Checking Tylenol bottles, 1982
SIGG President Steve Wasik must have expected trouble when the story broke about the lining of his company's bottles, and customers have not been particularly impressed with his response, demanding replacement of their SIGG bottles. Many companies have had crises of trust like this; the classic textbook response was during the Tylenol crisis of 1982, where someone put cyanide in Extra Strength Tylenol in Chicago. Even though it was a local event in one kind of pill, Johnson and Johnson recalled and replaced every single Tylenol pill in the continent. They did whatever had to be done to preserve their reputation, whatever the cost. Within a year their sales recovered.
Wasik hasn't quite done a Tylenol, but he has now publicly apologized and offered to replace SIGG bottles with liners produced with BPA.
SIGG Bottle owners revolt
After reading and responding to hundreds of emails and viewing nearly as many blog & Twitter posts, I realize that my first letter may have missed the mark. What I should have said simply and loudly to all of our loyal SIGG fans is: I am sorry that we did not make our communications on the original SIGG liner more clear from the very beginning.
Which is a bit of an understatement. He now is offering replacement bottles for anyone who sends theirs in. But here is where he fails to learn from the Tylenol experience; in the exchange instructions they write:
Please note that you will need to pay to ship your bottles inbound to SIGG for replacement as this is a voluntary program - not a recall. SIGG is not offering refunds. This exchange offer is available through October 31, 2009.
On the shipping label they write:
I don't know if the weasel words come from Wasik or his lawyers, but nobody is listening to the story that the bottles don't leach, they want bottles without BPA. I also don't know what it costs to ship a bottle to Brunswick, New Jersey, but it is probably a good portion of the cost of a bottle.
It is going to cost the company some money, but if SIGG really wants to emerge from this with any kind of reputation, they should do a Tylenol and do whatever it takes, including shipping.
More on the SIGG Saga
SIGG Bottles Now BPA Free. But What Were They Before?
SIGG Update: Did We Get It Right?
Should I Dump My Old Sigg That Was Made With BPA?
Find a BPA Free Alternative To SIGG
Transparency is the New Black