Irish Activist Commits Return Fraud, Gloats About it in Media
A Facebook friend posted this Irish Central story (“Irish American buys all of Walmart’s offensive t-shirts, will return them March 18“) on her wall:
Kevin Westley has an inventive solution to the annual issue of offensive Irish merchandise leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.
Go to your local big box stores, buy all the t-shirts emblazoned with drunken stereotypes you can find, keep them in your garage or car trunk so they never see the light of day, and return them promptly on March 18.
“Put them on your credit card and you never spend a dime,” he told IrishCentral. (Provided the store’s return policy offers a full refund, of course.)
Westley, a decorated Irish dance instructor and host of the radio show “That’s How I Spell Ireland” on WHRU in Long Island, New York, came up with the idea last year.
Like many in the Irish American community, Westley had grown increasingly weary over the years of the green t-shirts that appear in stores right after Valentine’s Day, bearing slogans like “Kiss me, I’m drunk or Irish or whatever,” or “I’m so Irish I sweat alcohol,” or “Irish car bombs make my clothes fall off.”
While this may indeed be an “inventive” and clever response to his grievance, it’s also fraud. Buying an item with the intent of returning it after it has served its purpose is a major headache for retailers, costing huge sums of money. In this particular case, he’s not only cost the store the cost of returning and restocking the items but stolen their value; at best, they’ll have to be sold at a steep discount once the event is over.