Saturday, October 2, 2010

Franklin Goose Flounce: Proving Geese Can Fly =P

So a friend just received an email from Franklin Goose, and I anticipate that I will soon receive the same email.  In case you don't remember, Franklin Goose did a promotion last year where people wrote reviews on products and were given $5 store credit for each and every review they did on the website.  Here's the email:

"Franklin Goose has been doing an enormous amount of discussing and planning lately.

We are wildly appreciative of your participation in the product review promotion we ran in the spring! However, the promotion was much more popular than we were honestly prepared for. As you may know, we have experienced delays in order fulfillment of the store credit orders.

In the last 6 months we have been depleting our inventory and resource with no foreseeable means of restoring these resources as our energy and time have been focused on fulfilling the promotion and not growing our business. If we continue down this path, we will be out of business -- likely long before you get the products you order with your remaining credit.

Obviously, that's bad for us both. So with enormous regrets, we are placing a mandatory freeze on store credit sales (though we will fulfill all existing orders as inventory permits). We will also be banking all store credit for 6 months (with interest). This will give us time to build back up and improve sales through the web and at our new store front in Richmond. Your account will not reflect the banked credits until October 15th.

In 6 months, we'll unbank the credits and be better prepared to fulfill your orders. We realize this decision will be unpopular, but it would be dishonest of us to let you place orders for birthdays and Christmas that we know we are more than likely unable to fulfill. And doing this now is the only way we can find that will provide everyone the opportunity to use their credits.


The Franklin Goose Team"

I have to say, I was only about 50% surprised to see this.  Offering $5 store credit for each review and setting no limit definitely seemed over generous to say the least.  In fact, at the time, many friends told me I was wasting my time doing ANY reviews because "obviously it was a scam."  I can definitely vouch for the company and say that it wasn't a scam; I received lots of nice stuff from Franklin Goose through this promotion and was never once even asked for credit card or Paypal information. Franklin Goose even covered the shipping to Canada. At the same time, I am still waiting on a handful of items that were ordered in April.  One item is a Planetwise Pail Liner and also a few newborn items that I ordered in April for my sister who is due in December with her first baby.  The newborn items will be shipped to my sister in the states and the pail liner is apparently coming to Canada, although I've emailed them quite a few times about the pail liner (which is supposedly in transit, and has been for several months) and I've been told that it's likely being held by customs.  I find it hard to believe that customs would hold a pail liner for that long, but I digress.  Not to mention, you often get what you pay for in this world... I hate to sound negative but it's true!.  That being said, the best things in life are also often free, and the best things in life are not often things,  I'm sure all of us parents can probably agree on those sentiments. 

As I stated above, I was only half surprised to see an email of this nature, but what really surprised me was that after being forwarded the email in question I immediately went to see what they were saying about it on their Facebook page, and lo and behold, the Facebook page was *POOF* gone!  This annoys me to say the very least.  It annoys me mostly because in this day in age, with social media such as Facebook, Twitter and various blogs, it's pretty much commonly known in the business world that you should never censor the complaints or feedback of your customers.  After all, better they be giving their thoughts in a space where you hold the control and the power to respond than to take it to other venues where you have none of that. Yep, it's definitely not popular or cool to try and censor the thoughts of your fans and customers. I'm actually more disturbed by this (no doubt difficult) decision.  Why on earth would they want to look like they are trying to censor the anger or thoughts on this major decision?  In all honestly, I was completely fine with the decision until I noticed that their Facebook Group had been deleted.  I respect that they've had to make this difficult decision, and I wish them no hardship, but why, why, why would you decide to censor your customers!  

As far as how I feel about what they are doing in general, meh, it sucks but I don't think it's the end of the world.  Everyone will still get their credit (with interest), they'll just have to wait 6 months.  As for the people who were already banking it and were just coming up to the end of their banking term (a few people I know are in this situation), I think it sucks especially hard for them since they've already been waiting to use their credits, and initially banked them so it would be easier on Franklin Goose.  Not to mention that I'm certain more than a few people were planning on using their credits for the holiday season, and will probably be sorely disappointed when they find out that they won't be doing so after all. I just hope that Franklin Goose makes good of this 6 month period, because I have a feeling that the second the credits become available, they are going to have a mad rush of people making orders out of concern and distrust.  I imagine it will probably be an even bigger rush of orders than they've already experienced. 

In case anyone wants to discuss this further, I've created a Franklin Goose Discussion Page on Facebook just because they've deleted their own. I think it's really important to not censor people's thoughts on a company's actions.

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