Monday, January 21, 2008



It's been a tradition in my house to have a decorative glass jar of chocolates on my coffee table at all times. My husband was a chocoholic and chocolates had to be available at all times. Not a bad addiction in the whole scheme of things.

Anyway - I've carried on the tradition and all who come to visit know that there is always a chocolate fix waiting for them - no need to even ask - just open the jar and take. I usually buy "Toblerone" but every so often I buy something else for variety.

And so it was that a few weeks ago when I was in the supermarket I bought a bag of chocolates to replenish my stash. There were all kinds of sales going on and I spent quite some time checking the bags of chocolates and their prices relative to the number of pieces for the price. If you get my meaning. I decided on a bag of "Elite" brand chocolates which had written across the top "20% free" (in Hebrew, of course) and on the front of the package "26 pieces".

Now - I do not know what possessed me to count the number of pieces contained in the bag - I've never done it before - but you'd better believe that I'll do it again. For the bag contained only 25 pieces. Yes - I counted them several times - still 25 pieces.

Mind you - one piece less is not going to make or break me - but just imagine - if in each bag sold only one piece is missing - what kind of a profit can accrue to the company. They can make millions just on that "one piece".

So - good citizen that I am - I wrote to the Strauss Group Ltd. which is the parent company of "Elite". Just so that you know - Strauss is an enormous corporation doing business all over the world - according to the internet. They are involved with "Danone", "Unilever", "Pepsico", "Lavazza", "Frito-Lay" - to name only a few easily recognizable names out of many. In Israel they control dairy products, chocolates, coffees, snack foods, prepared salads - you name it, their finger is in it - so to speak.

I asked them for nothing - not for free chocolates - not for free "anythings" - not even for a refund for my missing piece of candy. I simply sent a letter to Ofra Strauss, Chairperson and Erez Vigodman, President and CEO of Strauss Group Ltd. telling them of the wrong count in the package.

And what did I expect in return? Just an answer - an apology if you like - for what was probably a mistake - after all - how many people actually count the pieces in a bag of chocolate? And what did I receive? Nothing. I have never had even an acknowledgement from them let alone an apology.

I can't even get on my high horse and threaten never to buy any of their products again - you can hardly turn around in Israel without running into their products. And how can I give up "Max Brenner" chocolates? So what will I do? Tell everyone I know about their short-count and about how they completely ignore letters from their consumers. And hope that, somehow, some day, this message gets to them - and if they ever reply I'll let you know.

Yalla, Bye.

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