Viewers surprise woman with generosity after early birthday present was a bust

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Update to this story: Several FOX 4 viewers have offered to purchase a tablet for Shirley Hull.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An 88-year-old woman thought she was getting an early birthday present, but the box didn’t contain what was promised. Jennifer Fleeman wanted to purchase a tablet for her mother, so she looked for one on a phone app called “Offer Up.”

Fleeman said she and her mother went to meet the seller at QuikTrip on Southwest Boulevard on Sunday afternoon. That’s where she said she handed over $80 and the woman handed her a box and said there was a tablet inside. But, when her mother opened the box in the car there was nothing inside but a picture frame and a phone charger. Fleeman said the seller had already drove off and would not come back to return her money.

“She looked like she was a really nice girl, I just couldn’t believe it,” said Shirley Hull, who was supposed to receive a tablet as an early birthday present for her 89th birthday.

Hull said her old tablet broke and she missed the entertainment it provided.

“I don’t get around very good and it’s just something to do, I just have a couple games on there and I just enjoy sitting down and relaxing and playing the games,” she explained.

FOX 4 spent several hours trying to track down the seller, calling her phone and going to her house. Finally, the woman called us back and said she bought the box from a man on Facebook months ago, and never opened it up. The seller said she believed a tablet was inside.

When FOX 4 asked her why she didn’t verify the product she was selling was actually what she claimed it to be, she admitted she should have.

“I guess that’s my fault, I handed it to her, she didn’t check it either, but I guess that was my fault for not checking it.”

Fleeman has filed a police report.