Kelloggs Strawberry Scam?

So. Kelloggs. My friend’s daughter was not impressed with her Special K and wrote to customer services. Now, as you will know by now if you are not new to this blog, I tend not to use humour when complaining, taking the other route of just asserting the Law and myself. That’s not to say humour doesn’t work, but it’s not my first choice ‘cos I’d only be sarcastic which doesn’t get the best results and my way is guaranteed to speed results up! (Apologies for the pic., hope you can still read it – wouldn’t scan well). I think it’s a great letter Millie wrote:

Lack of strawberries!
Lack of strawberries!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’d think that would bring a smile to someone’s face wouldn’t you? Poor student. Nope. She got back a really boring response. She told Millie that the equipment is electronically controlled and every effort is made to ensure there is a constant weight of fruit in every packet. She was sorry that the packet was lacking in fruit (she didn’t apologise for the lack of chocolate!) The Quality Assurance manager has addressed this with her staff and steps were being taken to stop it from happening again.

Dull huh? Could have made a Harry Potter reference in her reply! She provided a £5 voucher. Now, this was Millie’s first complaint and I didn’t want her to be put off by this poor response. So I reverted to type and wrote an email for her. I clarified the Misrepresentation Act 1967 for the CEO and I pointed out that a £5 voucher didn’t cover two boxes of cereal and probably made some reference to humourless staff! An apology and £15 voucher later I hope that Millie continues to complain when things aren’t right.

How about you? Would you bother to complain? Would you prefer humour or not?

The Complaining Cow Meets Iain Duncan Smith #IDSfail

I am lucky enough to have Iain Duncan Smith as my MP! As a constituent of his I thought I’d go and have a chat. Well, poor old IDS he does get a bad press and I like to support the underdog so thought I’d give him a chance to put across how much he knows about the area for which he is an MP. He should know it well, he’s been MP since 1992 in Chingford and 1997 someone somewhere redrew the boundaries and he got Woodford Green as well. I was sure he visited often, (he doesn’t live in Chingford he lives here.) I thought I’d find out what he thinks about how people are affected by benefit reforms and cost of living rises.

So, I thought I’d go see him. Well why not? I went to see him as a concerned human being about my fellow man. I emailed him, 4 emails actually (that will be another story coming soon) and after 8 working days I got an email to ask if I could make a surgery on Friday. I asked her where it was and if I could record it. I was told that I could ask this at the surgery. Bit difficult when I didn’t know where the surgery was. I also was very very good and didn’t point out that there are no apostrophes in the words “Tuesdays” and “Thursdays” and those of you who know me and follow this blog know just how kind of me that was! For those that don’t see here!

Now, I have a new little gift for people when I meet them as The Complaining Cow. I thought I’d go bearing a present for IDS. Oh come on, how many presents do you think IDS gets from normal people? Anyway, It’s this:

"What is it?"

If you got this from someone what would you say? I asked on my Facebook page and generally, it was “Thank you”, and lots of “Clever idea” “Tell me about what you do” sort of things. So, given that it is a retro milk bottle (remember those milk bottles we had in school before Thatcher the Milk Snatcher?) with sweets in it and it clearly has a business card on it you’d think he would say something along the lines of “This is your business?” “Is this you?” “This looks interesting” Nope. He looked at it very suspiciously and said “What is it?” I explained, he did then say “Oh interesting, hope it works well for you, it’s what we need for the economy more people taking on challenges and risks” Did he Hell, he did say “Thank you” though.

So, I had my long long list. A few pages in fact, but sadly didn’t get very far. 15 minutes is a very short time you know. BUT! I have not been banned from going back and making regular appointments 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 So back I will go. Mind you if he see this and hears some of the clips he might decided against it, although as my MP I’m not sure he can do that?

So, you want to know what he said don’t you? Ok, after talking about the delay in responding to me I sort of mentioned social media:


 

Catch the part about emailing being as quick as tweeting? I’d already told him it had taken 8 working days for his office to respond to me. Watch out for a follow up post there were FOIs in them there emails which as far as I know haven’t been forwarded….

Then I asked him about Foodbanks:

Man of the people “..talks to lots of people from churches and stuff like that” What more do you want from him?! More positive stuff about IDS? Hmm well before that attempt here is an update 22/01/04 statement from Chris Mould from Trussell Trust:

‘We have asked Iain Duncan Smith to meet with us and would welcome the opportunity to speak to him.

We are keen to open a dialogue with DWP and have been asking to meet them for some time because the DWP is the key department with the power to help a significant proportion of the people we meet at our foodbanks.’

Also, as far as we know, we are unaware of Iain Duncan Smith asking us about foodbanks in Chingford. We will look into this further but cannot find a record of this at the moment”.

Oh, oh. Hmmm. IDS says he asked Trussell Trust if it was going to open a food bank in his constituency. It says they have no record. Someone somewhere is possibly telling porkies. I wonder which it is. Or maybe Trussell Trust will find it. I think they’d know though…..!

I do think that he actually believes what he is doing is right. He thinks he is doing good. I’m not saying he IS! I’m saying he believes he is. Hear for yourself where we chat about benefits and the cost of living (and no, I didn’t put that laughter in):

See what I mean? He believes what he says doesn’t he? “Generous benefit” “Most people get a fair deal.” The exemptions he mentions however are limited. No exemption is made for the equipment that might be needed by someone disabled for example. But I ran out of time…

Update 24/01/14:

(Can’t make these automatically open in another window so just right click!)

Smirking at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSQgw9K6FT8#t=1481
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSQgw9K6FT8#t=1743
Apparent laughter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSQgw9K6FT8#t=1749

Now, I wonder if poor old IDS is being set up by Camoron. (Not a typo). Do you think he’s making IDS do all the dirty stuff then right near the election sack him and say “Look I got rid of him, we’ll make changes after his mess” as a crack at trying to get back into power? Aw poor old IDS.

Look, I didn’t vote him in, never have so don’t go pointing the finger at me! It is sadly though one of the safest seats in the country or I’d think about standing against him as an Independent with the name “Z None of the Above Please”. Not that I have the will, the inclination, the time, the campaign, the support or the money! Love to see someone give him a run for his money though, don’t think he has ever gone to a single house at election time. I’ve been ready for him but my vote isn’t important to him.

So, have you changed your opinion of the man? Did you think he was different talking to a constituent rather than a journalist? Did you agree with anything? Can you see another side?

Went and had another go here 🙂

Warning: How Not Complaining Drives up Fat Cat Profits!

Well, what happened in 2013? Just how much did I complain? Well, not a huge amount I would say. This doesn’t include public body complaints of course to which I do ask lots of Freedom of Information Act questions and complain! I felt of course that given my record with Tesco that they should have their own little section updated regularly so it is here.

March 2014 inset – I forgot Caffe Concerto last December. 10% off the bill I think, plus we managed to wangle free wine and extra chips but that’s because the waiter fancied one of our group we think!

2013f

I know what you are thinking. 40p really? Yes really. Wrongly charged. Principle! Now, how many people do YOU think didn’t notice that wrong charge going through the till or in this case on an online order? How many thousands of people buy bacon a day do you think? Same with all the other small amounts. For example, 40p Really? I complained about 40p? Yes I did, and here’s why. I completed an online shopping order. All seemed fine. When I received my order with receipt, I checked it against the items. Oddly there was an additional item. This item was called “Department Sale”. What sort of vegetable is that you ask as well you might and so did I. After asking what this item was and apparently I had had two of them! Two lots of 20ps totalling 40p. So I was curious and as you know if you read my blog regularly, it’s a matter of principle! After asking about these charges this is how the email exchange panned out:

Tesco: If you order an item that isn’t on the online product database, we’re unable to scan the item through the home shopping system at your local store. So, to make sure that we don’t overcharge you for the product, we charge it at a heavily reduced price. This will show on your delivery paperwork as a 10p charge for example. I hope this has explained why we do this and thank you for taking the time to ask us about this.
Me: But what is the item?!!
Tesco: I am sorry that there has been such confusion over this issue and for the inconvenience being caused. Could you advise me of where this charge is shown on your order, and how much it is. I may be able to trace the product for you.
Me: You have had this information in the initial complaint. See attached please
Tesco: I am sorry but I have been unable to trace the exact goods that the charge relates to. However I have refunded the 40p back to your account and this will appear in 3 to 5 days. Thank you for your patience in this matter.
Me: So what you are saying is that there was no reason for this charge? I wonder how many other orders you put this charge on?
Tesco: Not at all! There was a reason for the charge as has been explained in previous emails. The problem is that without seeing what goods were physically delivered and then going through the delivery document to deduce which goods the charge was used for, it is impossible to say exactly what the charge was applied to.
Me: How can you order something online for an online order that isn’t on the database?
Tesco: Very easily when you start to understand that the online business and the store are different. An example would be where you might order apples online, but the store offer a regional variety of that apple which is not stored on our database. So to enable us to pick apples for you, we would have to mark it as a Department Sale to add it onto the order.
Me: I didn’t order anything that I’ve not ordered before and I’ve never had that remark on a receipt. Very dubious.

To which I did not have a response. Now, maybe I’m being thick and there was a good reason for the charge. I can’t really see it can you? Have you ever had this charge? Have you queried it? I wonder how many people have and haven’t queried it. Wonder what the total of “Department Sales” is.

So of course I complain about the larger amounts and encourage others to do so, but how much profit is being made from people not complaining about those pennies?

 So, if you aren’t getting where with customer services you can always contact the CEO directly. Information about that here.