Writing to companies = Free stuff and coupons!

I often receive emails from people thanking me for all the money I’ve helped them save. While I’m so glad to be helping save you money, I have to tell you that this blogging thing is a two-way street: I’ve saved so much more money myself since I started blogging on saving money.

Case in point: a number of you have mentioned writing to companies when you have a problem with a product. Honestly, the thought would have never crossed my mind to do so but with your encouragement I tried it twice in the last two weeks.

And guess what? Both times I scored free coupons.

First I wrote to Pampers because I recently bought a package of diapers that was cut funny and the tabs kept pulling off. We are almost exclusively a Pampers family and I have purchased who-knows-how-many diapers from them in the last four years I’ve been diapering babies, so I knew that this was not typical.

I shot off a simple emailing explaining what had happened, telling them how much we like Pampers, and asking if there was anyway they could send me some product coupons. In less than a week, I’d received an email back and a letter with two $5/1 Pampers coupons. Thank you, Pampers!

Armed with this success, I wrote to Lipton tea as I’d bought a box of tea a month ago which had mostly-defunct tea bags in it. When I’d pour the boiling water over the tea bags, they would explode and I’d have to throw out the now-tea-leaf-filled tea and try again.

Once again, I explained the situation, expressed my appreciation for their products (which I usually enjoy), and requested a coupon for a free product to replace the box of tea bags I was unable to use.
I promptly received both an email and a letter containing not only a coupon for a free box of tea, but a sheet of high-dollar coupons for other UniLever brands. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty–I’m impressed!

So folks, it never hurts to write and ask. Don’t complain and don’t take advantage of companies, but if you sincerely encounter a problem with a product, drop the company a line. Your few minutes of effort might pay off with free stuff and great coupons!

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Comments

  1. says

    I never feel uneasy about calling a company when I have had a bad experience with their product.
    I feel if I paid for it and it was not the way it should be then they get a call.
    I have never had a problem with a company refunding me my money back or trying to make it better for me.
    In reality, thy are more then happy to make it right for you. It takes more work to gain a customer then to lose one.

    http://dailydoseofsavings.blogspot.com

  2. says

    That reminds me of the time my mom sent PG a letter in the 80s, telling them she was very disappointed that they changed the smell of Ivory dish soap, that she loved the original and wouldn’t be buying it anymore unless the they changed it back because she didn’t like the new one at all. Even THEN, you got stuff for writing, because they said sorry and sent her a coupon for free Ivory dish soap. LOL Now it cracks me up that she still gets made at their “audacity” to say something like ‘classic scent’ or ‘original scent’ on the bottle, knowing full well it’s NOT the classic/original one. :-) I wonder if she cashed that coupon in!
    Personally, I got a boatload of coupons from Promised Land (DND, though. sigh.) for their milk products when I wrote to them. Same with Sargento and JANE cosmetics.

  3. Carolyn says

    I had great success with Huggies. I simply told them that we love their diapers and was wondering if I should move my DD up to the next size since the 3′s and 4′s overlap in the weight range. She had been soaking through the 3′s at night…anyway, they sent me coupons for 5 free mega packs! I didn’t have to buy diapers for over a month!

    I’ve also sent plain old compliments to Ken’s dressing, Bar S, and Ziplock and received some pretty decent coupons from those companies as well.

    Definitely get more flies with sugar than vinegar!

  4. gbmom says

    We have had success with this also. In January we stayed at a hotel with the water park. We had a wonderful time UNTIL we got to our room. It was filthy! They did not have coment cards and when I complained to the front desk girl she just lamented that yes, that is gross. SO, I emailed them with an explanation. I received an email back saying they were sorry and they would pay closer attentiont to detail. I took that and on we went with our lives. Two weeks later we received in the mail a voucher for “one night stay with water park passes for four people”. And the best thing is it does not expire for a whole year.
    Now, we just emailed Toysrus… can’t wait to see what the outcome will be. Last week there was a link on this blog for “free thomas the train piece”. We managed to get enough people to print them so all four of our children could chose a piece of their own. The coupon did not expire until 7/5/08. We went today and there was a large sign that we could not use the coupon. I email them telling them how angry I was to have to diappoint my children. We will see what the follow through is!

  5. Anna says

    Comments are very much appreciated from companies. Not just ones about something not working. They also reward people who send heartfelt appreciation to them. A few years ago a friend wrote to Olive Garden telling them how much she and her family loved their restaraunt and she got a free trip to Italy and cooking classes with their chefs!

  6. Deanna says

    I did an experiment a few years ago where each day I called the 1800# on a package from my pantry.
    I complimented them or told them what I liked or made a suggestion.
    I scored *SO* much free stuff and coupons!
    -all from 1 toll free call a day.

  7. Kathy says

    I emailed Breyers ice cream to ask why they reduced the size of the carton but the price remained the same…they sent me a coupon for a free product…and basically said the cost of everything had gone up.

  8. says

    LOL
    Today I had a call from a lady telling me she was returning my email about a light bulb. I was not sure what she was talking about untill I realized about 2 months ago I had emailed the company about a expensive bulb that I had bought in a package that had not worked. And had forgetten about it! She said somehow they skipped over my info and she was just getting to it and said I should get a new one in the mail in a few days! So it does pay off in the long wrong! Might take awhile but it does! :-D

  9. Cynthia says

    My daughters and I have a lot of food allergies and it is hard or even impossible to get coupons for the dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian items we can eat. So, once a week I email compliments to three vendors with a request for coupons and then save the link and a copy of the message in a Word document. 75-80% of the time I get the coupons, and I have a record so I can easily request them again in 4-6 months. It works great!

  10. Mara says

    What a great thread! I have done this a couple of times. Recently I got a box of PopSecret popcorn bags that was a total dud – they just wouldn’t pop. They sent me a coupon for a replacement box and a second coupon for any General Mills product. I also try to write to companies where I love their product. The only type of rice I like is from Lundberg Farms (I swear, I could eat their wild rice blend with every meal it is SO yummy!). It’s organic, which in this area means expensive. I wrote to them to tell them how much I love their rice, and to ask if they had any coupons. They sent me a stack of about 30 coupons with no expiration date, along with a bunch of recipe books for their products. Great experience!

  11. says

    We experienced this this week as well, only at a food service place. We eat out more often than I’d like, but we have high expectations when we do, because it isn’t cheap. The location we visited last weekend, we received horrible service. We made simple complaint about the services, and that we were disappointed, and know it wasn’t typical for the restaurant. We were notified we’d be receiving coupons for free appetizers, as well as a gift card. I do believe this should not be abused though. I always try evaluate; am I being overly sensitive, having a bad day, or do I have too high of expectations? If my husband agrees that it was poor food or service, then we will notify the restaurant, likewise, we do compliment the server and manager when service or food is especially good.

  12. says

    Crystal-
    To funny !! I was just about to blog on the same thing. I got two $5 coupons and venus razor coupons. My sons diapers kept ripping on the side. Have a nice night.

  13. Laura says

    I ordered a Kitchenaid stand mixer which was a clearance item on their website. It was $200 less than the newer model. When it arrived there were a few teeny tiny pant chips off it. It just upset me. I knew everytime I looked at it I would be angry since I paid so much for it. I called hoping maybe they would credit my card a small percentage. The rep immediately apologized and said she would send me the more expensive newer version and I had my choice of colors. I was so excited! What a score.

    I recently also got coupons after complaining about a reduced toilet paper size from Cottonelle.

  14. says

    Crystal-
    To funny !! I was just about to blog on the same thing. I got two $5 coupons and venus razor coupons. My sons diapers kept ripping on the side. Have a nice night.

  15. Steph says

    HI, The same thing happened to me a couple weeks ago with the pampers coming undone. I called them and they sent me the same coupons ! Were your diapers cruisers too?

  16. Anna Beth says

    I did this with Starbucks – I used to work there, so I know they have high standards- you are always supposed to be nice to the customer. I went into one store here near my house and had a worker there roll her eyes at me and not even reply when I spoke to her. I contacted them and politely told them what happened, and a few weeks later, I had two free drink coupons in the mail.

  17. says

    I had a really terrible experience at Chilis a few weeks ago. My husband ordered a hamburger and when he bit into it there was a huge (HUGE) chunk of very raw chicken! Yuck! It was so incredibly disgusting. Thanks to this post i decided i would write them about it. Even if nothing comes of it, that was a major health concern that they should be aware of!

  18. says

    I do this all the time, to tell them of a faulty product or to praise one – either way I usually get coupons without even asking for them! This also works for restaurants. My family always turns to my letter writing skills when they need to do something like this!

  19. says

    I did this with Mars a couple weeks ago. I had gotten a Twix bar from CVS and it was horribly stale. So I called the company asking about how to interpret the expiry code, and they sent me several $1/1 coupons for any Mars product! Since these types of candies are usually only .50, I definitely scored! :-) Oh, and I returned the uneaten remainder of the Twix bar to CVS, too, and got a fresh one. LOL

  20. says

    I wrote to Arm & Hammer about how much I love their products (cat litter, detergent, baking soda) and was deluged with free coupons. Writing companies whose products you love gives great positive feedback and often is rewarded with great coupons!

  21. sandysue15 says

    A couple months ago, I sent Covergirl and email to advise them that I was disappointed with their new eyeshadow and received a coupon for a free item up to $5 (more than I’d pay for the original eye shadow).

    I sent Bush beans an email complimenting their product and received 2 .50 cent off coupons for their new Grillin Beans. They were on sale this week at Kroger 2 for $3.00 so I used the coupons and got 2 cans for $1 since they double coupons. Good deal.

  22. says

    I posted on my blog about how when I got the free Kashi Mountain Medley granola sample it was full of ants so I wrote to Kashi to tell them that I didn’t get to eat it and they sent me 3 coupons for a free Kashi product.

  23. says

    I recently bought a store brand carton of Fudge Royal ice cream from a major grocery chain only to find that there was no fudge in it! I took a picture the other day and plan to email it to them. I’m curious to see what they’ll do!

  24. Jeanine says

    Almost all products have a 1-800 number on them. A few times that I’ve had trouble with products, I’ve simply picked up the phone! Everytime, I’ve gotten coupons to replace the defective product for free, plus more!

  25. Sheena says

    Thank you so much for your tips! I was at the dentist’s the other day and I picked up some $2/1 Crest Pro-Health toothpaste coupons. I got home and then realized that they had expired on 9/30/07! After reading your post, I decided to try emailing Crest to see if they would send me a replacement coupon–and guess what? They are! :)

  26. says

    What a great thread!

    I have had success with Sargento cheese and Fruit Lathers in the past: I have commented on the feature that wasn’t working on Sargento’s website and they thanked me with a free product coupon; with Fruit Leathers I have ordered 2 boxes and one had an expiration date that was like a month before. I took a picture of both boxes and emailed them. They apologized and sent me a replacement box and also a toy for my daughter (as she was the main consumer :))

    I haven’t had much luck with Barilla: there is a $1 printable coupon for their pasta, but due to my printer settings I’m unable to print it. I asked them if they could mail me the coupon (gave them the url and described the problem) and also commented on how much we love their pasta (both of our girls could live on Barilla alone :)), but they replied that they do not maintain the mailing list and do not send out coupons, and advised to watch Sunday paper inserts :(

  27. says

    What a great thread!

    I have had success with Sargento cheese and Fruit Lathers in the past: I have commented on the feature that wasn’t working on Sargento’s website and they thanked me with a free product coupon; with Fruit Leathers I have ordered 2 boxes and one had an expiration date that was like a month before. I took a picture of both boxes and emailed them. They apologized and sent me a replacement box and also a toy for my daughter (as she was the main consumer :))

    I haven’t had much luck with Barilla: there is a $1 printable coupon for their pasta, but due to my printer settings I’m unable to print it. I asked them if they could mail me the coupon (gave them the url and described the problem) and also commented on how much we love their pasta (both of our girls could live on Barilla alone :)), but they replied that they do not maintain the mailing list and do not send out coupons, and advised to watch Sunday paper inserts :(

  28. Mary says

    I wrote to Thomas’s because I got a sleeve of doughy, underbaked bagels. I mentioned in my letter that I really liked Thomas’s bagels and that they might want to check their baking equipment so that future batches don’t come out underbaked. Lo and behold, a week later, I got a whole stack of coupons for Thomas’s products.

    I also called Glad when I got a box of quart-size freezer bags where two hadn’t been heat-sealed properly and were stuck together. The nice lady on the phone took my name and address and sent me a coupon for a free box of bags.

  29. Cole & Lia's mom says

    I agree, complimenting a company can be just as rewarding (for them and for us!). I make a dinner meal of kielbasa, onions and peppers, and it’s always been a hassle to open the kielbasa package — you have to cut it with scissors all the way around, and it leaks all over and makes a mess. Well, a couple of months ago I brougha home a package of Hillshire kielbasa and — WOW — it had an easy-open package! Just pull the tab and the vaccuum-sealed pouch opened neatly! I was so excited i had to call the company right away and compliment them on what a great idea. And — they sent me a bunch of free coupons and $$ coupons, it was awesome. But — the priceless part was hearing the smile on the face of the lady at the other end of the phone; she said after fielding customer complaints for hours, I had made her day. :) Spread the love!
    ~Karen

  30. michelle says

    I e-mailed Huggies about 3 packages I bought at work at Walgreens that were all hard to open and the tabs would break. Within a week they sent me a thank you for letting them know and 3 coupons. Two of them were for a 1.00 off diapers and the other one was for a free package of jumbo diapers. I was super happy because I still used the diapers they just weren’t very good. I usually never have a problem with Huggies but I think the packages were just old. Thanks for the advice I would have never written them!!