Friday, August 01, 2008

Consumer Grievance: The story of Edward Skading

Edward Skading is a senior citizen, a retired senior citizen of Malaysia.

This is his story he wants to tell:

He had earlier purchased 6 tin-cans of the “Tea Pot” brand from Giant Puchong Supermarket (on the 13th March 2008), Invoice Number: 27173. The expiry date for all tin-cans is dated 25th July 2008 None of the cans were purchased with any defects (like dents or leakage).

On the 20th March 2008 his wife was about to make coffee for the family and was shocked to discover something abnormal (brownish/blackish) sticking out from a newly opened “Tea Pot” milk tin can hole.

As it was after office hour they are unable to contact any of the manufacturer's staff to further witness this incident and they decided to keep the tin and milk in the refrigerator. This incident was so horrible and disgusting until they were unable to consume their dinner that night, basically they lost their appetite.

Because of this incident, his family are very traumatized. They are also very concern about their health because they had consumed some of the milk from the same batch. He is very disappointed not to enjoy his regular coffee and tea with the sweeten milk.

He is requesting that F & N Dairies to take great care to ensure that this matter is properly managed in the future.

He also wants the manufacturer to provide assurance to the customers that the product are clean and healthy.

Most of all, he wanted F & N Dairies to issue a public apology for the incident.

There were much communication between Edward and F & N officials.

5 months passed; the latest news is that Edward had received a legal summon and affidavit documents from F & N's lawyer.

According to Edward F&N Dairies is going to claim $250K for defamatory damages.

Edward lamented in his blog: "I am a poor and retired man. Looks like those rich boys still want to grab whatever money I got to survive until the day I die. Come on boys, you had already swindled and cheated me of $2.59 when I purchased your contaminated milk. So, don’t be greedy."

Edward had created a weblog entitled My Grievances with F&N Dairies (M) Sdn Bhd

In his blog Edward states that his objective of this weblog is to defend his integrity by exposing the truth based on facts, as well as to attain resolutions for his consumer grievances. This weblog will be removed when the objective is met.

If I am the CEO or COO of F & N, I will use this incident as an opportunity to promote F & N and to tell the world at large that F & N cares for all their customers and would ensure that any complaints of poor product quality and poor customer services will not be tolerated.

One of my most admired organization is Johnson & Johnson. I like to share with you J & J's corporate philosophy which the company calls it "Our Credo" (credo means: I Believe).

In Our Credo, the first and foremost importance of J&J's corporate responsibility is in meeting customers' and end-users' need. J&J emphasized their corporate responsibility in constantly striving to reduce the costs in order to maintain reasonable prices for their customers. It is also J&J's philosophy of ensuring that their suppliers and distributors have an opportunity to make a fair profit.

The second critical responsibility as emphasized in Our credo, J&J emphasized the importance of employees, respect towards each of them as individuals, respecting their dignity and recognizing their merits, and ensuring the employees security in their job and also ensuring a fair compensation packages and healthy working conditions. Most of all, J&J wants their employees to be mindful of their family responsibilities.

The third responsibility of the company is towards the community and its social and corporate responsibilities towards the community they live in and the global community.

The final responsibility as espoused in Our Credo is the corporate responsibility towards their stockholders. The commitment of the company towards their stockholders is that they would make a "sound" profit.

Clearly you can observed that most companies and CEOs placed the stockholders as number one and the customers as the second, and then the employees; lastly the community they live in.

Robert Wood Johnson, the former chairman of J&J crafted Our Credo himself in 1943, just before Johnson & Johnson became a publicly traded company.

J&J's Corporate Credo values are used to guide their decision making which are spelt out in their Credo. The Credo challenges J&J to put the needs and well-being of the people they serve first. I hope F & N would read Our Credo from J&J and adopt it as their too. Below is the corporate philosophy of J&J

Our Credo

We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses, and patients,
to mothers & fathers, and all others who use our products and services.
In meeting their needs, everything we do must be of high quality.
We must constantly strive to reduce our costs
in order to maintain reasonable prices.
Customers’ orders must be served promptly and accurately.
Our suppliers and distributors must have an opportunity
to make a fair profit.

We are responsible to our employees,
the men and women who work with us throughout the world.
Everyone must be considered as an individual.
We must respect their dignity and recognize their merit.
They must have a sense of security in their jobs.
Compensation must be fair and adequate,
and working conditions clean, orderly and safe.
We must be mindful of ways to help our employees fulfill
their family responsibilities.
Employees must feel free to make suggestions and complaints.
They must be equal opportunity for employment, development
and advancement for those qualified.
We must provide competent management,
and their actions must be just and ethical.

We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work
And to the world community as well.
We must be good citizens – support good works and charities
and bear our fair share of taxes.
We must encourage civic improvements and better health and education.
We must maintain in good order
the property we are privileged to use,
protecting the environment and natural resources.

Our final responsibility is to our stockholders.
Business must make a sound profit.
We must experiment with new ideas.
Research must be carried on, innovative programs developed
and mistakes paid for.
New equipment must be purchased, new facilities provided
and new products launched.
Reserves must be created to provide for adverse times.
When we operate according to these principles,
the stockholders should realize a fair return.

Johnson & Johnson


sheriff said...

It is apparent that the F & N management have no notion of what service recovery is.

And what terrible ethics they must have, to pick on a helpless retiree just to cover up a small wrong in their manufacturing section.

If I were to be F & N's boss, I would have ferried Edward's family to the F & N plant to give them a grand tour of the plant and threat them like VIPs. This is to show them how clean the process is and to assure them that what had be purchased must have been an exceptional error. Then offer Edward's family a few crates of milk and few hampers of other F & N products.

Instaed of the above, I can guess what happened. When the complaint was received, F & N tried totreat it like an unimportant small mistake and Edward must have been insistent, especially on the apology. So these F & N people must have engaged Edward and subtly led him to say things that could incriminate himself and compromise his case. And then, one day....bang! F & N comes out with the big hammer to kill the irritating ant!

Anonymous said...

The CEO of F&N dairy is a S'pore citizen connected to a powerful figure. F&N dairies has been sued by Health Ministry officials for contaminated ice-cream in Alor Star court. The court hearing has been postponed 3 X, the next will be on 19 Aug 08. Mr Edward Spalding is advice to get in touch with Health Ministry officials for assistant.

WTF said...

I too encountered a can of condensed milk manufactured by F&N bearing the brand name
F&N which was complemented with a lizard in it a few years back.

Though I did not lodge a complaint then...might be I would have got sued too if I had pursued the matter ???

Anonymous said...

J&J managed to work its way out of deliberately contaminated tylenol. Still a classic case study in marketing of how to handle these sort of problems.

F&N? Kampung brand comparatively. At this point perhaps some other milk company should step up to the plate and provide the poor chap a supply of free and clean milk until such time as this F&N matter blows over.

Free publicity and good karma.

denzook said...

f&n manufactures coke btw (licencee), don play play.

it's founded and based in the country oppos often likes to compare with. and the ceo is from affluent family you don want to mess with.

his plight already highlight in local forum, but din know it goes as far in civil suit (not surprising though).

Maverick SM said...


I like your way of settling the problem. It would have given better publicity to F&N and help to promote their products. Sadly they preferred the BN way of denial and persecution.


Could you relate your story to us?


I didn't know the CEO's wealth and power could be used to stifle complaints...

moo_t said...

Now this Singaporean F&N are asking for trouble.

Nestle, Dutch Lady are HAPPY to eat up their market shares if they keep messing the stuff up.

It won't take long for people to enter this whole incident into wikipedia.

And singapore kangaroo court can't touch wikipedia.

Maverick SM said...


Thanks for the link.

artchan said...

F&N wants to go to court? or just want to bully this edward guy?

I don't think F&N wants to risks this in open court. All it needs is a shift of customers buying from F&N to their competitors becos of the bad publicity will wake F&N up.

If this is not handled properly..some heads will roll and definitetly not Edward's.

Maverick SM said...


You may be right; but the top management may not know of this shit yet.

CK said...


as an ex-employee of J&J, I am proud too..

WTF said...

There was this can of condensed milk which I opened two holes to pour it into a container; but the last portion of it would not flow out as if something is blocking it.
Therefore I open almost completely the whole can lid to find out what was inside and to my horror there was a dead lizard in it !

As the can was almost opened completely and I did not have an independent witness to testify that the lizard was indeed inside the can before it was opened, I did not pursue the matter.

Therefore to you folks out there ,my advice is to pour completely the condensed milk from its can before you consume it ,just in case you get more than what you purchased.

If you encounter similar incidence , do not open completely the can and lodge a complain to the company, surely they will be compelled to replace you the can of milk and even give you extra quantity and other products just to ensure you will forget about the whole thing.
But a word of caution ; if you go overboard on this compensation/goodwill then you might just end up being accused of blackmail.

Mmudahlupa said...

mav, that one strong grievance is enough to contaminate large areas of his life.

Maverick SM said...


I didn't know you are an ex-J&J!


That's good experience and good advice. I will take your advice.


You bet!

USA! said...

reviewing the teapot insident with F&N. It's with no doubt that the management have failed to inspect the major health issue towards the consumers of the nation as well as exporting it overseas. This is out rage. I strongly fell that the Department of Helth should enforce such ignorance from a huge company as this. And more over having to bully a retired, law abiding citizen for his good deads towards the people and nation. All you folks out there, wake up and stand up for your consumers rights. Trust me, we don't put up with this in our country. Even food that are contaminated a day or two in grocery store over here. I will give you a good example. Recently we had a major power failure in our neighborhood. A huge grocery store had to empty their freezer and coolers and dispose all this food. What a great lost. But as consumers we appreciate the company for following the health regulations and not even giving out contaminated food to their customers. This senior citizen edward should be considered a "HERO" for voicing up his consumers rights. He is not looking out for only his family, as well as all of us. F&N definatelly owe the nation an apology, as well as this family that had to go through such disaster. Being cocky and arrogant, and having the best lawyer does mean anything. So wake up F&N. You are not giving others a good reputation of your company. Take the most recent insident happened in CHINA. CNN news had told the whole world about it, with the Milk company in their country. Sad to hear this. Now, for those who are afraid to come up and have had a semilar insident over insects, etc., in their F&N milk can. Its about time to you folks give Edwards the support. After all he is looking out for you and your family. We here in the western world are tick off with F&N.

The American Chick said...

I think That the F&N is full of shit!
Its crap that they are trying to take advantage of a retaired old men.

What if Edward didnt notice it at first and drank it, and it killed him?
then the F&N would be being sued for murder!

They should have apologized and awarded the skading family!
for a thiny mistake!

I wish you luck Edward, and keep pushing.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Anyone know what happened to dear edward skading case? has anyone follow up on this case?