Monday, March 21, 2005

Newest Campbell Soup Flavor: Mercy

Allie can't wait for it to be Easter.

I'm not sure why.

Don't get me wrong. I like Easter. I'm all for celebrating the resurrection. Plus, I think the whole pagan, Eostre, Goddess of Spring stuff is interesting. Bunnies and eggs are fine representatives of fertility. They were a good decision. After all we were probably a single ancient edict away from watching a huge phallus go by on a parade float rather than Peter Cottontail (suddenly I'm thinking about a photo of Allie sitting on the Easter Bunny's lap and I'm very grateful). But I don't know why Allie is so excited.

Well, actually I do understand. She's five. Where she's concerned a UPS box left on the front porch can sometimes be cause enough for full scale revelry. Plus Allie's excited about going to see her grandparents and aunties this weekend. Then there's the candy and potentially a gift or two. On second thought this holiday is chock full of high octane anticipation fuel.

As for me, I'm looking forward to brandy old-fashions, garage ham . . . and spending time with my family, of course. That goes without saying.

Garage ham? I'll let you figure that one out for yourself.

Easter isn't the real reason for this post. I wanted to let you know how things were going with the Campbell Soup Company. I decided to contact them, via their Web site, after all. The automated response claimed that I would receive an actual response within three business days. I think it's been three business days. I'll wait a few more days before I write them again concerning the alarming lack of dumplings in their Chicken & Dumplings soup.

The key to an effective customer complaint is to let the company know what it is you want. If you have a legitimate beef, don't just whine and hope they'll send you some coupons. You should have a reasonable, viable plan for resolution. It helps you and the poor person who has to deal with you and your dissatisfaction. In this case, I've asked for more dumplings. Eight to twelve dumplings will do the trick. This seems reasonable and certainly viable for a company accustomed to delivering millions of pounds of foodstuff throughout the globe on a daily basis. Figuring out the logistics for twelve dumplings shouldn't be a problem.

Why should they bother?

Because. We're representative of the millions of loyal customers the Campbell Soup company has earned over the years. We consume gallons of their soup and vegetable drinks (they make V8, you know) each year; year-after-year. If at some point during this life-long relationship we, the loyal customer, feel it's necessary to address a problem then our cumulative soup dollars should provide us with recourse. After all, they expect us to pay attention when their marketing machine rolls out another campaign.

I could say it's just good business to respond but that doesn't really mean much. Deb and I switching to Progresso isn't going to matter a hill of beans with bacon to the Campbell Soup company. It's actually a case for compassion we're making. Campbell soup knows we're at their mercy when it comes to condensed soup. We're merely asking for a demonstration of corporate benevolence and a sense of fair play.

We are seeking dumpling justice.

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