Best Way To File A Complaint?

I purchased a stick of Mennen Speed Stick deodorant the other day and after using it a few days began to get a rash under my arms. This was a bit surprising to me since I have used their products for years and have never had this problem with any of their other scents. I wanted to contact them to let them know and when I looked on the package, saw that there were three different ways in which I could contact them:

  • a 1-800 toll free phone number
  • a website address
  • a snail mail address

    This got me thinking – although I know that complaining when something goes wrong is a great way to save money and is to the benefit of the manufacturer (although they seem to not always realize this), I began to wonder which of the three would be the best way to make my complaint. If I submitted the complaint in different ways, would I be treated differently? I figure that I will get the same response no matter which method I use, but I decided to to give them all a try and see.

    Phone Call

    I made the phone call and after waiting about 2 minutes on the phone, was connected to a representative. I explained the situation and the lady was professional in taking down the information. She asked for the barcode of the deodorant, the lot number and the scent. She also asked a number of questions about the rash. After everything was done, she said she’d be sending me a coupon for a free stick as well as another “coupon pack.” The entire conversation took about 15 minutes.

    Email Contact

    The email contact was pretty straight forward. It first asked whether the email was a compliment, complaint, question or something else. It took me first through a number of products to get the correct one I was referring to and then it asked me to write my complaint, the product scent and bar code. The next page asked for my address, email and whether I wanted a representative to contact me (I checked yes). It didn’t say if I would receive anything and took about 5 minutes to complete. A day later I received the following email:

    Thank you for contacting us over the Internet about Speed Stick Deodorant with Irish Spring Original Scents. Your interest in our products and company is greatly appreciated.

    Your response involved material we wanted to send you, therefore the response has been sent via regular (postal) mail and should reach you within three weeks.

    If you do not receive this response through regular mail, or have any questions about this, please contact us again by email, or by calling us at 1-800-468-6502, and provide the number appearing after my name below.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. We hope this information is helpful.

    That means the response that I receive from the phone call and the response I receive from the email should arrive at about the same time and will be easy to compare.

    Snail Mail Contact

    While it first appeared that the snail mail address was on the product, it was only a partial address. The street and street number were missing so I actually had to go to the website to find out the street and the street number part of the address which took a few minutes. I wonder if the letter would have arrived if I had not looked that information up? I assume it would have, although may have taken a bit more time.

    I wrote out a letter explaining the same things I had explained over the phone and in the email contact. Since it has to travel all the way to New York, then find the correct department and then get responded to, I expect that this will be the slowest of the three methods. It took about 10 minutes to write, print and address the letter, but it was by far the biggest hassle of the three contact methods. I had to stop by the post office and it was the only one that cost any money of the three (for an envelope and stamp)

    Now it is wait and see. I will report back on what I receive from the three, if there is any difference in the response and any conclusions I come to from the experience when the responses begin to arrive…

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    4 Responses to Best Way To File A Complaint?

    1. Everysec says:

      Interesting experiment! I personally find that in Ireland people don’t complain enough, this leads to worse service and products. Anyway, can’t wait to see the results of this.

    2. James says:

      Good stuff! I just read your posting about actually making money while shopping. Thats the best of both worlds!

    3. JC says:

      So basically you complained to a company about YOUR allergy to something in their product and got free coupons? Nice gimmick! I’m surprised you got anything for YOUR problem!

    4. John Grantham says:

      You are cheap and seems enjoy complaining. I have been using Mennen Speed Stick Regular since 1964 and just can’t do without this deodrant. The wonderful lavender scent freshens me up and gives me confidence on hot sweaty days. The rash you experienced is due to your own sensitive skin and not because of the ingredients. Some users develops rash in repsonse to certain scents. This is manufacturered by a very big compamy so the product comes with quality assurance. Stop unecessary complaining about this great product please.

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