26 August 2007

Hooray for General Mills

This is a story of good customer service, something not often seen these days.

Oatmeal Crisp Hearty Raisin is my favorite cereal. I could eat it morning, noon, and night (and sometimes do). I eat it with a tiny bit of milk and with no milk at all. It is one of my very favorite things to eat and certainly my all-time favorite cereal.

The reason I love this cereal so much is because of the raisins. In all the time I've been eating this cereal, I've been pleased with both the size and number of raisins in the box. Sure, I could add my own raisins, but this cereal has so many that there is no need for such action.

Recently, however, my faith in Oatmeal Crisp Hearty Raisin was shaken. I opened a box and poured it into my Tupperware cereal container. Immediately I could see that something was amiss: There were hardly any raisins to be found! I stirred around in the container with a big wooden spoon and counted a measly five raisins. So distraught was I that I contacted General Mills via their website. Here is the text of my note to the corporate cereal people:

Hi! I recently bought a box of Oatmeal Crisp Hearty Raisin. I love this cereal because of the abundance of raisins, but I was disappointed that there were almost no raisins in this particular box. I poured the container into a large plastic tub and counted about 5 raisins in the entire container. I hope that this was an error in processing and not a cut-back in the number of raisins in this cereal. Please advise.

And within a day, the corporate cereal people actually responded to me, appearing to take my concerns seriously:

Thank you for contacting General Mills regarding Oatmeal Crisp hearty raisin cereal. We understand your concern and are sorry you had this experience.

Our packaging equipment is designed to ensure that all ingredients are combined in correct proportions. It is possible that a mechanical failure was responsible for the condition you described. Please be assured that our Quality Department has been notified of your report. We will be mailing an adjustment to you for your purchase which you should receive within 7 to 10 days.

We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and hope you will continue to choose our products.

Sincerely, General Mills

Now, I don't know about you, but I am so accustomed to poor customer service that I was surprised when the cereal people actually responded to my raisin complaint. I was even more surprised when they followed through: Sure enough, yesterday in the mail I received two coupons from General Mills, one for a free box of Oatmeal Crisp Hearty Raisin.

I recently went out on a limb and bought another box of Oatmeal Crisp Hearty Raisin. I was pleased to see that the raisin count was back up to normal, perhaps even a little bit higher than in previous boxes. And my! Those raisins were particularly plump. I like to think that the raisin person climbed up the ladder to the giant cereal vat and dumped in an extra scoop of the very best raisins just for me.

So hooray for the good cereal people at General Mills. Here's to timely, responsive customer service.

AND lots of raisins.


Sharon said...

That is good customer service. Did you reply that the raison count had increased and it most likely was a mechanical failure. Gotta love General Mills and the Oatmeal Crisp hearty Raison Cereal.

Rachael said...

Glad to hear of good cs!! You are right, it is SO hard to find these days!

Lizee said...

it rare to find great customer service, and when we do it adds a smile to our day... I'm glad General Mills brought a smile to your face:)