Follow up on SentryPro ordeal

So after months of waiting for them to respond to my complaints, I found the email addresses of their CEO and VP of Products and sent them the following email:

Subject: Worst Customer Support Experience EVER

Dear Mr. Adamson and Mr. Scharf,

I FedExed the following memo with the required documentation and information to your company after my dogs were poisoned by your product, SentryPro XFC, at the instruction of Jackie on November 11th, 2009:

To:          Consumer Affairs – Sargent’s Pet Care
From:     Jaimee Clements
Date:      11/4/2009
Re:         Request for reimbursement: Case # 557349

Please refer to case #557349 for full details.

I have enclosed the supportive documents with my request for reimbursement of the emergency vet bills incurred by the usage of your product, Sentry Pro XFC. I have also enclosed the unused portion of the product as  requested by Jackie (the name of the emergency customer support rep whom I spoke with on the phone on November 4, 2009).
I respectfully request reimbursement of the following costs incurred when I applied your product to my dogs:
Emergency vet - Visit 1

Emergency vet - Visit 2

Transportation to & from Vet

Special food

Petco - cost of SentryPro XFC

Lost day's wages

Actual expenses

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. I can be reached at 415-XXX-XXXX. My address is (redacted).

After hearing absolutely NOTHING from you by December 28th, I called the consumer affairs number listed on your website, gave my name and case number to the rep and was informed I had to talk to "someone in another Consumer Affairs department" and that she would transfer me, stating that if I got disconnected I should call back and press option "4". I was transferred and got an automated message saying that no one was available to take my call and to leave a message. Which I did.

Nobody called me back. (Not a big surprise by this point.)

So when I returned from my holiday travel, I called again to inquire about the status of my claim and this time pressed "4". In case you don't know, that option is for finding a store location to purchase more of your poison. Which wasn't even funny at this point.

I immediately called back and pressed the option given to talk to someone in Consumer Affairs. I gave her my whole story up to this point again and she was very nice and understanding about things. She put me on hold to investigate why my claim was never received by them, despite my having a claim number and having FedExed a package with supporting documentation to you, and came back saying that she was sorry but she needed to work with her supervisor to determine what happened and get my claim processed right away. She promised she or her manager would call me back within the next 48 hours. That was on Monday, January 11. It is now Friday the 15th. I have yet to hear back from anyone at your company and I shouldn't need to tell you how sick and tired I am of getting the runaround from you people.

Yesterday, I tried to submit an email using the form provided on your readthelabel.com website and -- no big surprise here either -- when I hit the submit button I got an error message from  your webserver again and again. I finally gave up in disgust and spent 4 hours researching online to obtain your email addresses and phone numbers to your direct line. If I have to purchase a plane ticket to your headquarters, class action attorneys in tow, just to get the attention I have patiently been asking for then so be it... I will.

Gentlemen, as the VP of Products and CEO of the company, I would expect you would want to know when your company treats someone so poorly. ESPECIALLY after they've had such a traumatic experience after using your product (as detailed in my blog post and video clips linked below).
 I understand there are literally thousands of families who have gone through or are still going through the same terrifying situation I did when I applied your poison to my dogs, so I know I am not alone and I'm sure you're already well aware of the magnitude of the problem with this product when the #1 search result in Google for "SentryPro XFC" is this: http://journal.drfaulken.com/problems-with-sentrypro-xfc-flea-and-tick-medication/

I can be reached at the phone number, address & email address above in addition to my @UberShoeDiva Twitter account, Facebook profile (Jaimee Clements) or smoke signals at this point. You guys are competing for the most EPIC FAIL EVER in handling a large-scale customer crisis the likes of which only the makers of Tylenol can relate to.

I would greatly appreciate the prompt attention this matter has more than earned by this point.

I received a message that very afternoon from the CEO's secretary requesting that I call her back (which I did but they were closed for the day by the time I got the message). The very next day I received a FedEx from them with a check for the cost of the poison I bought from them and a letter telling me they were only covering the cost of the product because I "applied it wrong". I'm just disgusted by the whole experience and will continue to crusade against the company and retailers that persist in selling this toxic substance to people who are trying to *protect their pets*.

So, Sergeants? You can suck it. And your insult of a check.


I just find this incredibly fascinating...

Will we *ever* learn from mistakes of the past? I'm guessing no. An excerpt from the executive summary of the book The Brand Bubble by John Gerzema:

Tulipmania and Inflated Brands

In 1841, Charles Mackay wrote a book
called "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"
to describe various marketing phenomena. Of special note was
his passage on “Tulipmania,” an occurrence that took place
in Holland in the early decades of the 1600s. The madness
began when tulip bulbs imported from Turkey were found
to grow extremely well in Dutch soil. The Dutch aristocracy
acquired an immense taste for their beauty, and seeing
how much could be made from tulips, thousands of average
citizens sold their assets and began buying the bulbs.

People from all economic classes began trading in tulip
bulbs at exorbitant prices. Speculators even took out
futures contracts on unplanted bulbs, convinced that some
varieties were slated to become the most expensive
objects in the world. But at the height of the hysteria, the
craze for tulips suddenly withered, leaving thousands of
Holland’s most successful businessmen holding worthless
contracts while the less affluent who had invested in the
flower lost entire life savings over a bunch of dried bulbs.
Sound familiar? What really kind of pisses me off when I read this is not the fact that we, as a human species, never seem to learn from epic fails of our past... nor is it the fact that most people will read this book and continue to do business as usual.

No, what pisses me off is my high school history teacher never taught us anything nearly as fascinating or cool as the Tulip crisis of the 1600's.

No, Mr. Owens (he of the coke-bottle glasses and perpetually half-untucked shirt) was too busy teaching us (actually, more like talking AT us) about all of the most obscure battles, no matter how small or insignificant,  ever fought on US soil since the beginning of the universe. All of them, every last one. Not a single lesson or quiz about WWI, WWII, or even a mention of Vietnam. Nope. We got mind-numbing lectures on the Hatfields vs. McCoys and long forgotten Civil War skirmishes. Yawn.

I'm mad I got such a crap education when it comes to juicy history involving tulip futures trading.


Just a few observations from our first day in the new office...

  • If there is a soda vending machine anywhere in the building I'll be damned if I can find it. But, that's okay! We'll just hold our afternoon meetings from the street and sidewalk while we schlepp all the way over to 7-11 to get our chocolate or Diet Coke fixes around 3 pm. That will, at least, keep us productive and *collaborative* (not to mention allowing us to showcase our novel problem solving skills -- bonus!).
  • The instant coffee available on every floor? To say it ain't Blue Bottle (or even Starbucks) is an understatement. The company will undoubtably save all the money they spend each year on coffee because no one will drink it if it tastes nothing at all like coffee. On the upside? We'll just get more creative in how we obtain caffeine so Yay! another move objective accomplished!
  • By forbidding us to have a microwave on any floor other than the first (in the cafeteria... stacked together in a bank of ten, like TVs for sale in the windows of old school electronics emporiums) you will be helping us avoid productivity burnout by forcing us to bring our now-tepid cup of coffee all the way down to the first floor (after waiting forever for the elevator that will now stop on each floor before you get there), zap it in the bank of microwaves, go back, wait for the elevator that stops at each floor on the way to the 6th before getting back to my far-flung cubicle with my now tepid coffee. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • It's a good thing we aren't allowed to have live plants in our cube because my lack of anything close to a green thumb spells a sure death to even the hardiest plants. Shit, I kill fake plants somehow.


I just love Wordle, don't you?

Wordle: Bing search results for "web 2.0 summit 2009"

These are the most common words written in blogs, news stories and discussions about this past week's Web 2.0 Summit. I love beautifully visualized themes and concepts and Wordle just takes all of the noise, chatter and chaos and distills it down to a simple, lovely picture. I think that's just sublime.

Sometimes, at work, I'll pull the copy from a really technical, dry, complicated email written by one of our engineers and run it through Wordle before sending it out to non-techie folks in my department so it can be understood quickly in more simple terms. It usually makes them laugh but I think we actually find it helpful, too. :)


Highlights from the Web 2.0 Summit

I wanted to share a link to the Bing demo I saw at the Web 2.0 Summit this week. It’s worth a watch if you’re interested in why there is so much buzz about them right now. I’m  most definitely *not* a Microsoft fan but this demo was really very cool.

The actual demo starts at the 9:10 marker. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT2wqXrBQHI

BTW, you should also check some of the other notable demo videos from the conference. They’re all relatively short (15 – 25 minutes each, a bit like the TED Conferences format):


Video of poor, sick Yoda

Video of Nichi's pathology

Update on dogs...

Dogs are going through what the vet says will be the worst of it last night and today. It was a very *long* night... I've been on the phone all morning trying to get someone high up enough at Seargent/Hartz to take my call so I can tell them the following:

  1. As company responses to customer crises go? *Epic* FAIL.
  2. That they owe me almost $2000 in vet bills. Cash only, kthxbai.
  3. If they don't immediately recall or remove their products from shelves I will personally make it my crusade to initiate a class action and, if I have to, go to each and every Petco & PetSmart location in the bay area with the 30+ page printout detailing all of the families with sick animals because of this product in order to get them to stop selling it.

I can tell you for sure that anyone who knows me at all has no doubt in my ability to accomplish everything in #3 with the same intensity and fervor I normally apply to shopping for shoes. I'm *that* serious.

So, watch out Hartz/Seargent... whoever you are and whichever brand name you're currently hiding behind... I'm coming. You better sleep with one eye open.


Wow... 10 years old?

It just occurred to me that I've been blogging for almost 11 years. I don't know if that makes me feel like a really old-school geek or just old. Or just a geek.

What do you think?

SentryPro XFC will POISON your animals! Do NOT use!

SentryPro XFC is EVIL, POISONOUS and I want to share this story so other people don't have to go through the same thing I and (apparently) thousands of other pet owners have gone or are going through right now.

I bought this stuff because I had run out of Advantage and it was a holiday weekend so I couldn't refill at their regular vet. I applied it on Thursday night of of Labor Day weekend. On Friday night, my smaller dog, Nichi, started having trouble walking and she hadn’t gone to the bathroom for like a day & half. Her belly was really, really distended as well.

Thinking that the only thing I had done differently was treat her with a different flea medication than normal so I immediately gave her a bath. Later that That Friday night she couldn’t sleep at all, couldn’t support herself standing up because she kept kicking out her rear legs, like she was experiencing spasms or something. She also kept jumping up and running all over the bed like something was biting her back end. She seemed so uncomfortable and none of us could sleep so I bundled her up and brought her to the emergency vet @ 4 am Saturday morning.

The vet did an x-ray, told me she needed an enema and kept her for observation until about 8 am. I picked her up and she seemed a little better throughout the day but the next night was the same thing – even worse than the night before. I couldn’t get her regular vet to see her so I had to bring her back to the same emergency vet she had seen the day before and got a completely different diagnosis: smaller dogs tend to have problems with their little kneecaps getting loose and that was what she thought was causing her legs to spaz out like that. The vet gave her some subcutaneous fluids and sent us home with some Buprenex (pain killer). She slowly but surely started to get better over the course of 7-10 days and was completely back to normal as of last night.

Last night, around 9, I treated both dogs with the same stuff I had used before since it didn’t seem to be the cause of what happened to Nichi. Well, I was wrong. Nichi’s symptoms came back around 3:30 in the morning and this time Yoda started exhibiting the same behaviors, but not nearly as bad as Nichi’s. Finally figuring out that it was the SentryPro XTC that was causing the reaction, I immediately gave Nichi a bath and some pain killer and she finally fell asleep around 6. I figured I’d give Yoda a bath when I got home from work today since he didn’t seem to be bothered with the symptoms this morning.

Thinking I would look up the info for the manufacturers of the flea medication so I could write them a letter telling them their product is completely unsafe and demand reimbursement of my $1000 emergency vet bills I came across this site http://journal.drfaulken.com/problems-with-sentrypro-xfc-flea-and-tick-medication/ that has almost 700 blog comments from people who experienced the same exact situation as Nichi and Yoda… same exact symptoms and everything. Sadly, a few people lost their pets because they didn’t act quickly enough.

So I completely freaked out and rushed home to give both dogs two baths each, some Benadryl for the allergic reaction and to keep an eye on them over the next 6 – 8 hours so I can rush them to the vet if they take a turn for the worse. Both dogs are resting semi-comfortably now and I’m hoping I treated them both in time so they don’t suffer any worse symptoms.

If you love your animals do NOT use ANY Hartz products on them. It is POISON and they should be out of business. Who knows how many animals have died because their owners or vets didn't figure out that it was the SentryPro XFC that killed them??


Why does AARP want me so bad?!

Dear AARP,

Hi there. You don't know me (clearly... as I will painstakingly point out in this email) but my name is Jaimee. I am a

- female
- US citizen
- college educated
- voting
- gainfully employed
- pet owning
- renter
- with an income of more than ${okay, this is really none of your business}
- who doesn't own a car
- and has no dependents.

Nice to meet you. Now, the reason I am writing to you is this... I am also 37 YEARS OLD.

So please, for the love of God and all that is Holy, STOP SENDING ME AARP CARDS soliciting my membership!!

I wonder - do your current 50+ year-old members have any idea how much money you seem to be throwing away on the expensive marketing pieces (nice slick laminated AARP card, btw!) you REPEATEDLY send to people who are NOT IN YOUR qualified DEMOGRAPHIC? Seriously, this is the SECOND one I've received in less than a month. Where are you getting my mailing address from?? Do the people in your data center verify anything other than a valid mailing address?

If I were old enough to belong to AARP I would have serious misgivings about giving my hard earned retirement or pension money to a company too stupid to stop inviting people to become a member who are over a decade too young to even qualify. I'm going to tell my Dad to think twice before he renews his membership next year.

I mean, how much additional money is it costing you to process the non-qualifying applications of people you mistakenly send these expensive mails to? How much is your time, Mr or Mrs Email Reader, worth right now? Because, unless you are an automated response system, I know that your time is worth money - even if you delete this message instead of forwarding it to the CEO (which I highly recommend because I can't imagine they are aware of degree of incompetency demonstrated by your company's marketing department).

I sure hope things change before I turn 50 so I thoughtfully evaluate whether or not I should join your organization. Until then - STOP sending me these fucking cards!

Thanks and have a great day,



Mrs. Beasley

Mrs. Beasely was a doll that had a hard plastic face that I used to practice kissing when I was, like, 5 years old. I vividly remember getting so pissed off about something one day that I swung her by the feet and smashed her face in. It didn't break. Instead, she now looked like she forgot to put her teeth in.

Her glasses never fit quite right after that again, either. She ended up creeping me out so I threw her and opted for Malibu Barbie instead. At least she didn't piss me off. And if she did, I held the power... I could cut the bitch's hair.


Holy shit. I'm engaged.

Talk about a long story... girl meets boy about 20 years ago and happiness ensues. Then graduation approaches and boy breaks girl's heart. Boy goes off on his own path, girl goes off on hers. For the next two decades they both make mistakes, do stupid things, seek peace, search for themselves only to find out through coincidence that they've both been randomly, throughout the years, looking for each other (without luck, obviously).

I know... Lifetime Movie of the Week, right? But wait... there's more...

Boy sends girl email apologizing for breaking her heart so many years ago and girl doesn't respond with a "That's nice. Piss off."

Boy and girl exchange increasingly meaningful emails; then 4 and 5 hour long phone calls each night; then the moment of truth -- boy surprises girl by flying to San Francisco to see her. Its not overly dramatic to say that time stood completely still and everything, everyone else melted away when girl saw boy walk off the plane and towards her at SFO.

So, long story made a bit shorter... several visits and many frequent flyer miles later boy and girl are engaged to be married. Because neither of them ever knew happiness or unconditional love like this and, like, whoa... it's awesome.

Sounds like a fairytale, right?

It would be a new Disney blockbuster classic if it were animated.

But I'm not down with animation... and since its a completely true story -- my story -- I reserve the right to choose who gets to play me in the movie. I'm thinking Julia Roberts...


More tales from the Yoop...

It struck me today, after my previous post, how fun it is to think back to my junior high and high school days and remember all of the stupid things I've never gotten in trouble for. There are, however, some things I caught hell for...

Like the time Polly Hollon and I (at least, I think she was in there with me) got busted smoking in the first floor bathroom by Mrs. Magnusson.

[Man she was mean. She hated us all I think. Me especially because she thought I was lazy. I may have been lazy but when we're forced to read The Great fucking Gatsby I have a hard time working up some top notch literary reviews. If only she could see my reading list now. She's probably critiquing my blog from the great beyond, may she rest in peace.]

She storms in to the bathroom (which NO one ever checked... except for the home-ec teacher who must have had some world-class bladder control since she rarely ventured out of the home-ec room) and we had absolutely no time to react because Mrs. M always wore those ugly soft-soled nurse shoes (they were grey and hideous... they looked like cinderblock bricks on her feet). So we're busted and in addition to getting suspended for 3 days (woot! who doesn't love getting suspended? I mean... that's, like, supposed to be punishment? Three whole glorious days of sleeping until noon, watching Jerry Springer and finding new ways to annoy the elderly neighbors next door with ear splitting Poison or Motley Crue? woo hoo!) we are forced to clean the first floor bathroom.

Um. Like. Eww?

So we start to clean. With bleach *and* ammonia. Hah! Aren't we clever? We didn't bother to read the labels (why? It wasn't on Mrs. M's required reading list?) so we weren't aware of the chemical reaction that would basically create a toxic cloud of fumes requiring that entire side of the first floor to evacuate. Um, hello? Mr. Seid [our science/biology/whatever teacher... he had a birthmark on his head the size and shape of Gorbechov's... it was impressive. Looked a little like Australia.] should have taught us to never mix the two chemicals at least, no?


Dear God. It's my 20th High School Reunion this year.

Need I say more? Okay... maybe just a little (or alot) more.

Like remembering when I got drunk on strawberry schnapps in the 9th grade and puked all over Tammy Paquette's mom's bathroom rug (it was pink... much like my puke - which made me even sicker at the time). Bless Tammy's mom's heart - she never breathed a word of it to my dad.

And then, just to reinforce the nickname "Puker", a year and a half later, drank too much Kessler's and Coke (to this day I cannot stomach the smell of whiskey. I plug my nose before I drink it if forced.) and puked all over the back of... {shit, what's his name's?} some dude's car. Some dork Tammy was hanging out with at the time (I think he drove a Festiva, if that tells you anything). Later that night I spent sitting on the porch of my dad's house, drunkenly convinced that the door was locked and I didn't have a key -- psyche! -- door not locked! Puked all over my room (ah, such fond, fun memories) and passed out before being roughly shaken awake by my dad at 2 am. Lame excuse was I caught the flu from drinking Tammy's coke at lunch.

Did he buy it? Hah! As if...

More to follow as I dredge up more morbidly fascinating yet infinitely embarrasing moment from my formative years... Stay tuned.