Monday, January 12, 2009

How to Compain, ShallowGal style.

Complaining is an art form, one that most people do poorly (1) Read and learn from an actual conversation ShallowGal had last week with the fine people at 1-800-Target.

SG: I just found this chicken curry kit that I bought at Target in the back of my pantry. But it says best used by July 2008.

Target: We recommend eating products by that date for the best taste, although they may be safe for up to a month afterward.

SG: But here's the thing. When I opened the package, there was a can of chicken inside that says 'Best used by March 2008.'

Target: Did you consume this product?

SG: No, you're missing the point. The chicken expired three full months before the date on the outside box. If it was June 2008 and planned to make this for lunch and I opened the box and found that the chicken had already expired, I'd be really upset.

Target: I'm not sure I understand what you want from us.

SG: Nothing, I just thought you should know.

Target: Um, thank you?

SG: My pleasure.

Lest you think this was the worst possible reason ever to complain, let's examine a letter written to Frontier Airlines, via Planet Feedback, the mother ship of all complainers.

This man claims that Frontier Airlines killed his six pet rats. Which I personally find hard to believe because I flew Frontier home from Alaska and never saw any examples of rat mistreatment.(2) Furthermore, his rats never even boarded a plane, because it was too cold for them in the cargo compartment.

So, after several hours there I was in the Phoenix Airport, with 1 packback and 3 animal carriers (2 rats per carrier) and no way to get my rats out out Phoenix or house them without giving up ownership. I couldn't go back to Yuma for 2 reasons. 1, I had given notice and moved out of my apartment on Dec. 15th. 2, my mother was in Portland, and dying. It might take 2-6 months for her to die, she said, but who could be sure how long she would live. I had to get to Portland as soon as possible.

So this man found himself in the all too common predicament of being stuck at Phoenix airport with no place to go, a dying mother, and 6 rats. Apparently it never occurred to him to just drive to Portland because instead he gave them up to the humane society who promptly put them to sleep because, hello ! Rats!

So rat dude now wants an admission of guilt and a public apology from Frontier:

Frontier Airlines will publicly apologize for their involvement in the death of my boy rats, will release a statement to the media explaining how Frontier will correct the problem, and will financially compensate me for the deaths of my 6 pets.

Personally if I were Frontier, I'd be all over it. I'd fucking re-write the entire ad campaign to say "Frontier Airline. We'll get you there but we cannot be trusted with rats." Or "All new 737's with 100% fewer rats."

Still, not the oddest complaint on Planet Feedback. Check out this letter:

I saw one of the employees in the Guilford Connecticut store and he refused to help me. He told me it was his day off and he was only taking time away from his day job to get a prescription. He was there anyway so he could get something for me from the stockroom or at least give me the code.Someone was paying him even if it wasn't Walgreen's

They should find out who he was and fire him right away. He has a day job so he doesn't need the job bad enough if he not willing to lend a hand.

SG doesn't even know where to start with this one. Although it is possible ShallowGal is concerned that faux-complainers like rat dude and Walgreen's guy will just water down the true issues like expired curry kits containing more expired-er chicken.

1) Cause they suck and I hate bad complainers. That, FYI, appears to be my standard complaining joke
2) Although to be honest? I flew out of Anchorage with Millie and 3 kids at 11 pm and arrived home at 2 the next afternoon. I wasn't at the top of my rat patrol game.


I'm Julie said...

Frankly, I have always considered myself a very _good_ complainer. I certainly have enough practice.

But calling Target just to tell them they suck and expecting no reward? That is more like altruism.

And complaining about the complaint department?

Girlfriend, you dabble in complaints the way Rembrandt dabbled in paint.

countrymouse said...

Curse you, woman! I'm on a freaking crazy-ass diet and here I am trying to enjoy the one bright spot in my day (turkey sandwich, mmmmmmm . . . ) and you made me spit it through my nose with your new airline slogans. Waste of perfectly good turkey!

Your blog needs a disclaimer like
WARNING: Blog may cause turkey nostrilitis.

See--I'm climbing right aboard the complaining wagon : )

the mama bird diaries said...

First of all, I am so glad you are keeping the Target folks updated on any problems with their products.

And the rat issue on an airline? I mean, who hasn't BTDT?!

outside voice said...

I'm giving you snaps for bothering to call Target and explain the date scenario. They should have, at the very least, offered to give you a refund. Even though it was in the back of your pantry and expired, it was still jacked up!

Anonymous said...

I'm mainly surprised the humane society had to put the rats down. I volunteer at a humane society and there is a HIGH demand for pet rats! As soon as they come into the shelter they go right back out.

Maybe there's something in the water.

Philly said...

I think Target might want to hire you for consumer relations.


goblinbox said...

Target still isn't sure what you want from them. Heh.

Stimey said...

1. I think you have an excellent complaint. And I love that you called them about it.

2. I had never heard about Planet Feedback, but now I will be all over them.

3. Did you leave a Target related comment at Planet Feedback? Because I'd like to hear that one.