Girl Scouts threaten lawsuit over unsold cookies
Posted February 3, 2014
Roanoke Rapids, N.C. — A Roanoke Rapids woman says the local Girl Scouts troop threatened to take her to court if she didn't pay up for boxes of cookies her 8-year-old daughter didn't sell.
Reagan Phillips wanted to quit the Girl Scouts a couple of weeks ago because other girls in her troop were teasing her. So her mother, Jherrae Phillips, tried to return the 288 boxes of Girl Scout cookies they had promised to sell to the troop for other girls to sell.
"I didn’t think it would be a big deal to do that," Phillips said Monday.
Charlotte Bradley, the local cookie sales coordinator, didn't see it the same way, presenting Phillips with an ultimatum in text message.
"I’m sorry, you either sell the cookies and give us the money, or don’t sell the cookies and we’ll take you to court," Bradley's text read.
Bradley declined to comment Monday.
Phillips said she didn't pocket the money from any sales or eat any of the product and not pay for it, so she was flabbergasted by Bradley's response.
"To not take the cookies and then threaten to sue me because I didn’t sell them, that is absurd," she said.
Phillips said she was so upset that she and her daughter sold 107 boxes of cookies, worth about $375, on Sunday. She then fired off an angry email to the North Carolina Coastal Pines Council of the Girl Scouts in Raleigh, which oversees the Roanoke Rapids troop.
Council spokeswoman Krista Park declined to comment on Phillips' case but said the organization always tries to work with families and troops to sell surplus cookies.
"When someone has outstanding cookies, we do work with those troops to account for those cookies," Park said. "Somebody has to be accountable to those cookies. When cookies have been purchased by troops, they are accountable to sell those cookies. It can be a concern at the end of the cookie sale if there are unsold boxes."
Litigation is a last resort, she said.
"After we make every attempt, we may call on a professional to handle delinquent accounts, Park said.
Phillips called the Girl Scouts' stance "very extreme."
"I did not want to go to jail over cookies," she said.