Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's All About the Chocolate

You know how you have a complaint about something you buy but never really do anything about it? Or maybe you actually write to the company but never get a response, let alone a personal response? (I'm talking to you, Starbucks.)

Well, miracles do occur! There I was last month on a flight from Amsterdam to Seattle after taking an eight hour flight from Entebbe to Amsterdam. So I was a little tired. A little cranky. A little bored. A bit dissatisfied with my KLM meal, particularly the cookie onto which I had pinned all my hopes of gustatory delight and rejuvenation.

While on the plane, I wrote the cookie company a letter. I've always believed that when you complain you need to at least offer some suggestion, some kind of possible solution to the problem. I then emailed the letter when I arrived home.

I woke up this morning to their reply. I love these people.
I especially love Allan Miller their Sales and Marketing Director of Paterson Arran who not only agrees with me but promises to accept my solution and make a change immediately!

See our correspondence below. Enjoy!

Note: You will need to know that on the wrapper it reads, "Contains no palm oil, pork or alcohol."

Dear Paterson-Arran,

Just ate your Bronte doubly choc chip biscuits which you describe as “bursting with choc chips.” Let’s discuss your definition of “bursting.”

Mine: Dolly Parton in a 34B bikini top, Barack Obama on knowing Osama Bin Laden was dead, but having to keep quiet for a while; King Henry VIII (RIP) in thong underwear.

Yours as evidenced by your “doubly choc chip biscuit:” rocks scattered on a concrete driveway; fingernail clippings on the bathroom floor; hair pins on the floor of a car after a heavy make-out session.

In other words I’m afraid you use “bursting” when you really mean “scattered.” After a meal of chicken w/risotto, half cup salad, dinner roll, butter, Jacob’s cracker, cheese, every one of which seemed to live up to it’s hype—meaning none—we have your final biscuit as dessert and it was such a let down.

Perhaps it was the eight hour flight from Entebbe to Amsterdam. Perhaps it is the false hope I carry for abundance on the flight from Amsterdam to Seattle that makes your biscuit such a crushing disappointment to me.

It is crispy. It is crunchy. “Bursting” it is not.

My suggestion: add more chocolate chips! A biscuit such as yours should be nothing but a vehicle for chocolate chips. And I’m sure you can do this without bringing in any palm oil, pork or alcohol.

If this suggestion is not agreeable to you, perhaps you would consider a name change that is a bit more straight forward and to the point: Super Crunchy Crispy Chocolately Biscuit! Just the facts, ma’am.
Thank you for your time and attention.

Best regards,

Debra Jarvis
KLM/Delta flight #233

Dear Debra,

You are right. Thank you so much for taking the time to write so thoughtfully and wittily. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm so sorry our biscuits disappointed you so, reading your email would have been more of a joy.
After a little reflection I see your point exactly and we'll address this immediately. For this particular product line I can't heap more choc chips in I'm afraid, but the text on the pack will change as you suggest - maybe not in time for your next flight on Delta #233 but it will change.
We do offer a wide range of other products and, by way of thank you, I'd be happy to send you some if you wish - just let me have a postal address. Maybe you could let me know if I've got some other stuff wrong!
Thanks once more.
Kind Regards,
Allan Miller
Sales and Marketing Director
So who knows what will really happen? For now I take joy in the personal response. Hope you experienced some vicarious joy too.

Oddly I now feel the urge for a little nibble . . . on something crunchy . . .


Jim Barker said...

If only all customer complaints were as fantastic as this! And how fun that you got a personal response. :D I loved reading this.

Kells said...

Best complaint letter EVER! I'm linking this up on my blog tomorrow. SO good!

Blog more, you're wonderful!


Lisa said...

Did you get a sampling of goodies from the company so I can participate in a taste test?

Shawnte said...

Loved your definition of bursting. I wish you had enough spare time to rewrite the entire dictionary.

Debra Jarvis said...

Thanks, Shawnte. If I take any more ten hours flights, I might just have enough time to do that!