Speaking Up – Part of Frugality

From the children’s book “Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Ben Franklin”

One aspect of frugality is determining whether I am getting value for my money.  When a product falls short, I honor my finances by speaking up about it.  Today, it is easier than ever to reach out to companies.

Last week we had a bag of baked chips, and something was not right with them.  Some of the chips were extremely hard – in a break your tooth kind of way (thank goodness no one did!)  Perhaps the “dough” for the chips was rolled too thick, but it certainly delivered a sensation of ‘what’s in my mouth?!’  I wrote to the company using their website contact form and included all pertinent information from the package so they could pinpoint which factory these came from.  They will be mailing me a few free product coupons.

Solving a Mystery

Many years ago we used to purchase Silk soy milk in the shelf stable packaging.  We bought it frequently and starting having problems with it being gloppy.  It wasn’t expired, and it is shelf stable so refrigeration wasn’t a factor.  I wrote to the company.  They were concerned and wanted all of the information they could get.  Of course they also sent coupons for free product.  Some time went by and I received a letter from the company founder, Steve Demos!  He explained they had pinpointed and solved the problem, which had to do with how the package was being affected in shipping.  There were more coupons, and even a $10.00 bill from Mr. Demos’ own pocket!  I thought it was pretty neat that they took a real interest and responded in such a personal way.

Being Fair

I am normally an easy-going person who doesn’t like to make waves, but I know that when I use our money  to purchase something that is completely not acceptable, I honor the effort it takes to earn money by speaking up.  On the flip side, I honor other people’s work by not complaining just to get free stuff.  The consumer always pays in the end, so complaining that your Lucky Charms cereal didn’t have enough “purple hearts and yellow stars” costs us all.

Do you have any great stories about dealing with an unsatisfactory product?

7 thoughts on “Speaking Up – Part of Frugality

  1. The Frugal Batchelor

    Great post! Your last point is so right. There are far too many people out there that make frivolous and bogus claims that cost the genuine consumer. I’m actually thinking insurance claims but it still applies. Be fair!

    1. Jen Post author

      Yes, I have seen this in restaurants too.. people sending food back at the end of a meal. Most businesses have a really small margin.
      Then again, reporting things that are amiss could save the company a lot of money…way more than the cost of a free products as in my soy milk story.

      1. The Frugal Batchelor

        True. Genuine reporting of issues benefits both the consumer and the business. I’m glad your examples were responded to positively and not just lost amongst the dodgy claims

  2. Mrs. Kate Singh

    I went on a tangent a while back and wrote two companies. One was Trader Joes because their enchiladas have gotten so very skimpy the last time I purchased them I literally found two kernels of corn and three beans. The next was a tamale company. They are getting super skimpy on the cheese sauce in the tamale, which is the main ingredient. I detest when you get hooked on a product and then they start cutting the product and raising the price. I never heard back and never purchased again. I usually just start making my own but I can’t duplicate that cheese sauce!! Also, I emailed and didn’t write the old fashioned way. Makes a difference.

    1. Jen Post author

      That’s disappointing that they didn’t respond. Certain things at TJs are reliable, and some are so disappointing. The one product I have to have there is their marinara sauce, which is usually 1.79 here in the Midwest.


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