When I arrived at the dry cleaners to pick up my brown shirt - it wasn't there! (This was after I had received a phone call 2 days prior telling me to come pick up my shirt by Friday or they were going to donate it to charity). Apparently my dry cleaner transports clothing drop-offs to another location for cleaning and then transports them back to my location. My shirt was at this other store location.
Imagine how smug you feel when you find out someone who has admonished you for something is actually wrong. When I went back a day later to finally pick up my brown shirt, guess what?? No charge! I was told, "Ms. Jones, we are so sorry for your inconvenience. We didn't handle this properly and the person who called you to come get your shirt was rude. No charge for this." Way to go for handling this correctly!!!
I'm sure you know what happened here - a supervisor told an employee to get rid of the excess dry cleaning and the employee picked up the phone and started calling people. The supervisor probably mentioned that left over items would be donated to charity but didn't take think about coaching the employee on the best way to handle the phone calls with customers.
This brings up the most cliche of all business lessons: Never lose touch with your customers. People who have money to pay you take priority over cleaning out inventory, filing paperwork, building a display, or any other pressing business matters (no pun intended!).