Update: Dancing Deer apologized.
Helen writes: “I had some friends over for dinner last night, and didn’t feel like making dessert from scratch so I bought a package of Dancing Deer brand blondies (they’re advertised as organic, all-natural, etc. etc.) to serve instead. So after dinner I opened the package, took out the top three blondie bars, cut them in half to be a bit more normal-sized, and set them out on a plate. Everyone loved theirs, but when I bit into mine — it bit back. I pulled it out of my mouth to find a two-inch-long. quarter-inch cylinder of metal baked right into the damn thing.”
Of course I documented it with a digital camera and a ruler, and I kept all the packaging, the uneaten blondies, and the piece of metal itself. Today I called Dancing Deer and spoke to their Quality Assurance person, Anne Zielinski, who — while very nice — at no point apologized (I guess this is a legal thing?), though she took down my personal information and said she would be sending me a mailing kit so I could return to them the metal, the packaging, and the remaining product.
A couple of my less scrupulous friends are urging me to sue Dancing Deer for whatever they’ve got, but that’s probably not going to happen: I like their products, I wasn’t hurt, and I don’t want to lie and say I was. At the same time, Dancing Deer hasn’t offered me *anything* – an apology, money, products, coupons, even a refund – and I’m not sure what I deserve here. What’s the protocol for this? What happens next?
We wouldn’t sue, but terrible customer service can lead otherwise reasonable customers to litigate. Let’s not forget that the woman who sued McDonald’s after spilling scalding hot coffee on herself only went to court because Ronald refused to apologize or take responsibility for the accident.
Two weeks after speaking with quality assurance staffer Zielinski, Helen has yet to receive the promised return kit or an apology, and two messages left with Dancing Deer have gone unreturned. The blondie-encrusted cylinder is sitting idly in a sealed container. Tell us, dear Consumerists, what, beyond an apology and a few freebies, should Helen reasonably expect?
Update: Helen reports a happy ending: “Actually, I spoke to Anne Zielinski again yesterday (finally got through!) and she was very apologetic about them, in her words, “dropping the ball.” She said she would send over the UPS kit right away, along with lots of cookies. I’m feeling much better about everything :)”