Freshness Guaranteed

On my way home one evening, I stopped for gas at Petro Canada and, since I was really hungry, bought a bag of Yum-Yum Vegetable Chips to tide me over until I got home. At least, that was the plan, except that the chips had that really rancid-oil taste – so much so, that, hungry as I was, I just couldn’t eat them. Now, I know it’s only 99 cents, and that’s not that much money, but it is money, and more importantly, it’s my money, and I don’t like to waste even a little bit of it. Usually, I will take bad food back to the store and get a refund or exchange, but this time Yum-Yum’s “Freshness Guarantee” caught my eye – you’ve seen it: “If this product is not fresh, please return it to us for our analysis. We will send you the value of this product, plus mailing costs, in redeemable product coupons”. I’ve read it before, and I’ve always thought, “Who would actually do that?” Well, guess what? I was in just the right mood, so I grabbed a recycled CD mailer, crammed the bag of chips into it (flattening it enough so it would pass as “letter” rather than “parcel”), and mailed it off. A few weeks later I received a letter from Yum-Yum, saying – well, read it yourself:

Mrs. Sorensen, [ha ha, I like that!]
We acknowledge receipt of your comment regarding one of our products.
We have forwarded your complaint to our Quality Control department. Be assured that a series of tests and controls are done at different checkpoints, on a frequent basis, all through production in order to offer a quality product.
We greatly appreciate your comments as it helps us to always keep a better service level and offer a higher quality product.
In appreciation of your effort and patronage, we want to send you some samples of our Viva products but we need your home address. Please [call us]…

So, I call the number and talk with a really nice woman in Customer Service who informs me that they can’t send the samples to a PO Box. Well, there’s no use giving her our civic address – the only people who can find us back here are Jehovah’s Witnesses, right? [See this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about]. So I give her my parents’ address in Tryon. Now this was funny: she was spelling “Tryon” back to me to confirm that she had it right, so she says, “T as in Thomas, R as in Ralph, Y as in… as in…”, and I say “uh, Yum-Yum?” She got a great kick out of that. Anyway, a week later there’s a phone message from the woman asking me to give her a call. I call again. They need a different address because that one didn’t work – something to do with the postal code not matching the “city” – my parents reside in Tryon but their post office is in Crapaud. So I give them my brother-in-law’s address in Charlottetown. Well, today, several weeks after buying those rancid chips, a box containing a dozen bags of three different flavours of Yum-Yum Viva Vegetable Chips arrived, and so far they all taste pretty fresh! Munch, munch, munch. Good chips, good customer service, and good fun! Just think how much entertainment I would have missed out on if I’d simply thrown those chips in the compost!

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