Thursday, November 13, 2008

With a Little Help from my Friends!

Here is a blog on a little positive community activism. In Acton, MA, where I live and work, two of the Mobil stations were selling an energy drink called "Cocaine". Besides 3 1/2 times the caffeine of Red Bull (=3 shots of espresso), its name bothers some of us. In particular, Chris Tejeda, a father of 4 in Acton did not like it. It is available in 2 Mobil stations near his home. So he started a small movement, simply by standing up to be counted, that resulted, in less than one week's time, in Mobil corporate pulling the products from stores nationwide!

Below is his original email, and my follow up to the owner of one of the stores, who replied immediately, and removed the product.
Well done, Chris!

(Email from Chris Tejeda Subject: "A little help from my friends")

Hello everyone; You will, no doubt, be surprised to find that this Email does not come from my wife. I am writing this email to ask for your support with a minor issue that I have not been able to solve by "nicely asking".Here is the problem: Both the West Acton Mobil and the RT 2A Mobil sell an energy drink called "Cocaine". Many of you might have seen it because they are prominently displayed on the fridge doors. I have asked both locations twice to remove that product. The last time I advised them that they had lost me as a customer. As of this weekend, the product was still being sold at both Mobil stores. The states of Connecticut and Texas have banned the product, 7/11 stores have banned the drink and the company that manufactures the product promised to rename it last year, but never did.
Because of their convenience these Mobil stores are a place that many of our children go often, either with their parents or in a group. Do I think that if they buy this drink they will go out and do cocaine next? No.Do I think that Mobil has every right to sell whatever it wants? Yes. But I will not be a customer.

In any case, if you agree, walk into these stores and complain.
Thank you.
(Email from Frank Paolino to Mobil station owner)
Edward,This email below was sent to about 100 people in Acton, MA. We respect your decision to sell whatever you like, but we also have the option of buying gas and sundries wherever we like.
As a good community member. I respectfully request you to remove these products.
Frank Paolino
(Immediate Reply from Mobil station owner)
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was not approached by anyone about the product. I am not in the business of offending customers. I will gladly remove this product from my store. I was informed by the vendor that whatever the original problem was that caused the product to be banned was corrected. Would you please let Chris know that I will be removing it from my store and to please feel free to give me a call anytime. I am curious who he spoke to and why they didn’t bring it to my attention. My cell phone number is 978-265-xxxx.
Thank you again.
Ed Booth

(Email from Frank Paolino to 100 concerned citizens)
Ed Booth from East Acton Mobil gave a very good reply, and I think it was the correct and responsible one. He is removing the product from his store.
Thanks to Chris Tejeda for standing up on this issue.
Frank Paolino

(Email from Acton Mobil station owner)
Hi Frank,
Just wanted to drop you one more note. I spoke with Paul over at West Acton Mobil. He is removing the product from his store as well. As I mentioned before, we did not intend to offend anyone. We both attended a trade show together and were informed by the vendor that it was ok to sell the product now. Thanks one more time for your feedback.
Ed Booth

(Email from Chris Tejeda with incredible news... note the understatement)
Thank you very much, Frank. I also received a phone call from Exxon/Mobil Corporate that they will be removing this product from all stores nationwide. Chris Tejeda

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