I hoped that it wouldn’t come to this: calling a company out online to get them to see what I perceive as an error of their ways. I’m going to explain the situation and I’d like your opinion about this customer service issue, and if anything like this has ever happened to you.
I would insert a photo of me pulling my hair out HERE if I had one but how about this, where I had on my pink hair just for fun?
I needed a moment of levity before I launch into my rant about what happened with Food for Life.
You’ve seen their sprouted corn tortillas before on this blog in the post for my Mushroom, Kale and Lentil Soft Tacos. So you know that I truly like these tortillas. What I don’t like AT ALL is when I am getting ready to have a meal and pull my tortillas out of the refrigerator and open the bag to find that the tortillas are moldy. That really upsets me, especially when the bag has 12 tortillas in it and I’m only part of the way through — and to make it worse, I AM HUNGRY.
The first time that it happened, there were 3 tortillas left in the bag and I just tossed them, thinking that I had some kind of issue. So, when I bought the next package, I took about half of them out and froze them with waxed paper between the tortillas. That was easy.
Why I didn’t do it for the next bag, I am not sure, except that perhaps I expect the food to stay fresh for a week or so after opening the package. Well, the second time that it happened, I thought I ought to take some action. So I hopped on over to the Food for Life website and found the customer service contact info. I called the number. NO answer. So, I called again and a machine answered but I couldn’t leave a message. That happened 3 times. So, I figured that maybe sending a message on their contact form would work out better. And that’s what I did. I explained that I really like their products but that ending up with moldy tortillas just doesn’t work for me. I had no idea what they’d tell me but…
Two days later I received an email apologizing for the phone issues and containing 2 attachments,
Here’s what they wrote verbatim:
As for your tortilla issue, we are curious as to how you are buying them (frozen, refrigerated or fresh). This will have a huge impact on the shelf life of your product. We have attached two files that will assist you in dating your products and the estimated shelf life based on purchase state and storage. OK…
Somehow, I didn’t feel heard as there was absolutely no apology. So, I wrote another email and here’s what I said:
Thank you so much for this information. While it’s helpful to know, it’s actually not at all useful since I have already thrown away part of a package of moldy tortillas.
Generally if I contact a company to let them know what I think, I don’t expect to get an explanation for why the situation occurs. I expect you to say, I’m sorry that happened and what can we do about it? I am not going to stop buying Food 4 Life products, except the gluten-free brown rice tortillas which may make better Frisbees than something to be eaten since they crack when you try to fold them, no matter what I’ve done.
Your response served to do nothing but annoy me rather than soothe my rattled being because I couldn’t eat when I expected to because of moldy tortillas.
I am not a customer service expert but I believe that you need some help in this department.
The next day (to their credit) I received a follow up email with this message:
We are sorry that you did not find the information provided in the email helpful only more annoying. We are always glad to make our customers happy and we will send out a VIP replacement coupon to replace your tortillas, but we were inquiring in the first email as to how the product was stored when you purchased it to help us determine why this would happen to your product. Storage and temperatures affect our products and we were hoping to give you a reason why your tortillas would mold in the freezer. If you would like a VIP coupon, please reply to this email with your full mailing address.
So, I replied to the email with my address, expecting this VIP coupon to at least buy another Food for Life product. Today, I went to my post office box and opened a letter from Food for Life. In it 4 fifty cents off coupons on their products. I sat with the envelope in my hands a bit dumbfounded as to why they would consider giving me 50 cents off their products, something VIP. I looked again in the envelope certain that they had also put in a coupon for a FREE replacement product but NOOOOO.
So, here I call out Food for Life on their lousy customer service and their moldy tortilla issue. I can live with the latter as I already have a fix — I freeze them myself. But I cannot help Food for Life with their customer service, unless, of course, they’d like to pay me to do so. And no, I will not accept money off coupons in trade.
Have you encountered any customer service issues like this? I hope not but it happens.