Writing the Response to the Complaint Letter

I am an equal opportunity complainer.  Having given directions for writing the complaint letter, I felt a need to give equal time to the response letter.  As an example, let me use the note my good friend, Mr. Millard Fillmore, sent to National Public Radio (NPR) shortly after the Japanese earthquake of March 2011 complaining about the long wait for an update on the earthquake.  Here is his note:

From:      Millard Fillmore
To:          NPR
Date:      Mar 2011
Subject: Priorities

Friday, March 18th’s broadcast placed a story about fish prices and fears in the northwest US before an update on the situation in Japan.

Why would an at-best-tertiary consequence of the Japan disaster be featured earlier? Those of us seeking an update on Japan had to wait more than a half hour into the broadcast.

And here is the response from NPR:

From:      NPR
To:          Mr. Millard Fillmore
Date:      Mar 2011
Subject: Re: Priorities – Message ID: xxx

Dear Mr. Fillmore, Thank you for contacting NPR.

We are grateful for your comments to NPR News. Your feedback is important to us, and your thoughts have been noted.

NPR is always delighted to hear from listeners.

Thank you for listening, and for your continued support of public broadcasting. For the latest news and information, visit NPR.org.

Sincerely,
NPR Services

My friend said that it was like writing to your congressman.  I’m not singling out NPR.  We get the same, vanilla-standard response letter from our public officials, utility companies, credit card services or banks.  “Thank you for contacting us; We are delighted to hear from you; We are sorry for any inconvenience that may have occurred; Your views are very important to us.”

Just once, wouldn’t you wish for something a little less dull and unimaginative?

From:     NPR
To:         Mr. Millard Fillmore
Date:     Mar 2011
Subject: Re: Priorities – Message ID: xxx

Dear Mr. Fillmore:

Thank you for contacting NPR.  You inquiry will be given the response it deserves. 

While we recognize that most people are more interested in the price of fish and their innate fears than they are about real life crises like those facing Japan, our real question is “Why is an ultra-conservative right wing nut job like you listening to a station that knowingly appeals  only to commie-pinko tree-huggers?”  Shouldn’t you stop bothering us at NPR and join your own crowd at the Glenn Beck-Rush Limbaugh-Sarah Palin-God Bless America-I know that aliens exist-Healthcare is for wimps-What good is the UN-Let it snow until Al Gore is buried crew at Fox?

Honestly, Mr. Fillmore, we at NPR have far better ways to waste US taxpayers’ money than responding to your senseless drivel.  In fact, in the time that it took to construct this response, the price of fish has risen at least two or three hundred yen.  Think of that the next time you eat your yellow-fin tuna sandwich!

Cordially,
NPR Services

To quote the customer service motto of Despair, “We’re not satisfied until you’re not satisfied.”

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