It all started when I opened a fresh jar of Tasters Choice® Coffee and made the first cup. It didn’t taste right. It had an extra flavor of Vanilla or Hazelnut or . . . something!
At first, I thought it must have been something in my cup, or something that I had eaten before drinking that cup of coffee that flavored my perception of goodness. But then I had another cup and another cup and another cup (over the ensuing days) and I was finally convinced that it wasn’t my taste buds, but rather something else. “What if Nestlé® is messing with my “tried and faithful” brew? What if they are improving it? Oh, dear! What am I going to do???”
Well, for one thing, I wasn’t going to just let it go quietly. So I sent a generally undemanding letter of disappointment to Customer Service and was astounded to receive a very prompt, courteous reply, promising to look into it, and to compensate me for my disappointment. Sure enough, it wasn’t long until I received coupons in the mail for cents off as well as one free jar of Taster’s Choice® coffee, my choice. I was amazed at the speed with which this all transpired, grateful for the kindness of the people that I spoke with and the generosity of the company. I mean, I’m not their biggest customer by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just this common, ordinary Delaware Grammy, who decided to speak up for once, and I hadn’t been at all forceful in my telling of my disappointment. But, hey! Free coffee is free coffee. I tucked the coupons into the side pocket of my purse to use the next time I needed to purchase coffee. The thing was, the more I drank that coffee that wasn’t quite right, the better it tasted. I have a feeling that there was somehow a layer of flavored coffee that somehow got right on the top of the jar and once I got through that, it wasn’t half bad. And I really cannot bear to just throw coffee away. I was really grateful for their generosity, but actually felt guilty about accepting the free coupons when I was drinking the coffee that I had complained about.
When all this was finished, Nestlé®, the parent company of Taster’s Choice®, sent me a e-mail, inviting me “to participate in a survey evaluating your experience when e-mailing us regarding Nescafé® Taster‘s Choice® Instant Coffee.” I was delighted to do that, and promptly filled it out and returned it. That was right after Christmas. And I’ve not heard anything from them since.
And so, tonight I wrote Nescafé Beverage another letter:
Okay, you guys! You really surprised this Delaware Grammy!
When a big box showed up on my doorstep, I thought it was just a shop part that I ordered for my husband’s table saw, so I didn’t pay much attention. When my daughter brought it in and set it on the dining room table, I thought, “That’s funny. That’s a really big box, and it says, ‘fragile’ and it says ‘This side up!’ I wonder why they are giving so much attention to a metal mitre saw guide!” But then it was too lightweight to be anything metal, and I was really confused. So I got me a knife and I slit off the tape. I looked in that box, and thought my husband had gotten really creative (and EARLY!) this year for Valentine’s Day. There was this beautiful basket with a wonderful bow, all surrounded by packaging pieces. I started rummaging through and couldn’t believe my eyes! There were coffees of every kind and description and pretty mugs, all wrapped together in this big wonderful basket. What an astonishing gift — and so extravagant. You all just might convince me that complaining is lucrative.
No, seriously, I don’t usually complain about things, and I was somewhat remorseful when I thought over my reaction and ensuing complaint about my one (ONE!) jar of Taster’s Choice® Coffee that didn’t taste like I had expected. How many times have I opened a fresh jar of Taster’s Choice® and smelled deep breaths of its fresh, warm, comforting essence and never bothered to tell you how superbly pleasant it was? I don’t remember any! (And I’ve been drinking Taster’s Choice® for close to forty years.)
So I am telling you now! I’m telling you that I have to exercise self control to not open a new jar before the old one is finished because of how much I love that “just opened” smell. I’m telling you that I just fixed a cup of “Grammy Coffee” for my six year old granddaughter, who loves drinking coffee with me, exactly how I make it! (Lots of cream and sugar) (And since it is after school, I did make it decaf, but on a regular day, I just let her have regular.) I’m telling you that I’m so satisfied with Taster’s Choice® that when it’s not available and I decide to try anything else, I’m sorely disappointed.
And I’m telling you “Thank-you!”
Thank you for a coffee that my 86 year old Mama drank until she wasn’t drinking anything but water. In her last illness, I would make it in my kitchen, put it into a pretty mug and take it to her hospital room, just to see her take a deep swallow, close her eyes and say, “Oh, Mary Ann! That’s so good!”
Thank you for hearing me when I complained that my new jar didn’t quite meet my expectations. Thank you for sending me coupons for free product to compensate and a survey to see how you did. (You did GOOD!)
And thank you for a most unexpected surprise basket in the mail today that included pretty mugs and an incredible array and display and variety of coffee. I’m overwhelmed.
However, I can never drink this much coffee, so the coffee bar at our country church in Felton, DE, thanks you, too. Our oldest daughter stocks the supplies there, and it will be a wonderful addition to the Sunday Morning hot drink spread. It’s just plain amazing!
~Mary Ann Yutzy