Dear Bagel Factory… Part Three…

Last week I got a reply from the Bagel Factory. Turns out the original reply had landed in my spam box thanks to a programme that they use to email people, so the sender kindly resent the email.

Here it is!

Laura

Thank you for your mail.

Firstly, may I say that I am sorry for your loss and I apologise that you found our offer upsetting.

As one of the only products on the stations that is not pre-packaged, we have a unique opportunity to offer to pregnant ladies a way of eating that is potentially very healthy and secondly enables them to leave out individual foods that exacerbate morning sickness ( or to include foods that they have been recommended to eat more of)

To date we have had three complaints ( including your own ) . To balance this, the overwhelming majority of all the feedback (verbal written and social media )has been hugely positive.

The offer was not made without thought and it was presented in a way that resembled the generally accepted ” Baby On Board ” badges, so as to be in a format that the general public were already accustomed to.

Whilst I would be happy to discuss with you ways that we might change our approach or the communication of what we are doing, I do not believe that removing our offer completely is a constructive way forward, nor that it would be seen as such by the majority of our customers.

I understand that this is not the answer that you were looking for, and I regret any further upset that this may cause to you.

with kind rgds

David at Bagel Factory

In the interest of honesty, I just wanted to say that this is unedited and is the email received in full.

I’m still formulating a reply at the moment and would appreciate thoughts. Am I overreacting here?

I few friends pointed out to me that, not only is this offer discriminatory against women suffering with infertility, but it also discriminates against all men.

Since posting about this offer on Facebook I have had quite a few friends comment on how insensitive it is. Most of those friends have children already or, in the case of one of them, are currently pregnant. All of them have said that they will not be purchasing from the Bagel Factory again.

I have a few ideas for the reply. Some of these are responses to their reasons, others are suggestions.
1) Not only pregnant women need nutritious food. Not only pregnant women have certain food intolerances or have to be more careful what they eat. Bagel Factory should be encouraging all people to eat healthily, not just pregnant women.
2) As I said in my original email, infertility is taboo. Only having three complains is not indicative of a feeling. Most people will walk away rather than say that they are offended because saying they are offended could pull them out of the infertility closet.
3) if the offer must exist, why not advertise it somewhere more appropriate, such as hospital maternity wards, Bounty Packs and mother and baby magazines? That removes the shock factor or people who are just trying to buy lunch being reminded of their own inadequacies whilst only trying to buy lunch.

I would appreciate thoughts on what to put in my reply – please leave a comment or contact me via the “Contact Us” page. Also, if you have an issue with this offer might I suggest sending The Bagel Factory and email via their website to say so,

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This entry was posted in 2014, diet, difficulty, Education, fertility, infertility, London and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Dear Bagel Factory… Part Three…

  1. DeCaf says:

    There not much you can do. It is very unfair, but they might have the legal right to be unfair in this circumstance. .

  2. Katrina says:

    Bagel factory, I am not a customer nor ever likely to be. But I find your offer extremely distasteful. My husband and I are currently battling unexplained infertility, the last two years have been extremely difficult for us. I say battle because that’s truly what it is. One in ten couples has fertility issues, one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage and due to our society most will never say a word. I’d like to think you would consider of these potential and current customers but you likely will not. The grief and trauma surrounding infertility is hard to deal with, the signs for pregnancy are everywhere, no one offers anything to people who can’t concieve. I would rather see your offer in coupon form given out at pregnancy classes, in parenting magazines etc. You putting it on the counter is tacky and very rude.

  3. I agree with decaf. Is unfair to some but not to most and I think you have to pick your battles. Personally I do not find it offensive and because we are all trying to achieve the title of “expectant mom” I think we need to respect those that are. Who’s to say lots of those moms havnt been in our shoes.

  4. GingerPanda says:

    I would definitely expect to see this sort of advert in a baby store or something like that. I do feel like it’s poor taste to put it in the store. I agree they’re doing it for good reasons, but I don’t think they’re doing it with any class or thought for others. It’s like Victoria’s Secret running a discount for C-cups and larger. Oh, have small breasts? Too bad. The majority isn’t offended.

  5. I find it difficult to understand why the fact that pregnant women need to eat healthily means that they get a discount. If pregnant women, for some reason, struggled to afford bagels, I could understand this – after all, students and the unemployed get discounts on products because it’s assumed that they have less money than people who are working. People with recognised medical conditions (eg epilepsy) get free prescriptions because it’s assumed that they’ll need more medication than most people, and therefore prescriptions are a financial burden. But pregnancy doesn’t equate to a financial burden, so I’m at a loss to understand why pregnant women are getting special treatment.

    I was in London Bridge Station a week after my second IVF failed. Seeing the Bagel Factory’s sign brought me to tears. When I complained, I got the EXACT SAME letter you got. IDENTICALLY WORDED. Clearly they don’t give a damn.

  6. yellow1daisy says:

    Suffering infertility is a big struggle you hardly ever get a break from. Having this flyer up serves to alienate the 1 in 10 women who come into the store going about their day fully not expecting to be reminded of their struggles.

    This offer can ruin someone’s day. And I’m sure it has ruined many-a-woman’s day. Even if they didn’t speak up and email them about it. The fact that they don’t care to be sensitive to this group of customers speaks volumes. I would most definitely not give them my business as long as this offer is still advertised in this manner.

  7. lesbemums says:

    I was going to suggest that they provide a voucher in bounty packs but you already said that. My other suggestion is that they also vary their offers such as discount for those that can’t eat wheat, or those that are lactose intolerant. Y’know? I just don’t know why all of a sudden pregnant women were targeted? Was some recent finding recently published or something?

    I still don’t understand the campaign, I mean, why are they assuming women who are pregnant won’t get a nutritious meal? Do they assume we’re all poor? Margaret’s word have hit the nail on the head.

    I think they’re trying to do a nice thing but the way they’ve promoted it is insensitive. If they rotated a campaign each week then that would be slightly better… I guess.

    Really sucky that someone else got the same reply also. Not very personal.

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