Thursday, May 04, 2006

Fun with Consumer Relations People

Yesterday, as I was trying to decide whether to chew a piece of my old favorite Trident Original Flavor gum or a piece of the new-to-me Wrigley's Extra Peppermint gum, I finally decided I was going to give those Trident people a piece of my mind.

You see, they changed the formula of the gum base. I used to be able to chew a piece of Trident gum all day long (or at least close - I would chew that piece of gum for almost 8 hours!) and it would never get hard. However, over the last couple of years, every package of Trident I have purchased has made my jaw hurt in less than an hour. The stuff gets hard.

I was hoping against hope that it was just an anomaly every time. You know, like the place where I bought the stuff was a place where Original Flavor Trident gum chewers just don't frequent very much and therefore the gum on their shelves was old. Or maybe when we bought the huge box of it in bulk at Sam's that they were just having a bad quality control day in their plant and we happened to just buy a package that contained the stuff that got through their strenuous quality testing procedures and then we got stuck having to chew this horrible gum for the next 6 months, trying to use the rest of it up!

However, after buying another new pack of it the other day, I have come to realize that they've indeed screwed me over and tried to make my life miserable.

So, I went to their website and filled out their little form and sent it off, knowing that they would never respond to me, but still hoping that somehow my little rant would get through to someone. Here's the ensuing e-mail exchange:

Type of Request: General Questions/Feedback
City: Houston
State: TX
Age Group: 35-49 (sidenote: wow, I’m now in the almost-ancient age group!)

Comments: I just want to let you know that I'm so disappointed in the current quality of Trident gum. It seems that about a year ago you may have changed the formula of the gum base. I used to be able to chew a piece of gum for hours without it getting hard. In fact, I don't think it EVER lost its chewability. However, any of the Trident gum I have chewed for the last year (I bought in bulk and thought maybe it was just a bad batch, but have since bought some "fresh" from the store and it's the same) becomes hard and hurts my jaw and teeth after about 30 minutes to an hour.

I understand this may be a marketing ploy to ensure that people will just have to spit out their old piece of gum and get a new piece every 30 minutes and thereby increase the amount they use and the amount they have to buy, however, I'm so, so, so disappointed in this downgrade.

I'm now in search of a new type of chewing gum (after being a loyal daily chewer for more than 15 years to Trident).


Thank you for contacting us concerning our Trident brand. We are sorry to hear that you feel is is not retaining it's flavor any longer.

We have forwarded your comments regarding the lack of flavor on to the marketing and quality departments for review.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us.


Consumer Relations


No, no, it's not that it doesn't retain it's flavor - it's that it gets hard and hurts my jaw!! I never
said anything about the flavor.


I'm now pretty convinced there aren't actually real people reading the comments you receive. *sigh* I guess I shouldn't have expected more.

Maybe I should try to write something in binary code so that I'll feel more in touch with my audience:

Have a good day.


We apologize for any misunderstanding over your concerns. Quality has been advised that you have contacted us over the texture of the gum.

Thank you for clarifying your concerns.

Consumer Relations


Wow, thanks!

(and I hope you were able to find some humor in my previous sarcasm…)


I'm still waiting to see if they'll reply to my last message to them. Hee, hee...


Courtney said...

It is a bit sad to see the means we must take at work to entertain ourselves.

But yes, I agree with you on the Trident thing.

Courtney said...

You are not alone: