Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Eureka!

It took months of emailing, but I finally learned the answer to the question that has been gnawing away at me like that unfortunate tapeworm incident last year: For how long is a new thing considered to be new?

This is the email I sent to the nice folks at Pringles:
I noticed that some of your delicious Pringles Select products, such as the Sun Dried Tomato flavored chips, are labeled as "NEW". I wonder, however, how long these chips will bear such a distinction. Practically every chip is newer than the Orignal chips which debuted in October 1968. How long is a given product considered to be "NEW"?

Thank You.
Nothing so extraordinary about this question; it follows the same archetype I used for all my emails of this genre.

The answer, however, is something special:

Thanks for contacting Pringles.

Generally speaking, a product (or new version or size or attribute) is considered "new" for approximately six months. Pringles Select began shipping to stores across the nation in December 2006.

Stop by anytime.

Ruth
Pringles Team


P.S. Introducing Pringles Minis! Get that same great Pringles taste in a new bite-sized crisp. Look for Pringles Minis at a store near you!


Six months. Six months. Was that so hard, Pepperidge Farm Web Team?

Pringles has the best customer service department ever.

Ruth, from the Pringles Team, is a saint. Not only did she answer my direct question, but she also taught me something about Pringles Select chips.

I especially love the P.S. message which is so obviously automatically appended to every email Saint Ruth sends out.

Also, while I totally appreciate her invitation to "Stop by anytime," I can't hide my confusion. I should stop by the website? Is that a legitimate collocation? The Pringles factory? Ruth's apartment?

Ruth, if you're reading this, continue your benevolent streak of answering life's unanswerable questions.


[This, in all likelihood, will be the last update of this blog for the summer. Fear not, Snowmen! We'll be back in the autumn with more stuff.]

1 comment:

joshua said...

Congratulations on finally recieving an answer to your question, I'm glad your perseverance paid off. It would be interesting if you researched how accurate Ruth's response was. Not to cast any doubt or suspicion on Ruth, who may be fitting of the distintion that you bestowed upon her of being, "the best customer service, and a saint", but "approximately six months" does leave a lot of room for interpretation. I mean Pringles could label something as "new" for a year and claim that that is "approximately six months" (pringles select is already past it's sixth month, dec-june, have they stopped marking it as "new?"). Plus as a consumer who, like many other consumers, is often compelled to buy a product simply because it is labelled "new", it disturbs me slightly that Pringles finds fitting to bestow that coveted title upon a product that has merely changed the size of it's packaging. Now am I supposed to believe that something is "new" simply because it comes in a bigger or smaller can?