The Letter Always Wins
Somehow among our many ways to contact a company and complain about products: email, toll free numbers, in person—the old fashioned letter still seems to be the squeaky wheel getting the oil.
Case in point. This week Smucker’s Jam agreed to replace two of my grandmother’s Pineapple Jams that she ordered. She talked to them on the phone and they apologized that the shoddy packaging caused the glass to break. But it was her letter that got her two free bottle replacements. (I’m not sure why they even make pineapple jam but grandma digs it and hardly anyone seems to stock it).
The husband thinks all products made now should be made just like they were made sixty years ago. He holds companies—especially old companies to high standards. But he’s also a cheap bastard that predictably buys the same brand over and over again. He’s bought the same model of New Balance running shoes four times and they’ve all worn and cracked in the exact same place. He called and complained a few times, but his last letter earned him a pair of new New Balance shoes free.
Okay. Two is a coincidence. But we’ll go with three being a rule of thumb. Playtex replaced not one but two nursing bras I had because the stitching around the underwire came undone and nearly poked my son in the eye (it did poke him in the back before I realized what was happening). I called their toll free number and they apologized but I got two free ones after my letter was sent.
I have to credit my husband with all this. I am a product of our throw away culture and am apt to give up on a company or product and just move on, but Julian is another story. He insists that things should be of good quality and when things break down he believes it’s good for companies to be held accountable to his standard. I tend to believe that all wear and tear is my fault and so I should eat all cost. He, on the other hand, believes that a good product holds up with wear and tear. From the lowly toothbrush to my Toyota Corolla, he makes the inquiries, writes the letters, gets the answers—and many replacements, coupons and rebates along with it. I can’t complain.
I’m not sure where he gets the extra energy to write the letters ---always pleasant and detailed and not rants—but I appreciate that we have at least one family member crazy enough to believe that good companies should stand behind their products. ANd I shouldn't doubt him. His letters always deliver.
I’d tell you the stuff he got from Apple but I don’t want to jinx it.