Longbored Surfer

2007.03.26 Give 'em a Call

I call companies. They put phone numbers on their products, pamphlets, packaging, whatever, and I call them. I do this to either ask a question, or more frequently, make a comment about their service(s). Maria thinks I'm a little bonkers for doing it, but I feel quite different about it. Allow me to expand on this concept.

I've called candy companies, fast food restaurants, snack food companies, makers of personal care products… most products where I felt I had a memorable experience, either positive or negative.

Just today I called the maker of my toothpaste, because I thought their semi-recent tendency to put a little scratch-n-sniff spot on the box was/is fabulous. I'm sick of guessing what "Extreme Herbal Mint" actually tastes like. “So… is this peppermint, or spearmint?” I'm not really a fan of one of those, yet I love the other. Generally I just avoid it all together, and go for some lame flavor like “Tasty Anti-Dentist Gel”. However, due to the cool scratch-n-sniff thing on the front, I knew it would be a flavor I would like, and have since purchased multiple tubes of this toothpaste. I called the makers of this product to tell them how freakin’ awesome I thought it was to put that on there. All due to that, I have purchased their product.

You may make fun of me just like Maria does. You may say it's weird that I call these companies to tell them my opinion. Some companies are cooler about this positive reinforcement than others. One company sent me roughly $30 worth of their product in the mail for me having complimented a recent tasting experience. Another company was kind enough to send me coupons for their stuff. Others just thank me for having called, and others barely even do that.

I wasn't raised this way. My parents didn't do this, nor (from what I understand) do they do it now. They seem to be like most other people, and just ignore the phone numbers on the packaging.

I used to call these numbers as prank calls. One time I accidentally gave them somebody else's name, yet left my own home number… that was a mistake. When they left a message on our home number asking for this person, who my parents knew I was associated with, I uh… was able to learn my lesson — make sure you don't leave your home phone number. ;)

So what is it that you're supposed to understand out of all of this? Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and give some of these places a call. It's not like they put that phone number on the back of there just for decoration. They put it on there to get questions and comments from their wonderful customers, like you and me.

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