Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Free Stuff

My mom worked at Coke back in the early 70's. She was in on the creation of Fresca (it's grapefruit flavor, BTW, and she hated it), was able to buy cases of "low-fills" for cheap thus becoming the coolest sister-in-law ever to my teenage uncles, and had a Coke baby outfit for me (which she didn't save, unfortunately. But I still have the booties from the Budweiser outfit I also had. I have no idea where she got that.) She worked as the office manager (I think?) and learned some important things while working there. The main one was that if you have a problem with a product and take the time to write a note or make a phone call, you get free stuff! Throughout my childhood, she would do this and we would receive coupons or vouchers for free items. She only did it when she had a true gripe (like when we found a rock in our chunky peanut butter), but it always worked.

So I do it, too. Yeah, I like the free stuff, but I also like knowing they are aware of my opinion. Once, when I opened a fridge pack of soda on the bottom shelf of our refrigerator, an hour after mopping the floor, and cans rolled out and burst all over my floor, I called the Coke company and told them to make better cans! (I was pretty peeved that I had to remop the floor.) And they actually did--they sent a package for me to mail in the can so they could test it, because they had recently changed their cans and were concerned about the strength! And I got 5 free cases of soda!!!

I recently wrote to Gerber, concerned about the #7 plastic baby food containers and the bisphenol A that is in them. They wrote back, promising coupons, but basically telling me that my concerns were worthless. I wrote again and said I'd only buy their glass jars, thank you, because despite what the federal government tells me, I still have concerns. I never received the coupons. I guess they showed me.

Anyway, my favorite shampoo-conditioner combo recently changed the scent in their conditioner. I hate it. So I wrote.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 12:09 PM
To: Silk, Sun
Subject: Sunsilk Information

I have been using Sunsilk's extra- volume shampoo and conditioner (the yellow bottles) since it came out. I love the way it makes my hair react. Recently, however, you changed the scent in the conditioner. I just have to write to tell you that I hate it so much I will have to stop using your product. It smells like that crappy cheap potpourri people used to boil back in the late 80's. Yuck! Who wants their head to smell like "Orchard Fresh"? More like "dead cat rotting in a pile of plums left in the sun."

I'm really disappointed, and I hope you haven't made this change a permanent one. Thank you for reading this, and I hope you take it into consideration. I'd really rather my fully voluminized hair smelled fresh and clean, rather than like the floor in the back of a city bus in August.

Regards,
La Rêveuse

And got this reply:


Hi La Rêveuse,

Thanks for writing!

We are aware that response to fragrance is a highly individual preference. The scents created for our products are carefully tested before marketing, to ensure they meet preferences of majority of consumers. All product fragrances should be light, fresh, and pleasant.

We will certainly forward your e-mail to the Brand Manager and the appropriate staff. Consumer comments are important and evaluated on a regular basis.

Thank you for providing your address*, as we are sending complementary coupons of our products.

Chris Green
Unilever Consumer Services

*They ask you to provide your address, but I would have anyway, because I know how these things work.

So, I guess I'm on the lookout for a new, non-stinky Unilever product. A free one. Any suggestions?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

R - Unilever bought Ben & Jerry's in 2000. Forget hair care - use your coupons on a few pints of VT's finest - Cherry Garcia, Phish Food, Chubby Hubby... J in VT (p.s. I really like Dove shampoo and conditioner - also by Unilever.)

mage2001 said...

Agreed on the Dove hair care products...
and fructis stuff - although that isn't Unilever, I don't think - but then again - I really don't know.

Mama Bear said...

We love the Dove stuff at our house as well. Ok, so everyone but me gets to use it, me I have to use the stupid smelly stuff for thinning hair. Yup, that's me, the old cousin.

Nikki said...

Sweetie,
Is Jeff as a chemist worried about the PBAs in the plastic?
As long as you aren't putting boiling water in the containers & are recycling them - it should be fine.
I think I like the plastic better than using glass like we did with J.

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