Friday, June 22, 2007

One Fine Day with Processed Food Products

Here's a tip: you can get free stuff if you contact manufacturers and talk about their products.

Several years ago, I found two (2) fly wings in a bag of pre-washed and cut lettuce. To me, this was no big deal. I've worked in food manufacturing and in restaurants before. These were just a couple of insect wings, for god's sake. It happens. But when I showed the little wings stuck to bag's inside to a wise-guy co-worker, she went nuts. She called the company and went on and on about those fly wings and how the mere sight of them right there in front of her almost made her throw up. She kept telling the person on the phone how disgusted she was, how germ-ridden their products must be, and just how nauseated she was becoming just thinking about it again. She sounded like a lunatic with her over-the-top messing with this poor quality control person.

And then my co-worker, bless her heart, gave the company MY name and address.

Well, the good thing is I soon received coupons for FREE lettuce, pineapple, dried fruit, juice, and a few other things the company manufactures and distributes. It had to be over $20 worth of stuff.

A few weeks ago I was irritated by the instructions on a box of Lean Pockets. The instructions said to place the product in the "crisper sleeve" and to definitely NOT reuse the enclosed crisper sleeve.

What crisper sleeve? Nothing was packaged with the Lean Pockets except...Lean Pockets. I microwaved them sans the mysterious "crisper sleeve" and they tasted just like the cardboardy things usually taste. (Sorry Hormel...these things are merely convenience foods that I use in a pinch. Tasty they are not.) But the lack of proper materials in the Lean Pockets box bugged me enough that I finally got online and wrote a message to the company. I was not "bitchy"; I merely informed them that something was missing from my Lean Pockets product.

In return for my feedback, I received coupons for FREE Lean Pockets, cents off Hot Pockets products, and a letter explaining that the instructions were in error. It seems that Lean Pockets no longer requires the use of these "crisper sleeve" things, but someone forgot to edit the old packaging. Apologies, apologies, please accept our coupons so you may continue enjoying our fine products.....

So now, I'm thinking that maybe I'll try writing to companies with glowing compliments for their products. I'm curious to see if happy customers get free stuff.

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