer somehow screwed up the order and double order arrived on both Thursday and Friday so now this "friend" has lots of grain for the spring brewing season. I don't know what to tell him. Part of me is saying screw it, brew a massive Barley Wine with one bag and use the rest for whatever I feel like through the spring. The other side is saying I (er...he) should call the retailer and tell them of their mistake.

Are the grain gods smiling on my friend? Or should he make the phone call and pay for the second order?
 

PalerThanAle
Senior Member
Username: Palerthanale

Post Number: 1338
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 01:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

make the call. Chances are they will tell you to keep it since it will be cost prohibitive for them to have it shipped back. That way you have a clean conscience and get the grain.

PTA
Weaseling out of things is important to learn. Itís what separates us from the animals. Except the weasel.
 

Paul Edwards
Advanced Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 667
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 01:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

depends on if your friend is ever gonna do business with that retailer again.

I'm sure the retailer may figure it it out on their own. I'm sure they don't want the grain back, but they might put thru another charge against your friend's credit card. Since they double shipped, your "friend" might already have been charged for the 2nd order.

I'd call and offer to pay for the 2nd order, but that's just me...
 

Catt22
Junior Member
Username: Catt22

Post Number: 84
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 02:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,

Contact the retailer. I look at these situations as an opportunity to negotiate a deal. Suggest that they make you an offer you can't refuse like half price or something. The double order was their mistake, so you have the advantage and they can't charge your credit card for the second shipment unless you agree to it. If you say nothing and keep the grain without paying for it, you risk casting negative karma on your beer and that is never a good thing!
 

Connie
Intermediate Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 357
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with PTA, I would make the call and see what the shop offers...talk only with the manager/owner and Let them make the first offer, negotiate if necessary. I think you have a good chance of free grain or at least a great deal.
 

Greg Beron
Intermediate Member
Username: Gberon

Post Number: 377
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 06:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whew! At times like this, I'm glad we don't ship very often, so I don't have to worry about who "your friend" got it from.

By the way, make the call. If I was your vendor, I'd just say to keep it since it was my mistake and I'd appreciate your honesty. I might ask you to send me some if it came out well, though.
Greg Beron
Culver City Home Brewing Supply
www.brewsupply.com
 

J. Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 711
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, April 24, 2005 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've had this sort of thing happen twice with merchandise of substantial value. Once from a shop with a bad reputation, another with a shop with a good reputation that had done bad by me in the past (I used them again only because they had what was not available elsewhere).

I only attempted return one of the two times. It was more of a PITA for me than for them. It was incredible. I had their stuff, and it was difficult to send it back.

IMO, if the shop has always done well by you, attempt to return. If not, seller beware...how you treat your customers matters.
 

Wayne M
Member
Username: Bigfun_wayne

Post Number: 170
Registered: 02-2001
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 01:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Beer Karma!!

The beer will taste better if you contact them and let them know what happened.
 

don price
Advanced Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 628
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 02:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Me thinks someone was internet shopping while hammered and ordered twice. Otherwise, call 'em and offer to return the goods freight collect or keep for half price.

Don
 

Joe Williams
Junior Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 83
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 11:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Since the resounding opinion is to call and tell them of their mistake, I will call tomorrow. For the record, I wasn't too hammered at the time. My problem with computers and drinking is when I double click on a desktop icon, windows keeps asking me if I want to rename the file.
 

Joe Williams
Junior Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 84
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 11:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Or, My friend will call...
 

Bill Tobler
Intermediate Member
Username: Billt

Post Number: 353
Registered: 08-2001
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 12:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Your friend made the right choice Joe. The beer gods will smile on that barlywine you're going to make. Send the guy a sixer if he cuts you a good deal.
Bill Tobler
Brewing Great Beer in South Texas
 

Wayne Faris
Member
Username: Bugeaterbrewing

Post Number: 129
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 02:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a similar dilema last month with an order of a couple of pounds of hops. It was tempting to keep them, but then it will take me the rest of the year to use up what I already have. So I emailed them and ended up sending them back. They reimbursed me the amount of the postage even though I sent it back as a "refused delivery" and the post office did not charge me to send it back.
 

Tim Wi
New Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 20
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 11:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good call Joe.

(Message edited by riverkeeper on April 26, 2005)
 

Joe Williams
Junior Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 85
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 01:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You guys steered my right. I heard from NC Malt today in an email. They said No problem and keep the malt. I hope the beer gods are on my side when I try to cram all 50 pounds of Maris Otter into 10 gallons of BarleyWine then hold on and hope the lid stays on my fermenter when it takes off.

Joe
 

Connie
Intermediate Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 362
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 02:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

 

Ron Siddall
Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 173
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 02:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, the law says that if you received something that you did not order, you are under no obligation to pay for it. However, you can't use it either. If you use it, you own it and must pay for it.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1424
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"If you use it, you own it and must pay for it."

Horse hockey.

Glad to hear your friend made the right choice. Not sure I would use 55# of MO for a 10 gallon barleywine though!
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 641
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 02:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

NC malt lost probably no more than $5 plus shipping, but look at the coolness factor they just achieved in the eyes of a bunch of hardcore homebrewers.

Both parties did the right thing, and it is nice to see a win-win for a change.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3103
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 03:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think the 100% MO barleywine sounds great. A local brewpub makes a strong ale that is 100% MO, 100% EKG, and WY1968. Fantastic beer, but it takes a year to get there.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 1614
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 03:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good luck with the barley wine and good score on the free malt. Will you have time to get it brewed before you head overseas again? If so it should be ready and waiting for you when you return. What a nice homecoming present
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1426
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumster, not my point. A MO barleywine is great, I've got one on tap right now. A 55# MO 10 gallon barleywine is a 'waste' of MO.

Heck, use the 30# of 6row for the barley wine, then make english ales all summer!

By the way, you can't possibly believe it cost less than $5 to ship over 70# of grain, eh? I'd be ordering it online all the time... :-)

(Message edited by hophead on April 27, 2005)
 

Paul Edwards
Advanced Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 676
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 04:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joseph,

How do you figure that the supplier "lost probably no more than $5 plus shipping" for 15 lbs of 6 row and a 55 lb bag of MO?
 

Joe Williams
Junior Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 86
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 04:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I will probably only use 35 or 40 pounds of it, but it will be 100% MO. It just so happens that the Army is providing me with another one year break from brewing and consumption. I guess the beer gods are smiling on my yet again. I'll be able to get it fermented and maybe bottled before I go so things should work out. I just hate coming home like old mother hubbard with bare cupboards.
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 642
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 04:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Silly me. I mistook the profit margin for the entire loss.

However, do you really think that a sack of grain actually costs them $50? The shipping probably costs more, if you were to look at the books. There's this thing in business called "shrinkage" (not the Seinfeld variety ). It is a simple write-off. My $5 estimate may be more accurate than you think.

These guys deal in tons. One 55# sack is like one bottle of beer to you and me: peanuts. And the goodwill they've fostered is probably worth one measly sack of grain. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
 

Tim Wi
New Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 22
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 05:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe, that's NorthCountry Malt?

Those are great folks to deal with. Does not surprise me that they said that your friend should keep their mistake.

shipping to me in the SE for a 55# sack of Weissheimer was almost as much as the charge for the grain. But it was still cheaper by far than LHBS.

T
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1431
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 05:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No the grain doesn't cost them $50, probably more like $25, plus another $7 for the 6row, plus about $25 for shipping; back over $50. Profit from the actual sale obviously reduces the overall loss.

Don't actually know why I am arguing this point, my apologies...

Coming home to a batch of barleywine, sounds great!
 

Joe Williams
Junior Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 87
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 07:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tim W,

Yeah it was. They are right here in NY state so shipping is not outragous for me. If there were any other local brewers I would go in on gas money and drive over myself. I haven't been home enough lately to make mass orders worth-while.

you're right they are some great folks to deal with. I have called them from overseas and ordered grain so I could get right to brewing as soon as I got home and they never fail to come through. To be honest, my "friend" was probably going to call, regardless of what the board said.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3109
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 07:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Joe:

One of my buddies recently returned from Iraq, the one I shipped homebrew supplies to. He was able to brew (three 5-gallon batches in a year), one was fermented in the high 80s and sucked (no temp control), but the other two came out, well, drinkable.

At a rather drunken return home celebration he was telling me that if I shipped bottles of hard liquor overseas to some of his buddies who remain there, I would be their hero. My question to you is: would that be ethical?
 

fob
Member
Username: Fob

Post Number: 148
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 07:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a friend that ordered the "Beer Machine" from a website while in Iraq. It uses no-boil mixes. He said it made pretty good beer, but crappy beer is probably "pretty good" compared to no beer.
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 650
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 08:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I never actually weighed in on the ethics until too late, but better late than never: The Friend did the right thing by calling.

As far as it being ethical to ship liquor to Iraq: that's a very good question, but in my opinion, sure. Nobody is forcing anyone to drink. This is said with admittedly complete disregard for the LEGALITY of such a shipment.

Many Muslim nations strictly prohibit the consupmtion of alcohol. To me this is a really grey area, because of a couple of things: 1) Iraq is not really a country right now, so their laws are barely tangible, 2) the consumers are westerners who most likely have no moral compunction about drinking.

On the flip side, because most Muslims frown on alcohol consumption, it isn't too cool to flagrantly drink in front of them. One of the best things we can do right now is set a good example. I will refrain from stating whether we are actually doing that or not, because I don't have any idea what our boys are doing on a day to day basis.

If you do decide to make this shipment, label it "books" or "clothing". I have heard that shipments containing goodies such as candy, booze, food, etc. are almost always stolen before they get to the recipient.
 

Jon Tupper
Junior Member
Username: Jon_up_north

Post Number: 32
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 08:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley wrote:

[quote]At a rather drunken return home celebration he was telling me that if I shipped bottles of hard liquor overseas to some of his buddies who remain there, I would be their hero. My question to you is: would that be ethical[/quote]

Send them a drink called Soldier's Friend:

You will need 1 empty bottle of Scope with an intact cap in good shape. 1 Bottle of vodka. Several drops of green food colouring.

I think you can peice it together from there.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1433
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 08:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh captain my captain...
 

Joe Williams
Junior Member
Username: Joewilliams

Post Number: 88
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 10:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

While there are many ways to get alcohol to Iraq and Afghanistan to soldiers, there are equal number of ways that I (as a leader) can take their rank, pay, and some of their limited freetime. In short, we have to abide by what is called General Order Number One. It states that possession, consumption, or fermentation of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. If a soldier is caught in any of the three acts listed above, consequences will be servere. The ironic thing is that most of the Alcohol consumed by soldiers is smuggled onto the bases by local nationals (even though their religion prohibits it). I suppose it is an example of capitalism at it's finest hour. If a soldier does the crime, he must be prepared to do the time if caught. I like beer probably more than the next guy, but I am not willing to risk my career over it.

Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3114
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 10:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fair enough.

I like the scope idea, Jon. Thanks!
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 654
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 01:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>I suppose it is an example of capitalism at it's finest hour.

When in Rome, do as the Romans.

I can not think of a more sweet irony than this. Perhaps their religion has little prohibition against selling alcohol to "heathens", and only forbids actual consumption? Or perhaps this is just another weapon in their arsenal: corruption of the invaders in the moral arena. I can't say for sure.

Seems that it doesn't take long for the American way to spread, after all. Simple, elegant, and somehow beautiful in an evil way.

BTW, Joe: thanks for doing what you do. While I am firmly against our ill-conceived occupation of Iraq, I blame only your Commander In Chief, who is nothing more than a complete imbicile with a grudge. I have the utmost respect for our soldiers, however. Please know that there are a lot of us who are against the war, but who harbor no ill will toward the unfortunate pawns who are caught up in it and paying the ultimate price. It is NOT as simple and black-and-white as these idiot politicians would have us all believe. In any case, thanks for putting your ass on the line for the rest of us.

Disclaimer: The previous paragraph is a simple thank-you and is not intended to start another boring, unproductive political discussion that will hurt thin-skinned people's feelings and end up as a rant-fest in the World Expressions forum. To bring it back on topic: always be honest with your homebrew supplier.
 

fob
Member
Username: Fob

Post Number: 149
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 01:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've heard of shipping whiskey in the original listerine bottles, no food coloring needed. Regarding Iraqis and booze, Iraq had liquor stores under Sadam and continues to have liquor stores, although it's become a dangerous business since Sadam's exit: http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2003/06/iraq-030603-rfel-165 741.htm
 

Tim Wi
Junior Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 30
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 05:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe W, thank you for serving.

Tim
 

George Schmidt
Advanced Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 502
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 07:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Back in saner days, we could ALWAYS find something to drink in Arab countries. Every hotel had a "tourist" bar in the basement. Some of my first "good" beers were drunk in those places - John Bull Bitter on draught sticks in my mind.

I've used the whiskey/Listerine thing to get a bottle onboard ship, too. I eventually gave most of it away because there's not much chance to drink it. Can't drink a lot or you're drunk when something important happens. Can't drink a little because whiskey is stinky.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long