Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cut it out, Peanut M&M's

Since I received a lot of positive feedback about the Great Grains letter writing post, I decided that perhaps I should share some of my other letters as well. I was inspired by a dear friend to begin writing letters to companies, and now I find I really enjoy writing these letters, whether it's congratulating them on a new or especially wonderful product, or sharing my disappointment and letting them know they've let me down. I find that companies really enjoy receiving these personal letters, as I assume they are a bright spot in an otherwise dreary corporate day. If it's a complaint letter, I assume they enjoy trying to win me back (it's a very difficult thing to do; once my trust is broken in a product, it's almost as good as gone).

So here's a letter I sent to Mars Canada Inc. regarding a particularly disturbing experience I had with a bag of peanut M&Ms:

February 10, 2009

Mars, Incorporated
Customer Service Department
37 Holland Drive
Bolton, ON
L7E 5S4

To Whom It May Concern:

I felt I had to contact you after a baffling experience with one of your products. To be more specific, I am referring, of course, to your peanut M&Ms.

I bought a bag of them last night while at the movie theatre. I was seeing “He’s Just Not That into You,” which was much better than I thought it would be! Ginnifer Goodwin really stole the show. I usually buy the chocolate (which is almost always peanut M&Ms; I’m as loyal as a dog) and my roommate, Velvet, buys the popcorn. That is our system and it works very well.

My strategy for eating M&Ms is biting down to the peanut, and then letting the chocolate dissolve off of it. I like to feel the crunch of the peanut between my teeth. However, I noticed in this particular batch that multiple times when I went to bite down, nothing happened. My teeth sank completely through the chocolate, which could only mean one thing: there were NO peanuts in them! That happened with at least 5 different M&Ms in the bag. It was a huge disappointment, to say the least.

Not only that, but I also noticed one instance where 2 M&Ms appeared to have merged into one HUGE M&M. How does this happen? Is it still safe to eat this bizarrely proportioned M&M? It was mildly disturbing, to say the least, and also a bit distracting from the movie.

Please let me know how something like this could happen. Doesn’t a worker weigh each M&M so it can be determined if it has a peanut in it? And how can 2 merge together? While it may be amusing at 2, can you imagine if 5 or more merged? It would be quite daunting! I sincerely hope there is a measure in place to prevent this.

Can you please try to ensure that all peanut M&Ms have peanuts in them in the future? There is a reason that I buy the peanut ones, and that is because I enjoy the PEANUT. I think it is fair for me to request one bag of peanuts from you to replace the ones missing in my M&Ms. I’m including the UPC so you can see I really bought them and I’m not just some nut (no pun intended!).

Yours Truly,

Samantha Clark

Shortly after, I received this response.

Well, thank you very much, Judy Russell, Consumer Affairs. I was quite pleased to see that they took the appropriate steps to remedy the problems. The Quality Team AND Brand Management will see a copy of my letter? Not bad. Not great, though. This is an issue that concerns every single customer who buys a bag of peanut M&Ms. That sounds like something the President of the company should be aware of. I haven't tested a bag of peanut M&Ms lately for quality control, but should I ever again have another alarming experience like this one, you can bet I'll be sending my letter right to the top.

As always, readers, I encourage you to make sure your voice is heard--send a letter to a company, any company. Look where it got me--I alerted Mars of a major product default and became the proud owner of a coupon for $8.00 off my next M&M's purchase. Here's to you, Judy Russell! I will think of you every time I eat a deformed M&M.