No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Adoption Division)



A couple of  weeks ago, an elderly relative of mine who has recently given up driving needed something.  She lives in another city. I offered to search on line and I  found what she was looking for.  I ordered it to be shipped to her.  The purchase arrived in timely fashion but unfortunately the company sent the wrong colour.

Since it is easy to communicate with on-line vendors, I double-checked my order confirmation  and  mentioned to them in an email that the wrong colour had been sent.  I also explained that since the recipient was elderly and lived in another city, I had no way to return the merchandise but I was just letting them know.  To their credit, they wrote back and insisted on making things right. They asked me to forward my order confirmation.  I did so, again stressing that I could not return the original purchase.

To tell you the truth I was concerned that there was some miscommunication and this would end up being one of those nightmare customer service experiences that you encounter with on-line and bricks and mortar stores.  In other words, you think you are communicating but really you aren’t. They stick to the script, don’t really hear what you are saying, etc., etc. I was worried that I would be charged for the new merchandise.

But I was wrong to worry.  They were sincere and wanted to make it right.  The next day my elderly relative phoned to say that the correct colour item had just been delivered to her house.  I am pretty impressed by this.  I wrote back to the company and told them they get A+++ for customer service.  It turned out the package had been mislabelled as to colour so I told them about that too.  I didn’t want some packer getting in trouble for something that wasn’t their fault.

Well, then I heard from the company again.  They thanked me for my note.  They said that the person who handled my request was called in and praised by her supervisor for the way she handled my complaint (my word not 026theirs.)  They put my email up on the bulletin board and they said it made everyone feel pretty good and was a “morale booster.”  Well I was feeling pretty good about this little encounter with a big corporation too.  I was happy, my elderly relative was happy and it seemed I’d kind of made the people who work at the company happy too.

Then I noticed it.  Down at the bottom of the email was a box and in it, in lovely, flowing, colourful letters, they expressed support for adoption. They have a foundation.

Oh man, I thought.  It’s %$#@ everywhere.  And then the next thing I thought was why does adoption need the support of a big corporation.  Dave Thomas and Wendy’s came to mind.  Adoptee support for adoption.  I decided to do a little more investigating.  I was right.  The head of the company had been adopted by the wealthy owners of the company and so the adoptee was supporting the institution through which she had gained so much, including, it would appear, the company as she is now CEO.  At that point many thoughts were going through my head.  The first one being – Had the the person ever searched for her first family?  Even if her adopted family was wealthy, it is no guarantee that her life was happy.  For all she knows, her original parents could be a PH. D and a brain surgeon and a lot of fun. Or not.

Trying to be objective as possible adoption-wise – which is difficult – I did a little more digging.  Some of what I saw was good.  They encouraged people to adopt from foster care.  The company is a big supporter of post adoption services for people who adopt from foster care.  There were statistics to show these adoptions often break down and they were trying to make things better.   I did like that.  But they also provide money to employees who adopt.  An employee could receive a fairly large amount of money, I believe it was $10,000, if they adopted a child.

As I read I wondered if you received a similar level of support if you were single, got pregnant and wanted to preserve your family.  From other things I have read, I suspected not.

And how are all these good works supported? A percentage of sales and on-line sales goes to support their pro-adoption work.




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