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Are These Examples of Conscious Capitalism? (Sarcasm)

About a month ago, I noticed an article on this website regarding the top five nutritional protein bars available at Costco. Being someone who reads the labels, I was interested in their analysis. After reading and reviewing the article, I wasn't convinced I agreed with their analysis. I created a nutritional chart with their top 5 protein bars to better research their conclusions. Once complete, I assessed that the Kirkland protein bar was the most nutritious and had the best value based on weight (the author had Kirkland ranked 3rd). The 4th and 5th protein bars were arguably more nutritious than, at the least, their number 1 pick.


Therefore, I clicked on the "Contact the Editor" link and provided my input. After analyzing their data a week later, I created a blog post with my objective analysis, published on January 22nd. After not hearing from the editor, I created a follow-up email to the editor, which included my blog post. However, I am still waiting to hear from them. I'd like to know if I'll get a response from them about my objective analysis. Am I too idealistic to think they will read my two emails and respond accordingly? 


Kirkland
Highlighted areas show which top two protein bars have the best nutrition within each of the categories.

SHOULD THERE BE ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO SELF-CHECKOUT?

Last week, as I was self-checking my groceries at Mariano's, a thought occurred to me. Why do those individual shoppers who typically do all the work not benefit in some way economically? I know that sometimes using the self-checkout area might save time, so people like that option, but aren't we subsidizing grocery stores that provide this option? I'm not talking about anything significant, perhaps a $5 coupon occasionally or a 5% discount on groceries? Shoppers, especially younger ones, gravitate towards these without any economic incentive, so perhaps grocers don't see the need to go above and beyond. But still, wouldn't that be a nice gesture by grocers? 


Along those same lines, Trader Joe's doesn't provide this option. Do they want to provide better service by not providing that option? At least at several Trader Joe's I've visited over the years, they ensure customers who arrive in the checkout line are handled efficiently as bells are rung, which means employees make their way to the front of the store to minimize customer wait time.


HELP ME MAKE AN EFFECTIVE DECISION WHEN PURCHASING CLOTHING

Over the years, I have paid attention to where the products are made when purchasing clothes, towels, and bedding. The list of manufacturing countries might include Honduras, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, China, and Vietnam. Through direct experience over the years, clothes and bedding made in China don't seem as well made as in other countries. This has led me to check labels or, if ordering online, check the specifications before ordering. They may state that it's imported, but for a conscious consumer, I need more information. The thing is, often, merchants need to include the manufacturing country. This is particularly acute when shopping online for a textile product that doesn't include this specific information, which does a disservice to the consumer. Additional information helps consumers make a more viable purchasing decision. 


Kirkland
Beautiful resort picture.

IT APPEARS SHE'S MERELY A GATEKEEPER

My wife and I spent the first six days of '24 at the Zoetry Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (a five-star resort). Overall, it was a lovely resort, although we had several issues getting regular hot water for several days and dealt with a power outage one night. The hotel manager was Diana, and not being available outside of business hours, we asked several workers at the front desk later in the evening if we could speak with her the following morning. She didn't contact us for whatever reason, so we decided not to pursue the issue further. We didn't want to have these incidents ruin our relaxing vacation.


As most consumers know, subsequent surveys are often sent to guests of the resort, so I obliged and provided my input. Interestingly, Diana responded, "I'm sorry you had issues. I hope you'll give us another chance in the future." After receiving this input, I researched online and found other critiques about Zoetry. When comments involved issues with the resort or when it didn't meet their expectations, Diana's response was quite similar to my original feedback (I'm sorry you had issues...). She just appeared to be the gatekeeper. I did respond to her apologetic email asking her if she has the power to refund part of the fee, but I have yet to hear back. She represents a company (Hyatt) that appears to be customer-centric by responding to all online reviews, but that doesn't make them excel at customer service. If you pay thousands of dollars for a service that is not up to par or doesn't meet your expectations, why wouldn't a highly-ranked resort such as Zoetry do anything tangible to make amends?


Kirkland
Ripped Silk Pillow From Blissy

BLISSY DISAPPOINTED ME

Two years ago, I decided to get my wife a Valentine’s Day present, so I purchased two silk pillowcases from Blissy; the total cost was about $180 with a 27% discount and free shipping (the total charge was about $135). Without the discount, each pillowcase sells for $80 each. At the time, I felt it was a little expensive, even with the discount for two silk pillows, but I felt if they lasted more than several years, it might be an OK purchase.


About one month ago, my wife handed me one pillowcase to be used in our “rags” pile. The zipper had broken away from the base, so the silk pillow was useless. I emailed Blissy hoping to get a replacement pillowcase as it’s only been two years. A representative said their warranty was only for one year, but they offered a 25% discount on my next purchase. I was certainly unsatisfied with the result. Why would I be inclined to purchase another product from them if the one pillowcase was not well made? I felt a replacement pillowcase would suffice to help satisfy a former customer, but their last offer was 35% on future products. We were at an impasse seeing that the warranty was only for one year. I thought of how Costco usually provides a two-year warranty, and they’d gladly give me a replacement, but unfortunately, I didn’t purchase it at Costco.


I won’t be ordering anything else from Blissy, as I thought they’d make more of an attempt to make it right. Either they should make their products more durable or be willing to “make it right” in a situation like this.


As I mentioned in my title, "Are These Examples of Conscious Capitalism?"















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