Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Twix

Dear Left Twix,
I have been contemplating for a while now which twix - left or right - to whom I should pledge my loyalty. I was on the fence until I opened a package with a lopsided left twix. Obviously, left twix is the inferior of the two and employs sloppy techniques resulting in subpar candy. I shall forever be a right twix lover. Thank you for helping me make my decision through your poor quality control.

Dear Right Twix,
I have been wondering for a while now which twix - right or left - to whom I should give my devotion. I was undecided until I opened a package with a askew left twix. Obviously, left twix is the lesser of the two and employs careless methods resulting in shoddy candy. I shall always be a right twix idolizer. Thank you for helping me make my judgement through your superior methods.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Old Spaghetti Factory

Driving southbound along interstate 15 in Utah, I noticed a new billboard for The Old Spaghetti Factory. It was advertising the location at University Mall in Orem. The billboard said Exit 269, Next Exit, At University Mall. Sounds normal right? The only problem is that the billboard is located AFTER passing Exit 269. "Next Exit" would be Exit 265. The billboard is in the wrong location. It should be BEFORE the 269 exit, not after. I just wanted to bring this to your attention because the billboard isn't going to help people find your restaurant.

********************
And the reply:


Dear Angela,

Thank you so much for your email!  It has reached the corporate office for the Old Spaghetti Factory Restaurants.  I have forwarded your feedback to our Vice President of Operations!
We will look into this and are very appreciative of your information!

We hope to have the privilege of serving you in the future!

Best regards,

Julie
The Old Spaghetti Factory

*****************
And another reply from a "higher up" in the company":

Hello Angela,

Thank you for your email about our Billboard in Orem. There was some confusion when we had it installed and you are correct.
We are working on having a new panel produced and installed.  (the new panel will say “Turn Around”)

If you would be so kind as to send me your mailing address I would enjoy sending you a few dinners so you can dine in our Orem restaurant.
I thank you for taking the time to tell us about the billboard and hope to see you soon in our restaurant.

Thanks,

Chris
Vice President of Food and Beverage

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Leonardo

To Whom It May Concern,

My family and I recently went to the 101 Inventions That Changed The World Exhibit at The Leonardo and we were extremely unimpressed.

The movie that was shown was very interesting, well put together and the multiple screens made a very exciting and interesting effect. However, there were only about a dozen chairs in the room. There were more than two dozen people wanting to see the film and half of the viewers had to sit on the floor. Pay $15 to sit on the floor? How sad is that? There really should have been A LOT more chairs available. I am currently pregnant and if I had not had a chair, I would have had a miserable experience (on top of the already sad experience that we did encounter). (Quick suggestion for chairs: swivel chairs, since the movie was displayed on all walls.)

As I have already said, the movie really was great. We were told there were two exhibit rooms to go to after the film and I was very excited to see the exhibit after viewing the movie. To the dismay of myself and my family, the exhibit room was the size of my living room. Where was the exhibit? It was a display of about 30 of the inventions with a little information about them. Information, I might add, that you had to find yourself on the electronic kiosks. We are in the technology age and I understand that using technology (like the kiosks) is something that should be integrated into exhibits. But it shouldn't be the entire exhibit (if you can even call what we saw "an exhibit.") I was expecting the exhibit to take up the same amount of space as previous exhibits you have had (like BodyWorlds and the Mummies.) But Alas, no such luck. There should have been a display of ALL 101 inventions with more information about who invented it, how the idea came about and how it changed the world, etc.

And speaking of explaining how the inventions changed the world....Legos? Really? Who put that on the list? How did legos change the world? Also, television AND color television both made the list. What's with that? Doesn't that seem a little redundant to you? Especially when there are plenty of other inventions that would be worthy of the list. If it were me, demin pants and tampons changed the world WAAAY more than legos and having TV on the list twice. And those are just two items the come to mind quickly. Imagine if I had put real time, money and thought into my two choices.

And what was with that lego room? I wanted to see a nice exhibit, not spend $15 a person to rent a bunch of legos for half an hour. Did you guys just have a bunch of legos lying around and figured a lego room would be fun for kids and you therefore needed to put legos on the list just to make the lego room seem relevant? From my position, it look cheap, lame and as un-classy as an "exhibit" can get. "Exhibit" is definitely not a word that should be used to describe the 101 Inventions That Changed the World. My family spent over $100 to go to The Leonardo. In retrospect, we would have been better off going to a megaplex, seeing a real movie, sitting in nice chairs and eating popcorn. I will NOT be recommending this to my friends and will, in fact, be discouraging them from visiting.

Highly disappointed,
Angela Baarz

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Home Depot and Reply

Recently my husband and I purchased carpet and installation from The Home Depot. After having the home measured and after selecting the carpet we wanted installed, we went to the booth to order the carpet. Scott Wallace (at store #4416) was a very helpful associate and I wanted to e-mail to tell you how satisfied we were with our interactions with Scott. He was friendly and very knowledgable on the selection of carpet and flooring options. And while we found all of the sales associates to be capable, Scott was extra sharp and went the extra mile to make sure we were satisfied. We definitely felt he was customer oriented and we appreciated that a lot on our quest to re-carpet our home. We now have beautiful new carpet and we are grateful that Scott was apart of our remodeling. Thank you for hiring him; he is doing a great job.

************

Hello Ms. Baarz,

Thank you for contacting The Home Depot Customer Care.

We are pleased that you found what you needed in our Provo store and
that Scott was able to provide you with great customer service.
The Home Depot works to ensure that customers receive excellent service
and we are please to know that your expectations where met.

I've notified the store leadership of this matter so that Scott can be
recognized.
Your Customer Care Reference Number is xxxxxxxx.

Sincerely,

Geoff Morris

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Real Salt Lake Soccer (and Reply)

Mr. Schetzel:

My name is Angela Baarz. First off, I couldn't find an e-mail address for customer service on the Real Salt Lake website under "contact us" so I am e-mailing you since this matter is ticket related and you are the VP of Ticket Sales and Services.

My husband and I attended the Real Salt Lake Soccer match against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 1 of this year. We ordered our tickets on May 17 and requested the tickets to be mailed to us. As the week of the game arrived, we still had not received our tickets. The tickets did not arrive in the mail until June 3, 2013 - two days AFTER the game. Luckily we were able to go online and change our ticketing options to print them at home, so we were able to go to the game as planned. (It was a great game, too. We are glad we went.) When the actual tickets arrived on June 3rd, we noticed the ticket printing date on the tickets: 5/30/13. My question is: When tickets are ordered two weeks in advance, why would you not print the tickets sooner - especially when they have to be mailed. If the tickets were printed May 30th, the best case scenario is that they will get mailed May 30th. That gives the tickets 2 days (at most) to get to the proper destination. Isn't that cutting it kinda close? Don't the game patrons deserve their tickets sooner than the day of the game? And this is assuming the tickets actually arrive in time - which in our situation, they did not. I suggest looking into how ticket purchases are processed, printed and mailed, because it appears there are flaws in your current methods. Thanks.

Sincerely,
Angela Baarz

*********************

Angela,

Thank you for writing.  I agree with you completely.   Tickets purchased online are printed and shipped from our call center in Dallas.   We have been having issues with the call center printing and shipping tickets on time and we are looking at taking the operation in house and shipping ourselves from Sandy, Utah.  I appreciate your email and I am glad you were able to change the method of delivery in time to get your tickets and enjoy the game.  I have copied the call center so they can see the issue and take steps to improve it in the short term.

Michael Schetzel

**********************

Random Fact: It took literally 7 minutes from the time this letter was sent via e-mail until I received a reply.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Spike TV

***Side Note*** I totally meant to post this letter waaayyy sooner, since The Joe Schmo Show is now over and has been for some time. Many apologies. Now onto the letter:

In regards to The Joe Schmo Show:

Thank you for making and airing The Joe Schmo Show. I think the premise is great and the show is hilarious. I do have one question though. There have been multiple times (so far - in just the first four episodes) when there have been problems with your "deaf girl" doing things that a deaf person wouldn't do - like covering her ears at the sound of a champagne bottle popping. Why didn't you just hire an actual deaf person? There are deaf actors out there - one even won Celebrity Apprentice a couple years ago (though she'd be likely recognized if picked for this show.) But I can't imagine you not being able to find an actual deaf person to play this role. Just curious. Thanks! Make another season!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lays and Response

Hi. My husband tried your BLT flavored chips the other day and absolutely loved it. He mentioned how delicious the seasoning is and I was wondering if there is a way to get some of that BLT seasoning used on your chips. It would be a fun surprise if I was able to give my husband some of his favorite seasoning to use on other foods. I know it's probably a weird request, but I figured I would ask. Please let me know if there is anyway to secure some BLT seasoning for personal use. Thanks!

****************

Hi Angela,

Thank you so much for offering to share your idea with us.

We are flattered of your interest in wanting to assist Frito-Lay, however, are not able to accept unsolicited ideas or suggestions from outside our company. The purpose is to preserve good relations with the public and to avoid any misunderstandings as to the origin of an idea. We have in-house teams and agencies responsible for providing innovation for our businesses.

We hope you understand our position and that you will continue to enjoy snacks from Frito-Lay. Thanks again for thinking of us.

Best regards,

Tina
Frito-Lay Consumer Relations

*******************

My comments: Ummm...I think they missed the point of my letter. I was not suggesting a product idea; I was asking for the seasoning they already make - just chip-free. I guess they thought I was asking them to market seasoning. Really, I just wanted them to bottle up some of the seasoning from their giant seasoning bin and send it to me. I guess it really was a weird request (as I even stated in my letter) - so weird in fact that they couldn't comprehend what I was asking for.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dear Door-to-door Salesmen

I have been HORRIBLE at keeping up with posting letters lately. My goal is to do TONS better. I've written plenty of letters; I just haven't posted them yet. But May (crazy, busy May) has come to an end and a new month is upon us. And with that comes my renewed determination to be a better blogger. And to start off my renewed sense of desire to have a awesome blog, I have a letter to share. It is not a letter that I have actually sent to anyone. It's one of those hypothetical letters meant to be fun and silly. So, after much waiting for a new post, here is a letter to Door-to-door Salesmen.

Dear Door-to-door Salesmen,
*I am happy with my internet/phone/satellite provider and have no desire to change it.
*I do not have any problems with pests.
*Our windows are new and energy efficient.
*We don't want your overpriced siding for our home.
*We are satisfied with our insurance company.
*We do not want your security system.
*If you are selling something that requires financing or a monthly bill, you are wasting your time coming to our house.
*Proselyters, we don't want to entertain guests - you can leave a flyer if you desire.
*We LOVE pizza delivery and school fundraisers.
*Oh and I'm pretty sure that my husband/brother is in the exact same line of work as you and he can get me a much better deal than you can anyway.
*If anything changes, I'LL contact YOU.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Centrum Silver

My husband and I recently saw a commercial on television about your Centrum Silver product. The words of the commercial were:


My wife takes Centrum Silver. I’ve been on the fence about it. Then I read an article about a study that looked at the long-term health benefits of taking multi vitamins. They used centrum silver for the study. So…I guess my wife was right. Centrum: always your most complete.

A prior formulation of Centrum Silver was used in a long-term study evaluating the health benefits for men 50 and over.

This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.


We just have a few questions.
1) What study was done? What were the results of this study?
2) How does the character “reading an article about a study” show the wife was right?
3) The study was evaluating health benefits for men and I can only assume the character’s wife is a woman. So what does the wife taking Centrum Silver have anything to do with the study?
4) The wife was right? Right about what? The study was about men. Was this couple arguing about taking multivitamins? Was the husband taking a different brand or not any vitamin at all?
5) They have conducted scientific studies on the effectiveness of psychic healing. The fact that they conducted a study does not validate psychic healing as an effective health benefit. Simply doing a study using Centrum Silver does not validate Centrum Silver. The results of the study are what are important.
6) See how your story if full of holes???


P.S. I read an article about a study that looked at the long-term benefits of companies having sections on their website for consumers to send comments through e-mail. I won’t tell you the results of this study, but I am still encouraging you to allow customers to contact you through your website instead of just phone or snail-mail.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pop Weaver

I was highly disappointed today to discover that there are now only 22 bags of popcorn in a box instead of 24 and that the bags are smaller, and yet the price is the same. I find this an insulting and rude thing to do to your customers. Also, a max of 350 characters in the comment field is also insulting and rude. I'd say more but I have run out of

***Side note*** I was quite surprised at the 350 character max on the website. With all of the letters I write (most of which are sent through company websites), it was quite odd to be given such a small character limit. I was going to say a lot more including how much I love their popcorn, how I like the oil they use that makes the popcorn less fattening and how cost effective it has been (up to now - I'll have to research if it's still the best value for me). But I guess they didn't want my positive comments; they wanted me to get straight to the point of complaining. Their loss.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Arby's (And Reply)

One of your commercials really annoys me. Every time I see the commercial I end up yelling at the TV because it annoys me so. The commercial creating such annoyance is the one where the guy is quizzing people about Subway's meat and where they think it is sliced. The people in the commercial are unpleasantly surprised when they find out the meat is sliced in a factory instead of in the back of the store. I don't understand why meat sliced in a factory is such a bad thing. I would much rather have my meat sliced in a factory where regulations are easier to enforce instead of in the back of the store by teenagers who pick their noses and pop their zits. Also, it sounds like Arby's has to buy many unnecessary meat slicers. That doesn't sound time or cost efficient. Is that why I can get 12 inches of sandwich at Subway for the price of 3 inches of sandwich at Arby's.
One final anecdote to emphasize my point:
My husband and I were at Subway today. As we are waiting in line, we observe an employee opening a vacuum sealed bag of lettuce to restock the lettuce bin on the line. I commented to my husband: It's nice to know the lettuce comes vacuum sealed. My husband replies: Because you know it isn't sliced in the back? My reply: YES! I wasn't thinking that, but YES - cleaner and uniformly sliced. But I was really thinking about how nice it is that air can't get in to make the lettuce gross and brown.
There are many benefits to NOT having the meat sliced in the back. I really don't care too much that your meat is sliced in the back. But it really bugs me that you try to bring Subway down by making something they do that is great sound like it is a poor choice.

************

Reply:

Dear Ms. Baarz,
 
Thank you for sharing your feedback on our new advertising campaign, Slicing Up the Truth About Freshness. We appreciate your concern and want to assure you that we are not making any claims to freshness.
 
We are not claiming that we taste better than Subway, or that they have low quality products. Instead, we’re only celebrating one of the staples that Arby’s was founded on – that we freshly slice meat in our restaurants every day. Not all restaurant chains, including Subway, can make this claim.

Again, thank you for your feedback.
 
Sincerely,
Arby’s Customer Relations

****************

My notes:
"...we are not making any claims to freshness..."
I take that to mean that they can't make any claims to freshness or else they would. So I assume that while the meat is freshly sliced, it is not actual fresh meat. Not very reassuring.

"...we're only celebrating one of the staples that Arby's was founded on - that we freshly slice meat in our restaurants every day..."
Is that worth celebrating? Am I the only one that doesn't care?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Survivor

Hi. I am a HUGE fan of Survivor. I just wanted to give a couple of suggestions of things you could do for a season of Survivor in the future.

1) Have the tribes merge REALLY early in the season. Like REALLY early. I think that would create some good drama and throw a lot of player's "game" off.

2) Maybe you could bring back an entire season of people who were voted off really early. A lot of times there are people that you think could do really well and go really far, but for some reason they are one of the first few voted off. Have a whole cast of those people and give all of those survivors a second chance.

3. Maybe you could give each castaway an idol. Maybe not even tell everyone that everyone has one. But either way, if everyone had an idol, it would be interesting to see how the blindsides go down and how strategy changes because people could always whip out an idol or give an idol to a friend.

Anyway, those are my ideas for things you can do in future seasons. I am really looking forward to the new season starting next month. Thanks for continuing to make such a fun and exciting show.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Provo City

Dear Provo City,
I would like to bring to your attention an issue I have noticed at the intersection of 300 South and 700 East/State Street in Provo. The traffic lights at this particular intersection seem to not detect cars properly. There are two lanes (at least) that I have discovered through experience where cars are not detected – the right of the two westbound lanes on 300 South and the middle of the three lanes heading eastbound on 300 South. If there are no other cars at the intersection, cars waiting in these particular lanes will wait at a red light until a car in a different lane (but same direction) is detected. It is not a problem during high traffic times because all the lanes have cars so everyone gets an equal chance to get a green light. But during low traffic times, cars have to either wait for another car to come along in the proper lane or run a red light. It would be helpful to me and other drivers that consistently use this intersection if you would look into the issue and try to find a way for the sensors to detect cars in all lanes.
Thank you,
Angela Baarz

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pampers (and Reply)

 Letter to Pampers:

I've been using a package of Pampers sensitive wipes for the past couple of days and there is one thing that I quickly noticed. When I pull a wipe out of the package, almost always a second or a third wipe tags along; I am unable to pull just one wipe out. I don't know if this is normal with these wipes (I haven't had any problems with other Pampers wipes - just the sensitive ones) or if this is an oddity that just happened to find its way to my changing table, but it is highly inconvenient. When I have a baby on a changing table with her diaper off and poo exposed, the last thing I need is wipes sticking together when I already only have one hand free because the other hand is keeping baby hands away from the mess. Just wanted to bring this to your attention so you can continue to improve your products and provide quality to your customers.

 ********************

Reply from Pampers:

Thanks for contacting Pampers, Angela.

I’m sorry you’re having trouble getting your Pamper Sensitive wipes to dispense correctly. It may help to know all of our wipes are in One-Ups dispensers. To ensure the wipes dispense properly, it’s important for them to be placed in the tub correctly and not upside down. Please check to see if the wipes are folded into one another with the bottom flap of the wipe tucked into the next wipe. If they are, the next wipe will be pulled into the opening when the top wipe is removed. If not, you may need to flip the stack of wipes over. In case you forget, we include instructions in each refill pack.

We appreciate your bringing this to our attention and I’m sharing your comments with the rest of our team. Since your satisfaction means a great deal to us, I’m also sending a coupon good towards future purchases of Pampers Wipes. You should receive them via postal mail within the next 2-3 weeks.

Hope this information helps!
Resha
Pampers Team


***********************

Side note: Can you say condescending response?? I know how to work a package of wipes. They basically blamed me for the wipes not working correctly. I just use the refill packages as they come - I don't open the pack and place the wipes into a tub. So if the wipes are upside down it is a manufacturing thing. I was quite insulted by this response; they think the problem is my fault. And on top of that they over-explained how to "fix" the problem as if I'm the baby getting my diaper changed instead of the mom changing the diaper. Couldn't they just apologize and say they will look it? For rude!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jeopardy

Dear Jeopardy,

On Oct. 2, 2012, one of the Jeopardy categories was "Be A Lizard Wizard." The clue was: Having special glands in their lower jaws, the Gila monster & the Mexican beaded lizard are both this, so beware. The contestant said: What is poisonous? and it was counted as correct.

I would like to point out that "poisonous" is an incorrect answer. The correct answer should have been "venomous." Venom and poison are very different. Poison is ingested and venom is injected. You can eat rattlesnakes because they are venomous but not poisonous. If a Gila monster bites the venom entering your bloodstream is the potential problem. But they are not poisonous because the danger is only if the venom is in your bloodstream, not in your stomach and digestive system.

I am quite surprised that a show so intellectual and prestigious as Jeopardy would not know the difference between venomous and poisonous. But....thanks to me (I am pretending to pat myself on the back as I write this) you now know the difference between the two terms and can avoid this mistake in the future.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Red Robin

***I did an online survey after my most recent visit to Red Robin. Under comments, I wrote this:

Bryan was one of the best waiters I have ever had. He was polite and friendly, very efficient, amazingly attentive and quick - but not so quick that we felt rushed. He made great suggestions for helping my baby daughter and brought fries out for us immediately for my daughter to snack on while waiting for the meals to come. He explained things very well - but without talking down to us. He really was the best server I've ever had. I truly wish he could be my server anytime I went out to eat.

Most amazing visit ever. I've never had a bad experience at Red Robin, but this visit was even better than the normal great service. Our server, Bryan Christensen was amazing. I felt like I was his favorite costumer ever and I'm sure he makes all of his tables feel that way too. Bryan deserves a raise!!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Village Inn

I was absolutely and completely disappointed with all aspects of my lunch. I think the best way to describe this would be in a list:

1) Took a LONG time to get a highchair for my daughter.
2) No napkins and we never got any napkins. 
3) We didn't know who our waitress was. A couple of girls came up to us right at first, but neither one really took charge or ordered our drinks and they barely even greeted us.
4) To a LONG time to just get our drink order. Then a long time again to get our food order. Then a long time to get our food. 
5) Was offered drink refills only once; we would have liked two or three more refills than we were offered.
6) When I ordered my food, I told the waitress that I wanted a slice of pie with my combo lunch special, but that I wanted it at the end of the meal. She never brought me pie; never asked if we wanted pie; never ever talked to us again after giving us our food. 
7) My lunch was SUPER TINY. I ordered the pick two lunch special with half a sandwich and soup. The soup size was TINY TINY TINY. I knew I was ordering half a sandwich, but my sister ordered the BLT with fries, she paid less for it, and got WAY WAY WAAAAY more food than I did. What's with that?? I left the restaurant hungry.
8) The waitress gave us the check REALLY early and then never talked to us again. Which made it difficult to get my pie that I wanted. 
9) The pie came at a discounted price when ordered with my lunch combo, but three staff members had no idea what I was talking about.
10) Had to order my pie to-go because we couldn't get our waitress over to RE-ORDER it. 
11) When I did order the pie to-go, it took a long time for them to ring up my check and get the pie.
12) I have never had worse service in my life. I am not exaggerating even the slightest when I say that the service was the worst I've ever experienced. I would appreciate an apology. Thank you.

************************************

I did receive a reply with the request for more information and such. After over a month of very sporadic communication on their part, the issue was eventually resolved and I was given 2 vouchers for free entrees.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Keebler Reply


Angela,

Thank you for the time you took to connect with us about Keebler® E.L. Fudge® Sandwich Double Stuffed Cookie. I’m glad to hear you buy them all the time, thank you! I am so sorry this product did not meet your expectations.

We work very hard to make sure the right amount of filling is in your cookies. Even with careful monitoring and inspections, sometimes a sandwich cracker can make its way into the package with little or no filling.

Product quality is extremely important to Keebler. Learning about your experience helps our management team make informed decisions about future changes.

We want to restore your faith in us, so we are sending you a coupon. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery. I hope you will replace the cookies, or try one of our other wholesome and delicious items that feed you well from breakfast through lights out.

Please know that we genuinely appreciate your honest feedback. You are a valued part of our family and we are happy to hear from you at any time. If you have additional concerns or comments, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-877-453-5837.



Sincerely,


Ruben R.
Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs

**Original Letter can be found here.**

Suave Reply

Hello Angela,

Thank you for contacting us regarding Suave Products.
You may be pleased to know that other consumers have made the same suggestion. Consumer comments are very important to us and are taken into consideration when planning changes to existing products, as well as introducing new products. We appreciate your feedback and will share your comments with our staff.
Sincerely,

Your friends at Suave


**Original Letter can be found here.**