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December 11, 2012 at 10:10 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

My Letters to Companies

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This Author

Okay, Mindfull readers -

So I didn't want to force people to read these whole things, but I think I did a pretty dang good job on them, so if you read my Squeaky Wheel Vs. More Flies With Honey blog and you want more, please feel free! ;)

Complaint #1. Dear Meijer's Store Manager,

I am a regular customer of yours. I mean a REALLY regular customer. I grew up in Plainfield and remember when your location first opened and my parents started shopping there. Now, I live on a road off [road name removed to prevent creepsters from creeping] so I’m in there all the time – probably more than I should be according to my fiancé. My family and I regularly spend $300 a week with you – which is why I’m pretty bummed to be writing you with a complaint today.

You’ve gotten rid of so many of my favorite products!

First it was Campbell’s Lentil Soup – one of the only basic Campbell’s soup options that delivered good vegetarian protein AND my daughter would eat. Yeah, you still have other lentil soup options, but not at that price. It was one of our basic staple lunches.

Next it was my favorite body wash and lotion – Johnson’s Body Care Line. Granted, the packaging is kind bland, but the stuff smells AMAZING. Like sugar coated flower deliciousness.

Then it was the best brand of refrigerated Almond Milk – Almond Breeze’s Original Unsweetened. Its packaging is not as slick as Silk’s Almond Milk, but the product inside Silk’s Almond Milk is too thick and sweet. Almond Breeze’s comes way closer to a natural milk consistency. We’ve settled for the shelf stable stuff, but it’s not quite the same. Just not the same.

You also got rid of our easy microwave breakfasts – Morning Star’s Stuffed Breakfast Biscuits. I could be running late for work and my daughter could be running late for school, but with Morning Star’s Breakfast Biscuits we’d be able to have a warm, tasty, filling breakfast in just one minute. You know what I had this morning for breakfast? Nuts and seeds - like a bird or small rodent eats. :/

Lastly, you got rid of a tea I love and believe in SO strongly, I have told all my friends and almost everyone in my office about it – Traditional Medicinal’s Gypsy Cold Care tea. I would regularly buy two boxes when we’d run out because I knew I’d be passing half of them out to people I heard sneezing or coughing. Now, the whole Traditional Medicinal’s line seems to have disappeared from your store!

If this keeps up, I may need to go looking for a new grocery to do my weekly shopping at!

Complaint #2. Dear Flat River Grill Manager,

I really wanted to like what you guys were doing there, but I gave you two chances to impress me and you fell flat twice. The latest time the experience was so exceptionally poor, it was nearly comical.

To start, when my fiancé, daughter and I walked in, your waiting area was already packed with people and no hostess came to greet us for 5 minutes. Seriously. I timed it. We stood there for 5 minutes in uncomfortable proximity to a crowd of strangers before anyone even spoke to us.  After we were finally spoken to we waited over 20 minutes to be seated – much of it standing because there were no seats, so you can probably imagine how excited we were when we were finally asked to follow a server to our table.

Unfortunately, it took another 10 minutes before we were even offered a drink and got to put in our appetizer order – our daughter order a cup of chili and us adults ordered the calamari. As our waiter walked away we realized he hadn’t asked us whether we wanted it fried or sautéed (as the menu indicated), but decided since he hadn’t, the appetizer probably just came with both. Meanwhile we sat ravenously hungry watching as multiple tables received bread.  We were patient though and figured we would join their ranks when our drinks appeared (finally!) 5 minutes later. We were mistaken – and our waiter ran off to attend another table before we could ask about it.

When he reappeared 15 minutes later with one appetizer and 5 minutes after that with other appetizer the food didn’t last long – both because we were starving and because the portion size was so small – especially for $9 just the calamari cost. We got only fried calamari (guess we SHOULD have specified) and spoon sized portion of seaweed salad – VERY disappointing because the seaweed had been one of the main deciding factors in us getting it and we’re used to getting a big bowls worth of the same stuff when we go out to Chinese buffet.

What we got tasted good, but I do not believe that appetizer could have been split happily between a party of four so it was lucky it was just the two of us.  As it was, we were still very hungry, even after nearly licking our plates clean when our waiter came back to check on us (after delivering a second basket of bread to a large party that already had their dinners)  so we asked for bread and a refill on our drinks. When my fancy (pricey) drink refill came back, I could see that the same glass had been used because the lemon I squeezed into my drink was still inside the drink, squeezed dry. No new lemon, and also no bread. When we asked about it again our waiter said “Oh! Sorry about that! It’ll be about 5 minutes before there’s more bread.” Another 20 minutes went by and we finally got the dinners we ordered. We never got any bread. (and, incidentally, we went breadless the first time we ate there as well)

<------(this is me)

Normally, by the time we get our food, we’re so full from bread and appetizers, we can eat only half and so we get to have rest as leftovers, but we scarfed down that food.  When our waiter came to see how we liked it, we were about halfway through. That’s when he noticed we were all wearing our winter jackets and that apparently the heater we were sitting next to this whole time hadn’t been lit. He offered to get us another heater. “This one’s no good. How about I get you guys a good one?”  Heat did sound nice, even if we were nearly finished. He dragged it over from across the patio and attempted to light it – for about 5 uncomfortable minutes standing next to us while we ate – until he finally gave up saying he couldn’t get it, left and brought back another person to get it lit – which they did in about 2 minutes.

When all was said and done we had spent $80, about 2 hours, and left without lunch for the next day. I would have recorded my disapproval on the review card that came after we paid, but no pen was provided to do so. (Maybe there’s a reason for that?)

Anyhow – we’re not an especially wealthy family, so spending $80 on dinner is quite an indulgence for us.  It’s unfortunate that the service and amount of food we received no where met that value.

Complaint #3. Dear Forever 21 Store Manager,

When I received about a $1,000 dollars unexpectedly, your store was one of the first places I thought of to spend it. I knew I was bound to find an arm load of clothes I loved at a great price. Unfortunately, your lack of customer service completely turned me off.

I wanted to get a couple new pairs of blue jeans, but I wasn’t sure what my measurements were. I’m used to the more typical dress sizes so I spent a while looking trying to guess for myself before I decided I’d just ask someone that worked in the store. First off, though I feel it was pretty obvious I was looking around for help, I almost literally had to run down an attendant that seemed to be avoiding me (though, I’d be willing to believe they were really just super focused on hanging up clothes, it would have to be pretty extreme focus). Once I had them corned, I explained the issue and told her the jeans size I normally bought. I assumed this was probably a pretty common issue and she would be familiar with the approximate conversions, but she wasn’t – nor did she try to track one down for me. Her advice for me was “Umm… I don’t know, I guess you can just kind of hold them up to you and see.”

“She wants me to take out EVERY size of pants you have and hold them up to me?...That’s going to take forever. I’m not doing that.” I thought.

“Oh, okay that’s alright!” is what I told her though. “Do you know if there’s a chart or someone else in the store that would know about this?”

“Umm… I’m not sure. Sorry!” she said and then walked away to do what she had been doing before.

As a result, though I had planned on picking up some dresses, shirts, shoes and pants, I bought just the few $4 camis I had already picked up. When asked if I found everything all right today, I responded politely, but honestly explaining that I had been looking to buy some jeans, but I didn’t know what size I was and no one could help me. “Oh, I’m sorry.  The jeans are over there.” She pointed. “Did you want to check them out?” No. No, I didn’t.

It really seems like there should at least have been a chart in the store if no one had that knowledge memorized.

Compliment #1. Dear Ju Sushi Restaurant Manager,

My fiancé and I found your restaurant purely by chance as we were driving around trying to find some place new and exciting to celebrate our anniversary – and I am SO glad we did! I’m one customer that is difficult to impress – if I’m not greeted and cared for promptly and properly, if my food isn’t cooked quite right, if the plate’s presentation is lacking, I take note – but my experience was wonderful from beginning to end!

I love sushi, but I’ve been disappointed by the lack of ambience and service in the two restaurants that had been our go-tos – XO and Mikado. Ju Sushi delivers abundantly in both these areas – and has hands down the BEST salmon roe sushi (my favorite) I’ve ever had anywhere. In other places I’ve ordered it, the nori has been too dry for my liking and the roe itself has been drier than I felt was appropriate – as though it had been out in the air too long.  Yours was just perfectly moist and I LOVED the addition of the flying fish roe which enhanced both the appearance and taste of the sushi with the texture variation.

Why else do I love you? Let me count the ways! Your Fire Mountain Roll served a flambé gave the sushi a delightful roasted flavor.  The calamari in your calamari salad was cooked perfectly – not too chewy as it can tend to become. Your dining room felt absolutely indulgent, luxurious and comfortable - more like being inside some posh uptown apartment than being in a restaurant. I greatly appreciated the way the layout was divided for a more intimate surrounding and touches like pillows on the booths or the option for dining or lounge. Your service was wonderful. I felt fully appreciated as a customer. Even your green tea was much better than I’ve had elsewhere.  Tastes like the imported green tea I have at home!

Considering it all, your menu is priced very reasonably in my opinion. I’ve paid more and gotten far less. I’m a customer for like and I’m telling all my friends and blog readers that like sushi – Ju Sushi is THE place to go for sushi in Grand Rapids!

Compliment #2. Dear People of Eden Foods,

I’m a blogger for a natural health company that love, love, LOVES your teas (especially your sencha rose tea!), but is really curious about your sea veggie products. I’ve been hearing a lot about them – how they’re packed with phytochemicals and add great umami flavor to a dish - but I haven’t seen them around to try them out yet! Any chance you could send me some samples? I’d love to be able to advise people on them!

Compliment #3. Dear People of Traditional Medicinals,

Have you ever seen Annie Hall? That scene where Woody Allen’s telling Diane Keaton how he feels?

“Love is, is too weak a word for what I feel - I lurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's?”

SERIOUSLY.

You need a spokeswoman? I am the biggest believer in your Gypsy Cold Care tea. Not only does it taste and smell INCREDIBLE – it works!! In fact, it’s my family go-to cold treatment and when it runs out, I buy at least two more boxes because I know I’m going to be passing out half of them to people in the office I see coughing or sneezing. I hand them a packet and tell them your stuff is great and has a whole list of medical grade herbs for a cold symptoms. But here comes the sad part – my grocery store no longer carries your line!

I’ve already written them a complaint and told them I needed it back, but could you please send me a few boxes to get me through until they give in?

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