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!
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,