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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Post # 180 - Sonic and Their Crappy Beverage Carrier - 3/28/11

Dear Sonic,

As a father of two, my whole family loves your drive-thru.  So many options, and drink selctions.  Here’s my beef.  Your beverage carrier is, by definition, a device to carry beverages.  Can we all agree that this includes keeping them “upright?” 

Your carrier has a serious design flaw.  You see, the walls only extend down so far, and the folks who designed the carrier neglected the most important people—the children.  After all, they are our future.

My kids’ cups, when placed in one of your beverage carriers, roll around on their sides like some sort of messed up pinball game.  Liquid seeping out, dampening the weight-bearing sides and floors, creating a weak area when I decide to pick the whole thing up.  Heavy “large” cups fall through the damp, weakened cardboard.  Was this the intent?

Why don’t you redesign your cardboard carrier with the cardboard extending down further to prevent the kids’ cup from tipping?  If you upset the kids now, when I’m dead and gone and they’re taking their kids out for delicious drive-thru, they’ll point at Sonic and say “that’s the place with the lousy drinks that Grandpa used to take us to.”

Just a suggestion.  Feel free to act on it, or to toss it gently into the heaping pile of other ideas.  If you’d like me to redesign it, I’ve got the time.



PS - My son is upset that you took away his apple slushies, and I’m missing the Island Fire Burger, but otherwise, we like the options that you place before us.
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 -0400
Subject: Sonic Drive-In Report # 1135043585

Dear Jerry:

Thank you for contacting Sonic Drive-In. We have forwarded your request to the appropriate department. If you have any further inquiries or suggestions in the future, please share them with us. Our goal is to continuously improve the Sonic Drive-In experience and to keep you as regular guest.

Sonic Drive-In
Customer Service Manager
Subject: RE: Sonic Drive-In Report # 1135043585
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 10:39:53 -0400

Dear Sonic Drive-in,

What are the odds that your name would so seamlessly align with your occupation?  If this is a sore spot with you (i.e. teasing from coworkers), I apologize.

Look, don't take this the wrong way, but your note seems a bit formish.  It seems like it could've been written by any company that produces any widget, for any consumer.  I expect, nay, demand better.

I pointed out a design flaw, a major annoyance.  If I experienced this, how many other, similar "parent with kids" consumers also experienced this?  How many did you lose because of this, and not even know it?  How many more do you stand to lose, all because you decided to save three cents in material, per beverage carrier.  How much lost revenue did I just save you?  Think about it.

Passionate people like me take valuable time out of our days-- family time, to to help companies like you, because we care.  We care about people just like us.  When I close my eyes at night, I like to think that big companies care and appreciate my time and effort.

And then I get a form letter.

Maybe I was hasty in judging.  Was someone from the Sonic Beverage Carrier Design Team planning on following up?  If they have a sample they would like me to evaluate, I would be happy to do so.


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