Boots make a meal out of BW reader's sandwich sadness

21 June 2010

There were shocking scenes in North East England last week, when avid Bitterwallet reader Dave bought a Boots chicken and bacon sandwich as part of their so-called 'meal deal', only to discover the sinister truth after purchasing it - that there was next-to-no delicious meat filling in-between the slices of rustic/brown bread:

As news of this catastrophe resonated around the wor- oh, fuck it. It was a sandwich without enough filling in it. That's it. Despite this and against all odds, we've somehow managed to spin a second post out of the story, thanks to avid reader David taking his complaint to the Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots, using the indispensable guide we published earlier in the month.

Because the Executive Chairman replied.

So first, Dave receives an email from Stefano Pessina. About a sandwich.

Thank you for writing to me personally about your experience. I am most concerned to read your email and I have asked my specialist team to investigate your concerns and to respond on my behalf.

Rest assured that they will be back in contact with you very soon, however if you feel you want to speak to them, they can be contacted on 0115 959 2546.

Kind regards,

Stefano Pessina
Executive Chairman

From the chairman, Dave's complaint is then passed to the Group Chief Executive of Boots, who forwards it onto senior management in customer services:

Andy Hornby Our Group Chief Executive has asked me to acknowledge the receipt of your email, and to respond on his behalf.

Thank you for contacting us about the Chicken and Bacon Meal Deal you recently bought from us. Having viewed the pictures you sent I certainly agree that the sandwich looks most unappetising and is clearly well short of the required standard that we expect to deliver to our customers. We make every effort to avoid this sort of thing happening so I do apologise that we have let you down on this occasion. I will personally share your feedback with our supplier so they can learn from it too and reduce the chance of this happening again.

I'm extremely concerned that you paid for a product that did not meet our highest standards and that you had an unpleasant experience. As a gesture of my concern I would like to arrange for a Giftcard to be sent to you, which I hope will go some way to restoring your faith and trust in us.

If you could let me know your address details I would be more than happy to arrange this for you straight away.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly Mr Taylor, and I hope you?ll accept my sincerest apologies for any upset caused.

Kind regards

Craig Featherstone
Senior Customer Manager
Chief Executive's Office

Brilliant. Common sense has prevailed. All is well in the world once more. And avid Bitterwallet reader Dave will have the sandwich he truly deserves. Hats of to Boots and the senior board members for their excellent and personal customer service.

TOPICS:   Complaints   Health   High Street News   Restaurants


  • StauntonLick
    That's nothing. When I was a kid I found a bag of walkers with no flavouring in it, complained, and got a WHOLE multipack out of it.
  • Nobby
    This is obviously the way forward. If you have a problem, just go to the CEO and wait for a response. Of course, you could just go back to the store and ask them for a replacement. Then, if they know there is a problem and they refuse to rectify it, that is when the CEO should be approached.
  • PaulH
    Huzzah for the shopkeep!
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay
    @StauntonLick Ha, I can top that. I once bought a packet of cheese and onion McCoys, that had perfectly edible, tasty, cheese and onion McCoys inside. The problem? They'd only gone and blummin printed the nutritional information for Salt and Vinegar McCoys on the back of the packet. A swift letter of complaint about my incorrectly advertised calories and saturated fats later, and I too, got a voucher for £5, suitable to buy many, many packets of McCoys with! Yum. Hooray for McCoys.
  • Mark
    Moral of this story? Goto Subway.
  • Matt
    Complain to cadburys and they send you special 'cardburys Cash' (aka gift vouchers for chocolate), but the notes are purple and pretty :-p
  • Mick T.
    Kudos to Boots, it appears customer service has not yet totally died in this country.
  • mistersmee
    I'm impressed Boots have a Specialist Sandwich Investigation Team! Must be very ful-filling...
  • DragonChris
    Hurrah! Well done Boots and BitterWallet!
  • PaulH
    @mistersmee Boo-urns!
  • Jonas
    I hope the gift card is of value of £2.99 or hopefully Craig will just mail 'Dave' a bag of shit. I'm sure to complain due to the lack of filling in my sandwiches once I have eaten it.
  • Simon B.
    Complained to McDonalds about how awful the food was, how they always got the order wrong and how I was surprised advertising standards hadn't censored the BS photos of their food that are used in all their marketing. They didn't really understand my complaint as they just sent me a voucher for £5 more shit McDonalds when I wanted them to start selling decent burgers.
  • rappy
  • Gavin
    I think that going back to the store and complaining, 99% of the time doesnt rectify the situation. Store staff are not that concerned about the companies image, and it's only at a higher level that something can be done. Boots (and other large companies) would rely on this type of feedback to find out whats happening on the ground, and hence put things right that may normally be swept under the rug. I congratulate boots on this, and hope that we can all eat in confidence from this shop with knowledge that our feedback and concerns matter. YES - its only a sandwich, but bad press isn't good... Tell a friend that Boot put the matter right! :)
  • Ian
    @PaulH Don't boo-urns him! That means you like his joke! I though it was toss personally.
  • Alexis
    Not as bad as a Findus Macoroni Cheese I had a few months back (I was skint, alright!) About 3 pieces of miniature pasta swimming in a lake of watery cheese sauce. Absolutely revolting.
  • Steve
    I tried using your fantastic guide to contact the director of VW after being ripped off by one of the branches, didn't get an email back funnily enough!

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