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One thing I really like about the Internet is it’s easier than ever to find contact information for just about any company. Last week I was making enchiladas and needed a can of green chilies for the sauce. I went to the pantry, pulled out one made by Pace, opened it up, and surprise, surprise…the can was only 25% full. These aren’t the most expensive things to buy, but these days even throwing away couple of bucks feels like such a waste.
I went to my computer and typed in Pace and found their Web site. I clicked on contact us, and filled in the feedback form and explained what had happened. They responded in less than an hour with an apology, and offered to send me a free coupon for a replacement. So I’ll give them five stars for their easy to use Web site, five for their response time, and five for offering to replace it, no questions asked. By the way, Pace is owned by Campbell’s.

On the other side of the coin, if you do love a product and have only good things to say about it, why not praise the company. We all like to hear good things about our work, and it often guides a company to give you better service. In fact, when I worked in PR, I took a course in media training. All the participants were sitting around talking about their good and bad experiences with companies.
One lady said she’d praised a hotel because of the great service she’d received. Not only did the hotel thank her, but gave her a gift certificate for a free night’s stay, just for taking the trouble to write to them. Another lady said she’d complained to a food manufacturer when she’d purchased a can of fruit salad that was supposed to contain cherries and didn’t. The PR manager thanked her for bringing it to their attention and gave her $10 in coupons. He said if more people actually complained and gave them feedback, then they’d be able to provide a better service to all their customers.

I’ve been seeing lots of articles about the rebates most of us will shortly be receiving from the IRS. Most have been focusing on ways to use the money. Suggestions have included, paying off your credit card, putting the money into a savings account for a rainy day, and even going out and buying yourself something nice. One idea I haven’t seen so far, and maybe I’ll be the first to suggest it here…start your own mini business. You never know when you’re going to lose your job or get sick and can’t work, so it’s a great idea to have something to fall back on. It could be something you can run while you’ll still working your day job, something you can run from a small corner of your home. One thing we should all try and do these days is to try and create multiple streams of income. If you look at most successful entrepreneurs they don’t make their money all from one source. If one market or sector is slow, they’ve got another market to keep them afloat.

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