It’s the second time now that we’ve bought a packet of Pamper’s “Sleep and Play” diapers (nappies) and had a FAIL. It hasn’t been just one but a whole batch that have failed to keep our little girl dry, or for that matter the mum and dad holding her.
Being active consumers we contacted Pampers through their website. We received a very wordily worded long winded email.
Thank you for contacting us with regard to your recent experience with Pampers. We appreciate you bringing your concerns to the attention of our Consumer Relations division.
Pampers nappies are manufactured and distributed under extremely high standards. At Procter and Gamble we do our best to maintain the highest quality control in manufacturing all our Pampers products. All raw materials used in the manufacturing process are thoroughly checked before use, and a number of stringent quality checks and inspections are done to prevent below-standard nappies being packed.
Yes, but after all our duds, the point is what? When I waitered for Spur almost two decades ago a very basic mantra was drilled into us during training, “The customer is always right.” If there is a complaint, apologise upfront, take the offending item away, bring a replacement and then try resolve the issue behind the scenes. The Spur manager said that for any one negative experience it would be passed on to another nine people. And that was in the days before blogging!
Notice the apology in the first part of the response from Pampers. Wait. There isn’t one. I’m not good at apologising. When I or what we do at my church gets criticized, my instinctual response is to want to defend and argue. Yet, in every criticism is a grain of truth.
We apologize for the fact that, in spite of our efforts, you have received Pampers nappies that do not meet with such standards.
Kindly post us a minimum of 5 unused nappies to our free post address for testing: Procter & Gamble, Free Post JHZ 879, Rivonia, 2128. We will contact you as soon as we have received the samples. They will be forwarded to our Quality Department for testing and feedback will be communicated to you accordingly.
(Thanks for the apology, Pampers.) Both times that the nappies failed they were “Made in Poland.” Maybe there is a link with Poland. Just a hunch. So after the hedged apology, the onus is now on me to bundle up 5 unused sample nappies, get in my car, go to our nearest post office, stand in a queue and post them.
I wrote back saying this was too much effort. I’ll drop off the unused Pamper’s nappies the next time we’re at Dischem (where we bought them) and buy Huggies. And there is the truth about consumer society – I can go elsewhere and will. If the effort proves too much to effect a change, I go elsewhere. If what I consume doesn’t suit me, I go elsewhere.
I’ve been reminded by Pampers that our church context is not immune to this. We are in the age of consumer spirituality. I can go elsewhere and will. If the effort proves too much to effect a change in my local church, I can go elsewhere. If what I consume on a Sunday doesn’t work for me, I go elsewhere.
A line from a sermon by Paul Siaki has stuck with me and continues to challenge me. He said we desperately need Christians to move from thinking how the church can serve us to how we can be of service (serve us vs service). Clever. ”Well done, good and faithful, servant,” are the words I want to hear in the End. ”Well done, good and faithful, consumer,” just doesn’t have the same ring to it…
Who would have thought contemplating Pampers nappies could be so profound.