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Monday, December 27, 2010

Post # 157 - Wendy, There's A Hair In My Food - 4/26/2010

This is a true story.   I removed the location because I think this can happen anywhere.
Dear Wendy.

Today I tried a Black and Bleu burger at the suggestion of the drive through personality. I took my food home to enjoy it there. As I was biting and pulling the burger away from my mouth, I felt that “tug”. The burger was attached to my teeth by a thin black lasso. A hair, snagged between my upper incisors, and “where the bun meets the patty”. Probably five inches long, and black as night.

I don’t do well in these situations. I turn into the sickly barfing penguin at Sea World’s aquarium. I barely made it to the bathroom, where I heaved and hoed everything up. I felt a little gypped. I paid for dinner, and wound up giving back lunch and breakfast too!

So we’re all on the same page, my wife and daughter’s hair color is blonde, and they were never anywhere near my food. My hair is very short. This was definitely a Wendy employee. Not Wendy herself, mind you—it wasn’t fire red.

Look. I’m not trying to taddle. That’s not my way. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m looking for policy change so this never happens to any Wendy’s customer ever again. I don’t really know the dress code at Wendy’s. Maybe people wear caps? The thing is, in food prep, I believe in hair nets. Hair nets with all of the hair contained in the hair net. That’s what I would do if I worked there. I’d be all for shaving all facial hair, arm and chest hair, and eye brows. Nostril hair, eye lashes, ear hair—gone!

The thing is, if they’re letting a hair find it’s way into my food, what else am I enjoying, free of charge? MAKE IT STOP!!!!!

If you don’t have a policy that prevents long hair from dangling over my food, you should. If you don’t have a policy that prevents long hair from dangling over my food, then that was your hand down my throat.


Subject: Customer Response
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 16:30:51 -0400

Thank you for your interest in Wendy's and I apologize about your experience at your local store. If you would like to email me with the address of the location and your phone number, I would be more than happy to take care of this problem by filing a complaint and sending it to the regional office. If there is any thing else I can do for you, please let me know!


Consumer Relations

(800)-443-7266 x6800
Subject: RE: Customer Response
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 20:55:11 -0400

Dear Rachel,

You are as sweet as a Frosty for responding so quickly, and wanting to address the problem right at the source.

It sounds like your plan is to attack the problem locally (i.e. Someone didn't follow hair retention policy, whatever that may be). This means that there is, in fact, a policy in place, which you believe, was not being followed at my alleged restaurant stop.

I could give you the location. You could contact that location's manager. who would peruse his staff for someone, or more than one person, with long hair. They would get singled out, reprimanded, and maybe even let go, all because the manager, or worse yet, the company, doesn't have a good enough policy in place.

It goes deeper. Your bun and patty manufacturers. Your lettuce, tomato and onion growers. What if they let stray hair into their product? This policy, whatever it is, must span the entire Wendy's supply chain.

I can't remember ever seeing a hair net or a skin-head working at Wendy's. I think this is an overall corporate policy issue--tell me if it's not. I'd love for you to write back and tell me that you're implementing a more robust corporate policy throughout the entire organization. It's what Dave would have done.



Subject: RE: Customer Response
Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 23:19:53 -0400

Hi Rachel,

The silence is as loud as thunder over here.  Here's how I see it:

1) I presented a problem--one that's probably possible to happen at any of your 6650-or-so locations. (Tell me it's not).

2) You offered to address it locally.

3) I suggested that you dig a little deeper. Fix the problem at it's very core. Hair nets or baldness across your entire worldwide network of employees, as well as your supply chain.

You went quiet. I assume one of two things:

a) You've taken my advice, and are very busy driving procedural changes.

b) You never really planned on fixing the big problem. Your offer to address this locally was merely an appeasement.
I am hoping that you're addressing this at a global level, but I am fearful that you are not. If not, I've probably heard the last from you.

I wish you a very happy life.


Subject: I'm truly sorry about your experience at Wendy's
Date: Thu, 13 May 2010 00:27:33 +0000

Dear Jerry --

My name is Ken and I am the operating partner of the Wendy's in _________, MI. I just received a copy of your concerns today and I want to begin by apologizing for your experience at a Wendy's restaurant.

I'm not sure if it is was one of the restaurants I own and operate or if it was another location you visited. Either way you should not have had to experience the situation you did.

I understand your concerns for food safety in our restaurants and while I cannot speak for all Wendy's -- I wish to explain the steps we currently take in our franchise organization to minimize hair or other foreign objects getting into the food.

1. All manager are required to pass the national ServSafe Food Safety Managers Exam.

2. All new employees go through food safety training to include proper hand washing, personal hygiene (this includes having hair restrained under a baseball cap and not hanging in their face or extending past their shoulders in the back), how to avoid cross contamination and how to avoid time/temperature abuse.

3. We re-certify all employees on these food safety topics yearly in January and managers on the ServSafe every five years.

The above is verified by the local health departments semi-annually as well as by my leadership team and Wendy's corporate during unannounced inspections.

Again, I want to apologize for your experience. I had a similar situation happen to me at another restaurant in the past and I was very upset. I also would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention and I will be using this as an opportunity to reinforce the proper restraining of hair with my teams.

If you would like discuss this further with me personally, please feel free to contact me on my direct line at 586-555-7641 or at my email listed below.

I would also like to try offer you something whether or not it was one of my Wendy's you visited -- please let me know how I can be of service to you now or in the future.

Very truly yours,

Operating Partner
To: Ken (and someone named Keith that Ken keeps cc-ing)

Subject: RE: I'm truly sorry about your experience at Wendy's
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 20:37:02 -0400


I appreciate the offer, and the follow-up. I didn't want this to go local, as I explained in my response to Rachel, I see this as a corporate procedure issue, rather than any one location. I see Wendy's restaruants, including your __________  location, as some of the cleanest in the industry.

It's funny--I was just at your __________ location today for my kids. It was a fine visit. I did, however notice that the various employees wear headwear, varying from cap to visor to no hat. To me, unless you go 100% hairnet, you can never avoid it.

Again, I appreciate your follow-up. I appreciate you reviewing procedures. The people at your store are great. Just keep in mind--no matter how often you review procedures, you can't stop gravity. I haven't had Wendy's since the hair, and it might be a little while longer, but I promise I'll be back.

Thanks again Ken!


PS--Hi Keith

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Post # 156 - Gillette Venus and Their Inferior Lube Strips - 7/27/2010

 My friend Theresa's daughter, "Melanie", complained about her Gillette Venus Razor.  The lube strips fell off a little too quickly.

Below is my letter, sent 7/27/2010:

Dear Gillette,

As a competitive swimmer, a hairless existence makes for faster times. Longer fingernails win tight races. Any tiny advantage helps.

I use your Gillette Fusion razor for my face. I love it’s five blades—whiskers run and hide from it! I’ll be waiting in line for the store to open when the six blade version hits the street.

For everything else, I use your Lady Gillette Venus Breeze. Follow my logic. I figure man razors are designed for facial surfaces. Since ladies shave legs, etc. a lady razor is probably my best option for those surfaces. The double moisturizer strip concept is a mind-blow. I think it could revolutionize the whole industry.

Here is my problem:

I keep both razors in my shower. As you can imagine, I run a little hot. I need my showers hot. Not center-of-the-earth hot. Just hot enough to ease the tensions that accumulate while beating punks half my age. It takes its toll. The moisturizer strips on the Venus fell off after one use. Not the case for the Fusion razor to it’s right.

This seems like a defect to me. A razor should be able to withstand more than one use. A razor should be able to withstand a little steam. I’m disappointed. What the?

What are your thoughts?

38-year-old 2012 Summer Olympic Hopeful
Gretchen from P&G replied on 7/29/2010:

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for contacting Venus Breeze.

Our goal is to produce high quality products that consistently delight our consumers and I'm sorry this wasn't your experience with your recent purchase of Venus Breeze Cartridges. Please be assured I'm sharing your comments about the gel bars falling off with the rest of our team. While I understand the convenience of storing your razors in the shower, because the gel bars on the Venus Breeze is water activated, it should be kept in an area of the shower where it is not getting constant contact with the flow of the shower head.

Your satisfaction is important to us so we’d like to send compensation with a voucher for a free pack of Venus Breeze Cartridges. Please respond with your complete name and mailing address. Once we receive your information, you can expect to hear from us within the next 2-3 weeks.

Thanks again for writing.

Venus Breeze Team
My response on 7/29/2010:

Dear Gretchen,

Thank you for the response.

My relay took second today! We’re really jazzed.

One minor note: both razors (Venus and Fusion) are contained in one of those suction cuppy containers on the shower door, well out of the way of the spray. The only moisture that they see comes from steam. They behave very differently—the Fusion can handle it, the Venus didn’t.

My address is:

XXX Maple Rd
Anytown, OH 99999

Note: Please mark the package to my au pere’s attention. I’ll be training in New Brunswick for four weeks, and I’d prefer that the postal service not forward this package. I’m only packing my swim suit and tooth brush, and really don’t want to check a bag.

My Au Pere’s name is Melanie Smith

Thanks again, Gretchen!


Note from Gretchen at P&G, on 7/30/2010

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for contacting Venus. Hearing from consumers like you helps us to provide top quality products and services worldwide. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I am unable to send fulfillment to anyone other than the primary contact. Due to privacy laws, we would need to have verbal authorization from both you and Megan in order to be able to send this in her name. I can either hold off on sending the vouchers until you are going to be back in the area, or you can contact our consumer services department by calling 1-800-445-5388 with Megan and give verbal authorization. Thank you, GretchenVenus Team
My reply, sent on 7/30/2010

Thanks for another super-speedy response. You are exemplary among your peers. I, on the other hand, am not.

During a super-slo-mo replay of our relay, I was discovered by the judges to be performing a doggy paddle derivative.

Bad news: we were disqualified. Good news: we're looking really strong for 2016.

Bottom line, I'll be home. Please send the package to my attention:

Attn: Jerry H. (2016 Olympic Hopeful)
XXX Maple Rd

Anytown, OH 99999

Thanks again,

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Post # 155 - Sun Chips and Their Biodegradable Bag

I sent this to Frito Lay on 4/10/2010.
Dear Frito Lay,

What gives with Sun Chips making all of your other brands look bad with their new, fancy biodegradeable bag.

First—let’s get something straight. I’m not a huge Sun Chip’s guy. I don’t like people trying to sneak more fiber into my diet. My wife makes me eat them so I spend less time doing THAT in THERE. The bag, however, intrigues me--I have two questions.

First, if you possess the technology to make the world a better place, one bag of Sun Chips at a time, why wouldn’t you apply this technology across the entire Yum! Brands mothership? Lays Chips, Rold Gold Pretzels, Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Chester’s Fries, Taco Bell, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, etc. Isn’t this your moral obligation? Otherwise, it just looks like a silly hippie gimmick.

Second, I fancy a good deal. I buy three and four bags of Sun Chips at a time. I stash them at my work station, sometimes for three to four months. My work station is at an incinerator, where the temps approach, and once-in-a-while exceed 130F. I drink a lot of ice water. Will the bag maintain it’s composition for four months at those temps?

I appreciate any information that you can provide regarding this marvelous invention.


Subject: Here's our response to your e-mail - RE: SunChips, Reference #010985215A
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 11:00:06 -0400
Here's our response to your e-mail - RE: SunChips, Reference #010985215A
Hi Jerry,
Thank you for contacting Frito-Lay to share your great comments about our compostable SunChips package.
Your feedback tells us that our effort to develop a package made from 100% renewable plant material is appreciated by our valued consumers.
Yes, we would like to replace more of our packages with this new material. Having this goal in mind, we still have a couple of obstacles to overcome, including sourcing enough of the compostable material and continuing to improve the film for the chips to stay fresh and crispy with an optimal shelf life. By the way, Jerry, we are a division of PepsiCo and not affiliated with Yum brands.
We hope you’ll visit for more information. The package will degrade in an active compost pile at temperatures above 130 degrees.
Who would have thought that eating a snack made with whole grains would help us live in a healthier, greener world? Thank you again for being part of this journey!
Best regards,
Frito-Lay Consumer Affairs
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Post # 154 - Hunts Snack Packs and the Pudding Killer - 4/3/2010

Dear Con Agra Foods,

As a well-known prosecuting attorney, I have little time to myself. I’m busy putting hardened criminals behind bars. I often tug on the heart strings of wavering juries to get my way. With a 99.3 percent conviction rate, I must know what I am doing.

How does this involve you? Please allow me to explain.

Recently, there was a spree of shootings. A serial killer—however, his calling card wasn’t a velvet glove, or a white rose. Not a clever note, nor a monogrammed handkerchief. His calling card, in all six homicides, has been a partially enjoyed Snack Pack pudding snack. His nickname, over these past months, has become “The Pudding Killer.”

Normally, other than his Snack Pack “leave-behind,” he leaves a very clean crime scene. No foot prints, DNA, or shell casings. On this last crime, a crotchety elderly iron worker, the shell casing was buried, along with a nostril hair, in the Snack Pack. What a break!

The final victim’s widow, Esther Samoa, has retained my services. She is unable to pay me—she made me a tray of cookies as a sign of her gratitude. This case will put me well over my 50 hours, but I am glad to help.

We’re going to trial two weeks from this last Monday. I’d love to work the pudding into my speech. At this point, I have an early draft entitled “The Proof Is In The Pudding.”  My plan was, to hand each of the twelve jurors a Snack Pack, while I’m reciting my final comments. I want the taste of that pudding engulfing their pallets as they listen to my inspiring words.

I want butterscotch pudding breath to permeate that room as they deliberate, and cast their final vote.

I want the very pudding that Henry Donald Thoroburger used as his “joke” to come right back and bite him in the keister.

I want little children in elementary schools to send Henry their empty pudding containers as he rots behind the very bars that Mr. Samoa crafted for over 40 years.

I want the truth! I want justice! I want the life sentence that Henry most assuredly deserves.

Since this is a pro bono case, would you be interested in helping out? We could really use three (3) four packs of pudding, pro bono. I mentioned butterscotch—tapioca or chocolate would also work.

Any assistance that you can provide is greatly appreciated.



Subject: Re: Consumer Affairs Email Response 052890408A
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 13:30:14 -0500

May 24, 2010

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for your email concerning our Snack Pack® Pudding.

Through the ConAgra Foods Foundation, we help to fight hunger year-round and are committed to this quest. Unfortunately, due to the large volume of requests we receive, we are unable to fulfill them all.

Your comments are extremely valuable, and they help us make the food you love even better.

Thanks again for your feedback. We're listening!


Consumer Affairs
Ref: 052890408A
My response, sent 5/24/2010

Dear Nancy,


The trial went as planned. The evidence was undeniable. The jury swayed back and forth.

Just as they teetered toward a verdict of “guilty,” I delivered my speech. “The Proof Is In the Pudding” was my “Stairway to Heaven.” I delivered it with passion and precision. I brought tears to the women’s eyes. I road the crest of the wave all the way to the sandy shores of justice.

With two outs and two strikes in the ninth, I was lacking that strike three pitch. The pudding would have rung Thoroburger up for life. Instead, the jury cited reasonable doubt.

A murder walks the streets once more. Cap’n Pudding Pants is laughing at our justice system now.

Thanks Con Agra.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Post # 153 - War On Spam: Will Mrs. Rita Douglas Send Me A Nude Photo? - 4/22/2010

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 04:51:59 -0700

Subject: Dear Friend compliment of the day;

Dear Friend compliment of the day;

I am MRS RITA DOUGLAS from Burkina Faso in Africa . Although you might be apprehensive about my email as we have not met before. I am in the auditing department with one of the leading bank in Burkina Faso . During our recent auditing the bank management discovered an amount of money valued $15m dollars in a foreign dormant account. (An abandoned Account with our bank)

I am writing to seek your assistance in working with me as my foreign partner, so that you can stand as the beneficiary or relation to the deceased customer also as the rightful beneficiary to the fund, hence through my personal investigation the account owner who deposited this money died accidental years ago with her wife . So the account has being dormant for over six years, Meanwhile I have trashed off the account in the audits hedger, it is only lying in the hard disc of the bank and with this system it is not possible to trace the account owner.

It is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honor against your will, please consider the value I offer. The fact hence it’s a foreigner that bears the account, there is need for a foreigner as well to stand as the beneficiary to the fund or relation the account owner, as public services in this country we are not permitted by law to run a foreign account. This operation system will be well perfected and executed without any risk and it is a hitch free business deal.

Once the funds have been transferred to your bank account we shall then share in the ratio of 70% for me, 30% for you. I want to give you 100% assurance that this transaction is risk free; all I need from you is your maximum cooperation for a smooth and hitch free processing and transfer of this funds into your account for our mutual benefit and investment in your country.

I advice you treat this deal with utmost confidentiality it deserve and your expedient response shall be appreciated. Should you be interested kindly respond and send your full contact details so I can give you an elaborate details of this deal.



Subject: RE: Dear Friend compliment of the day;
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 22:26:03 -0400

Dear Mrs. Rita Douglas,

I have no apprehensions whatsoever. I exude confidence and success. It is that confidence and success that has propelled me to the top of my profession. You see--I am a dermatologist. I specialize in spotting early forms of skin cancer--I can catch it before the tell-tale signs can be seen.

Typical signs are:

1) For something like Basal cell carcinoma (the most common, most easlily treated skin cancer) you might see a pearly or waxy bump on your face, ears or neck, or a flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion on your chest or back.

2) For something like Squamous cell carcinoma (more likely to spread), you might see a firm, red nodule on your face, lips, ears, neck, hands or arms, or a flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface on your face, ears, neck, hands or arms.

3) For something like Melanoma (most serious type), you might see a large brownish spot with darker speckles located anywhere on your body, a simple mole located anywhere on your body that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds, a small lesion with an irregular border and red, white, blue or blue-black spots on your trunk or limbs, or shiny, firm, dome-shaped bumps located anywhere on your body.
I also specialize in less common skin cancers such as Kaposi sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and Sebaceous gland carcinoma.

I know, you're saying "Dr. Sandwich, enough about cancer--you're depressing me!" Well, my patients are often less depressed when I have helped them dodge a bullet. In your case, I explain this because we are about to become a team. We are about to work closely together, and invest ourselves in a venture for the greater good. I need to know that you are fit as a fiddle. I worry about you, Mrs. Rita Douglas. I can't afford to have you die on me. Plus, I care about you.

Before we get started on our business, I need information. I need age, height, weight, blood type, family history (have others had diseases in your family?). In addition, for cancer screening purposes, I need photos of your arms, legs, back, buttocks, bosom. If you just send one full body nude photo, that should suffice. This will allow me to check for early signs, like actinic keratosis.  The science is undeniable, and you're getting a free check-up out of the deal. Not bad, huh?

Please respond with the information, and the photo, and we can proceed.


Dr. Cuba N. Sandwich
Panera Institute
No Response

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Post # 152 - Nestle Aero - Why Are The British So Angry At Us? 7/29/2010

Dear Nestle,

Why are you being so difficult?

People in the United States love your delightfully textured Aero candy confections. Why do you make us fly on jets to the UK, and smuggle them back in our drawers, only to find that they’ve melted when we’ve been “let back in”?

Why don’t you make these in the United States? It comes down to dollars and cents. People in the US love Aero Bars. You could make an even larger fortune.

I realize that you manufactured Aero Bars in the 1980’s. We were all too busy playing Pac Man and solving Rubik’s Cube. Have you seen us lately? We’re a nation of large people. We market Kit Kats as a morning coffee accompaniment, why not Aero Bars?

Let’s cut the crap. You’re still bitter about the Revolutionary War. The Declaration of Independence. The fact that your biggest rock groups came over here to avoid taxes and party with our groupies and hippies. Which is it? Or is it all of the above?

You’re holding back. We gave you fluoride. It’s your turn to give back.

What do you say?


002758954A 29 July 2010

Dear Jerry

Thank you very much for your email. Unfortunately Aero is not currently exported to the USA. Whilst sales do well here, consumer research shows that the amount of interest would not justify the high demands required in production to ensure the good value consumers deserve.

Our experience of how brands perform in various markets suggests that consumer tastes can vary considerably between different countries.

Because of this, Nestlé USA Inc are responsible for the import and distribution of our products in the USA. Their contact details are: Nestlé USA Inc800 North Brand BoulevardUS - GlendaleCA 91203Telephone Number: 001 818 549 6000Fax Number: 001 818 549 6330

Alternatively, you may like to try the following Websites that provide British goods to consumers abroad:

We are sorry we cannot be of further help, but hope that you can appreciate why we took this decision. Thank you again for taking the trouble to contact us. We are grateful for the interest you have shown in our company.

Yours sincerely
Consumer Relations Executive
Consumer Services
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Post # 151 - My Follow-up With Ron Colangelo Regarding # 11 - 11/4/2010

Last year, I wrote a note to Mr. Ilitch, suggesting that he consider retiring Sparky Anderson's # 11.  Behind the scenes, their relationship was very strained.  I say "no excuse."

Ron Colangelo responded, stating that there are no plans, yada yada.  I warned him--if Sparky dies, it's going to look really bad to a loyal fan base.   Sparky passed away last week, and much of the grieving has transformed to anger toward the Illitches.

Below is my "I told you so."
Subject: RE: Sparky Anderson
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2010 21:48:29 -0400

Dear Mr. Colangelo,

Dick Howser, Whitey Herzog, Earl Weaver, Danny Murtaugh.  Managers with weaker resumes, whose organizations recognized them by retiring their numbers.  And justifiably so.

With the unfortunate news of Sparky Anderson's death, a city is mourning. 

With all of the grieving, the discussion turned to the Tiger Organization.  I don't claim to be a prophet.  Anyone could have seen it coming.   On two radio stations today, for much of the day, the discussion revolved around the Tiger outfield.  Not "which free agent can Dave sign?".  The discussion revolved around statues and numbers, and missed opportunities.  Fans and broadcasters who normally argue about Michigan/Michigan State, Osgood, and Inge, were unified.  Anderson's number should be on that wall.  And it should have happened while he was alive.

I told you so.

I'm no sportswriter.  I'm a fan.  An objective fan who understands that things happen behind the scenes.  Maybe there was a disagreement about managing scabs, or about choosing the wrong baseball cap for a stupid plaque.   For a stupid plaque in a farcical wing of a nice museum that seems to pick inductees as much based on how many pinstripes are in their uniform as on performance. 

Fans don't care that Sparky refused to coach scabs.  I actually respect that--I refused to watch it.  Sensible fans understand that Sparky had to make a decision about his plaque.  Get over it.  It all seems petty now.  Fans see no statue or number out there in left field.  Fans are left to draw their own conclusion.  Fans are upset.

In your note below, you mention that Sparky has been part of some celebrations along with other Tigers in the past.  No offense to these guys, but apparently, he's in the same league as Ron LeFlore, and Denny McClain.  I think we can all agree that Sparky deserved a little bit more than the average Tiger.

This makes Mr. Ilitch look really bad.  It's really a shame that you couldn't honor him the way he deserved, before he died.  Whatever the underlying reasons, it's a real shame. 

This man gave a lot back to the community.  The Tiger organization should be embarrassed.


Jerry Herman

PS - The Reds retired his number five years ago.  I bet they feel good about that decision.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Post # 150 - War on Celiac: Kellogg is Too Lazy - 5/15/2010

Dear Kellogg,

Imagine being told by a doctor that your body can no longer handle most of your favorite foods. Pizza, beer, sandwiches, most crackers, pretzels, pastries, and most restaurants that don’t have the word Chinese in the title. All gone forever. This is the case for one out of 130 people. Large companies decide whether it makes fiscal sense to cater to their loyal consumers. Most don’t really change anything.

Several of my patients have celiac. This means that they can’t have ANY gluten. By all of my research on the internet, you offer exactly three gluten-free products—Eggo Syrup, Yogo’s, and Fruit Snacks. I get really annoyed when you send them tome, to ask them to consult their physician, regarding Rice Krispies (which contain Malt Flavoring) and Corn Pops (which contain wheat starch). Any physician worth his salt is going to say “NO”.

General Mills has five types of Gluten-Free Chex: Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Chocolate Chex, Cinnamon Chex, and Honey Nut Chex. They seem to get it.

I realize that this probably means separate, gluten-free facilities and supply chains, and that this probably seems like a lot of work.

Keep this in mind. My mom has Celiac. There were times in the early 1980’s when cereal prices jumped. People were struggling to find and keep jobs. Putting food on the table was difficult. When many switched to big bags of generic cereal, my mom stuck with Kellogg. Because she believed in supporting local (Michigan) businesses.

Now it’s your turn to return the favor.


Dr. Jerry

From: Kellogg Consumer Affairs
Subject: Consumer Affairs 020932220A
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 -0500


Thank you for contacting us to request information about our products that do not contain gluten.

Thank you so much for sharing the story of your mother. I'm very pleased to hear that you have been long time Kellogg's® Consumers!

Having several family members myself with celiac disease and I can understand your concern for more gluten free products.

Kellogg is aware that many consumers need special dietary foods, especially those with celiac disease. While we do not currently offer any cereal or waffle products that are formulated to be gluten free, this is an area that we are exploring. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused!

We do offer a couple of products free from gluten-containing ingredients besides the items that you mentioned. These include Kellogg's™ Special K™ Protein Water Mixes and Kellogg's™ Special K™ Protein Shakes.

Please be assured that your comments and desire for gluten free products will be passed along to our food developers and nutritionists.

Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs

To: Kellogg Consumer Affairs
Subject: RE: Consumer Affairs 020932220A
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 -0400

 Dear Nikki,

Thanks for the response.  As someone with relatives that also have Celiac, you can probably understand my frustration.  Companies shouldn't be telling people that "Depending on gluten sensitivity, products X, Y, and Z might be suitable for persons on a gluten restricted diet".  Celiac isn't a gluten restricted diet.  It's a gluten-free diet.

Companies don't push products on diabetics that "only have a little sugar".  Celiac should be treated with the same sensitivity.  As more and more people are diagnosed with this disease, the demands for gluten-free products will also increase.  In an industry focused on market share, Kellogg is tied for last place.  And as one who tries to support Michigan companies, this pains me to see.

Dr. Jerry
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Post # 149 - Bonaventure Skating Rink and The King of Pop - 4/14/2010

A friend of mine, Shondira , took her kids to this skate rink one afternoon.  She described a normal roller skate rink experience, until a Michael Jackson song came on.  A giant screen came down and POOF!!! Michael Jackson video.  Soon skaters became spectators.

Subject: MJ

Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 22:18:06 -0400

Dear Bonaventure Skate Rink,

My cohorts and I sell insurance for a living by day. Sell, sell, sell. By night, we decompress as members of an all male roller derby team, the Upper Deckers. Skate, skate, skate.

We keep our craft sharp by having bi-weekly skate lunches. These are meant to keep us limber and loose, to build camaraderie, and to strategize—to come up with new and innovative plays and patterns for our craft.

Last Thursday, our door-to-door business found us in Farmington Hills at lunch. One of the crew used his yellow pages to locate your rink.

We skated and skated and skated. We loved it. Great mix of music, great crowd. Until…Michael Jackson came on. Suddenly, as though he is more spectacular than the Gibb Brothers (um…ever heard of the Bee Gees?), a screen came down.

With the screen down, and Jacko gyrating to the beat of his own music, the once-safe skating patrons suddenly became patrons. People stopped and gazed, creating VERY UNSAFE conditions. One of my peers, Term Life Ted, collided with a 13 year-old, who tried to pick a fight. They didn’t end up fighting, and in the end, Ted bought Joseph a frozen beverage in the snack bar.

What’s the deal with the screen? Do you think that’s safe? Why not re-introduce Jart Nite?



No Reply


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Post # 148 - Chex Mix Has No Nutritional Value and Rhonda is Fake - 4/29/2010

Dear General Mills,

When I look at a box of Chex, I see 10 to 25 percent of most of the important vitamins and minerals. When I look at your Chex Mix package, I see 2 percent of calcium, protein, and iron. Nutritionally void. I get more vitamins and minerals when I accidentally swallow a mosquito while running at dusk.

I get it. Chex is cereal, competing against Product 19, Special K, Total. And other fortified cereals. Chex Mix is a snack, competing against Cheetos, Potato Chips, popcorn, and other nutritionally void foods. By cutting the fat content, you’re a healthier alternative. As a result, the bean counters at General Mills probably said “let’s pad the profit margin and cut out the nutrients.” Let’s lower our standards to those around us.

I know. People shouldn’t be relying on snack foods for nutrition. People should eat balanced meals, low in fat, high in fiber, with all of the vital vitamins and minerals. Households with two working parents, or a single mom and a deadbeat dad, send Tommy to school with a Pop Tart for breakfast, and a five-spot for lunch Tommy orders hot lunch in the cafeteria, that consists of chicken nuggets, tater tots, and a room temperature peach wedge in heavy syrup.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Chex Mix picked up some of the slack when Tommy gets home from school? Maybe a little Vitamin A for eyesight and growth. B1 for nervous system, digestion, muscles, and heart. B2 for skin, nails, hair, sensitive lips and tongue, eyesight, the breakdown of protein, fat and carbohydrate. B12 for making red blood cells, and the formation of the nerves. Vitamin C for immune system, healing wounds, reducing cholesterol, , preventing scurvy. Vitamin D and calcium for bones and teeth. Vitamin E for fighting toxins. Iron for blood cells, and immunity.

Maybe throw in a little more fiber, so Tommy doesn’t have to push so hard.

What’s it cost you? A nickel or dime per bag to fortify it? A nickel or time to launch Chex Mix as the elite nutritional snack?

Otherwise, what’s the motivation not to buy fortified generic cereal that looks and tastes a lot like Chex, and make my own mix?



Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 12:59:40 -0500
Subject: Your Response From "General Mills" - 2010/04/30-0568 ZRS

Dear Jerry:

Thank you for contacting General Mills. Your comments are important to us.

We are committed to making a difference in the lives of our consumers. Feedback such as yours is important to the nature of our business.

We appreciate your loyalty and the time you took to contact us. Please be assured that we will share your thoughts with the appropriate individuals.


Rhonda Short
Consumer Services

Subject: RE: Your Response From "General Mills" - 2010/04/30-0568 ZRS
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 23:55:55 -0400

Dear Rhonda,

I think you're a robot, or a fictitious character, invented to send robotic responses to people's concerns, comments, observations, and questions. "Short" may stand for "Short, prefabricated, formy response to your concern. Back in June of last year, you responded as follows, to a letter that I wrote about Bac*O Bits. Mind you, the letter was more positive than my Chex Mix letter, hence the more positive forminess.

Dear Jerry:

Thank you for contacting General Mills regarding Betty Crocker Bac*O Bits. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your positive feedback with us. We will be very happy to pass on your comments to the product team.

We are committed to creating the highest quality products for our consumers. Feedback such as yours helps us achieve this goal for the future.

We appreciate your loyalty and hope you continue to enjoy our products.


Rhonda Short

Consumer Services

Does that sound familiar? I lectured you back then about phoning it in. I'm lecturing you now about the same thing.

Stop phoning it in! I'm assuming I won't hear anything back from those appropriate individuals. I'm assuming I won't hear back from you, unless I activate the correct subroutine in the General Mills supercomputer, which seems pointless, since it's a wall constructed from form letters. I'm assuming the General Mills factories will continue to pump out the same nutritionally devoid Chex Mix for the masses.

Since this is probably our last correspondence, have a nice life. That is, if you're real.


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Monday, October 11, 2010

Post # 147 - War on Spam: Gary and the Bowling Alley - 4/22/2010

Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 01:42:00 +0200
Subject: Confirm your Ł1,350.000 winnings

Dear: Sir/Madam

This is to bring to your notice that your e-mail address have just won the sum amount of Ł1,350,000.00 (One Million Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds) from our Monthly online Bonanza Promotion, With the below winning information's:

To claim your winning cash prize you are to contact:

Sir Gary Millington
Head Winning Claims Dept

And provide him with your below correct detail's:

1.Full Name:
3.Marital Status:
8.Country Of Residence:
9.Mobile Number:
10.Fax Number:
11.Email Address:

Further information's about your winning prize will be given to you by Sir Edward Martin as soon as you contact him at the earliest, and note that you must be 18 years and above before you can claim your cash prize.


Christina Becker
CO-Ordinator / Announcer
Irish Lottery Commission
Subject: RE: Confirm your Ł1,350.000 winnings
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:09:57 -0400

Dear Sir Gary,

As a new business owner, I'm swimming in debt. This is truly a godsend. See, I decided to combine my two favorite things: bowling and ladies, into one. I own a Gentleman's Club/Bowling Alley! I haven't made a dime yet, but I'm having a ball, if you pardon my pun

Let me get my hands on that dough!!

My information is:

1.Full Name: Red Devilham-Spread
2.Address: 35 East Slick Lane Gutterball Village, MA 21242
3. Marital Status: Are you kidding? I own a Gentleman's Club/Bowling Alley!!!
4.Occupation: Owner, "Mammory Lanes"
5.Age: 21
6.Sex: Male
7.Nationality: Norwegian-Icelandic
8.Country Of Residence: USA
9.Mobile Number: 877-952-8787
10.Fax Number: No fax
11.Email Address: see above, silly

Come on by the alley, Gary. I'll put the bumpers up for you (you seem like the bumper type).



Monday, October 4, 2010

Post # 146 - Kellogg Frosted Shards 1/4/2010

Dear Tony The Tiger,

I work in a firehouse. Our crew covers an 8 square mile neighborhood in our classic red Pierce pumper fire engine. Nothing fills us with the energy we need, like a morning bowl of Frosted Flakes. It’s part of THIS nutritious breakfast.

Frosted Flakes contain eleven essential vitamins and minerals, plus an entire day's allotment of sugar. Sometimes, when chief hasn't made it to the grocery store, and supplies are low, I get up a little early (before the others), slide down the pole, and sneak a bowl.

Yesterday morning, I was mid-bowl when the alarm rang. I hastily shoveled whatever I could into my mouth. I quickly chewed and swallowed. Mother of All Creatures Big and Small--that tore up my throat! It hurts to talk. What I discovered from this is: Kellogg Frosted Flakes, when eaten hastily, are like little sugary shards of broken glass. That's right--she's a fickle mistress--she'll get you when you're not paying attention.

My suggestion is, why not redesign the flake. Start with a more rounded edge. You could even have someone at the end of the assembly line with a dremel, working each flake.

My other idea: construct the flake sort of like safety glass--no sharp pieces. Have the flake made up of perforated rounded subsections.

What can we do? How do we fix this? How do you comfort the little children who complain about this same thing?



Subject: Kellogg's® Consumer Affairs 020649843A
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 21:32:21 -0600


It was nice of you to want to share your suggestion with us. While your idea is not new to us, we appreciate your interest and the time you took to submit this idea.

Our company devotes a great deal of time and effort to developing new and improved products, packaging concepts, promotions and merchandising ideas, such as recipe ideas and alternate serving suggestions, to make our products the best on the market. We hope that you will agree we are on the right track here.

Please visit to share a new product or promotion idea, a recipe idea or a suggestion for improving the food or packaging performance of a current Kellogg products. Please share your Big Idea with us.

We appreciate your interest in our company.



Consumer Affairs Department
My response on 1/5/2010

Dear Aime,

I find it hard to believe you thought of taking a dremel to a flake, or designing a flake of corn like a sheet of safety glass. But they say Edison stole the light bulb idea too.

Look—I don’t really want a check. I’m not looking for my name on the box. I just want a safer breakfast for me and the boys down at the station. If letting you take credit gets the wheels in motion, than “Great Idea!”

Keep up the good work!

Kellogg sent me a follow-up survey, asking if I was satisfied (no), if their response seemed scripted (yes), whether I was involved on social networking sites, and discussed products and services (hell yes).  There was only one window for commentary, which I used to voice my complaint:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Post # 145 - DirecTV and Versus and How They Snuck It Back In There - 4/14/2010

Dear DirecTV,

You may recall me complaining, back in September, 2009 about not having the Versus channel for my NHL hockey. I was extremely upset. Just ask Marie R (Employee ID – 100180390), Pat L. (Employee 100166676), Fiona M. (Employee ID 100206372), and James M. (Employee ID 100338692).

I suggested leveraging Comcast by hiking their prices on the DirecTV-owned channels. You tried to upsell me with the NHL.

I suggested offloading some channels, including the Nun Channel, to offset the higher cost. You pointed out channels carrying Bull Riding, NASCAR, Mixed Martial Arts. That’s like offering a steak connoisseur some Dinty Moore Beef Stew, Red Devil Ham, and some SPAM.

I threatened to leave. You didn’t flinch. I cut one of my premium channels. You didn’t flinch. For months, I contemplated switching carriers. In the end, I chose eight years of loyalty over a few months of Hockey Bliss.

Apparently, you didn’t recall me complaining. I just found out that I have Versus. I just found out that I’ve had Versus for the past month. I spent a full month watching that babbling Nun instead of Hockey because Marie R, Pat L, Fiona M, and James M were in the break room sneaking leftover croissants and coffee instead of telling us that Versus was reinstated.

It’s funny—you know just where to find me when you want my money, but where were you with the notification about Versus? It makes me feel like my complaints fell on deaf ears. I suggested leveraging Comcast by hiking their prices on the DirecTV-owned channels. You tried to upsell me with the NHL.

I’m dissatisfied.


Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 04:59:47 -0700
Subject: RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898] [Reference #: 100414-004367]

RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898]
Discussion Thread
Response (Patricia M. - 100191056) - 04/15/2010 04:59 AM

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for writing. I completely understand your current situation and that you did not receive notice regarding Versus on DIRECTV. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.

Please be assured that Versus was restored on 03/25 and we gave due notice to all DIRECTV customers about this.

Difficult service experiences like the one you had are rare and we certainly do not take them lightly. I apologize for the trouble you had.

We respect your time and I appreciate that you've given me the opportunity to personally address your concerns. Please be assured that I have forwarded your information to DIRECTV management for review. This issue will be dealt with accordingly.

Thanks again for writing and for allowing us to address your DIRECTV concerns.


Patricia M.
Employee ID 100191056
DIRECTV Customer Service

P.S. Have a question? Anytime, any topic, instant answers - The Answer Center provides you helpful information, 24/7, all at your fingertips.

Subject: RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898] [Reference #: 100414-004367]
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 21:21:16 -0400

Dear Next Consumer Associate In The Queue,

In Patricia M's (Cust # 100191056) note, she tries to "thread the needle". She both sympathizes with me for not receiving notice, and states that all DirecTV Customers were given due notice. Is she calling me a "non-DirecTV Customer"? Is she calling me dense? Because that wouldn't be cool.

I checked my last two statements. I didn't see a "Hey you! Versus is back!" note in the footer. I didn't see any email in my mailbox, other than monthly statements. I didn't see a message on my cable box. I didn't see anything in the mail. I didn't get a telegram, smoke signal, message via carrier pigeon, message via Pony Express, singing candygram, airplane banners, blimp? Nothing. So how did you notify us?

Did you put a message on the actual Versus channel stating that Versus was coming back? Regardless of your method, with as much of a stink as I raised, I would have thought someone would have made an effort to personally contact me. DirecTV should have had a prepared list of irked hockey fans on speed dial, ready to go when this was all resolved.


Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 05:52:23 -0700

RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898] [Reference #: 100414-004367]
Discussion Thread
Response (Patricia M. - 100191056) - 04/16/2010 05:52 AM

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for writing back. I'm sorry to hear that you found my response offensive. I did not mean to cause any harm. Allow me to assist you with your concern.

I completely understand the way you feel because you were unable to receive any notice about the return of Versus in our programming line up. I understand your frustration over this matter and we certainly did not intend for you to feel that you're not valued as a DIRECTV customer. We certainly know that you have a choice when it comes to programming providers, and we must work hard to earn your business; thus customer service is always be our number 1 priority.

As mentioned in our previous email, We did our best to notify everyone. We communicated the good news to all our customers and posted the information online ( I'm sorry that you missed this announcement. However, this does not mean that we do not value your business; we certainly do.

For your reference, DIRECTV and Comcast have reached an agreement to return Versus and Versus HD to the DIRECTV lineup. Versus is available on channel 603 and is included in the same programming packages it was in at the end of August 2009.

Again, my sincere apologies for the inconvenience and frustration that this situation over Versus has caused you. We would also like to thank you for you patience, understanding and continued patronage for the services that we provide.

Thanks again for writing. We're happy to have you as a loyal DIRECTV customer and we look forward to providing you service for years to come.


Patricia M.
Employee ID 100191056
DIRECTV Customer Service

P.S. Have a question? Anytime, any topic, instant answers - The Answer Center provides you helpful information, 24/7, all at your fingertips.
Subject: RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898] [Reference #: 100414-004367] [Reference #: 100415-003647]
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 15:43:55 -0400

Dear Patricia,

I apologize for lashing out. Thanks for following up. I'm not used to getting the same DirecTV customer service rep twice in a row.

I understand and that DirecTV feels that they notified their entire consumer base. However, I disagree. We're all busy people with careers, families, kids' afterschool activities, medical crap, family issues, bills to pay, etc. Amidst all of that last fall, we were all made aware that Comcast and DirecTV were haggling over Versus, and that we, as DirecTV customers, no longer had access to that channel. There were ads on the radio, notifications on television. It was EVERYWHERE.

In late March, when this was resolved, I saw no notification. I was too busy figuring out which friends had Comcast, and how to weasel my way onto their couch. Amidst all of the commotion, DirecTV puts a two sentence blurb on their "Answer Center" section in the DirecTV website that reads, "Versus on DIRECTV: DIRECTV and Comcast have reached an agreement to return Versus and Versus HD to the DIRECTV lineup. Versus is available on channel 603 and is included in the same programming packages it was in at the end of August 2009."

That was the notification that we all received? After all the hype about how "Comcast is trying to rip you off by overcharging you for Versus"? If we assumed that Versus was gone from our DirecTV lineup forever, how would we know to look on your "Answer Center" secton on March 25th?

DirecTV should have done more. A footer note on the monthly statement. A message on the box. Something in the mail. Radio ads on local sports talk radio station in the various markets. Something as simple as an email to those of us who complained. These would all be better methods than a tiny update on an answer section of your web page, about a question that was already "answered" last fall.

I'm assuming there was a meeting to determine the best way to notify us. I'm assuming some whiz kid or committee decided that the blurb on the website was the best method, for whatever "manage from the inside of a vacuum" reason. The person or people who made that call should be fired.




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Post # 144 - Axe Body Spray Backfire!! 4/29/2010

Dear Axe,

I like the ladies. I go out of my way to attract them. I wear fancy shoes. I buy silk sheets. I drive fast cars. I had some enhancements done. I have a fancy hair cut. When I go to bars and clubs, I drink expensive martinis with expensive vodkas that I really don’t like. I took dance classes to learn some moves. I keep a change of clothes and a toothbrush in my trunk in case “I get lucky”. I think I’m a player.

I’ve seen your ads. Your products attract the chicks. My god you can tell from the commercials. A spray here (chest) plus a spray here (pits) gets you here (hot chicks).

Here’s the deal. I’m a dis-satisfied customer. A spray here plus a spray here gets me hit on by dudes. Twice now. One was my math teacher from middle school.

I think something might be wrong with my Axe Body Spray. In your defense, it’s one of the newer scents. Maybe you rushed this one to the market prematurely, and didn’t notice the dude rats hitting on the other dude rats.

If you’d like, I can send the unused portion for evaluation and testing. Be careful though—if you get some on you, you may turn into Ned Beatty in those backwoods on the Chattahoochee River.

Let me know!



Date: Thu, 6 May 2010 13:17:29 -0400
Subject: Axe Consumer Services Case #: 7540483

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for writing us regarding Axe Deodorant Bodyspray.

The AXE campaign is meant to be a humorous look at the "dating game" and the desire of young men to be noticed by young women. We hope you'll understand the campaign is meant to be an exaggerated example of the wishful thinking of many young men. Keep in mind smelling good is only half the battle; the rest is really up to you.


Your friends at Axe

Subject: FW: Axe Consumer Services Case #: 7540483
Date: Thu, 6 May 2010 21:49:38 -0400

Dear Friends at Axe,

I can understand why you artfully dodged the “return the unused portion” option. I can’t say I blame you. This stuff must give off the wrong pheromones. If you get some on you, you’ll be the one attracting all of the dudes.

I accidentally spilled a little on my shorts before having dinner at the local diner. My gosh the phone numbers.

I’m going to keep buying. Clearly this stuff works. If I catch a “hetero” bottle one of these times, I’m gonna be in business.


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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Post # 142 - War on Spam: Timothy Decent and the Society of the Secret Shopper - 4/14/2010

Subject: Mystery Shopper Job
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:01:18 +0800

Good day,

I am your group regional Instructor for Ocean View consult in USA.

Henceforth.We are looking for a secret shopper around your city and your wage is $200 per assignment. Email me back with the Information below then i can send you the procedures on what you will be doing:Full Name,Address in full (No Po Box) Occupation,Age, Cell Number.


Timothy Decent
Dear Timothy,

Are you decent?

How did you become my group regional Instructor? I belong to no group, no region, and never requested instruction.

However, the thought of being a “secret” shopper intrigues me. Here is my information:

Jebediah O’Hurleywhirly 23 Catlitter Lane, Cedar Chips City, Wisconsin 21221

I am a 45 year-old farmer. I have no cellular mobile phone. I have no phone whatsoever. I am part of the Old Order of the Amish. We shun technology. I have a buggy instead of a car. Our farm equipment is water-powered. We have no fancy schmantzy wireless internet. I have to ride the buggy into town and head to Panera Bread for that. Their bagels are good. Coffee’s better at Dunkin Donuts though.

Let’s get to the bottom of this, Timbo. What are we doing? Send me more details so I can start shopping in a secretive way.

Looking forward!


Subject: Guideline To Mystery shopping!!!
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 06:18:48 -0700


Your job will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide Variety of shops,Stores, restaurant and services in your area . Mystery shoppers are Needed Throughout the state. You will be paid to shop and dine out-plus,you can also get free meals, Free merchandise, Free services, free Entertainment, Free travel and more. Great Pay. Fun Work. Flexible Schedules. No experience required. If you can shop-you are qualified!


A good mystery shopper is always anonymous. A mystery shopper should be able to visit the same location a number of times without being detected by the staff. Mystery shoppers do not take forms on the premises with them and do not take notes when they are visible during their shopping time.


A mystery shopper who does not reliably complete assignments is of no value to our company and will quickly be eliminated from our shopper pool. Of course, we realize that occasionally a situation arises that prevents a shopper from completing an assignment they have agreed to take. Reliable shoppers contact us immediately to inform us of the situation.Reliable shoppers submit their reports within the deadline after completing the shop.


Forms must be completed in detail. Your written observations must agree with the way you scored questions. If we have to contact you to ask for missing information or clarify what you have submitted, your payment may be reduced and your status as a shopper could be jeopardized.


After you submit your shopping report , it is reviewed by an editor, who checks it for completeness, detail,accuracy and to be certain that it meets the high standards of Secret Shopper®. You must be accessible to an editor during daytime hours and available to discuss your report, if necessary. Other You must be at least 18 to shop. You cannot shop a store or company where you or any relatives or members of your household are employed.

and its good that you have an idea of what mystery shopper is all about.

The following information will be needed for our file record.

Full Name:
Address not P.o. box:
Zip code:
Date of Birth:
Tel/Cell Number:
Bank Name:

I will be awaiting your details and reply as soon as you get this message.

Mr Timothy Decent
Subject: RE: Guideline To Mystery shopping!!!
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 21:45:35 -0400


I gave you everything. The only new thing you're asking for is my bank. We Amish don't trust banks. It's all in my mattress. Whoopsy, now the cat's out of the bag.

What's next?


Subject: Attn: Prospective Mystery Shopper,
Date: Sat, 8 May 2010 14:12:10 -0700
Attn: Prospective Mystery Shopper,

I am very sure you have been receiving the series of e-mails sent to you after the payment has been delivered to you. I don't want to believe you are a Ripper and I don't want to believe that your acceptance of the Job you applied for is to receive the Company's Funds and keep silent after receiving the Check.

The contract between us is that you would receive the Company's Check from its clients, Cash it, then follow my instructions and complete your assignment.

You accepted this contract and sent me your information. You have been corresponding with the company till you received payments and became silent.

I don't know why you are acting funny. I am very sure you wouldn't want me to take security measures like sending your information to the FBI in your state to get the company's fund from you.

I want you to know we really have to get this done today because the delay is causing alot for the Company.


Timothy Decent
Subject: RE: Attn: Prospective Mystery Shopper,
Date: Sun, 9 May 2010 22:53:40 -0400

Hey Timmaye! Timmaye! Timmaye!

Did you send the check to my Cedar Chips City address? Because I've since renounced my Amish ways and moved to a skyrise studio apartment in Manhattan. Sorry about that.

You don't scare me. You're about as frightening as a fluffy little bunny with a runny nose. You're pathetic. We left off on April 19th with me asking for more info. You went silent. Doesn't that make you the ripper? What's a ripper?

Why don't you call the FBI? While you're at it, send me a copy of the signed, cashed check, along with the contract that I signed. Neither exists. You suck, Timmaye!

Also, while we're at it, why do all of your emails find their way (automatically) into the junk folder on my email? Actually, why don't we call the FBI together on your phone, you big puss?

You're a phony, and a farce. You probably walk around town with a roll of Necco's in your shorts, trying to impress the ladies (or dudes).

You said I'm acting funny. You're the funny one. Why don't you get a real job instead of trying to rip off old people and college kids? Why don't you take that roll of Necco's that you stuff in your shorts and turn around and shove it up your ass?


Jebediah O’Hurleywhirly

Subject: FW: Attn: Prospective Mystery Shopper,
Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 21:01:40 -0400


We need to talk. I didn't appreciate you sending "FBI" Agents to my home address.

Seriously? High school drama students dressed in rented Halloween costumes with cake decorations for badges?

Pathetic. You are capable of much better. You need to straighten up and fly right.

Jebediah O’Hurleywhirly


Friday, September 3, 2010

Post # 143- Land o' Lakes Half and Half / Egg Substitute Mix-Up - 2/19/2010

Dear Land O’ Lakes,

I run a roach coach for Fortune 500 corporations. My day begins at 4AM. I load the truck with bagels, cream cheese, pastries, fresh fruit, individual cereals, candy, chips, and juices, sodas and milk. I prepare some breakfast burritos with eggs (or egg substitute), sausage, and cheese. I prepare buttered toast, etc. And I always set up a coffee station—coffee, creamer, and sweeteners. This takes two hours to prepare, and allows me to arrive at my first customer at 6:45 on the nose

Sometimes, people give me a gratuity, other times they don’t. Some regulars do it periodically. It’s always appreciated, never expected. But some people think that we in the service industry hold a grudge against the non-tipping sub-set of the population. I don’t.

Last Friday, I was in a hurry. I forgot the half and half and had to turn around. I reached in the cooler and grabbed the carton, and headed off. When I arrived, my third customer, Pippen requested a 16 ounce coffee with two creams. I poured the coffee and opened the Half and Half, dispensing two creams for the man my peers refer to as “No-Tippin’ Pippen”. Now, at this point, I should point out that the lighting was bad.

As I proceeded to serve my next few customers, Pippen storms back angry, claiming that I’m trying to poison him for never tipping. He said his coffee tasted like eggs. He said my Half and Half had turned. I checked the date--three more weeks. Then Pippen points out, in front of everyone that my Half and Half isn’t Half and Half at all. It’s Egg Substitute.  He accused me of "punishing" him for being a bad tipper.

The Egg Substitute carton and the Half and Half cartons are identical. Can you imagine my embarrassment? I can’t believe that I’m the first person to grab the wrong carton and start pouring. Why don’t you change your carton? Make it different enough. How do you expect folks who can’t see that well to easily discern between the two cartons?

Think about it. Let me know how we fix this.



Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 12:09:32 -0600

Subject: Re: Land O'Lakes Ref #: 748315

Thank you for visiting the Land O'Lakes Web Site and taking the time to contact us.

Your email has been forwarded to the appropriate product specialist for handling. You should receive a response shortly.

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Land O'Lakes Consumer Affairs
Case: 748315

Subject: Our Response to Your Email
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 15:14:48 -0500

Thank you for your e-mail to alert us of the recent experience you had with Land O Lakes®. We have notified our Quality Assurance Department so they can investigate this matter.

Best quality food products have been WhiteWave Foods’ passion since its beginning. Around here, every single person shares that goal and takes pride in our record of achievement. Incidents like the one you reported are rare, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

For us, the good news is that you cared enough to let us know about it. Thank you for that. You will receive four coupons in the mail within 7-10 business days.

We hope you will continue to enjoy our products.


Yvonne Ortega
Consumer Response Representative
Ref: N1003022
Subject: FW: Our Response to Your Email
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 23:10:42 -0500

Dear Yvonne,

You’re dealing with someone who won a Half and Half Guzzling Contest in 2005. Question not my loyalty.

I get a little concerned when I hear you use words like Incident and Quality Control. This isn’t one carton of your creamy network that missed your QC Department’s sharp eyes. This is every carton that you ship. Every carton that Alex stocks at the Piggly Wiggly. Every drop that No Tippin’ Pippen sips in his morning java. It’s a carton design problem.

I would recommend involving your design team. Have them brainstorm something—maybe a sexy new container. Something that Buck Rogers might enjoy in his coffee.


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Monday, August 30, 2010

Post # 141 - Bell Helmets and the Giraffe Man- 4/11/2010

Dear Bell Helmets,

I am an enormous human being. At eight feet tall, my friends call me the “Giraffe”. At Christmas, folks pay me $5 to put the star atop their tree. In the fall, people pay me to clean out their gutters.

Well guess what? Giraffe needs to get around town too. Cars aren’t designed for the giant. SUV’s aren’t either. Eventually, you resort to a neck hole in the roof of your car.

I live in a small town, and am quite friendly with the entire police force (consisting of eight gentlemen, and my fiancée, Collette.

Let me cut to the point. I plan on taking a road trip. This trip will take me through multiple municipalities. Different law enforcement officials may interpret safety laws differently. I would like to abide by all of the safety laws in all of the cities, counties, and states that I visit.

I’m looking for a helmet—not just any helmet. I am looking for a helmet that will permit me to safely travel in my modified ’67 Ford Custom 500.

What do you have?


No Response.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Post # 140 - Doubletree Hotels - Seriously--a Cookie? - 4/11/2010

Once while on business in St. Louis, I stayed at Doubletree when the other hotels that boast free happy hours and breakfasts were booked.  I had always heard about the almighty cookie.  It was really good.  But on the second night, nobody comes by with another cookie.  Or the third.  By day three, the cookie was a source of annoyance.
Dear Doubletree,

What’s the deal with the cookie? Is it supposed to make me feel welcome?

Here’s my beef. Other hotels “make me feel at home” with free breakfast. Some even throw in a little perk called “Meet the Manager Happy Hour”. Free booze and appetizers.

You give me a cookie. It’s a delicious cookie. I checked on the web—people try to duplicate your recipe, so you should be proud about that. But seriously--a cookie?

If I stay in your hotel for five nights in Dallas for my model train conventions, I get the same as Joe Blow who spends one night. One lousy cookie. Not one per night. Just one per visit.

It makes me want to book my hotel stay in Dallas, one night at a time. Check in for Night one, collect Cookie #1. Check out of the hotel after Night One, Check Back in for Night Two, collect Cookie#2. Repeat these steps until I’ve collected all five cookies, or until I become a diabetic.

I get the whole faux home sweet home sentiment. But I don’t see the incentive to stay more than one night, since that’s the only incentive you’re known for.

Maybe you can enlighten me. Seriously—a cookie?