Lynn's Lowdown

Quality Time

September 13, 2012
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How many times have we seen articles or sat through presentations about how important it is for retailers to work with private label suppliers to ensure product quality? More than a few.
 
So, I have to say that I was more than a bit shocked when my dad returned home from a shopping trip at a well-known retailer with a canister of private label nuts and found something not so appetizing inside.
 
My mom jokingly said that it was someone’s toe in the can. Yikes! Can you imagine?
 
But no. It was, what appeared to be an odd looking and quite disgusting cluster of possible nut components.
 
So, my father did what most people would do, and he called the number on the can and told the company about his disturbing find. He received a letter back from this particular manufacturer, which I read. Now, I am very familiar with this company, as this is one of the largest and most well-known PL manufacturers out there. And I have to say, I wasn’t too impressed with their lackluster response.
 
First, it just seemed like your average form letter to any average consumer. Now, my father shops at this retailer quite a bit and buys this product fairly frequently. You would think that the manufacturer would want to get down to the bottom of this issue and prove to my father that this just happened to be a fluke and ensure that he continue to spend his money  –  he is retired  –  on their private label product that he enjoys so much.
 
Second, they said they would send him out a coupon for a couple of free cans of nuts to replace the damaged product, and it has been about two weeks to no avail. He has also called multiple times to follow up.
 
When he spoke to someone at the retailer, they did say that they would appreciate him sending them the damaged product and that they would send it to the lab to have it tested and determine what exactly was in there. I guess that’s at least good. 
 
But in my opinion, this being such a major company, I think they could’ve handled the situation a little better. Maybe there needs to be more communication between the retailer and this manufacturer that makes their private label nuts. 
 
Think about what a company such as Johnson & Johnson had to go through to prove to consumers that they once again could trust their products after numerous recalls. The same goes for private label products.
 
If your customer has an issue with one of your products, you need to prove to them that this was a one time thing and that they can trust your private label products, and that you will ensure that your products are of the highest quality and that shoppers can feel comfortable buying them for their families.

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