How would you feel if a pet food told you “tiny amounts of aluminum or foreign objects can occur in pet foods”? What is proper customer service when a problem is found?
Megan J. shared her experience with Purina ProPlan on Facebook and the post soared to almost 21 thousands shares. On November 8, 2015 she wrote…
Like I said before, it’s not the initial incident that I was upset about, it’s the way they chose to go about dealing with it. Had they handled it right, you would not be seeing this post right now.
Those pieces of food are pretty large so the metal pieces aren’t as small as people think, and they were sharp to the touch.
I found this in my dogs food a couple weeks ago (chicken flavor of purina pro plan). It’s little sharp pieces of what looks like metal and is embedded in the pieces of food. So I immediately called them freaking out, and they tell me that they’ll refund me for the food and would like me to send them the pieces, but “this happens sometimes in factories, machines break and things get into the food.” Well that’s really nice..what if one of them would have actually eaten that and got hurt? And purina is owned by nestle, so makes me wonder what kind of crap ends up in their other products, like the ones that WE eat.
Lesson learned. We already switched foods, and no more Purina in this house. I would rather spend a little more and know that there won’t be any foreign objects in my dogs food, and no crap customer service like Purina’s.
This pet owner posted her complaint on the Purina ProPlan Facebook page, which was removed (by Purina) and she was blocked from posting further comments. Phone calls to Purina led to this correspondence…
Purina was somewhat transparent – they admitted mistakes can happen. We want all manufacturers to be transparent, but Purina’s transparency statement of “While we work hard to keep out any imperfections, the presence of such tiny amounts of aluminum or foreign objects can occur in pet foods…” was interpreted by this pet owner (and many others who read the post on Facebook) as dismissing the problem – dismissing the consumer’s legitimate concern of metal pieces being found in her dog’s kibble. What should Purina have said? What words do you want to hear when you contact a pet food with a complaint? What do they need to do to earn your trust after a problem has been found?
Since many pet food manufacturers read this website…this is perfect opportunity to try to teach pet food how we’d like to be treated. What would be proper customer service in this situation or in other situations when a consumer finds a problem in a pet food? What should a manufacturer do in a situation like this that would best serve the consumer?
My statement to pet food manufacturers: Our concern is our pets. Not your profits or your business reputation. Again – and I hope all manufacturers really hear this…our only concern is our pets. If you make a mistake, fix it. Prove to us that you fixed it. Explain the mistake in detail, explain how you fixed it in great detail. Explain how you will never allow this problem to ever occur again. Apologize. Honestly and sincerely apologize for the mistake and honestly and sincerely fix the problem. Don’t send us coupons until you’ve done all of the above first.
Try to remove any emotional feelings towards any particular company – and let’s use this as opportunity to teach pet food manufacturers how to treat us. Please share your comments on how you would like to be treated if you were this pet owner. What should a manufacturer do in a situation like this that would best serve you the consumer?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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