Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.


    PROTOTD   21,138
SparkPoints
20,000-24,999 SparkPoints
 
 
Does anyone actually read anything anymore?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Example 1.
You all know and do this, too. I log my food. I try to keep track of everything I eat to keep sodium and cholesterol consumption down and protein and calcium consumption up. So whenever we eat out, I go online to find nutrition information for the restaurant we are patronizing. Some restaurants just don't have it. They're too small, or don't have a website or whatever. But most big chains like Chili's (and ALL fast food places) do. If they don't, I send an email asking them to consider making that information available.

We went to Logan's Roadhouse the other day for lunch. Logan's has a section of their menu called "Health Nuts", with the menu heading stating that each item is less than 500 calories. That's a start, but that's all the nutrition information they give. So I go to the website. No info. So I click the "Contact Us" link and send this:

"While I appreciate the "Health Nut" section of the Logan's menu (both my
husband and I ordered lunch from it today), it would be very helpful if
the full nutrition information, not only for this section, but all items
on the menu were available on your company website. Many people not only
try to watch their calories, but also log and are concerned with other
aspects of their dietary intake, including such things as fat,
carbohydrates, sodium and cholesterol. I enjoy having meals with my
family at Logan's Roadhouse and think we would be able to enjoy it more
often were this information more readily available. Thank you for your
consideration."

I got this back:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us about the nutritional
information of the menu items served at Logan's Roadhouse. While we are
working on being able to provide our guests with nutritional
information, we do not have this information available at this time. I
understand that this is a need that many of our guests have and we hope
to be able to provide this in the near future. We strive to maintain a
broad menu of choices so that our guests can find the foods that they
want and need. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write to us.

Tanya Ethridge
Guest Relations Specialist
Logan's Roadhouse"

When Ms. Ethridge's response showed up in my inbox, I noticed that I had kept another email from her dated Sept. 3, 2008. It is as follows:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us about the nutritional
information of the menu items served at Logan's Roadhouse. While we are
working on being able to provide our guests with nutritional
information, we do not have this information available at this time. I
understand that this is a need that many of our guests have and we hope
to be able to provide this in the near future. We strive to maintain a
broad menu of choices so that our guests can find the foods that they
want and need. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write to us.


Tanya Ethridge
Guest Relations Specialist
Logan's Roadhouse

-----Original Message-----
From: logansroadhouse@idea-agency.co
m
[mailto:logansroadhouse@idea
-agency.com] On Behalf Of
prototd@*.*
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 9:01 PM
To: Guest Relations
Subject: Logan's Roadhouse contact form


Message:
I was wondering if you've considered making nutrition information
available on your website. We often go to the Logan's I've mentioned
above, and it would be very helpful in choosing healthy menu items in
advance. With so many people concerned about making healthy choices
these days, I think it would be advantageous to your company to supply
this information to the consumer. Thank you for your time!"

Notice anything? The responses are word-for-word identical. I wonder what Logan's definition of "near future" is.


Example 2.
Thursday evening, the Bug and I decided we'd enter a picture of her Halloween costume from last year into a costume contest sponsored by PBS Kids Sprout. Sprout is a national channel similar to Disney Channel or Nick. Jr. geared toward preschoolers. The Bug's costume was picked and featured on air the next morning. We never anticipated winning, much less not even 24 hours after entering. In short, we missed it. We didn't know until I got an email Friday afternoon asking where to send her prize. Now I'm left trying to find a copy to show the Bug, who was hysterical that she didn't get to see her picture on TV and thought she didn't really win. Here's my email and the response from Sprout:

"I understand that Sprout cannot make and mail out dubs for 22 different winners, but I was wondering if the announcements (videos from the Sunny Side Up Show of the "pick of the day" winners) might be made available online. If not, do you use or know of a service such as Metro Monitor, Inc., where a copy of a specific clip might be obtained?

I received an email the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 9, that my child was a "pick of the day". I hoped that meant it would be announced today since we weren't able to watch Friday. However, after today's announcement of another winner and going online to see my child's picture already posted, I'm afraid that we were notified after her entry had already aired. We never really expected to be picked, much less for her costume to be picked the day after it was submitted. You guys were just too quick for us!

{My daughter} was very upset that she was not featured today as a winner. She thought it meant that she hadn't really won a prize. It would mean a great deal to her, and to my husband and I, if we could somehow show her that she did, in fact, appear on The Sunny Side Up Show as a "pick of the day."

Thank you again for choosing her costume, and thanks for any help you can give us in this matter."

"Dear Sprout Viewer,

Thank you for your interest in The Sunny Side Up Show. We love receiving submissions from loyal viewers like you!

Unfortunately, we are unable to release show tapings and we don't rebroadcast any live episodes of The Sunny Side Up Show.

Thank you again for sharing with Sprout. We hope you'll continue to grow with us!

Kindly,
Sprout"


What bothers me about this response is the obvious brush-off of the second paragraph. Everything else is form, I'm sure. The second paragraph didn't address anything I asked. In fact it only reiterated what I said. I already stated that I didn't expect to receive a tape FROM SPROUT. After some 15+ years working in TV news, I already know dubs for viewers simply can't be a priority, otherwise the folks who work there would be doing nothing else. Thus the creation of businesses like Metro Monitor who do nothing but archive print and broadcast news stories, making them available to anyone who needs them. Though it may be unlikely, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that something similar may exist for other types of broadcasts. To me, it's worth asking. And it certainly isn't outside the realm of possibility that Sprout *might* post the 30-second announcements on their websites. They are dealing with kids, and their parents, who might like to see it, especially if the parents weren't notified beforehand that their child would be featured as a contest winner. Since the response didn't actually address the website, I can only assume it is covered in the "we don't rebroadcast" statement.

Example 3.
So here I am, scrambling to find a copy of Friday's announcement on Sprout. I make it my Facebook status update. (Thanks for the response, Jay. I appreciate the thought.) I post it on Sprout's Facebook fan page. I even post it to Birmingham Freecycle, a Yahoo group I belong to where people in need of something can get together with people who have something to give away. Here's my post:

"Sent: Mon, Oct 12, 2009 2:17 pm
Subject: [BirminghamFreecycle] Wanted: Recording of Sprout programming for Friday, 10/09/09

My daughter was the "pick of the day" in Sprout's Halloween Costume Contest this past Friday. Unfortunately, we were not notified until after the announcement had already aired. If anyone happened to record Sprout Friday morning between 10:30 and 11:00 (The Sunny Side Up Show when The Berenstain Bears and PicMe are scheduled), I would greatly appreciate it if we could figure out a way to get a copy so my daughter could see it. She was very upset that she didn't get to see it and thinks she didn't really win. I have already contacted Sprout and was told there was no way they could provide a copy and had no plans to post the videos on their website. Email, snail mail, pick-up, whatever it takes. If you have a copy to share, please let me know. Thanks!"

By 3:30, I had two responses in my inbox.

"You might try to contact the network that aired the show. They might have a digital copy somewhere. Good luck!"

"Have you checked the website, some shows will put the shows online and you can get tit thru there, or you can contact the show and ask for a copy of the show.

good luck"

I appreciate the effort to help. I do. But both those suggestions were covered in one sentence in my original post.

So it would seem that it's not just 1000's of pages of health care bills that don't get read. It's responses to "we welcome your suggestions," and desperate pleas from a mother trying to comfort her disappointed child. And most likely early morning rants in an online blog . :-)
SHARE
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLTMAN 12/15/2011 9:45AM

    Hey Wendy, Long time no see. I came to your page to see where you've been. Hope everything is all right. Good blog by the way I agree on all.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENVOSE 10/28/2009 3:54PM

    No one reads, no one does simple math, no one knows how to figure out a simple bill. Welcome to the so-called "information" age!

What an adorable pic of your daughter; I hope that the two of you will be able to find a copy of the program to keep for a great memory.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HOTMAMA1980 10/13/2009 9:41AM

    That pic is ADORABLE :) As for your blog, so much for customer service! It's terrible everywhere. It's shocking that business owners and corporations wonder why they get so much "complaint" mail. It's unfortunate, but complaining often gets a better response than making a friendly request. The automated reponse technique infuriates me as well. It's too bad we can't use your post to train customer service reps to read everything carefully!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post


Log in to post a comment.