Written on: 04/07/2012
I would advise all consumers to be extremely careful when purchasing Nestle Dolce Gusto products in Canada based on my family’s personal experience, particularly when this is from a sales stand.
My wife purchased a Nestle Dolce Gusto ‘Circolo’ coffee maker for me as a father’s day gift last month from a Nescafe Dolce Gusto sales stand in downtown Toronto . I was really delighted, but unfortunately it has turned out to be a an extremely disappointing situation as it appears that we fell for a sales scam organised by the Nestle Dolce Gusto team in Canada to get rid of expiring capsules through a promotion.
My wife purchased the machine through a sales stand offering a promo where you get the machine for free by buying ten (10) boxes of the capsules. She was told it was a final sale; which meant that you could not return the machine, but might be able to get it exchanged if it was found to be defective etc. She had no problem with this.
When I opened the gift on Father’s Day Sunday, I was very excited. However as I checked out the various capsule flavours she had purchased I noticed something very odd and pointed it out to her. All of the 10 capsule boxes she had purchased were expiring between July and September. We were shocked.
I called the Nestle Dolce Gusto team in Canada to report this and the first agent Angelo acknowledged that this was disappointing but that he would do his best to get me a favourable resolution. I received a call a few days later from a supervisor who informed me that we would have to live with the capsules since it was a final sale. When I informed her that this would ordinarily refer to the machine itself and not near expired products, she stated that even if they expired, we could still drink them afterwards. I then repeated her statement to her and stated that this was an unhealthy proposition to suggest and that I was sure she wouldn’t want to be quoted publicly on this. She apologised and said she would try to ensure that something was done to correct the errors.
She called me again a few days later to state that she had tried but was unable to get the capsules exchanged for new ones with longer expiry or BB dates. I informed her that as a senior executive myself with inventory management oversight, I would never subscribe to members of my team pulling a fast one on unsuspecting consumers who had relied on brand reputation and trust in purchasing products. I stated that at this stage I was more concerned with ethics and principle of the transaction rather than the 10 boxes I was now saddled with. There was definitely no way I could finish all of the capsules before their expiry date and I couldn’t give them out either. She then said she would again seek new channels of resolution and would call me back. She finally called me today to state that the outcome was unchanged and I would have to keep the capsules.
Nestle has been a household brand for my family living whilst living in 5 countries in Europe and North America and the brand experience has been the main reason for this. We have never encountered such practices anywhere else and this is shocking. It is surprising that to some at Nestle Dolce Gusto, the customer experience associated with the brand doesn’t really matter as long as a quick sale is made and I’m sure there are many other individuals with a similar experience who may have kept quiet simply because of the effort it would involve. I’ve chosen to warn others from our experience to simply check the capsules for the BB or expiry dates whenever purchasing the machines outside a store environment, particularly on sales stands set up in public places. You may end up stiffed with near expiring capsules and never get the products exchanged or your money back like us. Caveat emptor!
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