January 13 12

…I have a bone to pick with you.

As a frequent coffee drinker, pumpkin lover, and Keurig-owner, I was thrilled to see this seemingly too-good-to-be-true promotion.

Free to try? Don’t mind if I do.

All I have to do is GIVE YOU MY PERSONAL INFORMATION and you’ll not only send me two boxes of Perfectly Pumpkin K-Cup packs, but you’ll also throw in two boxes of Decaf Columbian K-cups.


And then you sent me this:

That right there?

That’s called EMAIL CONFIRMATION that they have successfully retreived my information and I would be receiving my samples shortly.

Only instead of receiving samples, I received this, in my inbox, just a few moments ago:

Let me get this straight, Timothy’s.

You made me a promise that you couldn’t keep.

So now, instead of holding up your end of the bargain, you would like to invite me to PAY FOR YOUR PRODUCT?


Very interesting.

And to top it all off, you currently have access to my email address AND my home shipping address, so that’s awesome.

Well, I told your Facebook wall about how unimpressed I am.


And judging by the way your Facebook wall is refreshing with new disgruntled customers…

…I’d imagine you are going to lose a LOT of customers today.

AND THEN, well, this is super fun little wrinkle. REMOVING all comments from your Facebook wall? Not cool, Timothy’s. That simply makes you look worse. That lets me—and the hundreds of other disgruntled customers—know that you don’t care about what we have to say. It seems there were at least ten different points in this process to swallow pride, grow a pair and make it right with customers. But you didn’t. At all.

I hope it was worth it, Timothy’s. I’m not *quite* sure this was the kind of publicity you were looking for.


And, just, you know, for the record. Since I’m sure there will be people screaming, “WOW! You are so selfish, Ali! Complaining about not getting your FREE stuff! How ungrateful can you get?!?!” please know that this has nothing to do with free stuff. That’s not why I wrote the post. It’s about a company behaving poorly. It’s about a company lying to customers. It’s about a company taking the personal information of many people. It’s about a company not making good on promises. Timothy’s—while I’m sure their intentions were very good and generous—should never have offered free product if they were not able to deliver. Timothy’s—while I’m sure they planned to give out free product to everyone who got a confirmation email—needed to replace the product they couldn’t deliver with something of equal value instead of a Buy One Get One coupon. End of story.

  1. Doh! I’d be WAY pissed.

    Comment by Sharon on January 13, 2012
  2. I’m really annoyed. It’s not about the money or the free product, as I’m not a couponer or anything. It’s about the principle.

    Why promise something to customers when you can’t follow through, yanno?

    I could have potentially been a huge customer for them? I drink a shitload of coffee. I could have been like…WOW! Timothy’s is AWESOME.

    And now…well, I have nothing good to say.

    Comment by ali on January 13, 2012
  3. WOW.

    Comment by Sandy on January 13, 2012
  4. That is shady business, period.

    Comment by Alex on January 13, 2012
  5. Let me go out on a limb here and predict that this ends with you getting a BIG apology product-bonanza now that you’ve shamed them so publically.

    3 cheers for social media! Power to the bloggers. 😉

    Comment by Ed Prutschi on January 13, 2012
  6. I didn’t write the post for free product, but I think you know that. I wrote the post because companies should know that they can’t do crappy business and get away with it. It’s shitty and gross, end of story. I applaud good pr when I see it:


    Why shouldn’t I talk about the BAD PR MOVES too?

    Comment by ali on January 13, 2012
  7. Don’t get me wrong…I KNOW you weren’t looking for a freebie and I applaud the decision to call out PR mistakes. When a company botches its customer relations, the gloves are off.

    I only meant that my prediction is that Timothy’s itself (as opposed to their PR company who clearly underestimated response levels and picked an aweful way to try to dance around their goof) will notice this and try to make things right by giving you a better chance to try out the products and say “sorry”. Bad PR moves CAN be fixed if the company ‘fesses up and make ammends.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Ed Prutschi on January 13, 2012
  8. If somebody somewhere (Timothy?) has their coffee beans together, they’ll be making a major apology, topped with an XXXL quantity of the ultimate Perfectly Pumpkin coffee.

    It’ll be interesting to see.

    Comment by Pam @writewrds on January 13, 2012
  9. Great post. I signed up for this too, when they were offering 2 of each box. I got the “break up email” this afternoon. Like you I’m ticked about how they represented themselves.

    What irks me even more the message I get when I click the unsubscribe link in the email. See below

    “We were unable to process your request; please try again later. If the problem persists, contact support for assistance.”

    Comment by Suzanne on January 13, 2012
  10. Thats really bad. Heads should roll. I mean k-cups.

    Comment by Mara on January 13, 2012
  11. Stupid Timothy’s. Glad you wrote this.

    P.S. Starbucks is way better.

    Comment by Loukia on January 13, 2012
  12. Yup, I wrote to them directly, but haven’t received anything back yet. I asked them to remove my personal information from their database – the info I allowed them to have in exchange for coffee I never received. I also asked them how a coffee company can run out of coffee. It’s all pretty shady.

    Comment by Kelly @LifeOptimist on January 14, 2012
  13. Wow. and Boo.

    Comment by SamiJoe on January 14, 2012
  14. Wow. That is CRAZYPANTS.


    Comment by Meghan on January 14, 2012
  15. I got this e-mail today too. So disappointed. They could have at least offered a sample of *something*, in *some* quantity…I was really looking forward to trying the Pumpkin flavour but I would have been satisfied to just receive one of their flavours to try, so I could see if I like their brand or not.

    Comment by Amanda on January 14, 2012
  16. Bad move on their part. Very crappy use of Facebook and social media. I would be very mad too. If some of these companies making huge judgment errors in social media were to come to the seminars and conferences we attend regularly like Blissdom etc,. They would know how to use social media properly. Just bad customer service.

    Comment by Paula Schuck on January 14, 2012
  17. I signed up for this promotion too and got the coupon email. Not very impressed. I was actually going to give the K-cups to a friend of mine so true it’s not about that. I’ve signed up for promos and got “sorry we are all out” but not after already giving info. They should think of restaffing their social media team.

    Comment by Alyssa on January 14, 2012
  18. Ugh. This is bad, on so many levels. And this is precisely why I’m so loathe to part with my personal information (unless I really want something, BAD).

    I wonder if they’ll create an internal social media policy… because they certainly don’t have one that works very well. Deleting FB comments? That’s bad news.

    Comment by andrea from the fishbowl on January 15, 2012
  19. […] I became aware of a situation on Facebook that was shaping up to big brand headache. According to this blog post, Timothy’s Coffee recently launched a Facebook promotion where in exchange for personal […]

    Pingback by How The Promise Of Free Coffee Crushed A Brand | SPARKER Strategy Group | Social Media and Marketing in Winnipeg on January 15, 2012
  20. I’ve seen this sort of thing so many times. It seems companies want to get on the social media bandwagon but have no idea how it operates nor how the people operate within it. If you misrepresent yourself or behave in a disingenuous way, you’ll be called out, VERY publicly. Their PR better get with the program soon.

    Comment by Jenny_Parker on January 15, 2012
  21. Wow, that is crazy bad PR by the company… and not mention horrible customer service.

    Hey Timothys, if you ran out of the promo coffee, you could have just sent another flavour, couldnt you have? Losers.

    We have a Tassimo, and when it started acting up after only six months they replaced the whole damn machine, and tossed in some free coffee packs on top of that… now that is customer service!

    Comment by alfred lives here on January 16, 2012
  22. […] Join your hosts Justin Kozuch and Lindsay Munro for a conversation about crisis management in social media. Our case studies for this episode are the recent Timothy’s K-Cup Giveaway, […]

    Pingback by Ep. 8: "Crisis Management in Social Media" | 49Pixels.TV on January 31, 2012
  23. […] about crisis management in social media. Our case studies for this episode are the recent Timothy’s K-Cup Giveaway, /4 […]

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