Archive for the ‘complaint letter’ Tag

My IKEA Complaint Letter

TO: IKEA Complaint Department

FROM: Mr. Keith Yancy

RE: Product Issue Causing Gradual Insanity

Dear IKEA:

My name is Keith Yancy, and I am a customer at your Michigan (Canton) IKEA store.  I have a complaint.

Along with my wife and three daughters, I am a loyal customer.  I have purchased furniture, pictures, lights, light bulbs, rugs, drapes, plates, and a host of other products.  I like them all, even though they have unusual names like “Besta Vassbo,” “Vejbon” and “Hemnes” that I suspect I mispronounce.  I even like the food, from the meatballs to the 50-cent hot dogs, and I’m particularly fond of the cinnamon rolls.  I’m not ashamed to say I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years at your store, and was generally happy to do so.

Until now.  And it’s all because of this:

photo 21_Cropped

Yes, this is a cup.  A cup YOU sell, in packs of 8, I believe.  Various colors, of which I own all.  To fully understand my problem, allow me to explain how these cups have begun to chip away at my sanity.


It began with a trip to your store, obviously, with my wife and kids.  Because you design your store to channel hapless patrons like myself through all the merchandise, I unwittingly passed a display of these cups, and (unbeknownst to me) my youngest daughter put two packs of plastic cups in our basket.  My wife and I only discovered these cups as we were checking out, and began to debate our kids about why we didn’t need them.  But, with other customers waiting behind us and our daughters’ obnoxious ability to argue endlessly about anything for hours and hours, we gave up and just added them to our bill.

And that’s when it all started.

You see, these cups are left everywhere in my home.  EVERYWHERE.  Some empty, some half-full of water or milk, many COMPLETELY full of water or milk, all of which are left just waiting to be discovered by my wife or me.  This process can take days in some cases (as they are sometimes placed in very strange places), and only the smell of curdling milk makes their location — eventually — known.  My favorite ones are the ones with a spoon in them, fused to the bottom of these evil little colored cups by a layer of what was once hot chocolate (I hope); all attempts at getting a kid to wash them have, to date, resulted in dismal failure.

No matter what day of the week, time of day, or season of the year, these cups are everywhere.  They can be found left on the table,


on a countertop,


scattered around the house in places they shouldn’t be,


or even inside a candy dish, for reasons unknown:


This has been going on for months.  Little plastic IKEA cup-bombs, forever lurking within my home, their multi-colored silence mocking me from room to room.  I’ve tripped over them, found them in the yard, in the bathroom, in my cars, and because they are seemingly made of indestructible, perpetually cheery colored plastic, they never break, and therefore never grow fewer in number.  Even the colors contribute to my descent into madness: I find my OCD in full bloom when, as I load the dishwasher, I become agitated because I can’t find the OTHER orange cup, or wonder why the blue cups always wind up in the kitchen while the green ones disappear for weeks at a time, or why I secretly like the yellow ones the best.


Now you may protest that this is MY problem, as MY children are the ones leaving them everywhere, but I believe you are partially to blame.  Sure, all our parental attempts at getting the kids to clean up after themselves are generally failing, but it was YOU that designed your store to put them in our path.  YOU offer these cups in bright colors that kids like enough (apparently) to put them in our shopping cart without permission.  In other words, you set a trap for us (me), and I’m suffering as a result.

In case you wish to know how bad this situation has become, I’ve begun to suspect that these cups will eventually wind up everywhere — like a virus that takes over the entire planet.  I’ve begun to have visions of them cropping up around the world, like this:





Given what I’ve observed at my home, I even think these cups could escape the bonds of earth.  I really do.


In fact, I’m convinced that these cups are so pervasive, there is absolutely nowhere they can’t turn up.  I’m willing to bet that if someone actually DOES find Bigfoot out in the forest somewhere, he’ll be walking around holding one of our little plastic IKEA cups, like this:  


In short, I don’t think I can escape these cups.  Ever.  Even when it’s my time to go, I suspect they’ll be waiting for my arrival:


Or, in the event that my behavior here on Earth isn’t as good as I think it is, I could EASILY picture these cups waiting for me elsewhere, poised to ensure my journey to insanity is both complete and eternal:



So, IKEA, since you were in part responsible for my deteriorating condition, I propose compensation.  Clearly, you’re cheerful little plastic cups have negatively affected my mind, and I think a free package of cinnamon rolls is a fair exchange for my mental health.  If you are particularly moved by my suffering, some meatballs would be nice too.   I may eventually go completely insane, but it would be nice to do so after sampling your cinnamon rolls, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be a more docile and satisfied insane person on a full stomach.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  I feel compelled to observe that, even if you choose not to offer compensation, my wife and kids enjoy your store too much for me to effectively boycott your products.  So while this may appear to be an empty threat, I can only trust that your conscience as a marketer and as a parent (if you have children) will nag at you, knowing you have driven a cynical suburban father of three out of his mind.


Keith D. Yancy


A Complaint Letter

I love Panera Bread -- 99% of it, anyway.

by Keith Yancy

I’ve often felt that there’s two kinds of people in this world: the kind that will send back an order at a restaurant, and the kind that wouldn’t.  Oversimplification, I’m sure… but true.  I am firmly in the latter category — I’m willing to put up with a lot, because even the thought of unnecessary conflict makes me uncomfortable.

But… when it comes to getting overcharged, I’m slightly — slightly — more courageous.  That’s why I’m sending the letter of complaint below to Panera Bread.  No, it’s not how you’re supposed to write complaint letters, but I just can’t muster enough righteous anger to be indignant and formal, so I’m “goin’ rogue” and writing it in my own way.

Dear Panera Bread Company Complaint Department:

My name is Keith Yancy, and I have a complaint about your company.

Before I get to my issue with your company, however, a bit of background:  I love Panera Bread restaurants.  My wife and I eat at one of your stores every week, and your company is gracious enough to offer healthy food choices (for her) and fattening ones (for me).  We even like those earth-tone colors you painted the walls with a couple of years ago.

The employees at your Livonia, Michigan location are without exception nice, smiling, irritatingly young compared to me (I won’t hold that against you), and do a very good job.  Even the one older employee we’ve seen in your Livonia restaurant recognizes us, greets us every week and makes polite conversation.  That’s nice.

The food is all very good, though I wish you guys would serve challah bread.  I don’t often get the Cinnamon Crunch bagels anymore (I’m getting too fat), but once when one of the employees dropped two of them on the floor and had to throw them out, I got a little choked up.  The employee assured me that they rarely dropped them, and agreed with me that it was a tragedy, though she didn’t seem to be nearly as emotionally affected as I was. 

Maybe what I like most about your company, though, is the fact that you give your leftover food to charities.  Now THAT is cool, and one of the biggest reasons I like you so much.  And while I’m glad you don’t go overboard bragging about that, I sometimes wish you’d make more noise about it to encourage other restaurants to do the same thing.

As you’re undoubtedly aware, though, times are tough for all of us.  The economy is still down, prices for everything are going up, getting your share of the bagel-eating market is surely challenging.  I get it.  But while I’m mostly content to pay whatever you’ve got the courage to charge me for a bagel and a large coffee, I discovered something a few weeks ago that has led me to feel dissatisfied with my warm, fuzzy feelings about Panera.

I submit to you the following visual aid, which I call “Exhibit A.”

Exhibit A

That little 1.5 oz container of peanut butter cost me $1.20.  With all due respect, that’s an awful lot of money for peanut butter.  So much, in fact, that after I unwittingly paid that price, I complained about it to my wife long enough that she told me to stop.  (She was not impressed with my taking a picture of Exhibit A, either.)  Now I understand that you have to make a profit, and it would seem that you probably paid one of your young, fresh-faced associates to fill a bunch of these little 1.5 oz. containers… but $1.20?

When my wife wasn’t looking, I put the empty Panera peanut butter container in my pocket and took it home.  I then did some investigating and put all of my mathematical powers to the task of comparing Panera peanut butter to the peanut butter at my house.  Taste was identical, but take a look at Exhibit B:

Exhibit B

This is the 28 oz. peanut butter jar at the Yancy house, the price of which was $4.59. 

Here’s the part where I demonstrate my breathtaking mathematical logic.  Let’s compare:


Yancy Peanut Butter

  • 16.4 cents per ounce
  • Approx. 33 cents for 1.5 oz (includes profit for whoever made the peanut butter)

Panera Peanut Butter

  • 80.o cents an ounce
  • $1.20 for 1.5 oz (I’m thinking there’s profit in there for you somewhere, huh?)

Shocking Stats: 

  • At these rates, if I were to buy this 28 oz. jar at Panera, it would cost me $22.40
  • Your peanut butter is actually higher in price than one of your bagels… which seems weird to me

Now, in fairness, I did bring up the cost to one of your young associates at the register.  She was very nice.  She gave me a sympathetic nod that seemed to suggest that she had faced such middle-aged indignant guys before and said, “I know — it’s CRAZY!!!  That’s what we’ve been told we have to charge!!!  It’s CRAZY!!!”  (I suspect that everything this person says, on the job or off, requires exclamation points.)  Her response was in no way disrespectful and she even managed to keep a smile through both exclamations of how “CRAZY” it was, but I was left with no recourse but to write to you.

So… I’m asking you to please review the pricing of your peanut butter in your restaurants.  I’ve not purchased any peanut butter from you since I discovered how much I was paying, and I miss it.  Even charging 40 cents an ounce puts you well above the store-bought prices, gives you some profit, and keeps everybody happy.

Please help.  Not being able to order peanut butter with a plain bagel makes me want to go back to ordering Cinnamon Crunch bagels, which will just make me even fatter than I am now.  I gain weight very quickly, and my willpower is weak… so in a way, Panera Bread will be responsible for my overall physical condition and health.

Yours most sincerely and respectfully, 

Keith Yancy

I will try to send this and see if I get any response.  Maybe they’ll give me a coupon for a free Cinnamon Crunch bagel or something.  I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time… 🙂