Do your kids complain enough?

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This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post looks at the way children’s sense of outrage is shaped  For more info about parenting see my book Homemade Kids, or for my website click here.

My wellies don’t fit, I’m hungry, are we nearly there yet? These are all complaints that slightly drive me insane. Sometimes whoever says it has a good point – sometimes their timing is terrible. But this time my daughter Nell, 11, has found a new outlet for injustice – the makers of Walkers cheese and onion crisps.

Let me explain
We went to a friend’s orchard in Kent to help prune the pear trees (see pix above). It was a lovely Sunday trip – the children got to play in the woods and around the camp fire. Everyone else got to play with secateurs and pruning saws. About 6pm we packed up and headed to the train station.

As a treat Nell was allowed to go and buy anything she wanted. This is a big deal for her as she only gets £1 – £2 to spend a week (which she doesn’t always spend, and also I’m not very consistent about offering this sum as pocket money, it’s often just forgotten).  She was first tearful, then enranged to discover her crips weren’t what she’d expected…

I’ll leave the story to her now – as written to the Consumers Service Department of Walkers Snack Foods on the train back home.

Dear Walkers snack foods

Today I bought a grab bag cheese and onion packet of crisps. When I first opened the packed, a smell of plain crisps wafted around my nostrils; I was disgusted. In total only 3 of the crisps were really cheese and onion flavour. This meant that the ingredients were wrong, what would happen if I was allergic to plain crisps? I was incredibly hungry and was looking forward to my cheese and onion crisps, when they were opened I was deeply disappointed to find it was not my favourite flavour. I bought them in mini mart, Marden, Kent.

I would like a new packet in return , or my money back (if you feel very sorry perhaps twice the amount – the bag was 65p!).

Best wishes, Nell (aged 11)

PS I have sent the packet to prove I am not cheating you.

Over to you
What do you think Walkers will do when they get this letter – send her a replacement packet, or a voucher? Or simply ignore it? I love the way Nell feels consumers should have rights. She only wrote the letter because we explained it would be hard to sue!

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2 Comments on “Do your kids complain enough?”

  1. nicola baird Says:

    From Julie B: “I think she’ll get a whole box of crisps back – and then you’ll be wondering what to do with them all!”

  2. nicola baird Says:

    From Facebook:
    Penny: “If its any consolation, I reckon they really will give her something nice in return. I have complained a few times in my life – especially as a kid when I found out you could be compensated. Best compensation – a massive multi pack of cadburys chocs when I found something vile in my twix, recently cadburys gave me £10 vouchers for their Xmas choc biccies cos a tin of them I was given was missing two from the top layer. Worst compensation was my money back but in the form of first class stamps instead of chocolate.”

    Ian: “Well I’ve found one sort of crisp that’s good for everybody’s health. Nigel Crisp has come out of retirement to rubbish Lansley’s messy proposals for the NHS.”

    Alice: “I once found what looked like a deep-fried caterpillar on a Kettle Chip. I sent the offending crisp to them and received not only four vouchers for new (large) packets but a huge box with SIX further packets. So, 10 points for customer service, nul points for healthy eating!”

    Nicola Baird “‎@alice that’s hilarious. It looks as if Nell is going to strike lucky – I’ll never be able to stop her writing complaining letters if that is the case.”


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