Skip to main content

27th February 2012

Cashing in on Cadbury

How far will you go for a freebie?

A new phenomenon has swept across the student nation. One that is neither ethical nor approved of in many social circles.

So far a technical term hasn’t been coined for this activity but it can be simply summed up as: making fake complaints to get free stuff. Maybe it’s the friends I keep but it seems to me that customer “feedback” is on the up.

The motivation behind the creation of a false complaint letter or e mail is not necessarily financial. Granted everyone, students especially, can benefit from a £3 Sainsbury’s voucher but the prospect of a couple of quid off your weekly shop really isn’t the only incentive.

For some it is simply a case of having too much time on your hands – I’m looking at you humanities students. What better way to kill some time around your five hour a week than putting your creative writing skills to the test in return for a couple of free chocolate bars? The funnier the better.

Here’s some inspiration if you’re new to this questionable game: telling Tesco that your BLT sandwich was missing the all important T, claiming that your Yorkie Raisin & Biscuit was disappointingly lacking in the biscuit department or that the Cilit Bang you purchased last week just isn’t getting your pennies as shiny as Barry promised.

The ultimate fake complaint came last Christmas when a friend of mine, on a boring and hungover Sunday afternoon, wrote to Cadbury declaring that on a frosty December 1st morning she had opened the first door to her Dairy Milk advent calendar to unexpectedly be greeted by a white chocolate reindeer rather than the milk chocolate she had anticipated.

Cadbury was having none of it so naturally asked for proof. Two hacked up advent calendars and a switcheroo later Cadbury had their evidence.

The end product was pathetic to say the least and involved lots of tape but even so a £4 consolatory coupon arrived in the post a few days later.

Rather than argue against artificial accusations it’s easier for these big companies to pay you off with a voucher and a computerized apology. Everyone’s a winner!

So be warned, supermarkets and chocolate manufacturers alike, for there are many out there with a dwindling student loan and far too much time to kill.

Lily Howes

Lily Howes

Former Lifestyle Editor at The Mancunion (2011-2012). English Literature and Drama graduate. Originally from Croydon, South London. If you don’t fancy being hounded to sign up for Blind Date then do avoid me at all costs (however if you are interested in taking part then e mail [email protected])

More Coverage

Three years at university: What have I learnt?

As the academic year draws to a close, here are some of the more unexpected lessons I have learnt from three years at Manchester University

How do we tackle the student loneliness crisis?

At a university where 45,000 students cross paths every day, it should be impossible to feel lonely

Keeping on top of the news cycle: How to stay up to date as a student

Being a student can mean an incredibly busy schedule, so how can you make time to find out what’s happening in the world?

Houseplant heaven: The best plants to brighten up your student home

With the RHS Urban Show coming to Manchester, we’ve found some of the best houseplants to enhance your student accommodation