Kraft's Customer Service is among the best. They had two options. 1) Call me an idiot. 2) Go out of their way to make me feel appreciated, throwing coupons and even assigning blame on themselves. They took the high road, going as far to say that their "lab" investigated the foreign matter.
Dear Cheese Weasels,
I love cheese. I always have. In high school, some of my cronies nicknamed me “The Mouse”. Between classes, I’d walk down the halls and they’d say “Hey. There goes the Mouse!” I was a good sport about it until some wise apple put a loaded mousetrap into the pocket of my gym short pockets and it went off during calisthenics.
Yesterday, for the first time ever, I tried your individual cheese slices. In the past, I had always favored traditional cheese—Colby, Swiss, and Muenster. I love cheese, and that is why it is hard for me to write about what happened.
I like eating cheese sandwiches, and the process of slicing my cheese off of a big block has just become too tedious. So I went to the store and succumbed to temptation. I bought your cheese slices and brought them home. As I opened the package, the pretty maids were all in a row, like a brand new deck of cards. I took one slice from the middle of the deck, placed it on my rye bread, with a leaf of lettuce, a dollop of mayonnaise, some ham and tomato.
As I bit into it, something was strange. The cheese seemed a little tough. The outer skin was almost impossible to chew. The inside tastes so good that I can’t stop eating it. But that outer skin is nasty.
I am dissatisfied with the cheese that I purchased. I would appreciate an explanation as to why each slice I have eaten has been tough. Like a trooper, I ride the storm out with each slice, only to gain the final satisfaction of what I call “inner-cheese bliss”. But these would be much better without the tough outer skin. Are you leaving them out too long? Sometimes with traditional cheese, if I leave it out too long, it gets a tough outer coating. Please respond.
My Cravings I Appease With Plenty of Cheese,
Response from Kim at Kraft, dated May 7, 1998:
We are sorry to learn of your disappointment with our products. Your satisfaction is our greatest concern, and we want to know if a product fails to meet your expectation.
To achieve the high quality products which our consumers have every right to expect, we give careful attention to each step of preparation and packaging in our manufacturing process. We begin with the careful selection and blending of ingredients using proportions and methods that have been outlined by our food technologists in order to achieve the proper flavor and consistency. The production lines are closely monitored, and samples from each production run are tested and evaluated before shipment in an effort to prevent any unsatisfactory products from entering distribution.
The quality of all the cheese is dependent upon the milk supply used, which in turn depends on factors such as times of the year, weather and animal feed. We take into account all of these variables, and maintain strict specifications for the milk and other ingredients. During the manufacture of our cheese products, we are constantly testing and checking moisture and fat content, from the raw ingredients to the finished products, so that our product is uniform in flavor and consistency.
We appreciate your bringing this to our attention and have notified the individuals responsible for the manufacture of this product to try to prevent any recurrence. We regret that you obtained a product that was inconsistent with its usual quality and, therefore, are enclosing reimbursement for your purchase. We hope you will enjoy a new purchase, and that it will meet with your expectations.
Enclosed: Coupon for free Kraft Product
My reply, dated 5/22/1998
Thank you for your quick response to my cheese problem.
In your letter, you related the quality of the cheese to the milk supply quality, which depends on factors such as weather. I am wondering if El Nino has reared its ugly head yet again. Because I am finding that every slice of your cheese is affected by the ravages of this strange “skin”. I have begun “peeling” this skin off. I am sending a skin—please have your food technologists analyze it.
In your letter, you mentioned milk as the critical ingredient, and weather as a contributor to its success or failure. I’ll bet when it’s all said and done, the lab results will come back with all signs pointing at…El Nino. Please keep me posted.
Peeling the Skin From My Cheese Again,
Enclosed: One “skin” (a cheese cellophane wrapper)
Rhonda’s response, dated June 12, 1998:
Thank you for your patience while our laboratory analysts examined the foreign matter you indicated you found in our product, Kraft Deluxe Process Cheese Slices. We appreciate having the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
Our laboratory analysts identified the foreign matter as a piece of plastic packaging. To achieve the high quality products which our customers have every right to expect, we give careful attention in our manufacturing processes to each step of production and packaging. Our quality control personnel maintain close supervision of the production lines in an effort to detect any problems or unsatisfactory packaging. We regularly check our production lines, however, oversights may sometimes occur.
We appreciate your bringing this to our attention and have notified the individuals responsible for the manufacture of this product. Enclosed is a complimentary coupon for your use. We hope we may continue to count you among our most valued consumers.
Enclosed: Coupon for Kraft Deluxe Process Cheese Slices (Note: NOT INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED!!!!!)
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