I've become a letter writing fool

As opposed to just an ordinary generic fool.

Maybe it’s the fact that my job and home life don’t give me an outlet for anger and frustration. Maybe it’s a tin-foil hat worthy idea that major corporations are out to get me. Then again, maybe it’s the fact that I’m approaching the ripe old age of 37 and I find myself hiking my pant waists up a little higher each day. But in the last week or two I’ve started this insane practice of writing complaint letters to companies anytime they cheese me off.

The latest examples:

  1. Pampers - They had this program running where if you collected Pampers Perks points off of diaper and wipe packages, you could save them up and redeem them for some neato Fisher-Price and Sesame Street toys. We were saving them, hoping to get enough for the big battery-operated jeep.

The program end date was approaching and we figured that we had better send them in. As a last check, I visited their web site where I dicovered that the really cool stuff was sold out. No problem, they still had some stuff we wanted. We send in our order along with a small check for S&H. This week we get a letter stating that due to the unexpected popularity of the program, they are out of stuff and that we are SOL.

I jump on my computer and fire up Word. Next thing I know I’m drafting this diatribe full of words like “outraged” and “incensed” and phrases like “The unexpected popularity of a program is no excuse for crushing the dreams of a small child.” Truth be told our 22 month old could care less, but they don’t have to know that.

  1. The Cable Company - Our local cable monopoly (rhymes with Bombast) sent us a flyer informing us that they are pulling WWOR (out of NYC) and giving us YES (NY Yankee TV). All this for only a two dollar price increase. For some people this would be great news. BUT I DON"T WATCH SPORTS! I HATE the idea that any portion of my cable bill is going towards overpaid athletes and greedy owners.

Back to the computer. I go all out and raid my Quicken database to create a graph showing my cable bill over the last three years. It started out at $34.29 a month and is now $43.21 a month (not including the latest hike). Do we have more channels? Of course not. They’ve pulled several stations I used to watch and given me ones I don’t. Net gain = zero. I let them know that if they had a no-sports option that reduced my bill I would gladly sign up.

I can’t wait for the mail to come today. Fresh meat …

Writing letters is good. It allows you to vent, to tell the company what you think of the product, to give the consumer a voice. Re: the cable company. If you are paying for bunches o’ channels that you don’t watch, and there are channels you want that they don’t offer, why don’t you cancel cable? I know, that’s heresy, and you think you can’t live without cable and what would the kid watch? I had cable for years, including illegal cable that gave me the premium movie channels. I cancelled it and guess what? Life goes on. Yes, a person can live without cable. Just think, you are paying over $500 a year to watch TV. Maybe your letter to them will get results, but if not, there are other options…

Re: the cable company. I know I should cancel cable. One of the points I made in my letter was that their increased rates are making satellite options more attractive.

Re: Pampers. Hah! Hah-hah.

In addition to mailing the letter to Pampers, I e-mailed it to them AND to Procter & Gamble (the parent company). Today my wife got a phone call from Pampers telling us that they will be sending us a check for the full retail price of the items we wanted plus our initial S&H fee.


Go Duck!