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Posted on: Tue, 07/10/2001 - 12:23pm
rebekahc's picture
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Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

Cindy,
Didn't his e-mail say he would send you a list of all Quaker products via snail mail? Also, the link he gave you gives a list of all their products - just click on Quaker Brands.
As for what people have been told by CSRs, I'd hope that Quaker will handle the situation now that it has come to their attention. It seems from this e-mail that the information the CSRs passed out was wrong. Instead of asking this man to once again clarify Quaker's position, why not wait a month or so and call the CSRs back and see if they provide better answers. If not, then I think you should definitley e-mail this man again.
Thanks for all the hard work you do finding out info for us that's not even applicable to you!
Rebekah [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by rebekahc (edited July 10, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 07/10/2001 - 5:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Rebekah, yes, he did say that he was going to send me a complete list of the Quaker products via snail mail. I haven't had the opportunity to check out the website link that he did provide me with, but, as you say, it does cover Quaker Corporate, so it should tell me all about Quaker and it's Rice-a-Roni association etc.
Also, this afternoon after posting, when I had to fly (not literally, except on my broom [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ) I realized that the first person I contacted was with the 1-800# that nopeanuts had provided. Ms. Dolan was working at the # for Rice-a-Roni. So, I don't have to worry about following up with tracking Rice-a-Roni down because I have, in effect, already done so. Please remember, 42 year old brain here, 42 year old brain..... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
So, when she did tell me to visit the [url="http://www.quakerchewy.com"]www.quakerchewy.com[/url] website, she did, in fact, lead me to the gentleman that has pretty well clearly answered all of my questions. And again, I have said this before, I like the answers being in the form of an e-mail (although he is missing a last name) because I consider this more concrete, even if it is in cyberspace, than a name during a telephone conversation. I may be totally off base on that one, but I do prefer e-mail responses that I can refer to rather than jotted notes I make during telephone conversations.
I know there was something I did still want to address with this gentleman, and I really think it was the stance that was first presented to us, that we *should* call when in doubt. Well, if they're labeling as well as this gentleman has outlined and running pb cereals on dedicated lines, then when would we be in doubt?
My mind will have to be working because my fingers are barely doing so right now, but I will get back to him. I do want to thank him for again a VERY quick response. This e-mail was sent to me within 24 hours of me e-mailing them. I think that's pretty darned good.
Also, Rebekah, thank-you for the compliment about me doing this without it even pertaining to me, but you know what? I never think about it that way (except when I have to clarify to an American company that even though I'm Canadian I want American answers), because I just figure we're all in this together trying to help each other get through different things. If I do a couple of e-mails and it sorts things out for other people that is really a reward for me.
Also, you have to remember that regardless of the great amount of work done by Canadians to get their Canadian Nestle company to change it's mind, I still really believe that when Nestle started to receive e-mails and letters from every State in the U.S. and other countries, it really stood up and noticed. I'm not negating that perhaps the Canadian market couldn't have swayed them on their own (I really don't want my fellow Canadians ticked off at me), especially when I read about the petitions and tons of work that was done by individual PA parents and their family and friends. But again, I truly believe that when they received e-mails from all across America begging them to keep Smarties safe, a product that people in the U.S. cannot even buy, this did help, as did the e-mails from all of the other PA.com members throughout the world.
You know what I'm trying to say. We're all in this together.
Also, I was particularly drawn to nopeanuts post that night because I was in checking out my Quaker thread. I had had such a great response from Quaker Canada and then I found another Quaker thread going and what I found in it wasn't great. So I needed to try to sort it out, for myself, and also for PA parents in the U.S., a lot of whom I now consider dear dear friends!
And, when I do get the list of Quaker products in the "snail mail", I will, of course, you know me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] , post every single word that I am sent if humanly possible.
I'm going to try to check out the Quaker "proper" website tomorrow which will answer one of the questions I had (and thank you for telling me that it was, in fact, answered) and then I will e-mail again and see what further response I can get.
Yes, and also, I think that's an excellent idea - telephone about a month from now and see if the CSR's on the telephones are providing different or clearer information than has been provided to-date.
Remember BCUZILUVHIM had a Quaker representative reading this thread while speaking on the phone with her. Then, when I spoke with Annie Dolan, she said she was going to check out this website because she couldn't remember having sent out the e-mail to nopeanuts. I'm actually surprised that someone from Quaker has not popped in to try to clarify the situation especially because BCUZILUVHIM got her to visit the site while speaking with her on the phone (how she got this done, I really want to know the secret to! I find it hard enough getting a pleasant Hello these days, never mind a CSR willing to go to a website! Seriously!). Again, this would be a good thing to follow-up in a month's time, as you say. Someone has to e-mail me and remind me that it's time to phone them again around August 10th (seriously, also!).
But I do feel that this situation has been somewhat clarified and if I was a newcomer to this situation, I would feel okay about the products that have been listed as "safe" in the e-mail above.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited July 11, 2001).]

Posted on: Wed, 07/11/2001 - 2:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Now, I still have not had the opportunity to check out the Quaker Corporate website. Is anyone else even following this thread? Is anyone else that was initially involved following up somehow as well?
However, I was able to compose an e-mail to the gentleman from Quaker. I felt that it was necessary for me to do that straight away as he had answered my e-mail within 24 hours.
Given the nature of my inquiries, I thought that was pretty darn quick. So, I did feel that I had to respond quickly to him with the one remaining question I have (I don't have any other ones until I visit their Quaker Corporate website). The one question I did have left was why, if Quaker is labeling as well as he outlined, we are being told on the telephone by CSR's that basically we should call the 1-800# before we even purchase a Quaker product. Why? I asked him if he could please clarify this for me and also if our exchange of e-mails could be brought to someone's attention so that perhaps the 3 people that have called in this thread (nopeanuts, BCUZILUVHIM, and myself) will not be given misleading answers, if, in fact, what he has written in his e-mail is correct.
At any rate, here is the e-mail I just sent to him and I will post a response as quickly as I receive one.
Dear Jim:
Hello! Thank-you for your very timely response to my inquiries. I really appreciate it. I understand that the answers you gave me were specific to Quaker products only, not other products that fall under the Quaker Corporate category, such as Rice-a-Roni. Is this understanding correct?
Thank-you for the website link to Quaker Corporate. I will check it out immediately.
I think the one difficulty that I did experience, as well as many other people with peanut allergic children, was that the customer service representatives we dealt with, were not clear in their wording to us over the telephone.
Each PA parent that did call was told that if we felt suspicious or uncomfortable with a product, we should call the 1-800# on the box of the product. In my case, in speaking with Annie Dolan, I was told that it was best to call when thinking of purchasing ANY Quaker product.
I believe I outlined the difficulties inherent in having to do this. However, from the response that I got from you, I would say that it looks as though Quaker is labeling "properly", i.e., labeling "may contain" when there is the possibility of "may contain", etc. So, if Quaker is labeling properly, then WHY are customer service representatives on the telephone telling people anything other than that?
A lot of consumers do not have access to the internet and are not able to thrash this out in a series of e-mails as I have been able to do. I have been dealing with my son's peanut allergy long before a computer entered our home. My only option at that time was to either write a company via snail mail or to telephone. Of course, I chose to telephone, but only because I HAD to.
Now, if I were to call Quaker and was told by a Customer Service Representative, that we should call about ALL Quaker products, that all Quaker products are cross-contaminated, etc., I would be scared witless and would, no doubt, stop buying Quaker products immediately.
I am wondering if it is not possible for you to present our series of back and forth e-mails to someone within your company so that they can understand the seriousness of what the customer service representatives are telling your consumers and how this can very quickly affect, particularly a peanut allergic parent's decision, to stop buying Quaker PERIOD.
I have maintained a theory that if we were having difficulty with one particular manufacturer, as would seem to be the case with Quaker on the telephone right now, that if 10 people called with the same question and spoke with 10 different customer service representatives, we would ALL be given different answers. I have never tried to prove my theory, but I would like to say that I am almost willing to try to round up people from across the U.S. and try this with Quaker customer service representatives after the different responses we got from representatives during the past two weeks.
I think you can well understand where I am coming from.
If you would like to check out how I came to be in contact with you, it is through seeing the information one customer service representative provided to a parent that is new to peanut allergy. She introduced herself on the peanut allergy website and then posted information she was given by her first call to a manufacturer. It was frightening for her, as someone new to peanut allergy, but it was also frightening to me and I am not American and have been dealing with the allergy for over three years.
Their website is [url="http://www.peanutallergy.com"]http://www.peanutallergy.com[/url] If you go to the Discussion Boards you go to the Introductions section of the board and you will very quickly see a thread entitled Quaker. I think you will understand why this has caused my e-mails and the inquiries within.
Jim, I would like to thank-you for taking the time to answer me as quickly as you did. I do still have some difficulty with what the representatives are telling us on the telephone (which basically boils down to we should call about each product) and would like to know your response and company stance on this.
Thank-you for your time and consideration.
Best wishes,
Cindy Spowart Cook
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Wed, 07/11/2001 - 3:23am
BCUZILUVHIM's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Hi all! Just called Quaker to follow up on the conversation I had with Susan and the allergy team that visits their facility. As fate would have it, the allergy team is there TODAY! Hmmm, I scare myself samething happened with my show appearance. Timing is everything! Anyway I spoke to Susans' secretary and she put me on hold after I explained my follow up. The secretary came back on the line and said Susan will be calling me tomarrow in reference to this matter to follow up. She told me that susan brought up our concerns to the allergy team and will compile the info and contact me tomarrow. I believe she will since she called me back within 4 hours after my initial call a couple of weeks ago. Cindy, I too thank you for all your help!! I'll post again after I speak the the rep again.
Talk to you soon!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Fran

Posted on: Wed, 07/11/2001 - 4:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

BCUZILUVHIM, excellent stuff! I'm really looking forward to what you end up posting re this. I'm also really pleased you posted to-day because I was kinda getting the feeling that no one else gave a toss (I'm just being a really big suck! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] )
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Wed, 07/11/2001 - 10:21pm
nopeanuts's picture
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Joined: 06/20/2001 - 09:00

Cindy and BECUZILUVHIM - Thanks for all your work re:Quaker! I am very interested in this issue, so please don't think no one cares, Cindy! I am just not sure what I should be doing about it, so I thought I'd wait and see what responses you two got. It has been wonderful that so much has come out out of one of my concerns.
Cindy - I will post a separate intro post soon. Thanks for the suggestions!

Posted on: Thu, 07/12/2001 - 3:24am
Susan W's picture
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Joined: 07/12/2001 - 09:00

My name is Susan and I am the CSR that spoke with Fran. We discussed the issues which you've raised in our meeting yesterday. We are sorry for any confusion caused by the conflicting information received from our CSR

Posted on: Thu, 07/12/2001 - 12:20pm
BCUZILUVHIM's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Well Cindy, doesn't look like I have to post anything! Looks like Susan took care of that for me! She did call me today on my cell phone at about 1:00pm and told me that she would be posting here on this site. She told me she had printed out 40 pages of posts re Quaker and she must congratulate you on your tenacity! LOL! She was wonderful and very very helpful. She also told me that there will be meetings to get all the CSR's on the same page as far as recommendations when someone calls about allergy questions. Susan said it will probably take a few weeks for this to happen so please be patient. The new labeling she mentioned above will be taking place now and will eventually replace all the labeling that is now being used. When the supermarket stock is exhausted of its' old labeling, it will be replenished with the new so there will be a transition time.
I must say I am very impressed with the manner in which Susan took control of this situation and did not forget my/our concerns and made sure this was discussed with the allergy team. In other words, she did not forget us or sweep our concerns under the rug. She took us seriously and I must say I will always (when applicable of course) buy Quaker products because of their proactive approach to our issues and concerns.
I feel pretty comfortable,(at least where I'm standing) that the Quaker questions have been answered. If there is something that I am not seeing or am missing, please let me know but I think I am quite comfortable with the answers they have provided. Well, Blessings to all!!! Fran [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/12/2001 - 12:27pm
nopeanuts's picture
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Joined: 06/20/2001 - 09:00

Thank you so much for your hard work! I am so impressed with how much was accomplished with this issue and with how the Quaker representative took the time to post here about our concerns.

Posted on: Thu, 07/12/2001 - 2:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Wow, this IS wonderful! Susan W., if you happen to read this thread again, thank-you SO much for posting the information here. It is greatly appreciated and, as you could see, much needed, for clarity sake.
You know what I'm really pleased about? That we were able to get Quaker to post here and also address our concerns well without having to take it over to the Take Action part of the board. There were only THREE people involved in this. nopeanuts, BCUZILUVHIM, and me. It didn't take the whole membership of PA.com to get what I feel is an excellent and also very quick response from this large manufacturer.
Well, BCUZILUVHIM, if I'm tenacious, Susan must have thought you were too! LOL! Is it okay that I'm tenacious in a manufacturer's eyes? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
No, I am really really pleased. I am certainly NOT negating the work that is done in the Take Action part of the board, but I do feel good that it didn't have to be a big organized thing that stressed everyone to the hilt to get an answer. Thanks to Quaker for that definitely.
I'm not even clear if people are checking this thread out because of the total lack of response. I know that for me, I click on Daily Topics and visit what I want from there. But I'm wondering if a lot of people don't do that and are traveling to Main Discussion first.
nopeanuts, I would like your permission to post this whole thread under Main Discussion and Manufacturers entitled Quaker. I would simply just take every post and post it all in one. That way, people would be aware of what has been accomplished if they are only visiting Main Discussion, which I know is common, and it will also be under Manufacturers where it *should* be. However, I won't do this until you do say it is okay.
Now, with this thread basically complete, thanks to Susan W. and BCUZILUVHIM, you can now focus on starting the other thread, no peanuts, so that you do get the acknowledgement that you do need (as I outlined how many times above? LOL!)
Great stuff here. I am really really happy.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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