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Aug 14, 2006 04:20 PM

Complaint letters and product coupons [split from: Coupons: Good or Bad?]

When I purchase some food product from a national brand and it is really bad, if I'm not returning to the store I mail the label to the manufacturer with a complaint letter and they send me coupons for any of their other products, that have no expiration date, for the amount of my original purchase. Plus they get feedback that they need to improve that product - everybody wins!

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  1. Now we're getting off topic, but I did do that with something once. They sent me coupons for an identical product I actually preferred (it was made by the same company). Why didn't the crappy brand I got taste as good? Who knows?


    1. I once opened a can of tomatos only to find that it was only half full and spoiled. I took it back to the store and was given a refund. A week later the company that made the tomatos sent me 6 coupons for the product, the store had passed along my complaint.

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        1. Yup, working in the food manufacturing side, we LOVED to hear from the consumers, both good and bad. And as a chowhound in a food marketers clothing, it gave me TONS of ammunition to make the food better. :)


          2 Replies
          1. re: Dommy

            I do this all the time. Last week, I got a 20 oz bottle of flat diet coke. I contacted coke to let them know, gave them the number off the bottle, etc. They emailed me, called me and sent me two letters with free coupons.

            I've done it with other companies as well when things haven't been right. Most of them are grateful for the feedback and with competition being so fierce, they want to keep my loyalty to their product.

            1. re: Dommy

              Yep. Letters to manufacturers are always appreciated. I look at it as a 39ยข service on my part. The companies generally make it worth my investment of time and money.

            2. But does that work with chain restaurant complaint cards? I've filled those out literally dozens of times with comments on food, service, cleanliness, etc. Never once heard anything back from the franchise or the corporate HQ.

              4 Replies
              1. re: monkeyrotica

                Nope, because I think most chains are independently owned or customer complaints get counted against the manager come 'bonus' time (my friend WAS married to a Walmart store manager and corporate reviewed him on EVERYTHING...) I get most of my statisfaction going DIRECTLY to the parent company (calling versus a letter) or posting on


                1. re: Dommy

                  Unless you send the cards into the corporate HQ yourself, no-onw will EVER read them. Complaints are counted against the management, so when you "drop it in the box by the door," you can bet that the management throws them out!


                2. re: monkeyrotica

                  Someone reads it, but don't expect a personal response from a big chain. Usually the information from those is lumped all together and presented as "83.7% of guests feel that the service is excellent..."

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    No for serveral reasons. One because it's usually the server that "reads" them and winnows away the really bad ones. Two because most are turned in without any information on them beyond the "I hated this meal." Three because nothing was said by the customer at the time, or when they left, and there's no way of confirming the disaster beyond the card.