Post # 64 - Dole Pre-Cut Spinach Fiasco - 12-10-2009
I see this as a legitimate annoyance. I've seen it happen twice now--the contest packet ends up covered in dressing in a big salad bowl. Like the ranch bottle squirter thing, I'm just trying to make our salad experiences less "eventful".
I feel violated. I was at my weekly Brimley's Bridge Club Salad Social Extravaganza. I brought a delightful spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. The spinach of choice: Dole.
There are charter members who decide who stays and who goes, who sits on a cushy chair, and who doesn't. If it came strictly down to bridge play, I would have been "anointed" seventeen years ago. As you can imagine, it's more about politics, perceptions, appearances, and making a positive impressions.
As the other club members enjoyed my salad, I felt a sense of pride and acceptance. I could hear my name being read off at the next banquet. I could see my name in 16 point Times New Roman on the little gold plate. This salad would put me over the hump.
No it wouldn't. As I emptied shiny green leaves of spinach goodness, I didn't see a shiny green packet containing recipes and quite possibly coupons, which your workers lovingly placed in my salad bag.
Tommy Pemblewood, the Chairman of Brimley's Bridge Club, suffers from what I call "Muppet Mouth". He has a very wide opening there (it spans across his entire face). The opposite would be someone like Donald Trump, who has a tiny mouth, and would have a difficult time enjoying all of the flavors in a submarine sandwich. Anyway, Tommy sometimes fills that mouth a little too full, and doesn't always chew well. He swallowed your recipe packet, and felt a little ill, until he "passed" it a week later.
I was reprimanded, accused of pulling a fast one, and dressed down in front of the entire BBC population, and their families, at our banquet. I was essentially sent to the back of the line.
Why would you package something shiny and green, amongst shiny green leaves? This can't be your first complaint about this. How about attaching the packet to the inside of the bag? Maybe make it bright red and really big so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle and covered with warm bacon dressing.
These are just a few ideas. Let me know what you come up with down there at the Salad ranch.
Follow-up sent 12/21/2009
You've been quiet. I raised an issue with you on December 10th. Shiny green packets buried in shiny green leaves of spinach is a bad idea. What do you think?
Form letter from Dole, dated 12/22/2009:
Thank you for contacting us about your experience with DOLE Salads promotion. We appreciate that you have given us the opportunity to respond.
In order that we may fully respond to your report, it would be helpful that you call us toll free at 1-800-356-3111. We can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time and are happy to assist you. When calling, please reference the contact number of 010011621A.
We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you again for contacting us, and for your interest in Dole products.
Consumer Response Staff
Dole Consumer Services
My response, dated 12/31/2009:
Dear Nameless Corporate Subset of Dole,
Thank you for the form letter.
I can tell you take consumer input seriously. You're asking me to respond by using my cell phone minutes to call and re-explain my concerns, concerns that are abundantly clear in my December 10th and 21st notes.
The part that irks me more--I'm no longer a name. I'm 010011621A, the Salad Eater. If my input really mattered, everyone would already know who I am when I call. "Oh--Jerry. He's the guy that probably saves us $18 million in lawsuits by advising us to take our shiny green information packets out of our bags of shiny green spinach. Moreover, if my input REALLY mattered, your December 22 form letter would have had a sticky note attached that read: "This is being handled promptly--good catch".
I choose not to call. I feel my re-explanation will be met with comments about how "your feedback is very important to us", and "your information has been forwarded to the appropriate management". No thanks. I think I'm switching my allegiances to Del Monte.