So, in my dad's letter, he outlined four differences between GOOD ALLSORTS and THE BAD FAKE POSSIBLY EUROPEAN BUT DEFINITELY WRONG ALLSORTS. These were HIS FINDINGS:
1. All the items are much too sweet and are much softer and squashier. This is particularly obvious in the all liquorice ones which taste entirely wrong (quite unpleasant in fact) – too sweet and sickly. They also have a twisted pattern rather than straight ridges.
2. The coconut items are lacking in flavour and are not of the usual consistency.
3. The items with the small balls on the surface are very soft, taste different and the balls are much finer. There are also no blue ones of these (only pink)
4. There are no liquorice ‘Bertie Bassetts’
He also asked for a refund or replacement (and quite rightly - nobody wants SQUASHY, TWISTED, SMALL-BALLED ALLSORTS, amirite?).
Well, a few days ago, my brother and I came home from work to find a letter with a Cadbury's envelope sitting tantalisingly on the doormat. Dad was out for the evening, and so after much wrangling with our consciences (and by "wrangling" I mean "ignoring" and by "much" I mean "about ten seconds") we decided
our curiosity was too great to be resisted
it would be the best thing for all concerned if we opened it.
And this is what we found.
Dear Mr Jones,
We are sorry to learn that your pack of Allsorts did not contain the Bertie Bassett unit.
During the severe storms which have affected the UK recently, our Sheffield factory where this product is manufactured was flooded. This has unfortunately affected production of this product. We are currently in the process of relocating the manufacture of this brand and are confident that supplies of the product will be in stores shortly. However the factory where Allsorts are now being manufactured are not able to make this particular unit.
Please be assured that when manufacturing commences at our Sheffield plant, this unit will be included in the pack.
We would apologise for any disappointment this may have caused you and would assure you of our commitment to making this product widely available to our consumers.
Thank you once again for taking the time and trouble to contact us.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers that this letter evoked a reaction of some hilarity from my father. My brother and I had escaped to the relative safety of our bedrooms in order to avoid the early stages of wrath when he came back to find this monstrous missive, but the roar of disgust from downstairs could be heard from miles away.
"WHAT! THEY DIDN'T EVEN GIVE ME A REFUND!!!!"
For a few days, dad moped. "I've just given up on the whole thing, Ems" he said, with a heavy sigh. "I don't think they took me seriously at all." It was at this stage that I started to feel somewhat indignant on my father's behalf (and also a tad guilty for turning him into an object of hilarity for a portion of the internet, but clearly not guilty enough to stop updating the saga) and so I urged him to write back. This pepped him up a bit. After all, he had gone to all the trouble of reporting HIS FINDINGS and they had BASICALLY IGNORED THEM ALL and ALSO NO REFUND and HE DESERVES HIS ALLSORTS and THAT WAS YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY, EMS, and IT IS NOT RIGHT!!!!!
And so he wrote another letter.
Thank you for your letter dated 11th September. I was very disappointed that your response did not address the substance of my complaint nor offer a refund or replacement of the product that I returned. This is not very good consumer relations!
You simply offered an explanation for the trivial item 4 of my original letter (enclosed for review). Far more serious from the viewpoint of your quality control procedures are items 1 to 3, which indicate a total change in product consistency and flavour, presumably also explained by the alternative manufacturing site (and processes/ingredients?) currently being used. I hope that this will be rectified when production returns to Sheffield.
Please would you indicate when production will resume in the Sheffield plant as I will not be purchasing more Allsorts until then, unless you can assure me that this quality problem will be rectified in some other way?
THAT'S RIGHT PEOPLE. HE ENCLOSES HIS FINDINGS FOR REVIEW. ITEMS 1 TO 3 ARE PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT. AND HE WILL NOT BE PURCHASING ANY MORE ALLSORTS UNTIL THIS PROBLEM IS FIXED!!!! BECAUSE IT IS JUST NOT RIGHT!!!!!
Mind you, If I were Bassetts I would truly be perturbed by this news as my dad basically keeps Allsorts in production, the amount he buys.
Oh yes, Tina from Bassetts, IT IS ON. You have learnt a hard lesson today, young jedi. Never underestimate engineers with Allsort fixations, for they will always return, only this time with MORE FINDINGS and MORAL INDIGNATION.
You don't mess with them, Tina. You just don't.