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Not a happy customer!

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by jasperthecat, Dec 4, 2020.


  1. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

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    I'm certainly not one to complain about companies or their services as even the best can get things wrong or things can go awry at times but I'm rather annoyed with a well known pet supply company due to what I feel is not good practice when supplying dry food.

    I have two boys, one who will not eat any wet food whatsoever and the other who can only eat limited amounts of wet as it upsets his tummy if he gets too much so they primarily eat dry food together with raw and cooked meats, fish or in Ollie's case both wet and dry etc and we always purchase the dry food in 10kg packs to reduce cost and for convenience.

    We usually alternate purchases between two companies, choosing which one is the best value at the time of ordering or if we have discounts to reduce the price. We always buy the boys a little 'present' or two at the same time;)

    My two are not exactly tiny so a pack that size lasts us about 11 weeks or somewhere around that. I've actually weighed the food they consume over a month and they actually eat slightly below the manufacturers recommended amount for their age and size so we know when to order the next batch as their consumption is fairly constant.
    We record the dates when we break into the new packages and the last one was opened on October 1st so I estimate it should run out just before or after Christmas so in order to avoid any delivery or supply issues instead of ordering about two weeks before running out, I jumped ahead and ordered earlier and it was delivered earlier this week.

    Both companies offer excellent service and this week's delivery was no exception but what annoyed me was what they had done to the manufacturers package to reduce the size.
    Normally it comes in a rather tall ungainly carboard box to match the size of the 10kg packaging but this time when the food was delivered, my OH thought it was the wrong order as the box packaging was much lower and squatter in size than usual.
    Upon opening it, we discovered it was indeed the correct food order but someone had pierced the manufacturers packaging with a knife or scissors to let out the air so as to reduce the size to fit into a smaller box.

    I never open a new 10kg package of food until the very last moment as the longer the contents are exposed to air, the more moisture it can absorb even indoors which in turn can lead to the food being contaminated which could seriously affect the boys. That's the whole idea of the supplier's resealable packaging, to retain the integrity of contents for as long as possible which in this instance has already been broken.

    The boys never have any dry food more than 12 hours old/exposed at maximum to air, but usually it's much less as only enough is left for them each morning and evening to cover their needs with top ups as necessary so I was very dismayed when I saw what had been deliberately done to the packaging in this delivery.
    We normally decant about 4kg into an air tight box for daily use and the original 10kg bag is squeezed down to reduce air content and re-sealed so the food left in it has minimum exposure to air during its life.

    My OH says to just leave it but I can't. I've not named the company on here and I shall see what they have to say about this and what they intend to do about replacing it with a new fully sealed, non-compromised pack but if this is now their company policy, then they have definitely lost a customer as far as I'm concerned.

    I want to be able to retain the integrity of the food until the last possible moment. I certainly wouldn't purchase a pack from a shop or supplier that had been damaged so I don't see why I should waste fifty odd pounds on food that in my opinion has lost its integrity.
    Maybe I'm making too much of this but I really shouldn't receive what is effectively a deliberately opened package. What do you think?
    Very annoyed, East Yorkshire!
     
  2. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    I totally agree with you.
    If they have deliberately damaged the packaging or it was damaged in transit ,then they have to either refund you or replace it .
    As you have already pointed out you wouldn't knowingly purchase a damaged bag so have every right to expect it to be rectified.
     
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  3. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

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    If it had been damaged in transit then that was not the company's fault so I wouldn't have been annoyed.
    It was obviously deliberately done in order to reduced the size of the package. which I think is very poor practice and needs amending.
    If it hadn't been food then it wouldn't have been an issue but I really can't risk feeding it to my two boys now.

    I was thinking that maybe I'm making it too big an issue but my science background tells me that dry food unnecessarily exposed to air isn't good.
     
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  4. Arny

    Arny PetForums VIP

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    I would have done what you have and got in touch with them. Hopefully they sort it in a timely manner.
    As a side note I was told by a dog food manufacturer that a bag shouldn't last more than 6 weeks for reasons as you've described.
     
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  5. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
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    I agree that's unacceptable.
    We only buy dry dog food in the smallest bags available, 1.5 or 2.0 Kg as they last our 2 little dogs about a month at 1 meal each a day. I accept it's not the most economical way to buy food but worry about freshness and storage mites.
    I would be fuming !
     
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  6. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

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    I'm hoping they will sort it too.
    We've always done our utmost to prevent the food from unnecessary exposure to air as we are fully aware of the dangers if not handled correctly and so far our precautions have been good with no issues whatsoever but that's because we are extra vigilant and careful not to compromise the integrity of the food. Our two will likely tell us in any case if it's not right by refusing to eat it. They are very funny about what they eat, especially Jasper but I still wouldn't leave it to chance which is why we never risk leaving dry food out too long for them.

    When we take them to the caravan, we put just enough of their food in a safety plastic bag for the entire stay so that we can fold it down to reduce possible air in it as there is far more moisture in the caravan than home and Jasper we have learned from experience, will simply not eat it when he returns home if he thinks it's not right so we just bin it even if there's a kilogram of it..
     
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @jasperthecat - I would be very surprised if any of the decent pet food companies (e.g. Zooplus) would ever permit their packers to deliberately pierce a pack of dry food. It seems such a peculiar thing to do, as it obviously risks contaminating the food, as well as exposing the contents to the air.

    I would not accept any cat food that arrived opened, whether it was wet food or dry food. I would be emailing the seller immediately to report what had happened and would expect the food to be replaced without question or a refund made to me.

    As Arny and Susie Rainbow mentioned kibble has a pretty short use-by period anyway once it has been opened, no matter how carefully it is stored. I was told by one manufacturer a bag of kibble should be used within 4 weeks once opened. Other manufacturers I believe state 6 weeks maximum. Some also recommend storing the opened bag in the fridge to slow down the level the bacteria increase.
     
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  8. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

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    Well prepare to be very surprised.
    I refrained from naming the company as they are well known and it may not be company policy and just the behaviour of someone in their packing department so I'd rather give them the opportunity to respond rather than simply just name them.
    I have kept the packaging as it was delivered and I assure you they're a big company. I'd post pictures of the delivered goods but it would identify the seller and I don't want that at this stage.

    I've just been down to where we store the food in our house and after another even more thorough inspection I can categorically state there was no physical damage to the outer packaging and it hasn't been repackaged by the courier as it's the company's own branded box which was sealed when it arrived so it wasn't pierced though being accidently damaged or mishandled by the courier.
    The food manufacturer's packaging was clearly perforated deliberately to reduce the physical size of the seller's packing box so that it would reshape and fit into a smaller square box which is why my partner thought we'd had the wrong parcel left with us. We get around five deliveries each year and they have always been in tall carboard box packing the shape and height of the 10kg pack. This was the first time we'd received a pack of that size and shape. The regular packaging is notably unwieldy when it comes to handling it so it was a surprise to receive this package.

    I'm sure the company will be able to trace the package back to their warehouse and determine what went wrong.

    The brand we feed ours is fine for longer periods but the key is to ensure that it is handled and stored correctly and so far there have been absolutely no issues associated with it so I don't see a need to change their feeding patterns with the food but I certainly wouldn't feed the contents of this pack to them.
     
    #8 jasperthecat, Dec 5, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
  9. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

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    Update:
    I've spoken via web chat to the customer services of the company involved and they're extremely apologetic and fully agree that it shouldn't have happened. They're sending out an immediate replacement and are going to thoroughly investigate the matter with the help of photographs from me so a good outcome indeed, just as I expected given the company's solid reputation and hopefully it was simply a one-off situation which is why I didn't name the company.

    I don't know if the company will make arrangements to collect the compromised food? I forgot to ask that bit. My OH thinks that if they don't take it back then it would be a terrible waste in this day and age to throw it in the bin given the number of abandoned and uncared for cats in re-homing centers and I can see her point but in all honesty I wouldn't feed it to our two and I don't like the idea of donating it to the CPL or the likes as it would be like saying it's not good enough for my two but I don't mind other cats eating it!

    Let's hope they'll take it back as it will solve a dilemma.
     
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  10. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I'm pleased to hear the company in question has risen to the occasion by apologising and sending a replacement, as I would expect from a reputable and well known company.

    Personally I would bin the contents of the other packet, because there is no way of knowing if something nasty has been put in the bag.
     
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  11. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

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    The company acted just as I would have expected when they were informed, which is why I wouldn't name them as it would be unfair to publicly name them when they hadn't a chance to reply or investigate my complaint.

    It's strange that you should mention about someone putting something nasty in the food, I had also the same thoughts. I doubt it very much and I suspect it was to do with fitting the package into the box but I couldn't rule it out which is one reason why I wouldn't feed it to our cats and I'd be too worried to give it to such as the CPL who I I'm sure would welcome food donations but not if there was a risk of some contamination.

    Speaking of food donations, one of the local stores has a huge pet food donation basket which we always used to donate to whenever we visited the shop but since the Covid issue we've not been going out so I'll have to make a donation to one of two of the local animal charities as I'm sure they will welcome a donation and will have seen their food donations tumble with less people going out.
     
  12. crystalwitch

    crystalwitch PetForums Member

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    I think you have behaved very honourably and responsibly in not naming the company, but if the box is substantially smaller, the company must have ordered it in the smaller size, and the packers were either obeying orders to fit the bag of food in, (by piercing it to let air out) or were too lazy to get the bigger box from wherever they are kept. Under the circumstances, and especially since you are a fairly regular customer, I think you are entitled to the replacement free, and they should refund what you paid. However much that is, it will be less than what they stand to lose if other customers hear of their substandard delivery and take their custom elsewhere.
     
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  13. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

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    Thank you.
    I would never name the company until they gave me grounds to do so and even then, only after every other avenue for a resolution had been explored.

    We have received notification that we will actually receive a free replacement today so they could not have acted any more favourably or promptly which is clearly indicative of good company policy with regard to their customer services response, therefore all that remains is to send off the email later today with the pics to support my observations which I'm sure will prompt further action once all the details have been collated.

    I can't say whether someone at the packing department had acted unilaterally perhaps due to no suitable boxes being available at the time of processing the order or was instructed because of company policy to pierce the bag to allow the bag of food to fit in the smaller box though I strongly suspect it was the former.

    No doubt I'll find out in dues course but I'm pleased to say that I am more than happy with their response.:)
     
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  14. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I think you're on the right track with your suspicion of a packer. A company that were to sanction the piercing of the packaging of cat food to make it fit in a box is unlikely to last long in business!!
     
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  15. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

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    Agreed.
    I've emailed the girl I spoke to yesterday via web chat and have sent sufficient images for them to identify the problem. When I looked carefully there were two cuts over 1cm wide and a smaller one in the same area so it's unlikely to have been an accidental puncture.
    We've had the delivery of the replacement pack of food late this afternoon which is excellent customer service and it's in the regular box which we expected so clearly the other package was a one-off situation.

    The automatic reply to my email suggests that the person I spoke to would be on leave until 16th December so I'll get a reply later in the month.
    I'm pleased with the outcome and thankfully it won't affect any future dealings with the company as so far I've been very happy with their service. I'll still dispose of the compromised food stuff as although it would have been better for it to go to a deserving cause, the risk of it being contaminated would not allow me to rest easy so better to destroy it.
     
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  16. Jaf

    Jaf PetForums VIP

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    I occasionally buy food from a farm shop. They sell dry food from humongous great sacks. Maybe I’m less worried about dry food than I should be, but I’d give it to a charity. Or just feed the local strays. I get through 20kgs a week!
     
  17. Babyshoes

    Babyshoes PetForums VIP

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    I can almost see how it might have happened:

    Packing boxes doesn't exactly require a degree, so when the usual box was not immediately available, that particular packer didn't see the issue with letting the air out, to allow them to fit the food into a smaller box that was available. That saved them the time and effort of either going to the store room to get more of the big boxes, or finding a supervisor to get more of the right boxes. I guess they're judged on the number of orders packed in a shift, rather than the quality of that packing...

    I can imagine some of the teens I've taught in the past doing something similar, and feeling proud that they'd solved the problem with minimal effort...
     
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  18. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    :Hilarious:Hilarious
     
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