Retailers: When Soliciting Feedback from your Customers, Be Ready for It!

by Joanna Pineda Posted on December 15, 2008

Gingerbread Train The holidays are all about traditions and last Saturday, my son and I engaged in one of my favorites: we created a gingerbread train.  I’ve been making gingerbread houses for years, first by myself, then with my niece and nephew. and now with my son.  This year, we updated the tradition to decorate a gingerbread train because CJ is obsessed with trains.

I picked up the gingerbread train kit from Target, the manufacturer is Create a Treat, LtdThe cute box says: We want to hear from you, send a photo to

Now, I’m not one to send photos of my kid to various contests.  But I thought it would be fun to send a photo of our finished gingerbread train. So I sent a nice message with a nice story to  So what happened?  You guessed it: the message bounced back with this message:

The message you sent to was rejected because it would exceed the quota for the mailbox.

Are you kidding me?  I sent two photos, each about 60K.  It’s not like I sent high resolution versions that were 4 MEG each.  I specifically resized the photos before sending the message.

So, Create a Treat screwed up three times:

  1. They created a campaign but then didn’t have a large enough mailbox to support the e-mails; c’mon guys, gmail gives you 6 GIG of storage
  2. They missed a great story that they could use on their Web site, marketing materials, yada, yada
  3. They annoyed a mom who blogs (me!)

So retailers, if you launch a campaign where you solicit consumer feedback, please mean it and actually be prepared to receive it. At least act like you care.

6 replies on “Retailers: When Soliciting Feedback from your Customers, Be Ready for It!”

Oh. My. Yes.

Dear retailer, please make sure you let us speak to you because sometimes, we want to tell you how good you are.


Never ceases to amaze me when I take the time to fill out surveys, feedback, etc and then find that the form is broken, or the mailbox is full, etc. Lack of preparation? Lack of understanding the demand/traffic? In any case, it’s inexcusable.

Hey Joanna – This is a great example of how some businesses overlook simplicity & some forethought when trying to engage customers. Off topic but related: do you and your son host a taste test?!

I boutght a gingerbread house for Christmas. My grandaughter and I put it together and it was so much fun. I have a home for Senior adults and they want to put one together. The stores are now out of them. It would be great if you could sent me a couple. Thanks!

I was so disappointed in the gingerbread house kit. Half of it was broken and it was not an easy thing to put together and decorate as the box said.

I have been doing gingerbread houses with my grandchildren for 22 years! I used to do them from scratch, but now I have five younger grandkids that love doing them … AND … this year was a disaster!! I bought FIVE gingerbread housed and NONE of them held together. I went “exactly” by the directions. The roofs started falling off and the walls caving in. I assembled them many hours before the kids started to decorate them AND … they started falling apart. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!!! And all the $$$ tied up in five of them. You didn’t supply a tube in which to apply the decorations, although I do have them here at home. Wilton houses are by far more sturdy and ready to decorate … BUT … I can’t afford to spend any more money on them. My grandkids are very disappointed.

We bought 3 from
wal-Mart in
salem, Va., i dont know if they were old stock or just your product but none turned out. The icing was to runny no matter what we did. I will never buy your product again.

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