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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Ruminations

To Whom It May Concern:

Here's a letter I e-mailed Philips, a national corporation, complaining about something:

Hiya... I just bought your "4 in 1 Complete Cleaning System." "All you need to clean CD/DVD" it says on the package. I haven't tried it yet, so I assume the product itself is fine. What's got my tail twisted into knots is the horrible, terrible, miserably misbegotten hardshell plastic packaging the product comes in. Have you ever tried to open one of those things? It's neigh on impossible, I tell you.

Here I'm sitting in my comfy robe and slippers, cat snoozing gently on my lap, adoring wife by my side as I stare in complete bafflement at this fine example of impervious packaging that encases your product in a shell of transparent plastic that's so tough I'm not sure a diamond-tipped drill could make so much as a scratch. All I want to do, you see, is get a DVD to work, thus ensuring me an afternoon of peace and quiet. But instead, I now have a distraught wife, and angry cat, several cuts and scratches on my hands as I sit here, surrounded by various knives, scissors, box cutters and razor blades. I'm reasonably sure I just heard my cat say a bad word, and I'm fairly certain he learned it from me as I struggled to open your product.

Can't you just put your stuff in a nice paper bag, or maybe just put your products loose in a big barrel in the store and forget packaging altogether? Seriously, you gotta come up with something better than this...

Thank you for your time,
Chris Radloff


And here's their response, bad grammar and typographical errors included:

Dear Mr. Radloff,

Thank you for your email to Philips Customer Care. We understand you're complaining on a DVD lens cleaner's packaging.

We apologize for the inconvinience, but to provide the best customer care regarding your request and problem determination for your product, we suggest that you contact this number that you may be able to obtain the needed assistance. Please contact Philips Accessories and Peripherals at [phone number].

Seems odd to me that a company that so prides themselves on "being green" has packaging that certainly seems bad for the environment in many ways. And why do they have a section on their web site where you can e-mail customer service if they're just going to send you a form letter telling you to call them? They didn't read my missive, their computer simply spat an automated reply back at me. I'm sure the theory is that they're hoping people will forget about it and leave them alone, skipping the phone call (as I did - I hate confrontation). The problem is that they'll never know how people feel if they're not reading their e-mails... Bad customer relations, methinks.

I'm not condemning their products, mind you, I think Philips is a fine company. I'm just torqued that I couldn't open their stupid package is all.

Speaking of packages - Dagmar bought a bag of almonds the other day. On the back of the package is a conspicuous, rather ominous-looking warning. "Contains Almonds," is what it says. Well, I should hope so! It is, after all, a bag of almonds... Did they think people were going to be surprised?

Boo! I'm an almond!


Things That Are On My Mind

Katy, Texas:

I've seen this on TV, and have read a bit about it on-line, too. It seems the terrorists are winning. You see, the Islamic Association there has bought some land, and would like to build a mosque and a school there.

After they'd bought the land, they asked the guy they bought it from to please move his cattle off the property so they could start development. The guy misunderstood for some reason and thought they wanted HIM to move off HIS land. So, in a typically small-minded show of overreaction, the man, Craig Baker, decided to race pigs along the property line when the Muslims were having church every week. The Islamic religion deems pigs to be "unclean" animals, so this is a very deliberate snub.

"I am just defending my rights and my property," Baker said. "They totally disrespected me and my family." When he found out that he was mistaken, and the Islamic Association wasn't trying to force him or his family to move, had this to say about continuing the pig races: "I would be like a total idiot if I didn't. I'd be the laughingstock now because I've gone too far." I hate to tell you, Mr. Baker, but, well... the idiot thing kinda fits.

Here's a video of the whole mess. Please take a minute to watch it. It's good.



It's a little scary to hear citizens of the United States of America (founded, by the way, by people fleeing religious persecution), a nation that guarantees freedom of religion, saying things so blatantly bigoted.

The terrorists have won. We're now turning on ourselves.


Ann Coulter:

Ms. Coulter has brought the Republican party more embarrassment. In a speech at a conservative function, Ms. Coulter referred to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot." Besides the obvious stupidity of the remark (Mr. Edwards is happily married to a very nice lady) and the offensiveness that particular word holds for the gay community, Ms. Coulter has brought light to the fact that the conservative movement in America no longer respects ANYONE. I'm sorry, but name-calling and denigration are NOT family values, it's second-grade bullying.

America is a great nation. Most of our greatness comes from our diversity. In these times of terrorism and doubt we CANNOT allow ourselves to hate. White, black, red, yellow, brown, gay, straight, Catholic, Lutheran, Muslim, Jewish, we all need to stand together. We are ALL citizens, and are ALL afforded equal rights and protections under law. Ms. Coulter's remarks are dangerous precisely because they aim to promote an "us versus them" mentality at the very time we can ill afford to be a house divided.

Besides, isn't it more Christian to be accepting of others? Isn't that what Jesus taught?

Labels: ,

8 Comments:

Blogger noneed4thneed said...

I hate the hard plastic packaging. I found myself in a similar situation a couple weeks ago. It is such a pain to open.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard that there is a new nuclear device designed to open those packages.

9:52 AM  
Blogger katrocket said...

I'm still laughing because they sent you a LETTER with their phone number in response to your e-mail. That's so incredibly stupid, it's funny.

"CONTAINS ALMOND" is also a real comedy treat, but I'm kinda grossed-out that it may contain soy milk.

and seriously, has Ann Coulter ever met a gay man? They're usually more stylish and fun than John Edwards.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

At my work place we have these little "white out" contraptions and on each package it states in the front. "Actual Size"."You think! Actual size, huh, well that is just great to know." You have to wonder WHO they have on their marketing teams to come up with some of this wording on their packages. Thank God we know there are almonds in your bag of almonds! What a surprize if it were anything else. Thanks for the laugh...great stuff!

5:47 AM  
Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

I wonder just how green their factories in Mexico are? We used to have a Philips plant in a nearby community, and they shut it down and moved it to Mexico. I'm sure the relaxed environmental rules and regulations of the Mexican government provided a much bigger savings than the difference in wages they're now enjoying.

Green my ass!

6:16 PM  
Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

BTW: your letter was very cleverly worded. You have a gift.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Actually I'm more annoyed that a company would hire someone in Customer Service that writes "complaining on" than I am at the fact that they essentially brushed you off or that yes, they do make CD packaging that's harder to get into than Fort Knox.

But I find "contains almond" sort of comforting - 'cause you really never know what they're feeding you.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

Chris and Dagmar... finally have a moment to come here and really read (again). I am mortified to admit the company I work for has a label in 4 places on our "top selling" lawnmower which states: "caution! Blades may be sharp!"

I will just sit back and wait for lawsuit claiming our blades weren't sharp enough... they were after all, BLADES!

Hello Chris.
Hello Dagmar!

5:38 AM  

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