Mar 2, 2011

Your purchase broke? Write a letter!

I made an "investment" a few months ago, or so I thought. I bought a $12 Nalgene bottle. If you've read my blog about water bottles (read it here), you'll know that I made the switch from disposable to reusable bottles a while back and this has saved me a decent amount of money over time.

Anywho, I spent $12 on this Nalgene, and though it may not seem like a lot to you, I felt like it was a lot of money to spend on something that ended up breaking a couple months later. The cap busted and quickly my "investment" turned into a waste of money.

I was pretty annoyed to say the least. BUT, unlike every other time this happens, I actually decided to do something about it. I decided to write to Nalgene. And I did, using very harsh words about how I bought a Nalgene due to high recommendations from friends and was an extremely dissatisfied customer because it broke so quickly. I'm not sure the wording matters in this case, but I had fun making it sound like a really serious issue.

Less than 1 week later (I'm not kidding), I got this in the mail:

Nalgene sent me a new cap for my bottle, a couple stickers with a hand-written note explaining a strategy on how to make the cap last longer this time around. I was impressed, though i'm not sure what to do with the stickers?

The point of this story is, if you buy something and it breaks sooner than you think it should, try writing a letter to the company. Tell them you're dissatisfied. I know people who do this all the time and usually get back vouchers for free stuff, get new replacement parts or sometimes even full refunds. The letter-writing took me a good 10 minutes and the cost of a stamp. It saved a $12 water bottle and the cost of buying a new one.

Next time you don't like what you paid for or something breaks, write a letter! It's definitely a thriftier strategy than going out to buy a new product. It's worth a shot!


  1. Hi Angela...I love this! Thank you for this nudge to action. It's so frustrating when something breaks when it shouldn't! So many of us just write it off as a bad investment and get upset. This is a much more positive and productive way to handle such thing!

  2. writing letters to a company is such a lost art. But I think it shows you are more serious than by making a phone call.

  3. We write letters too! And not just when things break. If we're really pleased with a product, we'll send a letter saying just that! About 75% of the time, we'll receive coupons for being such happy customers.

  4. oh I have a few things I now should have paid more attention to. So glad I ran across your blog! Inspiring with my new direction this year....happy Friday....

  5. I am not sure if you knew this or not, but Nalgene stands behind their products and they will gladly take care of any issues you might have, no need for strong language. I had a bottle from their lab division for over ten years. It fell out of my backpack while hiking. I called them and all they asked was a picture and what type bottle it was. I had a replacement within the week.


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