The Breakfast-Cereal Bypass

So if General Mills are going to be morons (see my previous post for the rather dreary saga), I decided to bypass them and go right to the source: Chirp Magazine, aka Owl Publications!

Will they take my very subtle hints in this email and send Naomi Rivka at least a trial issue, if not a 3-issue "mini-subscription" of her very own???
Will they at least sit on the General Mills people to get this stupid, trivial, little thing done for me?

We shall see... as the SAGA continues...

January 2010 postscript: the saga does indeed continue. January 6th here and no magazines yet. Read on!

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2009 11:51 PM
Subject: Chirp Magazine - promotional subscription

Back in May, we bought a box of Reese Puffs cereal that promised a free subscription to Chirp magazine. All we'd have to do is go to the General Mills website, enter a special code, and our three free issues would be on their way.

Well, we were all very excited (I grew up reading Owl and its sister publications, and my 4-year-old daughter loves both magazines and mail!) and went to enter the code right away.

Due to various difficulties with the website, the code was repeatedly rejected. I phoned General Mills and they, too, were not able to enter the code. They said to wait until the following week and try again. I wished I hadn't told my daughter already and gotten her excited; 4-year-olds are not known for their patience.

A couple of weeks later, after several more tries at the company's excruciatingly slow website, our code was finally accepted! I received an email assuring us that "You should receive your reward within 6 - 8 weeks of this confirmation email."

That was June 1st, just about three months ago.

On Friday, August 28, I received an email from General Mills pleading: "We need your help to send you your free read." Apparently, they have experienced technical difficulties (I knew that back in May!) and "some of the information you provided to us was lost" - including, apparently, our mailing address.

The email concluded in a most glib fashion with the word "Cheers" and the reassurance that we'd receive the magazine "in the next six to eight weeks" from September 15th. That will be, most likely, sometime in November - assuming, charitably, that they make the deadline this time. My daughter, meanwhile, gave up asking about "her magazine" long ago. Maybe she just assumes I lied to her.

Since you're in the business of kids' publishing, you'll realize that May to November - six months! - is an unacceptably long delay in the life of a 4-year-old.

I decided to contact you in case your company is not aware of how badly this promotion has been handled. For whatever reason, General Mills did not have the technical resources in place to handle a promotion of this type. I also wanted to make you aware that there is a very disappointed little girl in our household who was really looking forward to reading Chirp - at least, until she gave up waiting altogether.

Yours truly,


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