Tag Archives: complaint letter

The Post Where I Talk About Sending Razor Blades in the U.S. Mail


First, there was my letter to the Bic Corporation.

Then,  they replied.

Then, *I* replied to their reply.

Then, there was a little dull-but-necessary correspondence. (What? It can’t ALL be Shakespeare.)


YOU: “OMG! Stop teasing us! What happened next, Michele?!!?”


Ever the rule follower, I packaged up the evidence and hand delivered it to the nearest postal worker.

Me: (approaching a busy, distracted, painfully-bored-with-me postal employee) “Excuse me. Sir? Is it illegal to mail a razor blade?”

Postal Employee: (suddenly not so busy, eyeing me suspiciously over his poorly-tape-repaired reading glasses as he repeated my question back to me incredulously) “Is it illegal to mail a razor blade???”

Me: “Yes.” (not missing a beat and smiling like an idiot) “Is it?”

Postal Employee: “Well,” (he was clearly stalling for time and scanning the room for the nearest exit) “I guess that would depend on the situation.”

Me: “Oh. Well, it’s all wrapped up very securely. And I’m mailing it to the BIC Corporation. As part of a complaint file.”

Postal Employee: (loosening the grip on the matte knife he was holding) “Alright. Well, I guess that sounds okay.” (turning to resume his work)

Me: “Oh! Wait! Did I mention that the blade I’m sending recently exploded into five sharp fragments? I’ll be sending ALL of them.”

Postal Employee: (turning abruptly to face me and backing out of the room with a nervous smile) “Um, you know what? I think we’re going to have to call my manager.”

I guess it’s not every day some jackass wants to mail an exploded razor blade. But  hey, at least I was honest about it, right? 

Just in case you can’t read my handwriting:

June 15, 2015

ATTN: Daniel (I am still withholding Dan’s last name to protect his privacy. You’re welcome, Dan.), Claim Manager

Enclosed you will find the defective BIC Soleil razor mentioned in my earlier correspondence. Please be aware (and warned!) that the razor blade itself broke apart into 5 individual pieces. (That’s 5 opportunities to cut yourself. Careful, Daniel!) And I’ve also included the plastic handle. So you’ve got 6 parts total – each individually wrapped. Safety first!

Thanks in advance for your help with this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Michele R. Poche


Will the package arrive in one piece to the BIC Corporate Office without being pulled by authorities? Will Dan sustain any injuries from having to unwrap five broken fragments of a razor blade? Is anyone even still reading the BIC Exploding Razor Series?

Only time will tell.

Well, time and my next applicable blog post.

So stay tuned!

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For those of you keeping up with the Bic Exploding Razor Series …


First, there was my letter to the Bic Corporation.

Then, there was their reply.

Then, I wrote them back … AGAIN!

And the saga continues …


On June 8, 2015 at 8:17am, I received this email. (To those not in the biz, “email” is short for electronic message.):

Dear Mrs. Poche:

Thank you for your reply. I’ll have the mailing label sent this morning.

Best regards,

Daniel


Always a stickler for proper corporate correspondence etiquette, I responded the very same day at 3:35pm with the following message:

Thanks, Daniel. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

Michele


Then … sure enough … over the weekend I received this letter (traditionally … as in from inside my Home-Depot-quality mailbox) from the Bic Corporation:

Just in case the letter in the photo is illegible, please allow me to transcribe it for you:

June 8, 2015

Mrs. Michele Poche

(Address omitted. What am I … nuts???)

Dear Mrs. Poche,

Thank you for your June 3 and 5, 2015 emails. I’m sorry to hear of your daughter’s recent experience with a BIC Soleil Twilight shaver.

At BIC, quality is uppermost in our minds. When one of our products does not meet the consumer’s expectations, we appreciate being made aware of it.

While inquiries and comments such as yours can be helpful to BIC’s quality and research endeavors, an examination of the subject shaver is necessary to determine the possible cause of this experience. Therefore, I have asked that you return the shaver, which you have agreed to do. I have enclosed a mailing label for your convenience; however, it’s not clear whether your daughter sustained an injury; if so, and should you elect to present a claim, may I recommend that you use a method to return the shaver that will allow for tracking of the package, and the opportunity for you to request a signature for delivery.

In accordance with the BIC Performance Policy, upon my receipt of the shavers, a coupon will be provided to you for the replacement BIC shavers, which may be used to select any BIC shaver model of your choice.

I look forward to hearing from you with this additional information. 

Very truly yours, 

BIC CORPORATION

Daniel 


Aside from confusing me with an epic, 60-word sentence (which was actually a question), I think BIC’s intent is sincere and I appreciate their immediate attention to my problem here.

It’s my move again, isn’t it?

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The Bic Exploding Razor Series Continues


First, there was my letter to the Bic Corporation.

Then, there was their reply.

And now the saga continues …


Hi, Daniel!

Sure. I’d be happy to discuss anything you need to know about the razor in question. Unfortunately, I am not always available for lengthy conversations as I work part-time out of my house AND my kids are now home for the summer. Their favorite activity this time of year is interrupting my phone calls. Nothing seems to makes them happier.

Per your question, I DO still possess the razor and its many disjointed parts. Because we didn’t take the time to dry everything before stashing it in a Ziploc bag, it’s rusted a bit but all the parts are still there and yours for the taking.

Upon interviewing my daughter this morning to get as much information as I could for you, I learned that she had only used the razor a few times before the “explosion” happened when she dropped it in the shower.

Now … before you justify the drop for the break, I assure you my shower stall is made out of the same standard fiberglass materials on which I’ve dropped what is likely hundreds of razors over the course of my lifetime. (Seriously, nobody drops things more than me. Which is why I play piano and not football!) And none of these many, many butterfingered incidents have ever been met with self-destruction. But maybe you weren’t going to say that. And maybe I’m just being defensive. 🙂

In any event, please let me know what you want to do next and I’ll be glad to help.

Thanks for your prompt response,
Michele R. Poche
(504) xxx-xx6x


Will Daniel send Michele a self-addressed mailing envelope to return the faulty razor? Will sending the razor provide the answers needed to safeguard future generations from the nicks, cuts and bloodbaths associated with exploding razors? Might Michele decide that shaved legs aren’t worth the risk and decide to sport a more Mediterranean look from here forward? 

Only time will tell. Stay tuned for the next installment of …

The Bic Exploding Razor Series

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A Quick Response from the Bic Corporation


The following letter is a reply to my letter to the Bic Corporation. I should point out that Bic responded to me within 24 hours of my original correspondence, but it has taken me a day or so to post their follow-up. Please enjoy the continuing saga of The Exploding Razor.

Dear Mrs. Poche.

Thank you for your e-mail, which has been referred to my attention.

I’m sorry to hear of your daughter’s experience, and wanted to send a quick reply to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail.

After reviewing your e-mail (to include the attached web version) I don’t have enough details to fully understand what occurred. Would you provide a telephone number where I may contact you, so that we can discuss it and I can obtain further details?

I’m certain an examination would go a long way in providing answers to what occurred and why. Please confirm whether the subject shaver depicted in the photograph is still available, and if so, I will provide you with a postage paid mailing label for its return to me, with a cover letter and instructions.

Thank you for apprising BIC of this experience, and for the photograph. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the availability of the shaver and your telephone number.

Best regards,

Daniel *


* Personal contact information omitted to preserve Dan’s privacy. (May I call you Dan?) So far, I like Dan. He seems like a man who gets things done.

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Dear Bic Corporation


Dear Friends at Bic Soleil,

I’m writing to inform you about a little problem … well, more of a big problem actually that my family had recently with one of your products. As a long time user of your razors, I had no trouble selecting a Bic product for my 12-year-old daughter. Up to this point, she had been using an electric version, so the Bic Soleil would be her first “real” razor. (We all know they work better than electric razors, right?) And even though I was terrified of the daily bloodbaths I remembered through my own teen years, I allowed myself to relax in the confidence that your shaving products (and likely all shaving products) had vastly improved since my generation.

The good news?

Your razor did not immediately and repeatedly cut and nick my daughter’s delicate skin.

The bad news?

Because the razor EXPLODED!

Seriously, I’ve seen roman candles burst into less pieces than the Bic Soleil razor I handed my 12-year-old daughter.

I knew this was an accident. I knew it was a mind-boggling anomaly. And I knew it was something you should be informed about as soon as possible. Because the next twelve-year-old who finds herself in the presence of an EXPLODING RAZOR might not be so lucky. She might not call her mother immediately to come pick up all the pieces. She might actually try to clean up the mess herself.

This worry keeps me awake at night and forces me to write this letter.

I’d love to hear back from you. In fairness, you should know that I post all of my corporate correspondence on my website (olddognewtits.com) and my readers just love it when big companies like yours take the time to respond and make things right. Incidentally, I do, too.

Thanks for your time. Please don’t disappoint me … again.

Michele Robert Poche

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An Open Letter to Arby’s Restaurants


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After visiting one of your restaurants recently, I felt compelled … make that obligated to write your company and tell you about my negative experience at store #5274 (located at 3847 Veterans Blvd. in Metairie, Louisiana).

In truth, I have very little experience with your restaurant. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom and I try (notice I said try) to avoid fast food chains for dinner. Or maybe it’s because I’m from New Orleans and sometimes we can be snotty about cuisine and food in general. But, when my daughter (suddenly stricken with a craving for a French dip sandwich) requested that we try Arby’s last weekend, I caved. Because what (honest) person doesn’t like a little fast food splurge from time to time? Plus Arby’s has non-fried sandwich options so I thought it was worth a shot.

Stupid me.

When we walked inside the restaurant (on 10/12/14 at 5:56pm), the place was completely empty. One other customer walked in behind us. Because it was peak dinner time, I was surprised to see it so quiet and uninhabited. I honestly thought it was closed until I confirmed that the door was unlocked.

The man at the register was friendly enough and offered to take our orders immediately. After all, he’d probably just been staring at the closed door waiting for someone to cross the threshold for God-knows-how-long. Being unfamiliar with the menu, I needed a minute to decide but made up my mind while my daughter ordered her French dip. I went with the Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Sandwich. When I asked about turkey sandwiches, the cashier said it was the most popular one so I went with it. He asked if we wanted meal deals and I said yes. From there, it all went downhill.

Following is a list of the infractions we experienced in chronological order:

1. My Beverage. I ordered a Diet Coke. I specifically said Diet COKE. Arby’s sells only Pepsi products. I guess if I were a regular Arby’s customer I would know that. But I’m not and I didn’t. Which is why I said Diet COKE. And I always appreciate when a restaurant employee takes the initiative to ask “Is Diet Pepsi okay?” Because it gives me a chance to say, “No, thanks. Let’s just make it water.” Your people gave no explanation. I found out on my own at the self-serve soda machine.

2. The Soda Machine. I wasn’t very excited about getting a Diet Pepsi but I’d already paid for it. So I decided to move on and just get the subpar cola. Except that the Diet Pepsi syrup in the machine was empty.  The spigot was running completely clear. I approached the counter again to alert a female employee who turned to mutter something unintelligibly to a co-worker then back to me to reach out her hand, presumably for my cup. I complied silently, blindly accepting the fact that we were going to communicate wordlessly. She took my cup and turned to the counter behind her where there was a half empty two-liter of Diet Pepsi. I would have assumed it belonged to an employee. She then filled my cup halfway with tepid, flat, possibly-someone-elses-personal-beverage Diet Pepsi. I looked at her, confused about what had just transpired and, assuming my expression was because my cup was only half full, she offered “Now you can put ice in it.” I went back to the machine and outstretched my arm so I could fill the remaining half of my cup with ice and avoid Diet Pepsi splashing all over me.

3. The Drink Lids. When I finished filling my likely-privately-owned  Diet Pepsi with ice, I searched for my usual lid and straw combination to finish the job. Needless to say, there were no lids. So I went to the counter a THIRD time to ask for one. “There’s none out there?” she questioned. I fought the urge to be sarcastic and just said “No.” She reached under the counter, grabbed something and came out the employee door into the customer area. Before handing me my lid, she first felt it necessary to confirm that my accusation was true. Then, she walked over and handed me the lid with her bare hand and fingers clutching both sides of it. (Sidebar: Do you know that at Chick-Fil-A, when they refill your beverage  …with Diet Coke, by the way …  they ask you to remove and hold the lid yourself … so as to avoid any germy contamination?) I took the lid and put it on my cup, defeatedly. I figured it was only half full so it was unlikely to touch the contents inside. Contents I didn’t want to drink anyway.

4. The Ketchup Dispenser. As soon as the drink situation was under control, I did my usual fast food meal pre-prep of assembling napkins and ketchup for when the food was ready. And, while there were several large ketchup pumps available, they were … of course … bone dry. Which required a FOURTH trip to the counter to ask for some. Whereupon I was handed a half dozen sticky ketchup packets. I then turned to my daughter to find a table and wait for our order.

5. The Tables. Remember that there were exactly two customers in the restaurant at this time. So only one other table should have been taken. The rest should have been sparkling clean. Do I really need to go on here? Surprise. We passed three tables before finally settling on a fourth that was the least of all evils as I still needed to wipe it down myself before we were seated.

6. The French Dip. Once our order was called and I brought it back to the table, my daughter looked disappointed. “Aww. The sandwich in the picture came with a dip.” Her sandwich was a solo act. I turned around, confirmed her assessment on the picture menu and decided that I was going for it. So I approached the counter a FIFTH time to ask for the dip. The cashier rolled his eyes (I’m hoping at his own negligence), reached around behind himself and grabbed the errant dip from the counter. I said a silent prayer that it was, in fact, my daughter’s dip and not some other employee’s stash like my aforementioned second-hand beverage.

7. The Bacon. The bacon on my sandwich did not taste like bacon. It did not look like bacon. I’m not sure what part of the “pig” it came from, but I highly recommend you procure another bacon provider. I removed it from my sandwich and carried on with my meal, pretending it never happened. For my daughter’s sake.

8. The Fries. They were not even a little hot for the first ten seconds of my meal. I have no idea when they were prepared but I suspect it was sufficiently before we ever decided to enter your restaurant on that fateful day.

9. The Aftermath. My daughter went to bed with what my family lovingly calls “the vomit bucket” that night. Her stomach was churning, cramping and generally just making her miserable. Truth be told, I choked down a handful of Tums to fall asleep that night myself.

Why did I stay for all of that mess …  for one mistake after another … for the comedy of errors that was Arby’s Restaurant that evening? Because my daughter really wanted that stupid sandwich. And, as parents, we do many things we don’t actually want to do for our children. I didn’t complain at the restaurant because I didn’t want to rain all over the mother-daughter outing that she had requested. But I’m complaining now. Because that restaurant is giving your company a bad name. And I really thought you would want to know about it. Please tell me I’m right.

Sincerely,

Michele Robert Poche

 

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The proof of my infamous visit.

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A Murder in Pictures (Sponsored by Hamilton Beach)


 WAIT!!!

Just joining us for the Hamilton Beach Toaster Chronicles? For it all to make sense, you have to read these posts first:


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First things first. With two identical toasters in the house, I thought it crucial that I irrefutably identify the culprit …

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… and give him one last crack at his job. (A final cigarette seemed so redundant.)

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He did not disappoint. (This photo was taken outside where the smoke forced us to flee.)

* * * * * * * * * *

And then the murder. But how?

* * * * * * * * * *

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Strangling?

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Running down with the car?

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Drowning/electrocution (Can you electrocute a toaster?)


I decided on a more humane method.


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So I blindfolded the toaster …

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… and myself …

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… AND I DID IT!!!

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Is this what you wanted, Hamilton Beach?

IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED?!!?


(awkward silence)


It is finished.

And now we’ll all just have to go on with our lives and try to pretend nothing ever happened.

(cue ominous music as camera slowly zooms out and screen fades to black)

* * * * * * * * * *

This post was submitted for MamaKat’s writing prompt asking us to “talk about a problem you tackled this week.”

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