Mistaking something “innocent” such as undissolved gelatine for a condom can have serious consequences for a consumer who goes on a social media rant.
A few months ago‚ a woman asked a Kauai staff member at a Cape Town branch to remake a smoothie because the first one was not thick enough. She saw some slimy stuff at the bottom of the second smoothie and was convinced that it was the saliva of the smoothie maker – done to punish her for rejecting the first smoothie.
While the company was still busy investigating her complaint‚ the angry woman took to Facebook to allege just that. In fact‚ the “spit” was simply banana that hadn’t been fully blended!
Kauai subsequently obtained a High Court interdict - served via WhatsApp - to force that woman to remove her Facebook post and all the comments on it. She could well have been asked to pay the company’s legal costs‚ too.
Some UFOs are inserted into food products by consumers hoping to score hefty compensation from the manufacturer.
A study by Glass Technology Services in the UK five years ago found that 70% of the glass fragments reported by consumers as UFOs and submitted for analysis originated from items that are commonly found in the home.
And when someone complained to Nestlé that they’d found sand in their baby formula‚ the company had the sand tested by a lab. They found that it came from the Western Cape‚ not Harrismith in the Free State‚ where their formula is produced.
Moral of the story: if you’re going to rant on social media‚ make sure it’s true and in the public interest. If it’s not‚ it’s defamation.
- You can contact our consumer columnist Wendy Knowler with your queries via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @wendyknowler