We recently bought some Claussen pickles. Tim loves these things. If it came down to saving me or the pickles in a fire...well I just hope it never comes down to him needing to choose.
These things are a little pricey though. After all, it is a Kraft product and they are refrigerated and the economy sucks...anyway, they are a little expensive, but we both really like these pickles, so I buy them. I'd rather spend a little more on something we'll eat all of, than to save 50 cents and throw 3/4 of the product away. Besides, I often have a coupon to take a little of the money-hurt away.
This last jar of pickles just has not had the same great taste as usual. It almost tasted like the cucumbers they used weren't quite ripe- they were very firm and the flavor was just off. I looked up Claussen, found the contact information for Kraft Foods, who makes them and fired off a quick email.
I was very polite, explaining basically what I told you- we love the pickles, but something was definitely off with this last batch. They emailed me back the very next day apologizing that this product wasn't up to standard, explaining that it sounded like something had happened in the shipment that probably changed the temperature of the jar (ie they got warm somewhere along the way, then cold again) and let me know they'd be sending me a coupon in the mail for a free jar! Total time invested? Under 5 minutes.
But wait- an email back from a big company that made it clear they actually read my email? Give me a second to pop my eyes back in because they seriously just bugged out. An offer of a coupon for a free jar of a product I already buy? Awesome!
I really appreciate it when companies seem to care if their customers are happy or not. We probably go through 26 jars of pickles (or more) each year, so we're definitely good customers. I always joke with Tim we need to buy stock in Claussen Pickles- ha!
So if you get a product that is sub par, don't be afraid to contact the manufacturer. If it's a good company that cares, they will do what they can to make it right. After all, a coupon for a free jar of pickles is not even a drop in the bucket for Kraft, but it makes all the difference to me and how I view the company! Not a bad trade off, I'd say.