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Complaining and Complimenting Yields Freebies

Posted By Jim On 08/23/2005 @ 8:04 am In Personal Finance,Shopping | 8 Comments

Whenever I receive a bad product or bad service, I typically will write an email or a letter to the offending company (unfortunately I don’t confront it right there, sort of passive aggressive I suppose) to let them know. On the flip size, when I receive excellent service or a product I like, I write an email or a letter to the company to let them know as well. In most cases, the company will send you something for your trouble – good or bad. I’ve only done this about four times and three of the times I’ve received a coupon for something. And if you read Frugal for Life, you’ll know that Dawn recently sent a letter about her Bic razor and received a coupon [3] for a freebie as well.

I’ve written about it before about how complained to Target about their photocenter [4] and to Coca-Cola about unflavored cans of Diet Coke [4] but I don’t think I’ve written about my experience with Edy’s Ice Cream (awesome ice cream), Starbucks, or Colgate.

Edy’s Ice Cream [5] is almost always on sale, a usual two for one type deal, and their Slow-Churned Grand Light (low fat) ice cream is incredible (I can’t tell its low fat). Well, one day I just decided to shoot them an email to let them know how much I loved their product and they sent me two 50-cent coupons (expiring in two years), a list of flavors, and a thank you note!

Colgate [6] sent me a full-size sample of one of their toothpaste products and I thoroughly enjoyed it, however, the plasticy paint on the tube began to flake. Personally, I don’t think that’s a big deal at all but since it was a sample product I assumed they would want to know about any problems whatsoever. I wrote them a short email and in a few days I received a whole batch of coupons for Colgate-Palmolive products as a thank you (unfortunately I don’t think I used a single one).

Finally, there was the not-so-pleasant Starbucks [7] experience at an unnamed I-95 rest stop. I always like to pay with a credit card (for records and I don’t like loose change) and so when I paid with a credit card at the rest stop (granted it was busy but that isn’t an excuse), the register attendant (who may have been having a rough day), gave me a look and a sigh before swiping. I shot an email off to Starbucks about it and they sent me two coupons for a free drink of whatever I wanted.

I’d be interested to hear what sort of freebies you all may have gotten using either vinegar or sugar…


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[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/complaining-and-complimenting-yields-freebies.html

[3] Dawn recently sent a letter about her Bic razor and received a coupon: http://frugalforlife.blogspot.com/2005/08/getting-and-keeping-coupons.html

[4] complained to Target about their photocenter: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/crappy-customer-service.html

[5] Edy’s Ice Cream: http://www.edys.com

[6] Colgate: http://www.colgate.com

[7] Starbucks: http://www.starbucks.com

Thank you for reading!