Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dill, Parsley and a Victory for the Little Consumer

This week's farmshare included a handful of freshpicked dill and Italian parsley, among other great things, so today I made pesto of dill and parsley. I figured that since they both go with similar foods -- fish, eggs, and that -- it would be a good pesto mix.

So, hauling out my ancient blender, the one with two speeds, on and off, and the makings, the herbs chopped with a big knife rather than processed, the crushed walnuts, since I'm not a fan of pine nuts, the parmesan cheese, the good olive oil, and then the work of a moment to blend it all, then flatten it into a ziploc bag, to freeze it.

This way the bag stands on its edge in the freezer, along with the other pesto mixes, and you can just break off exactly the amount you want to cook with.

Result: taste of summer ready for any time I want to use it.

The other item today is a report on a Great Victory for the Small Consumer, this little old lady living on Social Security for the most part. Leaving out all the forensic details, the short version is that I put in a mail order, using a check, last February for items from a giant mail order house.

This house will remain unnamed, because their lawyers are bigger and meaner than my lawyer, and because the point is not that they're villains but that there's enough stupidity in the world to go around. If stupid were a crime, we'd all be serving time.

Anyway, the check had my correct address on it, as did my order form. My bank statement showed that it was cashed in a few days. But the order didn't arrive. After a couple more weeks, I emailed them, and they said it had been sent and returned as undeliverable.

Whereupon I reminded them of the correct address, wrote a letter to their customer service people, requested a refund, telling them again the address to send it to. Fast forward over several more emails, which they now ignored, until last week, I had a rush of brains to the head along with a determination that I couldn't afford to lose this money, small to them, big to me.

So I emailed once again, asking that it be directed to their president's office, and here's what I think worked: I mentioned that I would hate to take this to our regional newspaper's Bamboozled consumer column,but would do so if I did not receive a prompt refund.

Magic. The power of the newspaper, I guess, even nowadays. Within a day I had a profound apology from a nice lady in the president's office acknowledging that they had sent the order AND the refund to a nonexistent address, which I had never given them, and that she had now done two things to secure my good will: via UPS Saturday, i.e. expensive, delivery, the check and the order, comped to me as a sorry token. Which indeed happened. To the correct address.

No doubt this lady would have fixed it ages ago if anyone had let her know about it, but I feel pretty sure that the threat was what brought it to her attention, whereupon she sprang to it. I thanked her, reiterating that I was at a loss to know why repeatedly supplying them with the correct address had not worked once! but I did say thank you nicely. I wonder if I ever want to order from them, if I should email my order to her..

So then I emailed the lady who singlehandedly runs Bamboozled, letting her know that the power of her name was enough to do this, no need for her even to take part! she was hugely amused and asked if she could use this in an upcoming column to show how consumers can fight for themselves when it seems hopeless, as long as they have a newspaper in their corner.

Who said the deadtree paper was dead?


Minimiss said...

Love it!! Pesto making and Bamboozled story.

Ash said...

This was a delight to read! Brava to fighting back with the power of the pen!

mittens said...

Brava, brava. There's nothing like eliminating the middle man and go straight to the top, yessir. That's why he's the boss instead of one of those others who really don't care.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Good for you - on both counts (pesto AND a victory for the little guy...girl). Sometimes it just takes being persistent and getting to the right person.

dogonart said...

Oh my...the foighting Irish going at it once again! Thanks for Pesto recipe - hadn't thought of substituting Walnuts. Good idea. Note: that fork might make an appearance on the Antiques Road Show. Did it originate in Glasgow?

Boud said...

About the fork: yes, it could indeed take its place on an antique show! I have two of them, heavy Russian silver from the 1880s, St. Petersburg hallmarked. They're from my days as an antique dealer, but I use them all the time in the kitchen. they're way too heavy to use to eat with,though that's what they're supposed to be for.

I sold most of my silver in the last couple of years when I was in desperate need of quick cash, HP being an expensive patient and all, but I did hang onto these because I love them.