"Why would you call?"
That comment prompted this thread. It was a post on another thread discussing the quality decline of english muffins.
Do you call or email when the product is less than expected? Do you return items to the store and, if so, what stores are good about returns and what stores aren't?
This is the response I posted in the other thread:
"I always contact the company when I'm dissatisfied with the product or have a bad experience....my money, my right to a voice. In nearly 40 years, there are only a few companies that have either ignored me or expressed a lack of concern.
A surprising number have been kind of crazy in their appreciation. Heinz - after alerting them to finding tiny pieces of blue plastic in their baby strained peas - sent me so many coupons I didn't have to pay cash for a Heinz product for 20 years and called me to explain their manufacturing procedure and how an automated bag-cutter had been shredding plastic when opening the peas.
My family laughs when I take credit for Clairol changing their ads for Herbal Essence Shampoo but I was sick to death of the girl in the shower making erotic noises and expressed my disgust. The commercials stopped shortly thereafter. Coincidence? I think not...LOL.
My college marketing professor emphasized that corporate decisions have been changed on one voice. One! Sure, things have changed as companies have become global behemoths, but it takes a short amount of time to find the contact info for a company and shoot and email or place a call. I have always felt kind of obligated."
I will add to this that Sonic and Target are two of the national chains that have given me problems. A Wal-Mart customer service person told me they are no longer accepting returns without a receipt and drivers license (?), they have instituted a time limit (I forget what, not as strict as Target's 30-day limit) and they are tracking the number of returns and, if you have "too many," they will refuse the return.
On the plus side, I think Trader Joe's wins the award for returns. There are lots of stories on the TJ's Yay/Nay threads that support this. Even a cell phone picture of a vegetable gone bad gets a refund. Pretty awesome!