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Monday, 22 July 2013

Hills (the pet food people) Don't Care!

I am really not one for negative blogs, rants and moans but I have to say that I feel more than a little disappointed in Hills Pet Foods.  Michael decided to write this as he felt it was important to say and I agree with him.  It's about common courtesy and politeness, it's about acknowledging people and it's about communication.  I am going to let Hills know that this has been posted and I will offer them a chance to reply - if they do, I promise to post it here.

I hope that you will bear with us and take a moment to read through this blog message:

Ndzilo and I congratulating ourselves on making 470km
from Valencia to Toledo
"We have been loyal customers of Hills Science diet products for twenty years. We have three large dogs and regularly foster dogs looking for good homes, so Hills have done pretty well out of us over the years, both from our direct purchases and from our recommendations.  One of those dogs is now 12 years old.  She is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and has been fed Hills all her life.  She still has all her own teeth, has never had a day sick in her life and the vets examining her before her trip from South Africa to Spain a year ago said that she had a heart more like that of a 4 yo dog than an 11 yo one!

When Tamasine started walking the Camino with our dogs, it occurred to us that things could be a little easier financially if we sought sponsorship. We felt that Tamasine walking the Camino with our dogs would be a good story for a company willing to back us. So we thought that we would contact Hills, and see what they thought.

The first difficulty is that it is extremely hard to find someone to communicate with at Hills.  Harder than most companies in fact.  But, with perseverance, persistence, and a little out of the box thinking we managed to get in contact with someone there, who promised to pass our story on.  Nothing.  We waited a while and tried again.  Nothing.   And again.  Finally we got a response from someone, which was encouraging. They said that the story sounded interesting - they would take a look at the blog and get back to us.

Many months later, and several follow up emails, and guess what - nothing!

Don't get me wrong. This is not sour grapes because we didn't get sponsorship.  We have always been impressed by the Hill's food and sponsorship would have helped, but we didn't hold out all that much hope anyway.  This is about politeness.  If Hills had come back to us at any stage and told us politely that they weren't interested, then fine. We would have said ok, and walked away.

But large corporations like this get arrogant. They think that they are big enough that their individual customers are unimportant, and do not merit normal polite behaviour. They think that they are above their customers.

But what actually happens is that  long term customers like us, think they don't care.  And if they don't care abut us, we should we care about them.

This is why we are in the process of investigating other brands in order to switch our dog food soon.

Hills don't care enough even to write to us. And so we don't wish to stay with them anymore.

We are in the day of large corporates and globals, there is no mistaking that. And they do have a habit of becoming unreachable and untouchable. It is up to all of us to make it our job to change that, and do it in the only way we can - with our feet".  


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